In the penultimate Throne of Glass book, Aelin meets unexpected obstacles as her enemies move against her and her allies.
Aelin may have put her role as assassin Celaena behind her, but that doesn’t mean Terrasen’s nobles are willing to hand the kingdom over to a young woman with her kind of past. Knowing the Valg king Erawan is a true threat to the entire world, Aelin must form alliances for the imminent war while uncovering the price once paid to halt Erawan—the price to stop him for good, because he’s moving fast and striking hard. This plot expands the world, introducing new delights such as a pirate haven (and—of course—naval battles) and swampy ruins in Eyllwe, as the cast also expands, with nods to the novellas collected in The Assassin’s Blade. (That said, with the number of characters presented and minimal recap, readers will wish there were a dramatis personae.) Much of Aelin’s scheming occurs off-page, as secondary characters’ viewpoints take on narrative weight—despite the occasional redundancy, this adds richness, as such characters as Manon enjoy deeper development, and Lysandra anchors the best action sequence. Romance runs rife (the main cast is mostly straight, with nods to queer minor characters) and this everyone-is-breathtakingly-beautiful-(and-also-mostly-white) world. Readers of Maas’ other series will spot her touch, especially in descriptions of lovemaking and the cliffhanger ending.
Tightly plotted, delightful escapism. (Fantasy. 14 & up)