If this post is published, it means that I have conquered the beast that is Sarah J. Maas’s Kingdom of Ash. RIP my bookish soul.
The final book in the Throne of Glass series, Kingdom of Ash’s 980 page story took over my reading life for five days. Yes, I’m still laughing at the fact that I thought I could hold off reading my most anticipated release of 2018 until Thanksgiving break. Since I myself was avoiding KoA spoilers for as long as possible, here are some of my non-spoiler thoughts:
- Once again, if I can’t have Chaol Westfall, I’m happy that Irene Towers can
- Aelin’s torture scenes were every emotional hard to read. Who else cannot stand Maeve??
- The punch Manon took during THAT scene felt like I was being punched too. SJM went THERE
- I didn’t cry, but I almost did when someone’s death is being honored near the end and during a certain goodbye
- I still cannot get over the Charlie Bowater-illustrated jacket for the Barnes and Noble exclusive edition
- I need a spin-off following Borte PLEASE. She was so freaking funny.
- One of Dorian’s transformation had me reeling with laugher
- I had dreams about Aelin and Nesryn the night I finished reading
- Kingdom of Ash gave me one of my very few book hangovers
- I need The World of Throne of Glass NOW. Please. Fingers-crossed that this book acutally comes out in 2019
Since I didn’t write a full review for the sake of spoilers, and frankly I don’t know if a review could cover all of my thoughts without entirely taking up Fangirl Fury, today I want to discuss why the Throne of Glass series and Kingdom of Ash means so much to me.
As many of you likely know, I am an unapologetic SJM fan. It’s not a year without having read at least one SJM book. While I love the A Court of Thorns and Roses series for different reasons (if you thought KoA had some steam, just wait until you meet Rhysand), ToG is my favorite of SJM’s two published series.
I picked up Throne of Glass in May 2015 as a junior in high school. I largely read ToG because of Booktube, but man was I hooked. I soon moved on to Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, in anticipation for Queen of Shadows to come out in September. I attended one of Sarah’s signings for Queen of Shadows, in a Costco of all places! Those were the days when you could show up to one of her signings fifteen minutes before its start and be one of the first in line.
I then went on to read Empire of Storms upon release in September 2016. I still can’t figure out how I lasted until April 2018 to read Tower of Dawn, starring the love of my life, Chaol Westfall! I also met Sarah again at Book Con 2017, where she signed my copy of Crown of Midnight and we fangirled together over Charlie Bowater’s just-released artwork for A Court of War and Ruin.
So what does Throne of Glass mean to me? Well for starters, ToG influenced me to pick up more YA fantasy. ToG is one of the few high-fantasy stories that I’ve ever read, largely in part to SJM’s amazing cast, the romance, and the humor! Once things become somewhat lighter for Aelin and co. in Kingdom of Ash, SJM pulled out all the funny moments, from Aelin and Dorian’s sarcasm to Borte’s quick remarks. While I don’t want to say that the ToG feel real, because I don’t know anyone who could use fire to obliterate Valg demons or has iron nails & teeth, SJM’s writing makes ToG’s cast feel human and relatable. Through Aelin and her female cast, I love Sarah’s themes of strength and possibility.
Call me sentimental, but I started reading ToG and SJM’s books as a junior in high school. Four years later, I am a junior in college who’s just finished Kingdom of Ash, her bookish heart somehow feeling both whole and broken. While we have The World of Throne of Glass to look forward to, especially since it’s going to feature the characters ten years after KoA, it’s going to feel very weird not to have a new sequel next year. I’d say that I’m not ready to let these characters go, which is true, but I know that Celaena Sardothein, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Rowan Whitehorn, Chaol Westfall, Irene Towers, Dorian Havilliard, Aedion Ashryver, Manon Blackbeak, Elide Lochan, Lorcan Salvaterre, and others will never leave my bookish heart.
Are you a Throne of Glass fan? Have you read Kingdom of Ash? Share in the comments!