Category: aelin galathynius

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 3.5/5

So don’t kill me. This is the lowest official rating I’ve ever given an SJM book, but if I had my blog when I read Crown Of Midnight that may have been lower. To give you some context, I LOVED Throne Of Glass, HATED Crown Of Midnight, and gradually came to love the series again as it continued. But KoA, whilst being an epic end to this ambitious saga, was just too much. Where did the brave and snarky prisoner and her contest to be the king’s assassin go?? As much as I admire SJM’s world building and her ambition, I can’t deal with high fantasy novels with this much stuff. That is just a personal preference, and I can see why some people would die for this series – but for me, it’s become too Game Of Thrones.

*SPOILERS FROM HERE ONWARDS*

Props to SJM for the emotional rollercoaster! My eyes were watering the whole time, but there were two moments which made me bawl: Dorian reuniting with Chaol and Aelin, and ofc the Thirteen all Yielding to save Manon and the rest of the court. This series feeds off tragedy and sacrifice experienced by its characters, but it used to keep hope at the forefront too. I think this is what separates Kingdom Of Ash from the other instalments – the characters have lost hope completely and still keep fighting.

Unfortunately for me, the war and politics kind of fell flat. I don’t care for the battle strategy and endless fighting, and I know this is personal taste but I prefer books which focus on a smaller group of characters rather than multiple continents worth. I kept getting confused and I’d completely forgotten characters like Borte, Fenrys, Gavriel, Falkan, Nox Owen, Darrow, Rhiannon Crochan and quite a few more.

However, there were multiple moments that had me in awe of the beauty that SJM has produced from this novel:

  1. Evangeline and Darrow – Her fate as a lady of Terresan warms my heart because if anyone deserves the world, it’s Evangeline. The way that Darrow admires her had me tearing up and it shows how even the most experienced people can learn from someone with a kind soul.
  2. Elide riding into the battlefield to find Lorcan – Not only does this show how much these two truly mean to each other, it shines a much needed spotlight on the brave, reckless and strong-hearted nature of Elide. It reminds us that she will not be broken by her past, and would die for her friends to have a bright future.
  3. Fenrys breaking the blood oath – Firstly, Fenrys and Aelin’s relationship whilst she was trapped was perfect. They were each other’s reason not to break, and this can be relevant to anyone with any kind of struggle in our world. When Fenrys sacrificed his life to save Aelin, he truly demonstrated how much they’ve grown together and because of each other.

There are more, but these are definitely my top three.

Overall, very mixed feelings about this novel. I think it was too long, too dense, and too ambitious, but it was also full of beautiful, heart-warming and heart-breaking moments. It might just be down to whether or not you enjoy high fantasy, politics-and-war-centric series or smaller, more character-driven stories.

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.25/5

There’s not much more I can say about this series that I haven’t said in my Heir Of Fire, Queen Of Shadows and The Assassin’s Blade reviews – another intense instalment! This one took me so much longer to read though, it was a lot to swallow and it took a lot of thinking. Check out the reviews linked above for all my spoiler-free stuff, but this review is going to be entirely spoiler-y. So BEWARE! Spoilers ahead.

As I said, Empire Of Storms took me AGES to read because it was so much to take in – but I was never actually bored. There was always something going on or something I had to think about or something to be emotional about (damn you SJM). 

My first thing that comes to mind when I think about reading this book is how much I enjoyed Lorcan’s presence in the story. Personally, he was never a character who stood out to me, but now I consider him such a well-formed character who I am SO thankful for. He and Elide’s relationship was so complex and beautiful – y’all know I’m a sucker for Enemies To Lovers™ trope. There are so different yet so perfect – and the fact that Lorcan summoned Maeve to save Elide shows how much he is willing to sacrifice for her. AND WHEN LORCAN WAS WEEPING AFTERWARDS WHEN AELIN WAS TAKEN… I lost it. I don’t think I have ever been so emotional about a book. I also cried when Elide told Aelin about the wyrdkey and Kaltain… my heart.

I love Aedion and Lysandra so much. The whole ‘I’m going to marry you Lysandra Ashryver’ thing was so adorable, and when Lysandra said she would understand if he was disgusted by the fact she had been a courtesan and then Aedion came out and they both are happy with each other.

ANSEL IS BACK BITCHES. My favourite character from the whole flipping series is back. So that’s something to be excited about.

I don’t know how I feel about the whole secrecy business with Aelin. I think it made for a good plot twist, but I was quite confused and it took me some time to get it. Also, I don’t know how okay I was about the book becoming very erotic. I mean, getting rid of the sex stigma in YA is good, but it was a lot.

But I know we hardly know of Rowan’s cousins, I want to know more about every single one. I don’t care much for Rowan as I used to be Team Dorian (used to) but I want to know about his childhood.

Lastly, Asterin my loyal child I will protect you with my life no one will hurt you I promise.

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.5/5

Another amazing instalment of this series! Although I don’t feel like any of the sequels surpassed the first one, I very much enjoyed all the development we get in this book. Seeing the characters we adore evolve through this story has never been better. And seeing their relationships evolve, too. Lots of new characters are introduced, each with their own deep and heart-felt stories that I loved exploring (I have a new favourite character after this book).

One thing I will never stop mentioning (because I don’t think it gets appreciated enough) is the way Sarah J. Maas can write in third person and still address all the characters’ emotions. The narration slips seamlessly from one character to another, explaining everything that needs to be explained whilst also withholding information from the reader without us noticing until it’s revealed.

Another thing I think is important about not just the writing but the plot as well, is that the reader is able to keep up with it without it being over-explained or slow. Sometimes, especially in high fantasy series, a backstory or a plan of attack can be so confusing that it becomes almost mindless to the reader. But this story is complex, but still understandable.

The only negative I have is that it went on a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it – but I found myself wanting it to end so I could move on.

For that reason, it’s a 4.5/5 from me.