I had a completely different post planned today, but I just finished reading Kingdom of Ash yesterday and I just want to talk about it so badly that I decided to get my
review thoughts up today so I can chat with people about what has happened! I will be discussing things that happened in the book, so if you haven’t read KOA yet you may not want to read the rest of this post. But just know that I don’t think I will ever recover from this book.
I think the easiest way to talk about this and go through my thoughts would be to go character by character and talk about what happens with them and how I felt about it all.
Poor Aelin goes through so much in this book, and never really expects that she will make it to the end to actually rule her kingdom. She fully intends to pay the ultimate price for Terrasen and the future of Erilea. To be honest, the torture scenes were pretty hard to get through, not because they were gory or anything like that, but because it was just so heartbreaking, especially when Aelin started to believe that Rowan wasn’t coming for her. Then when she finally escapes, she learns that she’s been a prisoner for over 2 months and everything is going downhill for her friends. I love that she was trying to put on a brave face for everyone to seem like she is okay because she knew that she would only have to hold it together long enough to reforge the Lock and send Erawan away. And then when she finally gets that chance, the gods refuse to take Erawan with them even though they used Aelin so that they could go home! But it made me so happy when Aelin destroyed their home for going back on their word. And that little snippet where she was falling through the worlds and saw Rhys and Feyre was a great little easter egg! I’m so happy she didn’t actually die, but the fact that she basically lost her magic is such a shame. She grew up so much throughout this series and you can really tell that she has become a queen in every sense of the word, plus she finally gets crowned for real!
I’ve said before that I don’t like Aelin and Rowan together because they were too full of each other and were just so over the top with their love, but I feel like in KOA they were more toned down to the point where I could finally get behind them again as a couple. There was still quite a bit of smut with the two of them, but nowhere near as much as there was in Empire of Storms. I had so many thoughts and feelings on Rowan while reading this book, and of course now I don’t even know where to begin really. I guess I’ll just say that I feel like he finally deserves to be consort to the Queen of Terrasen and I finally feel like this is the character he was supposed to be all along.
I just wanted to scream at the two of them for being so stupid about each other! They clearly love each other but was letting their pride get in the way of actually committing, until they realized that they might die and then decided to tell each other how they really feel. They could’ve saved themselves so much trouble by just telling each other in the first place, but whatever. I did love how they teamed up to try to defeat the army, and it was just so awesome to see Lysandra kicking ass! The reunion between Aelin and Lysandra was amazing, because they see each other and take out a siege tower and then Aelin jumps and Lysandra catches her as a wyvern while Lorcan, Fenrys and Rowan are just like, yeah, there she is. It just had me cracking up! And it was so bittersweet for Aedion to finally be taking the blood oath when Aelin was crowned, it was everything he wanted it just made my heart warm.
Another couple who spent far to long hating each other and wasting time, but as soon as Elide thought Lorcan was dead, she raced out to save him and bring him back. I love that in the end, it was Elide’s idea that finally destroyed Erawan and she showed that she would be a great member of the court of Terrasen with her wit and bravery. Plus the fact that when they got married Lorcan had to take Elide’s last name because she has a title was just too funny! I couldn’t stop laughing at Lorcan’s new name: Lorcan Lochan.
While I loved the two of them in Tower of Dawn, it felt a lot like Chaol didn’t really have much of a purpose other than to reunite with Dorian. Yeah, he helped save Anielle, but it could’ve easily been anyone else leading that army. I love Chaol to pieces but I don’t really think he got the storyline he deserved and it was kind of just bleh. Now Yrene on the other hand, she is the entire reason Erawan is dead! And her reunion with Aelin was so emotional, I was getting a little teary-eyed. Especially when Aelin found out that she married Chaol and is expecting a baby, it was so nice to see their two stories finally come full circle.
I knew going into this that not everyone would make it through the final war, but I obviously had no idea who would die and who would live. I certainly wasn’t expecting the thirteen to sacrifice themselves to save everyone from the witch towers, and I feel so horrible for Manon! They were truly her family and even though she has united (most of) the Ironteeth and Crochans, she still is alone. I could not stop crying when I reached that part because it was so unexpected and horrible! Manon finally became who she was meant to be in this book, but at such a horrible cost. I love that her and Dorian clearly care for one another, but are still both able to function on their own and don’t need each other to complete their tasks. Dorian bringing down Morath was so awesome and his interactions with Maeve showed what a great king he will be. It was kind of funny yet sad how Dorian learned what his fathers name is, and how he finally saved him in the end. All this time we’ve all been saying how we don’t even know what the King of Adarlan’s name was, and NO ONE put it together that he is nameless and can help forge the lock! That was so clever and I never saw it coming!
I would continue on with the characters, but those are the only ones that I really wanted to talk about in depth because the rest of them didn’t really have much going on, other than Fenrys and Gavriel. I was not expecting Gavriel to give his life to save Aedion and I honestly don’t think that it had to happen like that, but at least he knew that Aedion did care about him. It just sucks that Aedion will never get to truly know his father.
There were so many parts of this book that I loved that I could literally go on and on about: Maeve’s death, how they finally killed Erawan, Aelin saving everyone while still trying to sacrifice herself, Mala giving Aelin a bit of magic to forge the lock so she wouldn’t die, and just the hopelessness that they all felt during the battle.
I honestly don’t think that there is anything bad I can say, or at least nothing that would make any sort of impact into how much I loved this book. I have never felt so emotionally drained from reading before, but this book definitely did that to me.
EDIT: I just realized I didn’t mention anything about Nox! I was waiting forever for him to come back then we only got a few glimpses at him then he disappeared! Did he make it? I was really looking forward to his reunion with Aelin! Also, I was just thinking about Dorian’s father being nameless and taking Dorian’s place. It does seem a little too convenient doesn’t it?
Has anyone else finished KOA yet? I’d love to talk about everything in the comments!