I have so many THOUGHTS about this book that I am going to go the other route and only hit the highlights. I am already ten reviews behind and I’m not going to have time today to write them all, so I might honestly have to declare REVIEW AMNESTY and start fresh in the new year. (Although there are some books I really want to actually review.)
Here are my thoughts in no particular order:
- This book was TOO LONG. 992 pages is about two hundred pages longer, almost three hundred, than the biggest book in this series, and I think 200-300 pages could have been cut out easily. Mostly the battles, which I find with a few exceptions, she doesn’t really have a knack for as a writer. I kept zoning out during those scenes. Like, we get it, everything is hopeless and people are dying, X1000.
- SPOILERS I was wondering if she would have the guts to kill off any of her heterosexual lobsters, and the answer is she didn’t. Every couple escapes death in this book. The only people that die are secondary or tertiary characters. Anyone without a significant other was fair game, apparently.
- Almost every conflict was solved by a deus ex machina, sometimes literally. Very few were solved by the characters themselves, and even fewer by a solution that was planned or built up over a long period of time, although the conflict with Erawan did have that kind of ending. Of course, then she turned right around and had the conflict with Maeve be almost identical, and what an anti-climax that was.
- I appreciate her commitment to portraying the affects of torture, but Aelin was tortured and stuck in a box for almost a third of the book, and that was TOO MUCH.
- I liked that Aelin SPOILERS lost most of her powers. That genuinely surprised me.
- The writing continues to be melodramatic and cliche as hell in points, while in others genuinely interesting and moving, so in summation, also continues to be one of the messiest things I’ve ever read.
- I do not understand what happened with the gods. Someone who has also read this please explain it to me.
- Aedion is a huge dick for most of this book, and it pissed me off that Lysandra SPOILERS took him back just because he said “I love you.” Girl, he pushed you out naked into the snow and humiliated you constantly, which you told him, but oh now he said those words so it’s all okay? Okay.
- Which reminds me, half the characters in this book spend half of the book pissed off at another character for almost no reason at all. Aedion is pissed at Lysandra, I don’t know, because Aelin? And Elide is pissed at Lorcan. And Lorcan and Fenris hate each other, who knows why. Etc. SJM’s conception of interpersonal conflict is very black and white. Either that, or she just wanted them to be mad at each other just because. None of these characters who any semblance of empathy for anyone.
- SPOILERS I don’t understand why people are complaining about Dorian shapeshifting into a girl and making an idle joke about checking out his girl parts. If you are telling me you could shapeshift into a new body, with new body parts, and you wouldn’t want to check out your new bits, then I think you are lying. Human curiosity is a powerful thing. Plus, he didn’t even do it! He just sort of had a passing thought. Give me a break.
- I probably have more thoughts but I’ll stop now. The only two things I wanted from this book I got, so I guess I’m happy.
- Oh, wait. I did have to mention. I saw people posting updates for this all over the place, talking about all the glorious and painful tears they shed, and I did not shed many tears, but I did shed some. To my surprise, I was driving in the car, and one second I was completely fine, the next I was sobbing. Fuck you, book, for sneaking up on me like that. SPOILERS It was the scene where Asterin and the other thirteen sacrifice themselves to take out the witch tower, and Manon is the only one left. As the witches are my favorite parts of these books, I should have seen that coming. Anyway, it was pretty sad.
[2.5 stars, rounded up for Manon]