Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Well, I have to admit that I had a good time with this book in particular and the full series as a whole.
I don't think I'll ever call this the BEST series, however. It does fairly well with the characters but it does better with how all these many, many characters interact. Maas has a gift for giving a wide cast its full due.
The magics and the over-worldbuilding are handled quite well and while the originality may not be anything spectacular, it is handled in a very solid, very vivid manner. If the series was a food, it would be a big chocolate cake baked to perfection. There's nothing original about the cake, but it tastes good and it feels good and sometimes you might get a little carried away with it and you might get a stomach ache.
I'm thinking about all the many, many, many sappy romance scenes.
Ah, so be it. There's a little bit of everything in here. Bloodlust, epic battles, massive magic, gods, and a near-perfect payoff. The novel not only functions to give us all that perfect landing, but it also happens to shade itself in a TON of references to JRRT's Return of the King.
That's nice if you don't mind the blatant nods left and right to lend that certain AIR of legitimacy, and for the most part, I didn't care. It was all pleasant enough and respectful enough that I just can't get worked up about it.
This series isn't one for the history books, but it gives its readers a lot of familiar tropes and does them very well. I had a good time. Of course, I may not remember much of anything that happened a year from now because there really wasn't anything that STOOD OUT compared to any of the other epic fantasies I've read, but that's OKAY.
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