Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Format: I own HC
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Page Count: 693 pages
Rating: ★★★ 3.5 stars
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?
This being the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series, I will keep my review short to avoid spoilers. However, if you’re anything like me who avoids ALL talk revolving my current read for fear of what I may or may not consider to be a spoiler myself, then maybe save this review for another time? lol
We see Celeana aka Aelin Galathynius & her rag tag group of friends (including her consort) on the hunt for the wyrdkeys while fending off threats & attacks from opposing forces. In this book they actually go up against more than one enemy, all of who want the wyrdkeys for their own evil doings. Aelin finds that taking up her throne is not as easy as just revealing her identity; she will actually have to prove she deserves to be queen. Terrasen has been without their queen for many years & to protect her homeland she will have to fight true & hard. Empire of Storms chronicles Aelin’s quest for the wyrdkeys, allies, and ultimately the truth.
I am a HUGE Manon & Abraxos fan & in the beginning chapters could not get enough of them. So much so that I was anxiously if not impatiently getting through the 1st non-Manon chapters rather quickly just to get back to her story. This is a close to 700-page book & I’m glad that it did NOT take long for the action to start (pg 60 to be exact lol) & continue all throughout. Empire of Storms came with tons of nuggets of background information for some of our most favorite characters. I especially loved getting more info on Aedion, Brannon, and Elena. Lysandra also came to be a favorite since she’s evolving & becoming a valuable player in Aelin’s court also, who doesn’t love a shapeshifter? she managed to pull off some really neat tweaks that left me thinking she’s a baddie lol. When it comes to Aelin aka Celeana I kind of wasn’t the biggest fan of our young queen, in this installment. Specifically because certain power moves make you question whether Terrasen is enough or whether she will want more. I also wasn’t too keen on how she treated specific characters when it came to matters of the court & war. Her dialogue in general peeved me off quite a bit, it’s almost as if she had taken 20 leaps backwards in maturity. All in all, I enjoyed being back in this world with most of the characters.
On the topic of coupling, although I loved some of the relationships that developed into a bit more… I can’t say that I am completely pleased with how closely Empire of Storms follows A Court of Mist and Fury in this aspect. I’m glad that certain things left off where they did because realistically, not everyone will find their perfect mate or match w/out some obstacles within that relationship (excluding the outside powers that be) making it more challenging to co-exist.
Photo Credit: http://blackbeakbitch.tumblr.com
One thing I love about these books is how quick paced they are without compromising the story. With so many characters in a book, some with their own story lines taking place apart from the group; Maas manages to tie them all in to the central story very effectively. I also have to give it to Maas for giving each of these characters such strong personalities & their own distinct voices, they practically jump off the page. Which I guess is a good thing seeing as Hulu has picked up the Throne of Glass series for production & i’m psyched to see the cast assemble.
Ok, so I guess I should explain why i’ve given Empire of Storms a 3.5 instead of the 5 stars mostly everyone has rated it. I can’t deny that I enjoyed the hell out of this book & it was a fun & obstacle filled quest I was more than happy to embark upon. I did however have issues with the last 200 pages of this book or what i’ve come to call…”The Final Stretch” I buddy read this book with my husband who loves the series for it’s brutal fighting scenes which led to him finishing this book the night before I did. Since he did not read Sarah J. Maas’ other ongoing series A Court of Thorns & Roses, the final stretch was original to him. I however, I found too many similarities if not outright exact scenes from A Court of Thorns & Roses to truly enjoy some of the things that took place. This is not to say that I hated the ending, on the contrary I actually really liked some of the final wrap-up. I just couldn’t give this 5 stars after reading A Court of Mist & Fury very recently and loving that series for what it is-a separate series of it’s own. Also, in regards to that ending…it seems we were being told a story from an unreliable narrator which is fine with me. Sometimes those make for some of the most interesting stories. However, after riding hard lol with Aelin & crew through 5 books…I felt a little blindsided? I’m still working through these thoughts gals & ghouls. Overall, a fun read with plenty of power moves & scheming to keep you on your toes…Oh & plenty of heart wrenching moments to tug at your heart strings til’ you possibly shed a few tears 😉