Author: Sarah J. Maas
My Rating: All. The. Stars.
This is a series review for all of the Throne of Glass books, and I need to start by saying I just learned the last book in the series will not be out until May 2018. I’m dying.
Before I begin, please note, I have spent the past few months listening to these audiobooks while working, so my memory may be iffy on some details. I’ll do my best. Also, if you’d like to just read my quick review on each book, feel free to connect with me on Goodreads! I’m not too active there yet, but I’m trying to at least keep my to-read and read lists updated with reviews.
WARNING: Because this is a review on all of these books, it’s hard for me to separate all of my thoughts into spoiler-free and spoiler-filled sections. There will be spoilers everywhere in this post. You’ve been warned.
The bad: As usual, I’ll start with what I didn’t like, so I can end on positive notes.
The most annoying thing for me in all of these books was that I felt like the limitations of everyone’s magic was…well, limitless. The lines between what everyone’s power could and could not do seemed blurred on several occasions. When we were first introduced to Dorian’s magic, I got the impression on several occasions that he had ice powers. However, later on in Empire of Storms I recall him using some sort of fire at some point. (Again…my memory is brutal. Sorry.)
Dorian aside, I was also thrown with how everyone could just magically heal themselves. To me, healing, and something like fire magic, are two different things. It’s hard for me to imagine a person having both talents and seemed like an easy way out of trouble sometimes for the characters. Oh yeah, and the ability to smell and feel things seemed too convenient to me. Need to know if an army of ilken are approaching? Feel it. Need to find Aelin? Follow her scent, because, well, magic. I like bold, clear lines drawn with magic and these books didn’t offer me that, but I digress.
The second thing that irked me a little were all of the subplots. The romantic relationships were great. The friendships were great. The conflict with the Wrydkeys, and Maeve, and Elena, and Elide, and the trouble in Manon’s life, and Aeidon’s daddy issues, and…*breathes*…I mean, it’s a lot. Maybe if I was reading the hard copy of the books it would’ve been easier to see everything and remember the tiny details, but I found all of these subplots and conflicts to be distracting from the main plot at times. Much of my confusion wasn’t cleared up until Empire of Storms. When I did finally understand what the hell was going on, it was awesome. So freaking awesome.
First of all, the bad-ass female characters in this are amazing. There are so many, all with their own motives. The feminist in me was jumping for joy with all of the girl power in these books. Nesryn? Badass. Lysandra? LOVE her. Aelin? C’mon. Manon? A badass witch? Badass. Elide? That girl finally comes into her own and is a total badass in her own way. Princess Nehemia? Selfless, intelligent badass. Maeve? Terrifying, evil badass. Queen Elena? You get the idea. There’s no shortage of badass-ness. They’re strong female characters, who are to simply put it, awesome.
Not to jump right from strong women to sex, but the romantic relationships in all of these books are so, so well written. I totally understand the need for some hesitancy from an author when writing sex scenes depending on their target audience, but Sarah J. Maas jumped right in, and I just want to say, I appreciated it. Not to sound like a creep, but for those of us being honest here, it was hot. (Don’t lie to yourself.) Rowan and Aelin, Dorian and Manon, and even Elide and Lorcan. I loved all of the romance. Except that Dorian and Manon’s relationship seems to be strictly sexual…though that doesn’t make it less hot (I’m just not as invested in it as the others).
Next, I know I said I hated all the subplots, but I think it’s possible to like and hate something? Right? Hear me out. I hated them when I didn’t understand them. When everything came together (for me) in Storms, my mind was blown in so many ways. The depth in these stories is unreal, and though did leave me confused at times, made me love Maas that much more. I don’t know how she keeps up with it all.
Other things/people/concepts I loved: Fleetfoot. Rowan from the second we met him in Heir of Fire. Aelin’s character arc and transformation in Heir of Fire (one of my favorite character transformations of all time). Asterin’s backstory (the stillborn witchling and the hunter). Manon and Abraxos.
Moments I loved: Rowan’s return in Queen of Shadows. Dorian’s whole experience with the Wrydkey collar, (it killed me, but I loved how his chapters were written in Shadows and how it made him a stronger man afterward in Storms). When Lysandra killed Aerobynn. The last sentence in Storms, “Prince Rowan Whitethorn began the hunt to find his wife.” It gave me chills. Elide’s near death scene and Lorcan’s reaction to the possibility of her death made me teary-eyed. When Aelin and Elide meet and Aelin tells Elide her mother loved her very much. The tears flowed freely.
Honestly, I could go on forever. My favorite book in the series is a tie for Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, though every book in this series offers SO much story to love. I highly, highly recommend this series to anyone who loves deep plots, feeling every emotion possible, great love stories, self-discovery stories, inner strength stories…the list goes on.
Plus, it’s entertaining as Hell.
I think this review will be the longest one I’ll ever do, and I didn’t even get to touch on all of the characters and moments I loved. So many characters and things went unsaid. You’ll have to read the series to discover for yourself.
If you’ve already read the series, what did you think? Are you, like me, dying to find out if Aelin doesn’t have to sacrifice herself after all? Or better yet…do you think she’ll get pregnant?! I have so many things I’m hoping for in the final book, even beyond Aelin.
P.S. If you made it this far…Good for you! 🙂 *applause*