An End and a New Beginning
It has been a long journey to the final book in the series and while I cannot say that it was perfect, I can definitely say that it was spectacular.
This review is not spoiler free. For the non-spoilery review check it out here:
A queen captured, a king on a suicide mission, a mate desperate for a sign and a witch on her knees. These four things best describe the main story plots we’ve all been waiting for. Aelin had been captured and has been kept in an iron coffin undergoing torture for who knows how long, Dorian infiltrating the Valg king’s lair seeking answers. Rowan desperately looking for Aelin, unable to tug into their connection to even find out if she was still alive or not, and Manon, seeking the help of her former enemies, looking for an army of witches to bring to war.
There was no lack of scenes that gave me goose bumps throughout this book. What I will say is that this book has filled me with dread, despair, frustration, happiness, a spirit of revenge and absolute wanting for war.
The scenes were written vividly and made me feel as though I was actually part of the war and everything that was happening. I was filled with a sense of urgency throughout each chapter and a sense of frustration at the slow pace things were going at times.
There are a few cons I’ve listed that I felt fell short of expectation and felt more like fan service at times. That isn’t to say the book wasn’t good, like I said, it wasn’t perfect but it was still a veritable end to the series.
To begin with, I felt like Aelin’s stand was quite mellow, sort of sad to see despite the building up toward it, It would have been better to have had her at least be able to burn her fire through the enemy lines, a grand display of her fire and passion. It would have built up better if she was able to wound Maeva fatally or even kill her before she sealed the gate. Which would have been a better end to the war to be honest—if she had sealed the gate AFTER Yrene, Dorian, Lysandra and Elide had killed Erawan. Which made the task of sealing the gates utterly stupid and lose its urgency.
Second, The portals—to reveal the lost fae and wolf tribe, was incredibly wrongly placed and got lost in the events that happened. It felt more like a filler, something that was put there to further establish that Aelin had done everything and thought of anything to win the war.
Third, the THIRTEEN! Their death was utterly wrongly placed and was lacking in overall effect. Although it was not lacking in valiance, the sacrifice was perfect and what it entailed, that they yielded despite being some of the strongest witches of their age, since yielding was usually reserved for the younger and weaker—more eager to yield and be useful than fight to the death, the Thirteen’s death fell a little flat. I had expected them to wipe out more than just a witch tower and a small host with all of them combined. They are STRONG they should have been able to blast through at least a quarter of Erawan’s forces.
Lastly, the fact that Maeve had been so gullible was quite jarring as well. It was something that glared at me throughout the books. But I guess it could be chalked up to her arrogance, still, I expected her to be more cunning with everything they built her up to be. I mean, she did manage to trick everyone into forgetting she was a Valg Queen! She needed more.
With that, I’ll move onto the main pros of the book. There were a lot of good things about this book but I believe these were the most important to mention.
For starters, the death of the Thirteen wrecked me. It was so sad to have read Manon at the end realizing that the death of the Thirteen broke the curse. Even now it gives me chills just thinking about it. Their death was not in vain and will be celebrated by generations to come just as it should be.
Second, although there was a bit of frustration for me with Rowan and the other looking for Aelin in all the wrong places, the scene where she practically destroyed the iron coffin convincing herself not to yield was spectacular. I had to contain myself because I was about to throw my phone at the wall due to utter excitement.
Third, although I did point out above we should’ve seen more of Aelin’s fire, her display in Anielle with the wave was mesmerizing. It was absolutely heartbreaking to realize that the fire she burned that day was meant to destroy Maeve.
Fourth, the ending was beautifully written and paced out. It didn’t feel dragged out or too rushed. It was timed perfectly to keep you wanting and satisfied at the same time. The writing also left enough to the imagination without leaving too many questions unanswered. It gave enough to leave me satisfied with how it ended. Which; for me, is rare in books.
Overall, I felt this book was the perfect end to the series and translates the frustrations and wrong decisions of war perfectly. Nothing ever went to plan exactly as they hoped and that made the events more real for me.
Overall rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