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Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas


It took me a while to…process everything that happens in this book. Maas is not shy about killing off characters, let me just say that. My general reaction is that this book is an amazing ending to a fantastic series. The rest of this post will be a bigger discussion of the series, so SPOILER ALERT from now on.

What impressed me most about the series is the main character. I don’t remember ever encountering such a relatable MC when I was reading YA novels years ago. She is flawed but fierce. She stands up to everyone - usually men, and they hate her for it. She is jealous and vindictive with other women, but some of them turn out to be her closest allies. There are few who can match her drive, intellect, and sheer power. She is confident in her abilities, and she loves to spend money on beautiful things, dressing up, looking pretty. And, at the same time, she feels guilty for being herself in various ways, for what it has led her to do. She struggles with her mind and her motivations. Like, I said, I’m not sure I’ve read a more relatable character.

The way in which her allies (friends?) show up is moving. I will add, I didn’t read The Assassin’s Blade until after I’d read the read of the series, and that was a mistake. I should have read it before the fifth book, at least, because I didn’t know the back stories for all the folks who show up to support Aelin.

Also, I have to take a minute to recognize the story of Manon. Heartbreaking, and I didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t like the witches at first, which I suspect was by design, and then when the tables turned, it was delightful and painful. Her relationship with Dorian was so appropriate for the two of them as well.

One last thing: I need to own these books so I can reread. I just need to find them for less than $90…

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