For about a year I couldn’t bring myself to write a review for this but in honor of the EoS release, I think its about time.
Holy crap of the world this book is intense and EPIC. I have so many thoughts to sort out – so bear with me. I think the best way to do this is just go through each of the characters one by one.
******Spoilers for QoS below******
Aelin (vs. Celaena)
I barely know where to begin because I have so many thoughts on her. Her character development is unlike any I’ve seen before. I see a lot of people saying they loved Celaena and hate Aelin – and I’m trying so hard to understand why.
Celaena was broken and bitter – yet I think we all admired her because she still had a heart despite the horror of her past. Regardless, she was hurting – and running from her destiny. Her wounds were only festering and stripping her of her strength. She was selfless AND selfish at the same time – unable to see clearly. She had such little hope in her heart. Her spirit was broken.
Rowan AND Aedion acknowledged this when Aelin became Celaena again when returning to the Assasin’s Keep…
“This person she’d become today had no kindness, no joy.”
“The person you were today, and a few years ago– that person had no joy or love.”
Now she’s Aelin– who gets a ton of slack from fans about being mean and ruthless. I agree that she’s a little different – but only in a completed, healed way. She gets a lot of slack for being “mean and ruthless” -but I truly fail to see her that way. She’s the same firecracker she always has been. Lets not forget how she treated Sam at first as Celaena – or how she raked those nails down Chaol’s face. She was arrogant then and arrogant now… except now, she’s looking out for more people. The defender. Proof of this lies all throughout this book. Yes, her and Chaol argue because of the bitterness on both ends- and it reaches a peak over trying to save Dorain. She gets a lot of slack for trying to kill Dorian- but if you read that page… she tries with all her might to find him in there first. Let’s not forget she was tormented by the prince inside him in the last book. Her heart broke over and over again for him (making the end of this book SO epic.) Not only that, but by the end, she’s honored Chaol too. As a queen.
Honestly though- my favorite Aelin moments are when she interacted with Lysandra – the courtesan she hated with a passion. How can you not admire Aelin for some of their interactions?
“I’m sorry,” Aelin said. “For the years I spent being a monster toward you, for whatever part I played in your suffering. I wish I’d been able to see myself better. I wish I’d seen everything better. I’m sorry.”
No, Aelin isn’t perfect – but she’s still on her journey and her life is dedicated to the people she loves. She loves fiercely and forgives – which is something she couldn’t do before. Even with Sam- she’d been so broken in their relationship.
“She looked at them, at the three males who meant everything—more than everything. Then she smiled with every last shred of courage, of desperation, of hope for the glimmer of that glorious future. “Let’s go rattle the stars.”
I still absolutely love this guy. He makes mistakes but his heart is so honorable. Yes, he lashes out at Aelin several times – but those moments of anger don’t stem from selfishness. They stem from love.. from a broken heart.. from a guy who would do anything for his friends. I couldn’t disagree more when fans claim is character was broken. He is an amazing character that goes through rough times and still comes out on top. Yeah, yeah- I’ve seen the complaints that he’s being brushed off in the next book. At the end of this book, he’s sent away to heal. That doesn’t mean he won’t be back in the series, and book 5 is not the last book. Not to mention, he’s getting his own book. I think it is a bit too early to say he’s being let go of.
This guy. If I could lock him in an eternal hug with the entire world, I would. He’ll always be one of my favorite characters. This guy has a heart of gold. He literally gets the shit end of the stick and yet remains fierce and loyal – to friends who seemed to have abandoned him (even though their intentions were to keep him safe.) I literally have nothing else to say other than I. LOVE. THIS. GUY.
Tears. She’s now a favorite character of mine. Her sacrifice and character after her past… no words. Her relationship with Aelin? No words. Her ability? Hell to the YES. Request for EoS- MORE LYSANDRA TIME PLEASE.
I love Aelin and Rowan’s slow burn because it is a story of healing. Whether or not she ends up with him (I’m NOT here for the ships because this story is so much more than that..) – I’ll survive. That being said- I think they are truly meant for each other. I’m a little sick of people comparing him to Tamlin as well. Incase you haven’t read this article… it’s worth the read. Check it out here. I love them. I love them apart or together.
THIS GUY. If you aren’t rooting for him then idk.. like are human? I joke.. of course.. but I was terrified we were going to lose him. I love his character – he’s so loyal… wonderful… literally whored himself around to have everyone believe he was on enemy’s side. ALKJDF. Feels. And when Aelin rescues him? I had shivers. Actual shivers.
“Behind them, across the hall, the dancers shattered their roses on the floor, and Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell.”
I wasn’t into Manon’s story until about half way through this. I don’t have a lot to say other than UM YES her story is now legit and I’m rooting for her hardcore. Aelin and Manon’s first face-off? HOLY BLAZERS. And when Manon wrote the warning? Ugh you guys- I can’t wait to see whats going to happen in the next book with them two.
The rest of the cast
(Because I’m getting tired now but they deserve a mention.) Hats off to SJM for writing a killer story for Kaltain, Nesryn, Elide, Asterin… HOW IS IT POSSIBLE for me to be this involved in every single storyline going on in this series!?
And the fact that there isn’t just one villian? And that EVERY villain is so well written? Maeve… Arobynn.. the King… Perrington…. ERAWON?!
The overall plot
Intense. A few dragging moments but overall so CLEVER. Full of sweet, sweet justice – and moments that will make you fear for literally everyone. So many moments that we’ve all been longing for since the first book. Hella awesome build up for the next book with Erawon and Maeve. So many moments where I wanted to jump out of my chair.
Some of my favorite moments…
-Aedion’s rescue. The moment Aelin looks up at him for the first time. (Tears)
-Aelin having to turn around, sing loudly, and turn the sink on so Aedion can piss in front of her and not be embarrassed
-Aelin and Lysandra setting aside all their previous grievances
-Rowan returning/meeting Aedion
-Aelin and Rowan returning to the orchestra and she plays that song…
-Rowan and Aelin at Sam’s grave (UGLY CRYING)
-Rowan wearing Arobynn’s oil alongside Aelin
-Aelin outwitting Arobynn
-Aelin/Rowan’s eyeball conversations
-Abraxos still lounging in wildflowers
-Asterin’s admission of her past
-Manon’s blood warning to Aelin
-Aelin slipping the Eye onto Chaol to save his life
-Aelin slipping the ring onto Dorian to free him
-Magic being freed… Aelin and Dorian being carranam
-Lysandra shapeshifting to save Rowan and Aedion (HOLY CRAP)
-Kaltain’s last stand
-SO MANY MORE
On that note, I highly recommend reading The Assasin’s Blade (the prequels/novellas) before you dive into this. It makes every scene about Arobynn so much more intense. Also.. I’m still crying over Sam.
“I miss you,’ she said. ‘Every day, I miss you. And I wonder what you would have made of all this. Made of me. I think – I think you would have been a wonderful king. I think they would have liked you more than me, actually.’ Her throat tightened. ‘I never told you – how I felt. But I loved you, and I think a part of me might always love you. Maybe you were my mate, and I never knew it. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering about that. Maybe I’ll see you again in the Afterworld, and then I’ll know for sure. But until then … until then I’ll miss you, and I’ll wish you were here.”
Can we also just sit here and appreciate the world building? I mean come on- this world is HUGE and full of so many clues/secrets/etc. Like this is LOTR level of world building… with hundreds of years of history/breeds/races/magic classes. Insane. Utterly insane.
Lastly, I’m currently making a TOG playlist and I’ll be updating this review with the link shortly.