If you are related to me in any way, I’d appreciate if you didn’t read this post. Unless you wanna read about me having the obscene hots for fictional characters. Thanks.
SECOND TIME READING:
Just a heads up: my opinion of this book has totally changed this time ’round. I LOVED THIS BOOK.
Me, finishing the book; my feelings:
Rating change: 3 stars to 4 stars.
What made me change my rating:
MAJOR POINT: I read it slowly this time. I didn’t rush like the first time I read this book. I was such a dick when I read this book (initially). I’m going to add some annotations to my first review (below). Enjoy me punching the shit out of past-me. I hate past-me. I was an asshole. I’M SORRY SARAH, ILYSM. PLS FORGIVE MY IGNORANT, UNAPPRECIATIVE, PREVIOUSLY-FAE-HATING ASS.
I actually enjoyed Rowan this time. And Manon and Abraxos. AND THIS IS BECAUSE I ACTUALLY LIKE HIGH FANTASY NOW.Before, I was only reading this for the hype. I loathed high fantasy. This didn’t add up to a good review, as you can imagine.
I HAD ALL THE FEELS AND WANTED TO CRY MY DAMN HEART OUT. Now, older, I really appreciate SJM’s mature writing. I feel more connected to it, and understand the thought processes and choices these characters make.
Why this book isn’t a 5/5 stars:
Besides the fact that the first part of this book, Heir of Ashes, was written well, it was also incredibly slow. It did start to fasten up near the end, so near the middle of the novel, and I understand why SJM did it.
This book is about change.
Sarah needed to emphasise that, I get it. The world was being recontructed, including new politics and characters. Many people reviewed and say Dorian and Chaol’s part was the most boring, but I actually loved their scenes! In the first part, sure, they were a little to frequent. But they don’t suck!!!
Ren really annoyed me. So did his grandfather. I have no other reason besides they were written the most boringly. Sorry-not-sorry.
Other major point: the climax of the novel. The whole ring shing-dig. You know; the ring Celaena pulls out to save Rowan’s ass and free him from Maeve. It’s like… mentioned -at max- twice prior, and we all assume it’s Chaol’s ring she’s referring to. The twist is meant to be that it’s some other valuable ring, significant to Maeve. But like????? Eh. It was a bit anticlimatic, after everything that was going on. It didn’t seem strong enough for me to accept as the one thing Maeve would relent to.
THE SECOND PART OF THIS BOOK IS WORTH 5/5 STARS. I FREAKING LOVED IT. WHAT A WILD RIDE, THAT WAS. I cried at the end of this book. It was BRILLIANT! I can’t wait to move onto QoS 😀
June 11, 2017 – page 0
0.0% “I hated this book the most out of all of them last time I read it.
Fingers crossed I love it this time??”
June 11, 2017 – page 19
3.38% “Guess who’s joined the parrrtyyyy???
June 11, 2017 – page 31
5.52% “Woo new characters being introduced left, right and centre. I’ve just forgotten who I’m supposed to like and hate?”
June 12, 2017 – page 35
6.23% “Enter Manon”
June 12, 2017 – page 48
8.54% “Woooo hey Sorscha”
June 12, 2017 – page 66
11.74% “Mmmm yeah I hate Rowan being all… punch-y.”
June 12, 2017 – page 101
17.97% “K Manon’s storyline DRAGS but I’m hoping it picks up now…
I feel like there’s not a lot happening, which kinda sucks. If I was more invested in the characters, I may like it more. But there’s so many with little length , I don’t get the opportunity.”
June 14, 2017 – page 104
18.51% “Everything is saaaaad”
June 15, 2017 – page 120
21.35% “Sorscha and Dorian are precious 😁💖
I still feel weird abt it tho bc of my bitter Celorian feelings”
June 15, 2017 – page 136
24.2% “Everything is written so pretty… Manon flying for the first time… Celaena hearing spooky stories around the hearth… the starlight.
BUT NOTHING IS HAPPENING!!!
I would be fine if it focused more on a character, but the constant switching drives me crazy.”
June 15, 2017 – page 155
27.58% “Hehe- Chaol and Aedion making a bargain.
Fortunately it’s not the same kinky business Feysand get up to.”
June 15, 2017 – page 162
28.83% “”‘You’re worthless,’”
wow Rowan and Celaena sure do flirt weirdly
(ps Rowan just bit her omg)”
June 16, 2017 – page 236
41.99% “ROWAN TEASED HER BY PULLING HER PIGTAILS
June 16, 2017 – page 241
42.88% “”Rowan dutifully carried every bag and box Celaena bought save the chocolates, which she ate as she strolled around, one after another after another. When she offered one to him, he claimed he didn’t eat sweets. Ever.”
LOOK AT MY FAVES GOING ON A DATE
June 16, 2017 – page 247
43.95% “Yooo that was such a cute flashback 💔”
June 16, 2017 – page 254
45.2% “Yay the tempo is starting to fasten 🙂 fun Friday night in for me!!”
