“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom …”
It has come to a beautiful, sad and heartfelt end. The beauty of this series and their characters and the way Sarah J Maas developed them and entrust them into this final battle was tragic and beautiful. I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this behemoth of a book (it is over 800 pages, some say it should be edited down and sometimes I agree with them but it would mean less time with my favorite characters so I am fine with the extra 200 unnecessary pages). I don't agree with all the choices Maas made as an author and might have wanted some extra scenes with some characters but overall I felt this last book really encompassed the whole drama, friendships and relationships that built over the years.
As always, KOA is told in a variety of point of views and it is divided into two main parts. The first part is our favorite characters individually fighting their own personal battles in different areas. We have Aedion and Lysandra failing miserably on holding ground against Moranth as they advance towards Terrasen. We have Rowan and the cadre trying to find Aelin as she is being submitted through a tortoreus captivity. We have Chaol and Yrene as they try to get back to their friends with the help of the army they retrieved. We also have Manon and Dorian trying to befriend the witches, yet Dorian still has an extra plan to find that third Wyrdkey. The second part is all of them finally meeting up in the same battlefield as they fight Erawan and Maeve.
The different storylines made the story so dynamic and fun to read. The gripping emotions we feel creates for a very tense atmosphere in the WHOLE book. I don't think there's one moment in the moment book where I felt at peace because no matter what the group was doing they always seemed to be failing, or too late to stop the massive destruction that the Valg were creating. Seeing this fear and tension in all the character's minds made it seem as if time was really running out for them and it made the happy ending all so worth it.
There were many parts of the story that made me weep and I will mention some of them:
- every time the groups would meet each other after a long period of time. When Dorian saw Chaol again, when Aelin saw Chaol again, when they met up in Terrasen with Aedion and Lysandra. I was crying every time they would hug each other after so much destruction had been wrecked in their country.
- when Abraxos almost died MY HEART STOPPED. But then when the whole 13, specially Asterin, decided to sacrifice themselves I think my heart really did stop then. Knowing that Manon was going to be left alone and all her witches were gone and that she was going to feel pain, it just broke me.
“And far away, across the snow-covered mountains, on a barren plain before the ruins of a once-great city, a flower began to bloom”
- The scene were Aelin gives Gavriel the blood oath, and feeling Aedion's and the rest of the cadre's pain.
- the scene were RHYSAND AND FEYRE APPEAR!!! I heard there was some sort of connection between the book, but I was left speechless and with such a nostalgic feeling.
Also I feel that Rowan really went through it when Aelin was in captivity, which are also scenes that I feel hurt my every bone and soul. Seeing them together after all the pain and frustration was really hard. Seeing Aelin recuperate and seeing how they will always carry a bit of the trauma with them felt raw and real.
Through it all, I feel that there was a little bit of too much fighting but honestly what it made me think is that Sarah J Maas is a really skilled combat writer, because I didn't feel it was boring or it dragged.
I loved that we do get our happy ending, and I have read reviews were people think everything was fixed too pretty. Yet, don't they think what the whole group went through is enough?? After all the tension throughout the book I was glad I got to release the breath I didn't know I was holding and that they got their final wish at the end ; a better world.
“I am here, I am with you.”
Overall rating: 5 stars