Genre: young adult fantasy
cute, well-rounded characters, good twists & plot, nice scenes, manon is my queen, elide is just lovely, aelin is kickass as usual and deserves none of the (mostly friendly) hate she gets from her friends/fellow characters or readers, derserves all the hate from enemies bc they better be terrified
very similar to “a court of thorns and roses” and “acomaf” in places, sometimes it has very long action sequences that drag on, parts of the plot seems to be just planning or filler for the big reveals and scenes, which i found annoying. how the whole chaol situation was handled
I would have loved for certain explicit scenes to have been put in an additional novella or online or something, because as they had nothing to do with the plot, I found myself just annoyed at them? I wasn’t in the mood I guess, but had to go back and forth to see if I could skip the pages without someone interrupting them with a sword out or something *hah that wasn’t meant as an innuendo*. Like in A Court of Mist and Fire these scenes contribute to the plot as well as show different sides of characters. In this book the sex scenes seems more like side-projects or well-written fanfic thrown into the rest, but still not connected with it. Does that makes sense? Let’s be real; it’s just smut for smut’s sake. And nothing wrong about that, but:
1) It diffuses the line between ya and na to the point where I know it will make certain younger readers uncomfortable, or at least uncomfortable to admit they’ve read it (been there) and if it isn’t necessary, why? and 2) It was at the points in the book where i personally was just like; “can you get that crazy away from me so I can deal with the crazy that is Aelin’s war? WHat is this girl thinking – that’s what’s interesting?” You might argue it was used to distract the reader, but still.
Side-note: It’s been over a year since I wrote this review and I never picked up the next book in this series, I’ve found the plot forgetable honestly, and the negative sides overpowered the good. I don’t want to find myself annoyed and let down after reading a book of this size and popularity. The series seem to get more unorginal with every book and I don’t need to see where this is going, at least not anytime soon. But I have a lot of thoughts so if you’ve read the book please read on –
Major Spoilers Below
OH MY GOSH this book had some good parts, and some bad. Let’s talk about what that ending revealed!
I held my breath wondering it Aelin was too into the whole Rowan-thing to have her head on right (*typical ya unfortunately*), but I should have known better. Using her background as the final move was spectacular, all praise to Sarah J Maas for that! I love how she turns her reputation and history into aid, not just for her, but her friends, allies and Terassen. Not that it helped her in the end, did it? I was so sad Aelin didn’t get to see it because you know she would have thrived on the dramatic entrance of her well-worked for army. Poor girl who fought so hard, found out she had to sacrifice herself (i got harry potter vibes from this part), only to not be able to do anything but give up and hope her scheming would pay off. She must really have a lot of faith in her court and friends, as well as her enemies and new allies. I found it fitting though, that she was the one taking the fall, since it was mentioned so many times just how willing she would have to be to bleed for Erilea. Celaena the assassin is a part of her, no matter how much queen she’s become, and to let herself down like that – walking into it knowing the outcome, that it would be worse than being enslaved in Endovier – major respect for that. (now is the time where I should consider how it’s possible to have respect for a fictional character, but we’re all bookish people – you get it)
“You could rattle the stars,“ she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”
When I first read the popular quote going around, I knew it would be about Celaena’s identity and the limits she could push herself, but also her already questionable moral. She was an assassin, but an unwilling one, not concidering herself the same as Arobynn and the others. Empire of Storm says: “Aelin Galathynius had raised an army not just to challenge Morath, but to rattle the stars.” I love when things are taken literally, not just symbolic. I’m excited to see who they’re really fighting against in the end, if there’s something or someone even bigger connecting this all.
Nehemia’s part in this … She knew too much. Shared to little. I wasn’t sure to trust her. But then it became apparent she wouldn’t survive this and I was almost angry at myself for having questioned her the whole time. Come on, her death was predictable. Of course the only one fighting for her enslaved people, who had knowledge that could’ve solved most problems and one of few person of colour had to sacrifice herself. And then all the focus goes to war, and there’s no mentioning it. FUcking hell.
– fav parts –
- When Manon told the thirteen to run, finally making her choice out of the realization that she wasn’t some soulless monster, that witches in general weren’t. I cried a single tear, that early in the book and wondered when I got this mushy. Manon won my heart in that moment, as well as her place in this book and war. Before this book I thought her parts annoying (now only a fourth of them are).
- Aelin describing Rowan’s lover aka herself to a confused Rothe: “She must be very clever” “and fascinating” “and very, very talented” “She must be the most wonderful person ever existed.” you go girl.
- When Elide, towards the end, describes the story of how Aelin died as a child, her lips turning blue. The second tear of the series fell here. I really love the backstories of Aelin, and how they’re vowen together with her reality now. It really makes this book and series what it is.
“You will find, Rolfe, that one does not deal with Celaena Sadorthien. One survives her”.
“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”
– final thoughts –
Elide and Lucien was cute together and all, but she deserves better. He’s not changed in hundreds of years, he betrayed them, she’s smart enought to get it and move on. He deserves to have his heart broken for the next book, hell I thought he would die during this book, there didn’t seem to be any more use of him. However sweet some moments was, I don’t want them together. Elide can go fight and fall slowly in love with Manon, let them seize the throne together and be the two queens they’re meant to be.
This book almost didn’t even mention Chaol, so I haven’t either, but it was strange how excluded he suddenly became. He’s been by Aelin and Dorians side constantly? All these characters were (re)introduced, but you couldn’t get one letter, one moment, from Chaol. I have a dreading sensation he’s in some major fucked up of a chaos, perhaps enough for his own novella, and there’s a reason it’s been witheld from us. I really hope so, because it’s too strange to go unnoticed.