“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …”Sarah J. Maas, Kingdom of Ash
The final battle is here.
Aelin Galathynius has vowed to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. The knowledge that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, but her resolve is unraveling with each passing day…
With Aelin captured, friends and allies are scattered to different fates. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever. As destinies weave together at last, all must fight if Erilea is to have any hope of salvation.
Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an explosive conclusion as Aelin fights to save herself―and the promise of a better world.
Caitlynn: I am so not ready for this series to end. I think Maas did a fantastic job ending this series, she also left a couple openings to possibly continue the series in the future. I sincerely hope Maas is not done with this world and characters, there is still so much that I want to know and see. I highly recommend this whole series! 5/5 stars!
Jenn: I’m so happy we did this reread. The finale to the ToG series went out with a bang. Rereading the previous books really made it a more emotional experience. I absolutely adored this book. All of the world building and character development definitely paid off. 5/5 stars.
Eden: I read Kingdom of Ash about three weeks ago now and I’ve been eagerly waiting to discuss it with Caitlynn and Jenn. The hardest part about reading this book was simply not talking about it before Caitlynn and Jenn finished. I finished this book in three days, if that’s any indication of my true feelings. 5/5 stars.
Eden: What were your guys thoughts on KIngdom of Ash.
Jenn: Five out of five.
Caitlynn: Yeah, that pretty much describes it.
E: When we read Tower of Dawn Jenn said that she was excited to see people die.
J: I said I was excited to see everyone die.
E: Were you satisfied with the deaths?
J: I will never be satisfied.
J: I liked some of the deaths. I wish more people had died and I wish that fewer people had found ways around death. I think there could have been more deaths of main characters.
E: So you wish there had been more deaths of main characters.
J: Yeah, I didn’t lose as many people as I wanted to.
C: I think I was mentally prepared and had exhausted myself in preparation for this book, to expect so many more deaths of people that I love. Satisfied isn’t the word it’s just that…
J: It didn’t live up to expectations?
C: It’s not even that it didn’t live up to expectations. I’d just prepared myself mentally for so long, I think since Tower of Dawn. I was just like, “Ok, everyone you love is going to die, you need to accept that.”
E: You know, I think I’ve been so traumatized by so many authors killing characters that I Love that I also overprepared for this. Like, honestly, J. K. Rowling killed everyone I love in Harry Potter…
C: You know, we’d just gotten to the point where we loved Sirius Black. We didn’t get any real interaction with him at all and she just took him from us. We were robbed of being able to really know him.
E: When you look at Rowling or the Divergent series and how it ends, or just varying books we’ve read overtime that I’ve gotten so accustomed to authors going, “You know what?! Kill them all. Kill them all!” that I expected Maas to go into this with the same mentality.
J: I don’t know if it’s necessarily that we’re used to all of our favorite characters dying but because of how this is set. This is a huge war to save the world and we’re not going to have more death than just a couple of side characters. That is not a genuine assessment of what actually would have happened.
E: Let me say though, the one death of the cadre, I was completely unaffected by it. It didn’t effect me at all.
J: I wasn’t upset during the death scene, I was upset afterwards.
J: I was upset with the reactions from the characters and the whole oath. I liked the character but it was moreso the relationships that he had that made his death so much stronger.
E: There are many deaths that occur at one point where I had to put the book down for a little bit and just process what happened in that moment. I think I took a break for about an hour and cried a little bit as though I was mourning actual people I knew. Then, I picked the book back up and went back to reading, like, the show must go on.
C: That was when I was crying and I knew Joe (Caitlynn’s fiance) was going to walk in and ask what was wrong. I was doing that cry where you can’t catch your breath. I was just bawling. It got me so good. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I’m sure you guys saw what was happening coming because she’d laid some stuff in the previous books that implied.. it was like the shot gun on the wall. I never thought about it like that. I always assumed it’d be a weapon used against them. I was just like, “This will never, ever occur.”
E: I didn’t think about it either until it happened.
C: I just now realized that she’d put that in there as foreshadowing.
J: I read that part and I was like, “I want to be sadder.” So I went back and I reread it and just kept rereading the last thing the said to the other character.
J: And that was what ultimately got me.
E: It killed me. I had to actually take a break.
J: I did not sob at that point. I wasn’t as sad as I’d hoped, but when the line was repeated by the character that it was originally said to to another character it really got me.
E: I feel like we could talk about this, when Aelin is rescued is the other part where I got really really upset because she kept screaming take it off me. The worst part though, is Fenrys.
J: I didn’t care about Aelin, but when she curled up next to him.
E: In her moment when she curls up next to him, I was wondering why is he not her… not her mate, but..
J: Her mate? It would have been much more interesting if it was Fenrys.
C: For you.
E: Yeah, for you. Why is he not her caranem.
J: I think so.
E: I felt like they had a very like…
C: I don’t know if their powers would have worked together.
J: I also think that Maas did a really good job of between the cadre that she interacted with most really balancing and showing that she she worked really well with all of them. She kind of had the same… ultimately she ended up working well with all of them. She had a different relationship Fenrys because of what they went through together, but I think had she gone through that with Gavriel or anyone like that it would have been the same bond between them. That was so significant about the cadre and them following her.
E: Did this book stress you guys out at all?
C: I’ve been stressed since Tower of Dawn.
E: This book stressed me out so much because it’s just a march toward the final battle. The whole book I was like, “We gotta get there. Come on we have to go.” I’ve just never been so stressed reading a book.
C: I was anxious for it to happen, but at the same time I didn’t want anything to happen.
J: I was ready for it. Also, I kept getting my hopes up, but it did not live up to it. Not in a I-didn’t-enjoy-it-way, but like, I don’t know I just really like when we lose people in books. She kept setting up all these situations where lots of people could have died throughout the book and I was disappointed everytime.
E: I’m so thankful that people I loved didn’t die.
C: Alright, a lot of people I loved died. I very much cared for the people that died.
J: WHY SET UP THE YRENE AND CHAOL THING TO NOT USE IT?! Why was that a thing with setting up a connection and then being like, “Oh it didn’t matter.”
E: I will say, with Yrene and Chaol thing. I hate pregnancy tropes.
J: It didn’t bother me in this book because it didn’t become such a big thing. Normally I don’t like it because it becomes such a central thing. This one he wasn’t like, “You can’t go to battle!” He was just like, we both might die with our child in you.
E: When she started to allude to it I was not happy. I was just like, “please don’t, please don’t give us a pregnancy trope right now.” And then she did it.
J: I actually appreciated it because I think it’ll be good for authors to learn that the whole plot of the book doesn’t have to be centered around it. They didn’t change at all because of it.
E: No, she was going to burn herself out no matter what.
C: I really hope that we get more books from their perspectives.
E: I think she did a good job setting up for a Nesryn and Sartaq book.
J: I think she did a good job setting up for a lot of books.
E: That’s true.
If you’d like to continue following the discussion, we recorded it just for you guys! Click the audio player to continue to follow along.