[A quick note: I am slowly working my way through the Throne of Glass series. I feel like SJM took her readers reviews into account because this book particularly showcased a political world that was more diverse than her past books. Shown here are my Owl Crate playing cards featuring Chaol and Yrene.]
“𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙗𝙚 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙘𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙛 𝙥𝙝𝙮𝙨𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙛𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨.” —Sarah J Maas
Chaol and Nesryn arrive in the southern continent for two purposes, to raise an army and seek healing for crippling wounds Chaol endured to his back. Yrene suffered horrors in her childhood at the hands of Adarlan. The last thing she wants is to heal a commander from the very land that took everything from her. But she has sworn an oath of healing, and perhaps Commander Westfall isn’t what he seems.
Character driven. Healing. Satisfying. I felt entirely fulfilled and warm and happy reading this. I couldn’t put it down...like all SJM books. Even though it’s over 600 pages, I read it in a couple of days. I’ve seen mixed reviews. I can’t imagine why. The story was beautiful! We see Chaol confront the darkest places of his past. Forced to go head-to-head with the guilt riding him over everything that’s happened. He must face his demons, going all the way back to his childhood. And Yrene is there with him, making it such a beautiful romance. As a parallel to Empire of Storms, this story didn’t propel us any further from where we left off, however, it did offer more insight into the dark Vlag enemy.
The world building introduced a completely different area. This was refreshing. I loved that we got to see a place that was only ever mentioned in passing. There was so much political intrigue around the ruling family and heirs. And how cool are the ruks and their riders?! The southern continent was far more advanced than what we’d seen in the past. It’s ideals, treatment of servants, diversity, worshiping of gods, etc. surpassed the rest of the known world. A place built on forward-thinking.
The romance aspect was on point. I loved the enemies-to-lovers between Chaol and Yrene. They were able to grow together. There was so much development between them. Nothing felt forced. I was cheering with each bit of progress they made. Grinning like a fool. It was lovely!
Please don’t skip this one! It’s so worth it. Don’t go in expecting more Aelin. Go in knowing you’re going to get a fresh story from a different perspective that’s still tied to the main characters. It’s different, but absolutely worth it. 𝗠𝗬 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝟱/𝟱⭐️