Hello! I finally got my little paws on this beautiful beauty of a book and finished it so fast I couldn’t believe it. Then I suffered miserably because of major feels throughout.
This cover. Is beautiful. And breathtaking. I would pledge myself to it. Marry it. Worship it.
Rating- 5/5 stars
Pages- 648 (Hardcover)
So, this review is going to be very different from my other ones in the sense that I will go character wise from heroes to villains, badass scenes to OTPs and then to feels.
WARNING THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AND IF YOU SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU AND TRY TO SUE ME, well…
Anyway, time to get on with the show!
Beloved Heroes & Unexpected Characters
Aelin Ashryver Galathynius
So, there were a lot of complaints about what was going on with Aelin’s character. There were some who were annoyed that she was being praised too much or that she was mistreating several characters. I’m not here to start any arguments and respect everyone’s opinions.
Aelin was a complete smartass, a mix between Queen and Assassin that I did not anticipate in the least. There were moments when I couldn’t believe she had done something or become so ruthless to get what she wanted and it was amazing to see. Not necessarily good, but considering the circumstances under which she had to act or lose everything, I understood why Sarah wrote her that way. There’s also a royal presence that comes off her in this book that we got to see at the end of Heir of Fire. Her assassin cunning came in very handy throughout the book and left me speechless every time, just like Aedion and Rowan. That girl is freaking amazing there’s no doubt. And the disguises! By the gods the disguises were AMAZING!!!! She could definitely be a spy in an AU fic and I would LOVE to read that.
There was also a softer side to her that came with her cut-throat nature. We haven’t seen Celaena forgive anyone in the past four books (including the novellas) and she’s had a hitlist out for everyone who has wronged her. But here, she has a heart, a forgiving one and an understanding one. Her friendship with Lysandra, forgiving Chaol, it’s all so grown up. I think we saw our Queen taking the first few steps into Queen-hood.
One side effect of her past that still plagues her is her inability to trust and depend on her cadre. She has friends and family now who would do anything for her but she still acts too independent, too secretive, that gives an aura of mistrust to all those around her and that was one thing that I didn’t like too much. I’m hoping that goes away in the next book.
I think I loved Aelin’s parts more than any character in this book but then it was a precursor to what’s going to happen in the next two books. I thought it’d be slow but I was always on edge, wondering what would happen next and I loved every moment of it.
We left Dorian in the clutches of the King at the end of Heir of Fire and the book opens with his POV. It broke my heart to see him be broken and tortured by the Valg prince inside him, to see this precious cinnamon role beaten into nothing, hurt the people he loves, and even forget Sorscha. Dear Sorscha, my goodness, seeing him forget her made me cry. I don’t know why but I feel like his torture could have been avoided and he could have tried to run away with Chaol. What is Sarah planning for him? If there’s one thing that I’m proud of is that he didn’t give in to the prince, he tried his hardest to keep his sanity and I’m glad that that saved him. I would’ve been severely unhappy if he had been permanently damaged in any way.
Chaol was a big douche throughout the book and I used to love the hell out of him. There was literally no character development for him and he was mopey, angry, and stupid on quite a few occasions. I miss the old Chaol, the one I shipped with Celaena, not the one I saw in this one. What is with the strong and silent ones always trying to hide his feelings and pain instead of talking about it and getting over it? He could’ve saved himself a whole lot of energy by just hashing out with Aelin. He knew what he was doing when he sent her away and knew who and what she was. Being angry and upset over it was not going to solve his problem ever. And the Dorian Guilt was not helping him cope. It’s surprising how many characters feel responsible for events that were out of their hands but I’m glad he fought Aelin and saved Dorian. In the end when he thought that Dorian had been completely consumed and he woke up to his king sitting at his bedside I couldn’t help but cry. It was such a beautiful moment of brothers, King and Captain, friends being united and finally together to work on a better future. Chaol is a wonderful character that got distorted in this book for necessary reasons but I’m hoping that when he returns from the Southern Continent all healed up, he’ll be a better and more mature character.
