Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, # 5)
By: Sarah J Maas
Published: September 6th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Fae, Witches
Source: Borrowed from Holly
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Goodreads description--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 who 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?
I really have no idea where to start with this review. Throne of Glass was just kind of good to me. Crown of Midnight was a little better. Heir of Fire things started getting good for me in relation to the characters and development. But things have really picked up over these last two books. I mean I thought Queen of Shadows was packed, but that one had nothing on Empire of Storms. To be 700ish pages, Empire of Storms went by very quickly for me. And that's such a huge thing for me. I've read slow books in the past, but with not having very much time to read, I don't want books that are going to bog me down. So even the slow parts weren't all that slow to me.
As the books have progressed over the series we've continued to add more and more narrators. We started with Calaena, then added Chaol, Dorian, and Manon, now we've also got Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra, Elide, and Lorcan. And I may even be leaving someone out. I was initially frustrated with the additional narrators, but as the series has progressed it really has made sense to add each voice in as there are so many moving pieces to this story and series.
In the same way, as the characters continue to multiply, so have the romantic relationships. One could easily fault Sarah J Maas for pairing so many off, but as an avid fan of love stories, I don't mind one bit. I mean it is a bit unrealistic to have so many people finding true love in such a quick amount of time I think, but I honestly don't want to analyze it too much because I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Each and every relationship. With so much going on with the overall series arc, I've actually enjoyed breaking up that heaviness and strategy with the additional romances. I will say though that Sarah J Maas got quite a bit more descriptive when it comes to some physical scenes than I was expecting. None of it really made me personally uncomfortable, but this fact will influence who I recommend these books to.
I briefly already mentioned this point, but seriously, this book and this series has so many moving parts that I feel Sarah J Maas deserves a reward just for keeping them all straight. There are pieces that tie different books together, and I really appreciate how she hasn't "dumbed it down" for the reader. This series is one where the reader truly can't predict all of the twists and turns because not nearly enough information is given for it all to be figured out. Yet, she does give the reader just enough that they can figure pieces here and there out. But if you're annoyed with books where you don't even have a chance at figuring every piece out yourself then you might take issue with this. Obviously, I haven't read the final book in the series yet, but at this point, I'm putting the Throne of Glass series up there with Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Red Rising where each and every piece of the puzzle is important for not just the individual book, but for the overall series. I absolutely love series like this.
I feel like I can't discuss the characters hardly at all because I don't think I could do so without spoilers. Just know that all the ones you love (minus Chaol and Faliq) are present. Plus some. Each has a specific role to play. And each grows in some way or other. I will say that Dorian feels like an entirely different person from where he started, but truly that's the case for most of the characters...Aelin and Chaol also for sure.
-"You owe me a life debt, King of Adarlan. Prepare yourself for the day I come to claim it."
-Something in Manon's chest broke--broke so violently that she wondered if it was possible for no one to have heard it.
-"You, I don't know. But I'd like to." Rowan's lips tugged upward. "I'm not on the market unfortunately." ..."She must be a rare, staggering beauty to make you so faithful."
-"You will find Rolfe, that one does not deal with Calaena Sardothien. One survives her."
-"Because even with our enemies, there's a line."
-"You have no choice but to learn to face it." ... "The fear of loss... it can destroy you as much as the loss itself."
-"It is not such a hard thing, is it--to die for your friends."
So so much happens in Empire of Storms, but this series just keeps getting better and better. Even with the length, I still felt like I was reading this book quickly. Beware that the physical descriptions go beyond what I would have expected from a book labeled as young adult if that is something that bothers you. I personally enjoyed the additional romances between the characters. I have to give Empire of Storms 5 Stars. Have you read Empire of Storms? What did you think? Let me know!