This review has SPOILERS for not only the first three books in the series, but also this book as well. Major SPOILERS. DO NOT READ unless you've already finished it, because, yes, I will be talking about the ending and the twists and everything. So, SPOILERS!
I'm going to skip the "explaining what this is about" part because if you heed the above warning you're reading this review already knowing what it's about.
Can I start with the romance? So, I have some theories about who is going to end up with who, now. I don't know about Aedion, but all of the rest I'm fairly certain of. Obviously, Aelin and Rowen are going to be end game. Though, I did think that about her and Chaol, I don't think there's going to be another romantic twist for her. While I'm glad all of that drama has pretty much ended, I'm still rather uncomfortable with Aelin and Rowen, seeing as I always saw them having a sibling-like relationship and not a romantic one. I also thought it was sprung on a bit strangely in this one and that there wasn't really enough of a romantic connection there before the events of this one. For Chaol (who disappeared for a good chunk of the book- where'd you go, man?) it's pretty obvious that he's going to end up with Nesryn. I'm really okay with this one and really like Nesryn as a character. Looking forward to seeing more of her, though I'm a bit upset that she wasn't mentioned in any previous books. I did, for a time, think she and Aedion were a good pair. So now for my own darling Dorian (whom I still love with a passion and will protect forever the poor darling baby). I'm fairly certain he'll end up with Manon.... and I'm totally okay with this. It works well and I think they're fit for each other in a way none of his other romantic interests are.
Now the character development. Well, I thought there was very little of it that we actually saw. Aelin did go through a rather large transformation and I was rather comfortable with it and thought it was done well. Chaol, not so much. Suddenly he's a different character. I get that some time passed, but it wasn't anything we saw on the page. He was just suddenly acting differently. And I didn't like it. And then there's Manon, who went through the greatest and most obvious transition of them all- and this was my favorite to read about. While most of Manon's parts were extremely boring and she was used just to give a peek into the lives of other characters, she, and her witches, did have the greatest shift.
The last thing I need to talk about is the ending and the twist. The twist where it turns out Erawan is awake and inside Duke Perrington. I don't say this often but- Holy Crap! That literally made my mouth drop open and I almost screamed. It came out of nowhere, but I also feel like if I go back and reread all the books (as I will next year around this time) I'll see hints of it. The ending overall was really nice, though. I thought it was a great way to wrap up this part of the series, and launch the next two books. Things are going to be really different now, and I'm prepared because it's going to be awesome!