Friday, October 26, 2018

Light Up the Darkness | What Throne of Glass Means to Me

Welcome to the final day of the Light Up the Darkness | A Throne of Glass Celebration! This week is so exciting! The final book of the Throne of Glass series, Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas, released this week and it was...epic. Everything I wanted from the finale of this series and more.

To honor this exciting moment in one of my favorite series, Hannah from So Obsessed With, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Rachel from hello, chelly and I are doing a blog event to celebrate the series! This series means so much to me in so many ways and I know it does to the other ladies, too. We have had so much fun putting together these posts and talking about the series. Fun but also painful having to make some difficult choices as to favorites!

Today we are each sharing what the Throne of Glass series mean to us and I have been looking forward to writing this post since we decided to do this event even if I'm about to struggle and get real inarticulate.

I could honestly wax poetic about this series all day. I have had deep dive discussions about this series with my own Cadre. The themes, the characters, the romances, the battles, everything about this series works for me on so many levels. First and foremost, and most importantly to me, is the heroine Aelin. I love Aelin so much. So, so, so incredibly much. I get her. I understand her. She makes sense to me. Because she is so similar to me in both positive and negative ways. Aelin is a tough nut to crack because her walls are so thick. She has a reputation for being abrasive and scary and standoffish and snarky. All these things are true. But she's also kind and thoughtful. She does the right thing when it matters. She has her people and she is unwaveringly loyal. She is not just an unfeeling fire-breathing bitch queen, people matter to her but she will not allow bad behavior and calls people out appropriately. I can relate to all of these things.

Also like Aelin, one of the moments of this series that really resonated with me was a flashback to a conversation her parents had about her. Her father was concerned because little Aelin said her closest friends are characters in books. At the risk of sounding like a total loser, this was me growing up. I didn't have a lot of friends, books were my comfort, my safe zone, my escape from a less than ideal friendship zone. Books are still the most amazing things to me and the closest we will get to real magic in this world. I identified with her loneliness and difficulty connecting with other people. I still do.

People see Aelin as one stereotypical fire-breathing bitch queen but unless you choose to look closer, that's all you'll see and that's all she'll ever be to you. The people who see beyond her swagger and snark can see that her kindness knows no bounds. She believes in humanity and people, she believes the world is worth saving. I work as a nurse and as much as I joke I hate everyone and people suck, I go to work every shift and take care of people in their time of need, show grace for people in their darkest moments, and give all the empathy I have to make them feel comfortable. Not many people see or know that side of me. I have had many implosions of friendships because some people are the worst, aka the Iskras and Maeves of the world, so I know there are a dozen people who would have awful things to say about me but then there are those few amazing friends I have who see me for who I am. We all need our court.

Ok, enough emotional stuff. Besides Aelin, this series as a whole inspires me. When I reread this series I get chills, I get pumped up, I feel like I can conquer the world, somebody put me on a battle field, I GOT THIS! I do not got this but that's what it feels like! The goodness of these characters in a world intent on striking them down is beautiful. They all want to make the world a better place. They want to be better than their predecessors. That's what this series also inspires in be better. To show grace when I want to show snark. To reach out when I want to be selfish. To be strong when I want to cry. To get up when I've been knocked down.

One of my favorite quotes from a different series is to the effect of 'when I am scared or afraid I just imagine I'm one of my favorite book characters and ask myself what they would do.' I am not so embarrassed to say I do this sometimes. When I was climbing Mt Kilimanjaro last year and wanted to die of exhaustion, Aelin and the crew came into my head and I knew they would not quit. They would persevere and get up that freaking mountain, explore the stone marshes, or cross the sea to Doranelle. They would dry their tears--I did--and tell themselves to stop being afraid--I also did--and get a move on--I made it to the top.

The incredible threads of feminism in this series can also not be missed. The friendships and strengths among these women is incredible. They are all so compelling and relatable in their own ways. They are imperfect, they make mistakes, they feel weak, but they always get up. They always show up for their friends. Their strength and courage of conviction is often more highlighted than the males which is so refreshing. The women save the day with both their mental, emotional, AND physical strength. The female empowerment in these books is on another level. The women are so strong and have such depth of power and compassion and loyalty. Broken record--they just inspire me so, so much, I can't get enough! I love that this is such an overarching theme...who run the world??

My feelings after rereading only deepened my love. It is almost unreal to me how much I feel while reading. I am so incredibly inspired and emotional I teared up and cried many, many times while rereading. I also loved the homage to the quote 'get up' that is littered throughout the series. Especially when its the women saying it to their men. The belief that no matter how many times you are broken down or made to believe you aren't good enough, you can always get up.

Lastly, to quote my carranam Hannah, one of my favorite takeaways from this series is that no act of kindness is ever wasted and that people matter. We are all imperfect people who make mistakes but we are not hopeless. We all have moments we need somebody to reach out and be kind and show grace and Aelin hit the mark so many times showing kindness and empathy over judgement and selfishness.

This series is truly something special to me. It teaches so much about compassion and kindness, friendship and love, courage and strength in so many different forms. This series and this book would not succeed if every character was the same or perfect. They are a cast of imperfect people who work together to do what is right. The world could learn a lot from this court of dreamers.

Don't forget to check out Hannah, Alexa, and Rachel's posts!

1 comment:

  1. Crying. Thank you for sharing this series because I would never have found it otherwise.


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