Series: Throne of Glass #5
Also in this series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Tower of Dawn
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on September 6th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic
Also by this author: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, Queen of Shadows, Tower of Dawn
Hardcover provided by My Wallet (purchased)
Kingdoms collide in Sarah J. Maas's epic fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series.
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?
What can I say about Empire of Storms other than it is the 693 page EPIC 5th book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas? I have thoughts now that I am done reading this. The bottom line for those of you that don’t want all the fluff is that I loved Empire of Storms. This series keeps exceeded my expectations.
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First the Players (and yes I am putting my ships together):
You may notice a certain someone is missing from this list… He does not really appear in this book … at …. all. I don’t know why Maas left that character out but I am not even mentioning his name here. He isn’t in this story so let’s just focus on the story as it was written. It comes as no surprise to me that he isn’t in this story since his character would not fit in well or have much to add here. He wasn’t prepared to accept Aelin and he needs time.
Empire of Storms encompasses so much more of this world. Can I tell you my glee as I actually had to look at the map to see where we were? That’s the first time I even acknowledged the map in these books, but I actually needed it to see where we were in this story. We are in the woods, we go through marshes, we go over water, we invade a certain bay and it is all AWESOME!
Although, I have to be honest and say that it took me a bit to get back into this world. I envy you readers that can just binge read this series back to back. That is how they are meant to be experienced, methinks. Not this waiting a fucking year, then pre-ordered before waiting for the damn mailman on release day, and then waiting for a stretch of time in your busy day to finally be able to sit and get re-immersed into the world. But I digress, once I was a few chapters in, it was really hard to put this book down and get back to my real life.
I have to also mention that this series went from being really YA to more NA in nature. I think it is nice since as Maas’ readers grow, so does this series mature. There were some scenes that I think we were all waiting for that were a bit more graphically described then I imagined they would be. I mentioned this before in my review for Queen of Shadows, but I am going to say it again. This is mature YA.
Okay, but what happens in the book?
I want to talk about everything! The magic is massive in this story, it is much like in earlier book but imagine it with more magic wielders. There are battle scenes in this story that take up large portions of the story. Everyone is in danger, Aelin keeps all the secrets to herself, and Manon proves she is one baddass bitch. There were a lot of things I thought I would do different but Aelin manages to keep me (and her court) surprised. She really thinks about everything a few paces before anyone else. I like this about Aelin, but I have to admit I miss Celaena sometimes. Aelin is so ruthless sometimes. Aelin is in the middle of a war though, so her character had to grow to accommodate that.
I loved the inclusion of Elide in this story. Manon almost stole the show in Queen of Shadows, and Elide almost steals the show in Empire of Storms. She is on her mission to find Aelin, as set by Manon, and she runs into Lorcan. Lorcan is such a rough immortal compared to Elide’s sweetness. They are adorable together. Elide has views on murder and it is almost comical because WAR is happening for everyone. This almost pairing had me swooning out loud. They are the perfect for each other.
The evil in this story is so close to everything. It feels like we read a lot about the beasts being produced in Morath, but in this story we actually get face to face with some of them. There are flying things and sea monsters, as well as Faes in alliance with the bad guys. Did I mention all the battles in this story? View Spoiler »It’s a good thing Lysandra is such a talented shifter, amiright? Does anyone else think it is strange that no one else that can shift actually does what Lysandra does? I mean, why don’t they all just turn into other creatures like she does? « Hide Spoiler
Oh, but we do get a glimpse of Nehemia before, well you know, so that was a nice. We also get a whole lot of backstory into the wyrdkeys and the gods/goddesses that are responsible for them possibly falling into the wrong hands. So there are things explained for those of you, like me, who needed to know more of the backstory. A lot of reviewers have mentioned that some of the characters/scenes in this story are familiar to those that have read The Assassin’s Blade. I can’t say either way since I have have not read that yet, but it would make sense since people seemed to come out of nowhere for me.
I did have some issues with the beginning of this story. First, the story starts in the middle of somewhere with Darrow. I couldn’t for the life of me remember who the hell Darrow was and then it took me a while to accept “the court” that is Aelin’s squad working so well together. Also, certain love scenes seemed weirdly timed. All of a sudden it went from maybe to a full on YAS at the strangest time. Although I was so happy for it to happen I overlooked it, I know some readers will also be scratching their heads about timing of this. View Spoiler » Also, why the hell wasn’t I, the reader, invited to the wedding!!! This was a pretty important event and I feel really cheated to just being told about it later. « Hide Spoiler
I also have to say that I wholeheartedly AGREE with all the ships in this series, (I am totally gloating because all the ships I mentioned in my review for Queen of Shadows came to fruition). I am also pleasantly surprised to hear a certain character admit to being bi-sexual. I think I love him even more now, as if that was even possible.
There are 3 parts to this story, and I think they each get better than the one before. Maas leaves the story in such a way that I MUST read the next book, but still leaves us at a good stopping point. I wish I could say it was a safe stopping point, but that is just not how Maas works. This was a nice addition to the series, not quite my favorite, but a really nice addition. Sarah J. Maas is just bloody brilliant and this story is epic in it’s scope and delivery. I can’t wait for the next book!