Started: September 4, 2015
Finished: September 6, 2015
Rating: 5/5 stars
Ok, first of all; a lot of this is spoiler-y, so the majority of this review will be behind a cut BUT if you are reading this on some page that does not display the cut and haven’t read this book yet, don’t read beneath the line that says spoiler spoiler spoiler etc!
Non-spoiler-y thoughts follow: It’s not the strongest book in the series, but in my opinion it’s not worth less than five stars. You can feel that it’s the start of the “second half” of the series, so in that sense it’s much more like the first book of a series than a continuation of a previous book. I was terrified of reading this book because of the mixed reviews I’d seen from others, but as you can see from my rating I did enjoy it a lot!
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Regarding the mentioned thought of mixed reviews; when people say that this is boring and that this or that character (*ahem* Chaol, Aelin…) are acting in ways that aren’t “right” for the story, I get terrified, because I can’t believe that’d be something Sarah J Maas would do. These characters feel so incredibly alive and solid and REAL that I can’t see how they can be acting “out of character”.
Storywise, this book is different from the previous ones. There are a lot of characters and events to keep track of, but not a lot of action. It’s more of a character development thing, much like Heir of Fire was. This is a book that shows development for Aelin – who goes from being an assassin to a queen – and Chaol – who goes from blaming Aelin for everything that’s happened (including a broken heart) to being a hero pure of heart – and Manon – who goes from dutiful witch heir to someone who might be shifting sides – and… yeah, you see where I’m going, right? A lot of development for everyone, but less action. Which I find myself liking a lot.
Then there are the ships, and for some reason Maas has a habit of writing every ship as shipable by everyone.
Example; I’ve been a Chaolena shipper since the first book. And they’re still my babies and I’ll always love them and after Heir of Fire I was quite adamant that I would never see Rowan as anything but a friend of Celaena/Aelin. And then comes this book and *bam* I ship Rowan/Aelin so damn hard. Because Rowan works with Aelin – he is written to work with Aelin, while Chaol was always written to work with Celaena. And there is a difference between the two that becomes apparent throughout this book. Same character, but still different enough to seem to belong to different guys.
And then there are the other new – but perhaps unofficial? – ships that this book introduced.
Chaol/Nesryn. Where Aelin does not work with who Chaol is by now, Nesryn does, so yes; I ship this.
Dorian/Manon, a ship that pleases me so damn much!
Aedion/Lysandra, maybe wishful thinking but they work so well together from the very start!
And bonus ship: Manon/Elide, which might be extreme wishful thinking but it would still be awesome!
In short; everything’s shipable and the explanations are hidden in the character developments.
Finally; I am a bit disappointed in the fact that there’s no real cliffhanger at the end, but that doesn’t mean I will give up on this series – ever! I haven’t been this emotional about something since Harry Potter! And now I have to wait for (probably) a year until the next one!!! I’M GONNA DIIIEEE!!!