After like three weeks of trying to read this book because of I did not want to read and I had an attention span of a goldfish for a few days, made this review longer than it should’ve. First week of school is over, and I seriously still wish that it was like monday which is saying something, since I never enjoy school, but I enjoyed it. Even though my depression and anxiety levels are higher, I’m trying to be more active which is sad. I’m hoping to blog at least twice a week maybe three times, just not to overwhelm me and burn out which I’m now trying to avoid, but I really doubt no one wants to hear about that, so on to the review. The second to best book in the series!
Book Review-Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Summary: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.
With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Series: Throne of Glass #5
The story starts out with Aelin and her court heading north to Terrasen where they meet with a few potential supporters at an inn before trying to waltz into Orynth. Aelin is told that the Lords of Terrasen don’t recognize her as queen and it’s all very infuriating. She swears that “no matter how far I go, no matter the cost, when you call for my aid, I will come. I’m going to call in old debts and promises. To raise an army of assassins and thieves and exiles and commoners.” Because war/annihilation is coming and Erawan is not messing around.
While there really isn’t that much happens throughout the book, I’d like to think that this was more of a character development book, because there was a huge amount of development coming from the side characters-Elide, more Manon development, Lorcan (he officially redeemed himself), and somewhat more Rowan who’s a little more not so kind and sweet from the last novel. He really wined me over more, and I really could see what Aelin to see into him. I think that’s what made me love this book, and it’s now my second favorite book to this series.
The book has multiple POV’s and has more than any other book-Assassin’s Blade, Throne of Glass which strictly was about like a few sentences between some characters, Crown of Midnight which was like strictly Celaena’s POV and we also find out her heritage about being the lost princess of Terrasen. It was a little overwhelming, but it brought out more of the characters instead of just fading into the background. Even though, there was still Aelin in the book, I find myself really not connecting with her, not until like the last 100 pages or so, where holy freaking gosh, the book went from this is interesting to I NEED THE NEXT BOOK, OR WELL KINGDOM OF ASH NOW, kind of feeling since the next book is about Chaol and some other characters which I’m happy to see about. Aelin spends a lot of time plotting, and not telling any of her court about what her plans is, which makes others frustrated because it’s a wait and see game, which happens a lot throughout this book, which I really don’t mind since it really keeps up in suspense of what will happen next. With the multiple POV’s in the book, often makes Aelin seem a bit distant, callous, not focused on the bigger picture, and pretty much back to her Celaena persona. But by the end it all makes sense and her whole journey is wonderful.
It often made me frustrated to see of where Aelin was going, because she was being so freaking secretive that I almost wanted to shake her and yell at her for not telling anyone, which honestly I really don’t blame her. I had no idea where Aelin’s head was going, nor where the plot was going which was probably to see how much Maas has good writing that I really enjoy, even if her books aren’t YA YA kind of thing. The atmosphere turned darker, and has more sexual scenes which I really don’t mind since I could actually handle it as long as it does not go overboard, and isn’t too much Adult things. Sarah’s books are probably for mature readers who doesn’t mind all the smut, and it just matters on how mature you are to read these kind of books.
Getting back to the characters, these characters are just SHEER AMOUNT OF AMAZING! Did I mention how much I love how she spends so much time on her characters, just to make them more developed instead of being characters on a page. They’re so realistic and makes me love them, despite all their faults since that’s what makes them realistic and SO HUMAN, even though if they aren’t actual human beings with a lot of them being fae, witches or a shapeshifter. I’m actually really amazed of how much Maas could write them so well, that they don’t come off as annoying or even perfect, she juggles them so well that each of them each has their chance in the spotlight.
There is more Manon in this book and how her actions from the last two books, gets her to interact with Aelin and her “enemy” in her terms, until she finds out of what her grandmother has done to mess up her life, which honestly is really cruel. Manon is still like touch me and you die, but she shows more of being confused of why her enemy is taking care of her, and all that. SHE’S JUST ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! I also really adore more of Manon and Elide almost friendship from the last book, and shows how much Manon cares about Elide, even if she doesn’t really show it much during the book, but I really can’t wait to see them interact more.
Can we mention of Lorcan’s redeemable ARC in this book. That was how much Maas spent for Elide’s and Lorcan’s interactions through the book, making him better and better until I literally died at the end. I hated Lorcan in the third and fourth book, because he was so freaking selfish, but this just makes it up for it. I never expected to like him, but I could understand why he had a redeemable ARC which made me love him. Also, I ship Elide and Lorcan so hard, because you can’t just say that you don’t ship them. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT FOR EACH OTHER! AND I LOVE THEM FOR THEM FOR THAT!!
Other random things I loved:
– MANON. Manon and her Thirteen. Manon and Abraxos. Manon and hope.
– Maeve just got bumped up past Umbridge level of loathing
– all of the foreshadowing
– all of the ACOMAF similarities
– the Rowan + Dorian bonding scenes
– how amazing Maas is with her mythology references (like how Fenrys is a wolf haha)
– one of the more central characters is bisexual
– Aelin calling Rolfe “his Pirateness” and wanting Rowan to call her “milady”
– Elide adopting characteristics from Manon & Asterin and working with what she has
– the sheer scope of the phenomenal worldbuilding
– how the big reveal gave the previous books WAY more depth
– seeing Dorian and Aelin referred to as the King of Adarlan and Queen of Terrasen
– Dorian still eats like a fine lady
– that ending was AMAZING. (Not amazing in that I particularly enjoywhat’s happening, but amazing in that this takes the story to a whole new level of intense).
If the sexual content is what’s stopping you from reading this story, the pages in the US hardcover to skip are:
– 350 to the top of 359
– 422 to the scene break on 423
– 573 – 576
These are all the smut scenes that you could skip, they aren’t really important much to the plot like ACOTAR is. I kinda wish that Maas didn’t write the smut scenes in the book, so I’m docking half a star for that, since it could easily not been there.
Overall, I would give this book a 4 1/2 stars, mostly because those smut scenes shouldn’t have been in there, while I really don’t mind them, I know other readers would mind. I still recommend this series since it just keeps getting better and better throughout the books and since the last book is getting released soon, I’m getting more excited to read this book.