BAE CAME OMG!!!! I’d heard he shows up at the end but when he came in the middle I was the happiest person alive!! I fell in love with his character in Heir of Fire and betrayed by Chaolena Ship by shipping Rowan with Aelin, oh well it worked out. His protectiveness of Aelin was verging on controlling at times and I understand why he was doing that because he’d seen Aelin with her magic only, not as the badass Assassin of Adarlan but when he started giving her room things just got so much better between them. The only moment I thought was when he refused Aelin up on the rooftop I mean, come on you guys! Yes, you are carranam and he took her blood oath and there is a whole lot of sparkling magic between you so why deny it? I’m glad that it all worked out in the end.
Also, kudos to Rowan for giving major spoilers. Aedion, btw, you’re Gavriel’s son and part Fae. Lysandra, you shapeshifter! Why didn’t you tell? Sweet lord I nearly ripped pages out because I was gripping the book so hard at those points. Way to go Sarah, way to go. I thought I couldn’t fall further in love with fictional characters and you wrong me. I liked his story too, there was a lot more revelation and I bet there’s more coming up in the next book. The way he lost his wife was so gutting I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
I loved the teasing going on with Aelin and Rowan. When he first comes out after his bath and is just in a towel, someone please make fanart, I need it. The lingerie teasing was absolutely brilliant. I laughing and squee-ed and it was perfect. Absolutely loved those parts.
Aedion’s character changed drastically from Heir of Fire. He wasn’t the Plotting-with-the-rebels General and became a Man of Terrasen. He was fairly enamored by Aelin, at finding his cousin and Queen, his salvation for their country. It was quite beautiful to see them united and I do wonder if he will take the Blood Oath with Rowan at Terrasen. He does often regret his inability to protect Aelin from Adarlan and what they did to her but he more than makes up for it throughout by standing by her. It was a bit amusing to see that Aedion still had the Old Ways ingrained in his system and took a while to adapt to the changes in Aelin’s life. And he was able to handle the Aelin-Celaena combination as well which I was surprised to see, he made no attempt to change who Aelin was and what she became and that was so different from what one would normally expect and I loved it. I was nicely surprised by the revelation of his heritage, that he was a descendant of one of Rowan’s cadre and not just anyone else; the warrior he admired and they had a link, brothers in arms. Loved it, so good.
The most unexpected character in the entire book was this woman and it was quite amazing. Her shapeshifter heritage was one I did not anticipate and her friendship with Aelin was the last thing I expected. She is one character I have a lot of respect for now and her backstory is just stunning. She is so strong and less annoying and more likable that I cannot wait to read from her POV in the next Throne of Glass book. I’m glad that Sarah gave Aelin another strong female friend and someone who is also close to her in heritage. Don’t get me wrong I loved Nehemia and it sucks she got fridged but I love Lysandra as Aelin’s really good friend as well and the mischief they will get up to will be downright awesome to read. Also, did anyone else get vibes that Lysandra might really really like Aedion? Ship anyone?
Manon was one of those really interesting characters that made Heir of Fire more sinister and amazing and I was sad to see that she didn’t get that much screen time. I was looking forward to a lot of witch time in the book but there wasn’t too much from her and had added POVs from her clan. I love Asterin, bless her soul. I’m wondering what twist Sarah’s going to throw with them in the upcoming story. Despite the less page time, there was plenty character development. I like how the Crochan witch that she was forced to kill sowed seeds of doubt in her mind about her morals and character. I like to think it’s why she helped Elide, understood Asterin, and also helped Aelin. Spectacular character and I would love to see more fanart.
Definitely an unexpected character. In the last book there was focus on the clans in general and the wyverns mostly but I liked the focus on the Blackbeak clan members. Asterin is so amazing guys, the falling in love with the hunter. I have a weird theory about her witchling though, what if she didn’t die and it’s Elide? That would be an absolutely fabulous plot twist. She also played a huge part in humanizing Manon and I sobbed through that entire part. Damn it, Sarah!!!
