First Lines: There was a thing waiting in the darkness.
When I finished the previous book, I knew I had to grab this. I also knew there was a chance I might regret this (since the next book isn’t out yet), but I was willing to chance it.
*Potential Series Spoilers*
I’m just going to copy it from Goodreads: Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
Alright. So the first thing I should probably mention is that this is the (I think?) 4th Sarah J. Maas book I’ve read this summer. And I’m apparently burnt out. As I was reading this, I started to realize that Maas’s writing (which is actually quite good) just…didn’t always keep me 100% invested. I think just about every book I’ve read of hers has been more or less the same story.
Let me break that down. Like I said, Maas’s writing is actually really good. She’s great for weaving together little details you didn’t really notice into something bigger. She combines multiple character narratives well. She writes engaging characters that you desperately want to keep reading about. All of that is great.
But as I mentioned with the previous book, some of the character perspectives we saw just didn’t really grab me. Thankfully, I finally got my teeth (pun intended) into Manon’s story. She was far from my favorite character, but I finally started to like her. (But I liked Asterin better.) Some of the narratives were incredibly short and I thought that totally threw off the pace of the story. Like here we go from Aelin’s 12-16 page chapter to another character where the chapter is only a page. Or in the course of a single chapter the narrative would change views multiple times. And while I understand the purpose (because there’s always some piece of important information being imparted) it just threw me off.
And I really can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I’m getting a little sick of Aelin? She has this fantastic support system and great friends and yet she’s constantly shutting them out. It was frustrating the way she kept turning into a sneak and lying to everybody. I think my favorite character this time around was Aedion and he certainly got the short stick multiple times from her and other characters.
Ok, yes, I still liked her. Her queenly attitude is starting to come out and she’s insanely clever. I just wish she’d open up a little more.
For as much as I’m kind of complaining about the story, I really did enjoy it. The plot gets more interesting. The stakes get raised quite a bit and a few characters you love to hate have their moments to…shine is not the right word here, but you get the idea. I truly think I’m just kind of complaining because I’ve gotten a crash course in Maas’s writing and I’ve picked up on some of her tricks.