June 17, 2017 – page 309
54.98% “NOBODY TALK TO ME
ROWAN JUST TALKED ABOUT HIS MATE
I AM AN EMOTIONAL WRECK, THINKING ABOUT EOS”
June 17, 2017 – page 335
59.61% “MANON AND ABRAXOS STARE OFF ❤️❤️❤️
Wow I can’t believe I hated this book the first time I read it???????? Sure, I’m not one for dragons or the sort… but SJM writes so beautifully”
June 17, 2017 – page 345
61.39% “Dorian is the best person in the world. He suddenly stopped being a spoiled, pretty boy and … spoke so much truth.
TOO MANY THINGS TO QUOTE.”
June 17, 2017 – page 364
64.77% “Oop. Here come the overwhelming feelings. The Beltane:
– Cel totally “not jealous” at the pretty girls flirting w/ Rowan
– Celaena burning up
– Rowan carrying her even tho she burned the shit out of him
– Rowan fussing over her
– Cel revealing Endovier, and her scars
June 17, 2017 – page 369
65.66% “I DONT REMEMBER ANY OF THESE CUTE ROWALEIN MOMENTS
– He just FLEW into her room, picked her up, and took her to his room
– THEY. ARE. SNUGGLING.
– “You’re staying with me from now on.”
– Sharing Celaena’s assassin years and the king’s offer
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ MY HEART”
June 17, 2017 – page 377
June 17, 2017 – page 446
79.36% “Newly realised kink: SJM’s most painful scenes where one mate is in pain/tortured, while the other mate is restrained and is forced to watch.
🙃everything is fine🙃”
June 17, 2017 – page 476
84.7% “I know I was screaming about how much I ship Rowaelin before–
But I need to note their friendship too. It’s the best. Better than their romance.
Fight me. I don’t care.
Their friendship is so wholesome, I feel like I’m getting one big, almost painful, hug from my bestie.”
June 17, 2017 – page 499
88.79% “”She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”
If you couldn’t already tell: I’m emotional. I’m a wreck. I want somebody to hold me.
HAPPY TEARS I PROMISE”
June 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
FIRST TIME READING:
I can already hear the rest of you guys screaming “ONLY 3 STARS??? ARE YOU CRAZY?”
I want to reply, “I’m sorry, did we read the same book? How is this book so largely rated as 5/5 stars?”
This book was at such a paintstakingly long pace, I had to eventually just start skimming. A lot of the writing was unnecessary. I find this a regular issue in fantasy novels. Especially the overrated ones.
I really did hate fantasy novels back then and you can’t blame people’s preferences but also @past-me: BITCH. GIVE IT TIME. GIVE IT MORE THAN LIKE 3 MINUTES TO GRAB YOUR ATTENTION.
THIS IS SUCH A COMPLEX WORLD, WITH PRECIOUS CHARACTERS. GOD.
If I had to skim, why bother continuing, right?
I’m a superficial. I know, I’m sorry. The cover is so pretty. So many Goodreads users adore this series.
I STRONGLY STAND BY THIS.
The first instalment was great. The writing was a little boring for me, but the concept and characters were what stuck for me.
Then the second book, I pretty much hated. I feel like not a lot happened until boom this death and this totally predictable betrayal. Romance triangle intensifies.
k u guys need to read my response to past-me’s review of CoM to get a little context…
And then you get to this book… And it’s like. Oh remember that love triangle that was affecting Cel’s decisions??? Forget about it. It’s no longer relevant and we’re going to pretend it doesn’t exist.
In a way, I still stand by this. But also, my previous self obviously didn’t remember the ending of CoM.Remember that character who died and Cel was super upset over, even though she’d only known her for less than a year? Yeah, that’s the new driving force for all of the protag’s decisions. YOU PIECE OF SHIT. IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN. NEHEMIA MEANT SO MUCH TO HER,
SINCE DAY ONE. BITCH. This is a fantasy novel, so we’re going to use a bunch of terms you don’t understand but not give any context or definition on what they are. Just roll with it. It’s a a fantasy novel, after all. what terms??????? u stupid. The fantasy notions we do introduce? Well, we’ll half-ass explain them and after that assume you’ll be able to visualise the entire world. ??but?? ur wrong.
It was very frustrating.
An issue I have with this series is the maps. Many readers love them! It’s a selling point of the book. For me; it’s a red flag. When a map is given at the start of the novel, it means to me;
“This story hasn’t explained the setting clearly enough, so we’ll give you this map to make it easier on the author and their team to let you try to visualise it without us developing it further.”
I’m looking at the map as I type this, and I’m honestly wondering why half of this stuff is notated. It’s not relevant to this book! Why bother having it?