Hello new supposed witch! I found her ridiculously annoying at first and then she got really interesting. Manon taking her in and her brushes with Vernon Lochan had a lot to do with it but I was more than a little taken aback when her character was introduced. Loved her strong character and I wanted to protect her so many times and I’m glad Manon was there for her. The coolest scene with her will probably be when she realizes that Aelin and Celaena are the same person. That will be something amazing.
Our annoying possessed witch from book one is a creepy badass witch who ATE, no joke ATE the Valg demon inside her, absorbed it’s abilities and changed her golden fire to black fire and turned into a living death machine. I thought she was completely under the control of Duke Perrington but when her POVs showed up I was just like-
And the way she died, I salute Kaltain and I really hope there’s a way to bring her back. I mean, it’d be ridiculously awesome if she came over to Aelin’s side. And to think she had the Wyrdkey? I can’t even imagine what would happen if Aelin gets it.
Valg Prince in Dorian
Worst. Ugly. Yuck. How dare he try to hurt Dorian? Pure, beautiful, adorable, little puppy. So hate this guy, he’s worse than anything. The things he made Dorian do and endure were just horrifying and destructive. Son of gun deserved to die.
King of Adarlan and Duke Perrignton
These two are joined because I have a major theory about their possessions.
The King died thanks to Dorian’s amazing raw magic which was awesome. His creepiness reached an all time high when he put the collar on Dorian and then tried to kill Chaol, Dorian and Aelin. Ugh, just endless hate. Duke Perrington is a creepy slug too and there was something that the King said about the Dark King Erawan being released and possessing Duke Perrington and his second-in-command possessing the king. I think it might be right. Think about it, Erawan possesses the Duke when the King starts ops in the mountains and during the first book he isn’t possessed, just aware of the King’s plan which is why the Duke was mostly compliant. The King had Erawan’s lieutenant in him and had the power to get everything underway to get the king out from Morath. Erawan uses the Duke’s body in subsequent books to breed wyverns and other dark things in the mountains all the while keeping everyone unaware of his existence. Erawan doesn’t want to bring attention to himself by becoming king in case he gets killed, it’s the perfect plan to survive and then rise against Aelin. Quite possible.
Creep numero dos, someone I hated because he exuded rapey feels. He’s like Umbridge from Harry Potter, pure evil and completely disgusting. I wish I had killed him myself but the moron survives, very unhappy about that.
I don’t know if Lorcan counts as a villain but he is traitorous and belongs to Maeve’s court which just sucks. I didn’t like his double standards but I am inclined to hope he might go to Terrasen and give Aelin the ring when the time comes to fight Erawan. If that doesn’t happen, well we’re all going to die.
He should be renamed the King of Douchebags because that’s what he was. How DARE he try to lay a finger on Aelin and get in her personal space. He is the sickest character in the book and each of his schemes just make me want to take a dagger to every part of him. He is so infuriating and I’m so GLAD Lysandra killed him and he CHOKED ON HIS BLOOD TO DEATH.
Arobynn deserves to get chewed up like that cabbage. I wish magic had been released sooner and Lysandra had killed him in her ghost leopard form. That would’ve been fantastic.
Badass Scenes of Badassery
Sweet lord, one of the most brilliant scenes in the first half of the book that had me screaming throughout. Aelin’s disguise, her acting, the entire sequence of scenes just blew my mind away. It was ridiculously amazing and I had to give serious points to Aelin’s cunning. She could be Slytherin you know with all her insane plans and executions. Dressing up as a dancer in Madame Florin’s using the trap that the King set for her against him, absolute genius. It was the best heist I’ve ever read.
The fight between the two strongest, most badass female characters was delicious and amazing. They were ninja cats and the way they fought was unbelievable. But Aelin saving Manon was the most unexpected thing. It is possible that the fight and saving did create a bond despite Manon paying the Life Debt by telling Aelin that Dorian could be saved. But that fight scene was so amazing, I have no words. SO so good.
Kaltain Destroying Morath
Kaltain became living fire and the fact that she consumed the Valg demon inside her make her, in my eyes, dangerous, beautiful, an enigma, and awe-inspiring. Her sacrificing herself to help get Manon, Elide and the rest of the Blackbeaks out and destroying the wing where the witches were being forced to give birth to abominations was amazing but sad. She is one character I didn’t want to see dead but I’m hoping for some weird way in which she comes back in the next books.
