Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica-the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both-and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This was a beast of a book, but I didn’t find it dragging on or repetitive. There are some parts that perhaps could have been shortened, but overall I enjoyed the character development and the slower pace of relationships building. Chaol and Yrene deserved the time to develop more as authentic characters as themselves rather than the side character they somewhat were relegated to up to this point. (And if you hadn’t read the novellas you wouldn’t know Yrene at all!). It was a bit of fresh air after the intensity of Aelin and crew in the series as well. I went to an author event with Sarah J. Maas and she actually said she found it therapeutic to have a bit of a different change of pace for her as well!
Two of the things I really liked about the book was Maas’ thoughtfulness in the world-building and creating a place that had a taste of authentic history interspersed with the fantasy world. She also made some very conscientious choices in disability representation. Diversity in writing shouldn’t be something that needs to be called out and I appreciate that Maas always makes it a matter-of-fact item rather than something that’s supposed to be novel and controversial.
All in all, this was a fantastic continuation of the series and I cannot wait for the final book in the series! Considering I wasn’t sold on the idea of this “distraction” book, there are a lot of things that are tied together well and set up a lot for the finale!
Warning: Contains repeated violence and sexual content.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Fans of the series otherwise I think you’d be fairly lost
Want to read the whole series?