Empire of Storms by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass #5
Published on September 6, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.
As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
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There’s so much I want to say about this book.
I’m obsessed with this series. It’s bad. Really bad. Pretty sure these books are going to be the death of me. So naturally I was beyond hyped for Empire of Storms and while some of my high expectations were definitely met and exceeded, others…weren’t. Which kills me to say because I loved this book despite all that.
Aelin is ready to be Queen of Terrasen. It’s time to reclaim her birthright and with her friends at her side, nothing can go wrong, right? Heh. This is a Maas book. EVERYTHING will go wrong.
Before anything else, I have to say ROWAELIN LIVES. Not like life/death but like I love this ship so much and Chaolaena can just go away (though I love Chaol so no hate there) but Rowan is bae and my guesses from previous books have been confirmed and everything is good in the world.
Empire of Storms is the perfect continuation of the series. Aelin faces her biggest task yet in gaining support against the evil growing on the continent (and there may or may not be a few characters from The Assassin’s Blade returning for some fun). The story takes several different paths as each group of characters pursues their own tasks. I think the series has hit the point of being well beyond Aelin’s story as so many other characters played crucial roles this time around.
Elide returns to be fierce. She puts Lorcan, a fae hundreds of years old, in his place; hell, even Aelin had a good dose of fear/respect for him. And her friendship with Manon only grows stronger, which is one of my favorite friendships in the book. Manon kills it as always, coming to terms with her heritage and finally getting out from under her grandmother’s thumb. Still waiting on her and Asterin to be a thing but who knows with this series.
Well, actually, everyone seemed to get paired off at one point or another in this book so it’s just a matter of WHICH ship to choose, something I’m sure fans of the series are all too familiar with.
Dorian continues to prove that he’s amazing and I can’t wait to see how he does ruling a kingdom. But that ending brought in a whole new level of crazy that I don’t even know with him anymore. He’s been broken and beaten and still came out strong and I love his character for it. I wasn’t so much a fan of his love interest this book but it worked. And his best buddy ever Chaol never made an appearance. After Queen of Shadows, I’m kind of glad because Chaol needed to get away. Over the course of the last four books I’ve watched him break down as his friends are in danger, he’s in danger, everything falling apart physically and emotionally… Excluding him was probably a really smart move since I’m not sure he’s really in the same place as the other characters.
I love Aedion, despite his overprotective fae male-ness. Him and Rowan provided more than enough testosterone for many books to come, and his thing with Lysandra is sweet. She deserves someone who loves her for who she is after those years as a courtesan. And Aedion needs a different female to freak out about other than Aelin.
Oh goodness…Aelin. And Rowan. I’ve been rooting for them since book 3 and was glad to see their relationship going strong. After Dorian and Chaol, there was still a chance that Rowan would end up not being the one for her (though in my mind it was an almost non-existent chance). But I liked that there wasn’t any back-and-forth. Aelin made up her mind and was over Chaol, who was finally moving on too. Plus, things get pretty steamy between these two and I know there’s been a bit of an outrage over this, especially from fans who thing it shouldn’t be labeled YA. I’m sorry to tell you this but this was nothing compared to A Court of Mist and Fury. [And as a side note, I think what is considered YA is both subjective and ever-changing. The things today’s younger generation experience aren’t the same as they used to be so literature is evolving with it.]
And though it might seem like this book can do no wrong, I had some minor problems that I obviously overlooked because OBSESSED but they’re still there. First, and the biggest, the ending was super emotional and perfect, but gut-wrenching perfect, but reminded me a lot of the end of A Court of Mist and Fury. Like almost too much. I won’t spoil either books but if you’ve read one, you’ll likely get the similarities in the second. There’s also less focus on Aelin’s perspective which totally works but also disconnected me from her character for most of the story. There’s a lot of veering off in different directions as each group of characters is off on their own missions and for a lot of the book, I sat there thinking wondering why. Don’t worry, it makes sense at the end and then Maas rips your heart out but until then, I wasn’t completely into the way the plot moved.
I have so much more to say about this book but it’ll likely just be me gushing about it for an hour. But damn. Maas at it again with those Throne of Glass books.