Aelin-Dorian-King of Adarlan Showdown
This showdown had my heart beating crazy fast and being horrified and scared and just crying the entire time. Dorian destroying the entire castle and Aelin melting that glass in a wall of flame to create an amazing glass arch to protect Adarlan was ingenious and fantastic. The entire fight they had on that narrow glass bridge was crazy scary and all I could think was- Aelin, Dorian don’t die, we need you, I need you.
If they ever decide to bring this scene to life, it will be something amazing to behold.
There are quite a few OTPs that I ended up shipping which I hope will flower in the rest of the books.
I was a guilty shipper way back in Heir of Fire but when I read this book and figured out that Chaolena was sunk and over, I jumped aboard the Aelin-Rowan ship and I’m glad it has sailed. If Sarah kills Rowan I will probably die because he is an adorable wolf puppy that I love to the ends of the earth.
New characters! I was suspicious of something happening between them at some point and people who sleep together have a tendency to end up together as well and I’m quite happy with those two together. They’re quite suited to each other and it’ll be great to read more about them in the next few books.
I noticed out lovely shape-shifter giving our General more than just a look over on several occasions. Could it be that Lysandra has major hots for Aedion and he might reciprocate? They’d have beautiful children with amazing powers and I would totally read a book about that.
This ship is a big big question mark. There was definitely attraction between them at the forest and the fact that she sent a message to Aelin to save him probably means something more than just fulfilling a Life Debt. The fact that she also stopped by at the castle to see Dorian from afar definitely means something. Could our Blackbeak have fallen for Dorian?
All The Feels
By the end of the book, my feels distress had started and I pretty much looked like this-
and then this-
and when I couldn’t take it anymore, this-
I cry easily. It doesn’t take me long, I could cry on cue if someone asked me to. For example, I’ve been watching Castle and recently started season 4. In season 3 alone I cried for at least 12 episodes, that’s the kind of person I am. I read Harry Potter and I sob, I watch the Lord of the Rings and I sob through 12 hours of footage. I have a serious problem.
The tearjerker scenes were all at the end.
Dorian Blaming Himself
When he comes to and can’t help blaming himself for all the bad that happened. Sweet, precious, innocent golden retriever puppy *hugs*.
The entire time, that was me. I am not joking, I wanted to reach into the book and tell that sweetling that it was all okay and he was safe and everything would be okay. I realize I have a problem but please don’t judge me for it.
Aelin Begging Dorian to Spare her Life
Good lord, Sarah knows how to emotionally traumatize her readers. This scene was so damn difficult I can’t even begin to elucidate.
When I can’t articulate I use GIFs and that is seriously accurate for both Aelin and me because I was screaming those words in my mind. It was emotionally traumatizing and I just wanted to save everyone and was helpless because it was a book and that just frustrated me more. Fangirl life is hard.
To think Manon was a heartless witch and took Elide under her wing and helped her escape. Sweet lord, my hearts are going crazy with pain and just so many tears. Especially when Manon removes the manacles from Elide’s ankles and she just starts sobbing.
Couldn’t stop, just sobbing like crazy. Way too beautiful for me and just imagining Elide’s freedom had me crying all over again. To be free from a life of pain and misery and captivity, that visceral feeling is something akin to heaven bestowing its gifts on you.
Aelin Gives Lysandra the Ring
The sweetest moment. Aelin giving Lysandra a ring engraved with a ghost leopard and a key, the significance of that ripped more tears from me. I can’t- it was so beautiful and amazing. I think I’m over-emotional and severely over-attached. Oh well.
Going to Terrasen
In two gifs-
And that moment when they first look upon Terrasen-
Tears. Everywhere. SO beautiful. Just thinking about our Queen going home just felt so good.
This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year and I loved every moment of it. I can’t wait for the next book to come out. Stay tuned for my post about the Sequel Title Reveal of A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I rated this beauty a 5/5 stars.
And finally, I can’t believe I get to use this gif-