OKAY THIS IS STILL TECHNICALLY TRUE AND I STAND BY THIS: BUT BACK THEN I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE PREQUELS. I MUCH PREFER HOW IN THE ACOTAR SERIES, THEY REVEALED MORE AS THE STORY WENT ON. NOT LIKE TOG WHICH HAS A BIT OF AN INFO-OVERLOAD. It’s a bit hard to navigate, first-time reading.
I think it’s safe to say, I find difficultly enjoying this book because the setting hasn’t been properly described IMO. For me, I needed a different approach to setting this world.
/BOI/ IF U DONT SHUT THE FUK UP
Some chapters have too much or too little dialogue. I think Maas’ work would be excellently suited for a film. The action and dialogue is perfectly formatted for the medium. For a novel? Not so much. It doesn’t have that book feel to it, where I’m immersed in the characters mind. I’ve read enough reviews to see I’m not the only one who thinks Celaena is not a believable protagonist. What do I mean? Well, she’s expected to be seen as the ultimate assassin, and yet we know she either barely does anything (until ALWAYS the last 100 pages), or she suffers in whatever training she’s being induced into.
i think even god just heard me sighing. Past me’s gon’ get their ass SLAPPED.
Speaking of training, bless Rowan. His complex character brought this up from a 2/5 to a 3/5 stars. I disliked him largely in the first half of this book. But if I’m being honest; I don’t think there’s anything I liked about the first half of this book. His friendship with Cel by the end of the novel was heartwarming.
k yep still kinda stand by this bc abusive behaviour isn’t cool but also after reading ACOMAF I see why SJM writes about friends/future love interests urging their partner’s to fight back (idk it has to do with the will to live u know what I mean don’t make me analyse this LET’S JUST GET OVERWHELMED AND CRY).
Manon’s storyline was extremely uninteresting and unhelpful for the story. I really would prefer for it to be cut. If there is somebody out there who actually thought “oh boy, I can’t wait to find out more about Manon” please contact me. I have questions.
CONTACT ME NOW. BUT FOR A WHOLE NEW SET OF REASONS, SUCH AS: WOW, MANON IS SUCH A BRAVE AND CARING CHARACTER. SHE IS SO INTERESTING AND INSPIRING, WITH SO MUCH SASS. ALSO::::::: ABRAXOS. I WANT 6 ABRAXOS’,
PLS AND TY.
The kitchen staff was an odd addition to this storyline. I did enjoy the concept that “nobody is above labour work”. But at the same time; this didn’t do anything to how I feel about the main characters or the plot. Did it lead to further introspection of Celaena? Possibly, but not powerfully. And with a book so long, things like this need to be cut in order to be better.
why did nobody report my hateful ass?
So… Sorscha (did I spell that right?
yeh bitch and even if you didn’t– chECK UR MOFO COPY.
IT TAKES 2 SECONDS.)… I knew from the last instalment that she’d be significant. Purely because of my previous likeness to Dorian and Cel’s history; I didn’t like her. k my salty ass needs a refresher- CELORIAN AINT SHIT. CELORIAN AINT ENDGAME. U STFU NOW AND MOVE ON.
But I found the exact page I fell in love with her character: page 538. “For now… she could be selfish for a little longer”. What a beautiful introspection
use a fucking thesaurus into her character. Her love story with Dorian is possibly more Insta-love than any other couple in this series, but I’ll excuse that for her selflessness. She reminds me a little of Sophie from The Infernal Devices.
By the end of the novel, no sufficient climax occurred. I was waiting for a throw down with Cel and Dorian
fuckING ???WHY? tho, or anything about the two kingdoms crossing paths more powerfully, alas; no. On my bedside I regrettably have the following instalment, I guess I’m going to have to complete it to see if this series gets any better. ooooh how the tables have turned lmao.
I will predict I will be unsatisfied by it, but not blaming anybody else other than I for forcing myself to go through this. I’m the one that has chosen to read through a series I’m obviously not that impressed by, for the pure reason everybody else likes it.
This novel certainly got better by the 400th page mark. But this is not acceptable when you have a 550 or so pages novel. This should’ve been cut down thus more direct to the point.
I STAND BY THIS. IDC if I enjoyed it more this time. First time reading, I didn’t KNOW it was gonna get better. This sucks
Wish me luck on the next book. I’m begging myself not to read anymore but I’m forcing myself to “enjoy” it.
PS: just a disclaimer: the writing is beautiful, at most parts. Some I wonder how it got past editing– if I submitted those lines to my high school teacher, they’d cross it out and notate a huge “????” above it. But it’s the sort of writing in which you have to enjoy a paragraph dedicated towards the colours of the grass or trees. That’s not what I want to read, damnit. If I did, I would read LOTR.
WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC SERIES OF ALL FUCKING TIME. I CANT. IC ANT . I. OMFG. HIT ME. SOMEBODY? PLEASE. HIT ME.