I haven’t done one of these in a while and since I’ve got some time on my hands to really write out my thoughts about a character, here is what you’re stuck with. Just like my other one, I’m only going to talk about two problems that I’ve noticed with a character because let’s be honest, if I didn’t these things would be a mile long and even less coherent.
The character I decided to write about this time is none other than Aelin! I’ve been reading Empire of Storms for the last week and let me tell you, I thought I hated her as much as my hating capacity could hate in Queen of Shadows. I was dead wrong. So very wrong. I wanted to throw my book whenever she was pissing me off, which was literally every minute. Let’s dive right into this and talk about the first reason this character is a terrible character!
She is literally a tyrannical ruler.
I get it. She’s queen and queens are supposed to be people who set laws and whatever. But Aelin is not a good ruler she is a tyrannical ruler who only wants everything her way and if she doesn’t get her way, she will do anything—anything—to ensure she does get her way.
I was utterly disgusted in Queen of Shadows when she self-inserted herself as queen when Dorian was passed out somewhere and then threatened everyone’s lives. “…If you cause one lick of trouble, I will find you and I will burn you.” (QoS, Pg. 585) She then made herself the ruler of the land and, without getting counsel from the actual king, went ahead and started making rules for the land just because she thought she knew best. “Your slaves are now free people. If I catch you holding on to your slaves, if I hear a household keeping them captive, you are dead” (QOS, Pg. 586). I’m sorry, but who does she think she is just making rules for a kingdom she was planning to give back as soon as Dorian was awake and well? You don’t make these decisions, Aelin. You can’t self-insert yourself as their queen for a day, tell them you will give the throne back and then be like “Oh btw here are new rules for you to follow because I am queen.” The whole point was for you to keep people from rioting. You’re adding even more tension by announcing that all slaves are free. You don’t make that decision! On a side note because someone is going to message me calling me a slavery support or something, I’m not a slave supporter, but what she did was extremely wrong because it helped in no way. She should have waited for Dorian to be awake to announce slavery was over or better yet, not bring it up herself. This was the first look of Tyrannical Aelin and I was not all about that.
Let’s move into EoS where she became even MORE of a tyrannical queen because seriously, I don’t know how anyone, fans and also antis don’t talk about how utterly scary this part was.
Aelin literally blackmailed Rolfe by bringing the valg to their shores and plainly gambling all the residents’ lives just because Rolfe told her he wouldn’t help her. And she tries to defend herself by saying “I told you, Rolfe, that Endovier taught me some things.” (EoS, Pg. 301) Like what? I’d think it would have taught you never to be like those people who locked you up. To not force people to do something they want no part in. Instead, it seems you learned that the slavers of Endovier knew how to get what they wanted. Also, the fact that she’s totally fine with innocent people just to blackmail Rolfe into helping her is just sickening. The only agenda she cares about is her own. Also, she is literally forcing the Mycenians to fight for her. She saved their butts and now they must repay her for doing so. If they don’t she’d probably burn them all alive. It will probably go down in their history books as the day they were blackmailed by the queen and manipulated.
What drives me even more insane is the page after that quote, you move to Dorian’s POV and he has no problem with her plan at all. He literally says this about Aelin: Aelin was insane, Dorian realized. Brillian and wicked, but insane. ( EoS Pg. 303) I’m sorry but what? You have no problem with any of this?!?! How?!?!She’s using people for her own plans and risking so many innocents just to make sure she gets her way. That is not a queenly thing at all. That is what I call a brat.
Aelin the liar/planner
This one pisses me the hell off.
You can’t read anything in this book when Aelin is in the conversation because you can’t believe anything the woman is saying. There’s a 75% chance she is lying because she has some grand master plan that she has had since the beginning that will happen and so everything this conversation is about is null and void because she’s already got everything worked out. I’m sorry to say, but plans don’t work like that. You can’t have a master grand plan that everyone is apart of but not tell anyone in the party about it. How do you even know person A, B, C, and D will do what you need in the plan without telling them of your plan? I mean seriously, the whole thing where Lysandra and her planned for Lysanda to learn how to turn into a sea creature by going to the temple was the plan.
Not only that but Aelin lies to everyone, even me, the reader. She did it in QoS about the blood oath to Aedion. She does it to almost everyone else, too so that they don’t know what her full plan is. And to the reader, Sarah writes by talking about something so vague and then 10-20 chapters later she reveals that Aelin used this thing that was talked about 10-20 chapters before and it was super important to the plot and Aelin used it to plan a super complex plan that only she could know about and didn’t tell anyone else. It just makes her so untrustworthy. And, yes, I know the author hide things from readers and that’s fine. Great. I do it a few times in my own writing. But when you do it so much it turns into me reading and think to myself: “I know she’s lying. I know she’s planning something. I know this is not true. Ah, there’s the giant plan that I knew Aelin had thought of since the beginning. :D” and it just makes her such an unreliable person to read from because you don’t know if her thoughts are true or if they are false and if she’s planning something. It honestly makes me so angry!!
You know how in Paradox, when Barry goes to fight Clariss the second time, Alchemy’s also there? That’s totally fine if Alchemy’s literally anyone except Julian Albert, but we just saw Julian with Barry at CCPD–it’s how Barry found out where Clariss would be. And Barry presumably went directly there (well, he probably stopped by STAR Labs to get his suit, but that’s a negligible time difference for a speedster). How did Julian get there so fast? Did Savitar just, like, pick him up? Speedster Uber?