After waiting over a year, my prayers have been answered. Kingdom of Ash, the seventh and final book in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series, has finally been released.
Kingdom of Ash is the conclusion to the young adult series Throne of Glass. It’s a fantasy series following Celaena Sardothien, an assassin in the corrupt kingdom of Adarlan. After being imprisoned for a year she accepts the offer of the prince to compete in a competition to become the king’s champion and eventually earn her freedom. She unexpectedly forms bonds with Prince Dorian and Chaol, the captain of the guard. But events occur to bring her into conspiracies surrounding the kingdom and herself.
There’s not much to be said about the seventh book without giving away major spoilers because the plot of the last book seems so far away from the plot of the first two books.
Spoiler alert ahead so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to be spoiled then leave.
At the end of the Empire of Storms, Aelin (aka Celeana) got kidnapped by Maeve and locked in an iron coffin. This book starts off with all the characters scattered and trying to unite their forces to defeat Erawan, the Valg King set on opening a rift between worlds to summon his armies to take over the world. Basically, everything sucks and everyone is suffering.
A big theme in this book is the promise of a better world. Aelin is able to unite her allies on the idea that they can change the world for the better so future generations won’t have to go through the same suffering they have endured. There is a lot of sadness and sacrifice but through it all there is hope and joy for what they can accomplish.
“There is a better world out there. And I have seen it…I have seen witch and human and Fae dwell together in peace. And it is not a weakness to do so, but a strength. I have met kings and queens whose love for their kingdoms, their peoples, is so great that the self is secondary. Whose love for their people is so strong that even in the face of unthinkable odds, they do the impossible.” –Manon Blackbeak, Kingdom of Ash
The characters also go on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Aelin, Dorian, and Manon, in particular, learn not only what kind of leader they want to be, but what kind of person they want to be. Their discovery process is hindered by guilt and sorrow but ultimately they use that suffering to grow not only as leaders and magic wielders but as people. Manon specifically has to come to terms with the horrible things she’s done and the new emotions that she was never able to develop before.
Maas asserts Aelin’s story as not a story of darkness but of hope. It’s about the value of life and how darkness and death emphasize the need for hope.
This book made me feel like I was losing my mind. I lost track of all the times I cried. Some of the lines just felt so powerful I actually got shivers while reading it. It’s deeply emotional and because it is the last book, a lot of sacrifices are made. There were multiple occasions, especially later on in the book, where I had to put the book down before I had a heart attack. Maas has definitely mastered the art of screwing with her audience’s emotions.
While it is sad that Kingdom of Ash will be the last book in the series, Maas has a ton of other projects to keep fans satisfied. In 2016 it came out that the Throne of Glass series will be developed into a TV show by Hulu named Queen of Shadows named after the fourth book in the series.
She also has another young adult series called A Court of Thrones and Roses which is also a high fantasy series with Fae and magic. She’s also releasing The World of Throne of Glass, a comprehensive guide to the Throne of Glass series that includes information on characters, creatures, and new artwork.
I am incredibly sad to see the series end after spending the past four years of my life invested in this series. I have such high regard for this series and for Sarah. Her storytelling is some of the most immersive work I’ve ever had the privilege to experience.