So, I finished Kingdom of Ash - thoughts
Of course, I loved it (though my favorite book in the series is still either Book 3 or Book 5.)
1. It confirms to me that this series is very much Anne Bishop meets JRR Tolkien, which is a very very good thing.
2. I was not particularly surprised that no main characters died. She just finished her fae trilogy without killing off anyone important and while she was always more willing to kill people off in ToG (Sorcha, Nehemia), she’s still not too big on it. Which is just as well since (a) I am not a fan of grimdark and (b) this series started out as YA, even if it morphed into something else, so for her to go Queen Death would be weird.
3. I’ve seen mixed reactions on the end for Manorian but I loved it. I loved that it was open but hopeful, because both Dorian and Manon are only now beginning to heal but are still both much too broken to enter into a functional relationship. But I loved the feel of “one day...” (But then I loved the Cal x Mare similar ending in Red Queen which many hated. I think I am just a fan of hopeful, healing but open endings for messed up characters.)
4. Aedion swearing the oath to Aelin was the one thing in the book that made me sniffle. I love their brother-sister thing. Or maybe I am just an Aedion fangirl. All of his parts of the novel were my favorite because they were the ones with the least hope and sheer determination to just die well out of the rest - his army had no amazing powers to end the bad guys, they were trapped and on the edge of death and still fought.
5. Speaking of Aedion, I am seeing him getting a lot of grief for how he treated Lysandra in the first half but I don’t feel that way myself. Aedion has always been a rather absolute “black and white” type of person - that is what allowed him to remain so unswervingly loyal. And to be told that the person you love perpetrated such a life-changing, insane switch which also depended on you eventually being some sort of a stud without even having the courtesy to warn/consult beforehand? I may not have lashed out with bitter words but I wouldn’t get over that easily either.
6. I can’t believe I am about to say it, but out of all of the dudes in this book, the one I’d personally like for a husband is Chaol. I just want to read about him and Yrene and the baby and his mom/brother coming to stay with them and and and and.
7. The battle scenes were pretty good. I tend to read a lot of military fantasy subgenre so this was a pleasant surprise. It also confirms to me that this long ceased to be a YA series - between the sheer length, the amazing amounts of gruesomeness, the fact that all the characters are adults in every meaning of the word, and the massive epic battles, this is basically a “normal” high fantasy novel. Which is awesome because when written well, that’s my favorite thing.
8. AELIN I LOVE YOU. YOU AND ROWAN ARE RELATIONSHIP GOALS.
9. Elide’s proposal to Lorcan was lovely and amazing and so them. I love that he bound his lifespan to hers and that they are mates but I also hope that she lives extra long because of her witch blood so the end is not too soon. I think they are my fave OTP in this series, by the end. Oh, and also I was a fan of their fade to black love scene because much as I love SJM, sex scenes are not really her forte. (I much preferred implied and indirect descriptions here to the explicit but kinda not good descriptions in ACOTAR.)
10. Fenrys being the one to kill Maeve is the definition of poetic justice.
11. Rowan asking permission to touch Aelin after her captivity. That is all.
12. Dorian’s father being redeemed insofar as it’s possible. I am glad because I hope it brings some peace to Dorian.
13. Now off to try to find something 1/5th as engrossing as this series.
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Maven has character? What was his character, being an abuser?
Wow. This is the first time I've ever gotten anon hate. Now I feel special.
Maven Calore is a very controversial book character. I know many who love him and many who hate him. In my personal opinion, he is mentally ill due to his mother's whispering and that is what makes him so interesting. We don't see actually mentally ILL people in ya fiction.
Yes, Maven is extremely flawed. He does abuse Mare. But that's what makes him a villain. I'm not denying that he's evil or twisted, all I'm saying is that he has a personality while his brother Cal doesn't. Cal is a cookie cutter ya love interest. Maven, on the other hand, is sweet (or so we think) and left out and then later on sarcastic and sadistic. He's driven by a love that's been twisted into more of an obsession. He has voices in his head. He's actually insane.
That may not be a positive or beneficial character, but that's a well written character. Whereas Cal? He has none.
I hope that clears some stuff up. I think everyone should know that I don't approve of Maven's actions (or Aleksander's or Erik's for that matter) but I find them all to be extremely interesting and yes, I'm still in love with them. Sorry not sorry.
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