The internet. It can be a wonderful place for bookish related things- from reviews to fan art to merchandise. But it can also be awful- when spoilers are leaked, or authors are attacked for writing their own book.
Sarah J Maas is one of my favourite writers. It’s not exactly hard to see that- I’m always trying to get people to read her books, always counting down til her next book, or writing about her characters. But the downside, I have found, to being a fan of Maas…is a lot of her other ‘fans.’
Before Queen of Shadows came out last year, someone leaked spoilers- and the last chapter- online, leading to outrage and complaints. People vowing to never read the books, people insulting others who were still reading the books, people telling people the end while they were still reading to get a reaction.
The book came out, and it was amazing. Because guess what? Spoilers tell you an outcome (sometimes not even that) not the lead up and the understanding.
I really really hoped that the fandom would have learnt from last year, but in the weeks leading up to Empire of Storms, the exact same thing happened. Spoilers were leaked, people started insulting the books- and the author. Whenever the series was mentioned, it was always with a cloud of anger or doubt or hate.
I’m not saying you can’t hate books or series, or authors. Hell, there are plenty of books in the world I have hated, and there are a few authors who I do not agree with. But there is a difference between hating something, and bullying.
Hate a series, yes. Do not spoil it for those that like it. Do not ruin it for those that are reading it, do not insult those that read it. Hate an author- but do not send them death threats!
Authors are human beings, just like you and me. They have feelings. The only difference is that they have put their imagination, some of their heart and soul into the book you hold. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Insulting them, sending them hate, its all out of order.
I never saw any spoilers of EoS. I managed to avoid them- by staying off websites like Goodreads in the run up to the book. So while I could see the backlash to what was happening- people getting upset and worried, people getting hate over defending Maas, I was cheerfully innocent to why people were so angry. Which is why, when the book arrived a few days early, I was still excited and dived into it at once.
Oh my god, it was amazing- just as I had expected.
Maas has a wonderful way of telling a story, and with every book, she just gets better. She draws you in, makes you fall in love
then destroys your heart leaving you in a sobbing mess at the end.
I can understand why some people were a bit disappointed. (slight spoilers ahead?) After all, one of my favourite characters (and the one I want to steal and protect with my life) was not in this book. Darling Chaol was absent- and people were getting worked up about it.
However Take into account what Chaol’s storyline in this would have been like, and compare it to the giant arc that did happen, and even I can understand why he is missing. His chapters would have slowed things down, would not have been as important or interesting as what was in the book….and he is getting his own Novella, so…
And (personally) for me, there were a few to many make-out style scenes- but then I have always read this series for the fantasy, and the world, and the magic- and the individual characters- not for who gets with who.
And therein, I think, we find the problem.
Many readers- and mostly younger readers- read these books for the ‘ships’ more than the story. They want ‘this character’ to end with ‘that one’, they don’t like ‘this character’ and ‘that one’ together. There has always been a problem with the shippers- I remember, back with Heir of Fire, when I said that Chaol was my favourite, I was sent hate by many people because they assumed that by me liking him, I wanted him and Celaena to be together and according to them THIS WAS WRONG.
I was told that people who liked Chaol were ‘the problem’ and ‘children’ and ‘didn’t understand what a bad character was.’ I was told that ‘chaol lovers were the ones that kicked off and sent hate out’ (huh, funny that. Almost ironic)
But…a book is more than its relationship arcs. The relationships in the ToG books have been important- because they have shown how the characters have changed and grown throughout. But they are also not the end of everything. The ToG series is about a girl trying to find her place in a world that has been ruined, trying to get past what she has done to survive. It’s about a Prince trying to become a King, and a Captain learning where his loyalties should really lie.
Yes, some people do not like this series- and that is their right. But you should not hate a series based on spoilers, without reading the book yourself. And you should not ruin that book for others.
The series is incredibly well written. And even if it wasn’t- no author deserves to be sent hate for what they write, no reader should be sent hate for what they love. Every series ever written has had problems with them- because, like people, books are not perfect. But the lack of perfection- while should be noted- should not be throw in to the faces of the people that enjoy them.
Reading. Its meant to be fun, not stressful.
(and lastly, if you have’t read this series yet, please, please go and read it.)