Genre: High fantasy, NA
Author: Sarah J. Maas
***SPOILER ALERT*** This book is not the first in the series and therefore the synopsis and review may contain spoilers for the previous books
Goodreads Synopsis: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
This one was not as good as its predecessor. I suppose it’s too much to ask for an author to release two insanely amazing books in the same year. Don’t get me wrong, I still really loved it. It was just not as good as Queen of Shadows. It was more of a preparation for what is to come. You know how sometimes the second book in a series sort of just sets up for the finale. Yeah, this was like that, only it’s the fifth book.
That said, a SJM book, even one that that stagnates a little, is still a SJM book and therefore, it will cause you joy and pain and it will love every second of it. I had to pace myself, because I was not prepared for the ending. I was not prepared to be left waiting for another year. And I knew that the ending would do things to me. Although I did not expect what happened to happen. If it weren’t for the ending, I might have awarded the book just 4 stars, but that ending!
My main issue with the book was that it was long, and I love long books don’t get me wrong, but only when they’re long for a good reason and with EoS, I felt like all the smut was just sort of filler. Sarah is usually craftier with her romances, but in this one, it was all the romance, all the sex scenes all the time. And it felt a little unnecessary. Even though I honestly ship every single pair with the entirety of my fangirl heart.
What the romance did though, was substitute for a lot of missing plot. I get that it’s sort of the gathering storm and all that, but the only one who I felt had any real character development in this book was Manon. Her POV was the one I looked forward to the most and at one point, I could barely contain my satisfaction. Chapter 17. That’s all I’ll say.
I also really loved the references to the first books. After Heir of Fire, the series sort of veered in an unexpected direction. But I love that it doesn’t feel like it’s a different story. There are little throwbacks to the events of the previous books in a way that makes it all one complete story. Instead of having the story of Celaena and the story of Aelin, it’s the story of both of them, interwoven. And I think that’s a fine line to walk and I think Sarah does it well. If ACOMAF taught me anything, is that Sarah is the queen of foreshadowing.
Aelin’s schemes. I live for them. I love that she’s so clever. And Rowan and Aedion (great, seasoned generals) just sort of stand there open-mouthed as they realise their queen is not only a smartass, but actually smarter than all of them put together.
And finally, the ending. My reaction upon finishing the book was “Well, shit.”. After which I proceeded to stare into the mid-distance for the following 2 hours. I don’t think I’m quite entirely over it yet, because I’ve been unable to concentrate on reading anything else.