Another Great Addition to a Great Series

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Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 693 pages
Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
Pub Date: Sept 6th, 2016
Format: Harcover
Source: I purchased this book for myself via Amazon.

See other ratings and reviews on Goodreads, then checkout the author’s website!

*This review will contain unmarked spoilers for the rest of the series (otherwise, everything would be a spoiler)

**One quick disclaimer: I would definitely recommend reading the novellas before this book. A lot of the favors called in and many of the people visited are introduced in the novellas, and having read them will definitely make this book more enjoyable.**

The short version:
I LOVED this book. There are very few things I would change, and I think it makes a great addition to the Throne of Glass family.

The long version:
I finally, FINALLY got around to reading this book, and I am so glad I did! I am not someone who cries easily. My theory is that because my physical pain tolerance is pretty much non-existent, my emotional pain tolerance felt the need to make up for it. That being said, this book made me cry, three separate times, and I loved it!

In this latest installment, we get a wide range of view-points. We get to read pieces of the story from Aelin, Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra (aka bae), Manon (aka iron bae), Elide (aka secretly-tough-as-nails bae), Dorian, Lorcan, and even a little bit from Elana. I think that’s everybody. Looking at the list of narrators, I could see how someone would be a bit wary, or even a bit turned-off from the book; most of the books I’ve read with multiple narrators leave me wanting much less from one narrator, and much more from another, but here, I loved them all and couldn’t wait to read the next section, regardless of whose it was.

It’s a close call as to which POV was my favorite, but Elide is definitely first or second place. I loved seeing the sharp but fearful girl from Morath grow into someone almost bigger than herself. She is still very much afraid, with very, VERY good reason, but I loved seeing her work through that fear and, in some cases, even use it to her advantage. Also, I found myself shipping Elide x Lorcan. I couldn’t help it! He makes her stand up for herself, and demand more of and for herself, while she softens him a little bit, and shows him there is a strength that isn’t all knives and sharp edges. I could go on for a bit, but I’ll leave it at that.

The other of my favorites was Manon (I know, try to contain your shock). One of her scenes was one that had me in tears: {SPOILER} the one where she is supposed to execute Asterin and is going through everything that she’s learned about her Second and sees the rest of the Thirteen saluting her. Then she steels herself because she truly thinks she is going to die for her Thirteen and just her development as a person and realizing she is not who she thought she is and that it might not be a bad thing…. There was a lot to be emotional about in that scene {END SPOILER}. I loved seeing her move from being just the Blackbeak heir to someone more, the person we sometimes saw when she was with Elide or Kaltain. And, given her character, I’m glad that she’s still kind of a toss up as far as her desires and allegiances [ I don’t think she’ll betray Aelin, but it’s hard to tell if her allegiance is with the Queen of Terrasan or the King of Adarlan, or somewhere else entirely. And, because her entire world has just been turned upside down, I have no idea how she’s going to claim her throne as the Crochan heir {END SPOILER}.

For the sake of time and space, I’ll keep the rest of my gushing to a minimum. I enjoyed watching Lysandra develop her magic more, and seeing her dedication to her court. I loved the relationship between her and Aedion, and watching Aedion’s kindness in helping her get through her past, all while she keeps up a great sense of humor and never looks for pity. {SPOILERAlso, when Aedion brings her back to herself by promising to marry her someday… let’s just say I had to put the book down for a little bit because it was just too cute. {END SPOILER}

I can see how some people would disagree with me, but I enjoyed seeing Aelin sometimes slip into Celaena. I think it drives home the point that Aelin has (mostly) worked through her past; it’s no longer another pain she needs to work through, but instead another weapon she can wield to achieve her goals. She and Rowan are, of course, being their little love-bird selves.

Perhaps my favorite thing of all was reading the last few chapters. I kid you not, I flat-out wept. After having seen all Aelin did to make sure her friends, her court, and her country were taken care of, and watching the people closest to her doubt her left and right, the knowledge of what she has to go through to truly save the world, and then THE THING that happens to her at the end was pretty much the worst possible jail I could imagine for her, and I just wanted to hug her, because, trust me, she needed it. But I’ve always preferred books that don’t necessarily end with “happily ever after,” so, needless to say, I loved it.

Even with all the love that I have for this book, there are several things I would change (and I apologize that they’re mostly spoilers):

1) I would probably take out at least half the sex scenes. It’s not that I think the book needed to be sex-free, but there were enough sex scenes that, towards the end, I caught myself thinking, “They do realize they have to save the world, right? I mean, yeah great, you found love, but let’s get on with it already.”

2) It’s a super obvious/expected spoiler, but a spoiler nonetheless. {SPOILERWhile I didn’t necessarily ship Manon x Dorian, at the end of Queen of Shadows I was excited to see their relationship develop. But this was one of the worst cases of insta-love I’ve read. It seemed like in one chapter, we’re reading about Dorian’s nightmares about killing his beloved Sorscha, and his fears about his magic and claiming a kingdom, the next minute, he’s sexing up a witch he’s only met twice. And on Manon’s side, she just gave up a kingdom, possibly her Thirteen, almost died, and was, for all intents and purposes, friendless, homeless, and directionless, but thank God she could still sleep with Dorian. Like, this is only your third meaningful encounter, I think, why don’t you take those hormones down a notch or two. I think I’m mostly disappointed because I wanted to see them become friends first, and instead it feels like they’re barely-even-acquaintances-with-benefits. {END SPOILER}

3) This one might seem a little knit-picky, but it bothered me nonetheless. {SPOILERI could not stand the way Elide treated Lorcan at the very end. It seemed wildly out of place to me. She has heard his story, seen him kill, threaten, steal, and insult her queen and was able to see past it to the point where I saw them as good friends, becoming something more. But then THAT ENDING happened, and she turns on him, purposely trying to hurt him for something he couldn’t control because of the blood oath. It seemed like an out-of-character attempt to create intrigue and sympathy for a character I already had sympathy for. Instead, all it really did was cast a bad light on one of my favorite characters, one that wasn’t even believable given the moments they had shared and all the things she’s already forgiven him for. {END SPOILER}

All-in-all, this was a great book, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next one!

Overall, I gave this book 4 stars:


Thanks for powering through my book-nerding! Have you read this book yet? Or are you planning on reading it? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


8 thoughts on “Another Great Addition to a Great Series

  1. I agree it was so much fun to read! The only bad thing was that reading A Court of Mist and Fury beforehand really kind of lessened the impact of the twists in EoA. I won’t mention what they are just in case you haven’t read ACOMAF, but I just thought it was interesting how two completely different series could still manage to effect one another. Anyway, awesome review!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! ACOMAF has been on my TBR list for ages! One of these days I’ll ignore all my responsibilities and just read it. 😂

      But I’ve heard a lot of people say that the two were VERY similar, and it kind of ruined certain parts for them, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree about Elide and Lorcan at the end. I have seen people online who bash Lorcan for what he did, and I’m like… do know he had no control over telling Maeve the truth? Remember when Rowan did the exact same thing when he was still blood oathed to Maeve?! Plus, he only called out for Maeve with his magical beacon because he thought Elide was in danger. If Aelin would have let the group know immediately that Ansel’s armada wasn’t a threat all of that could have been avoided.

    I adore Aelin, but she really bothered me in this book when she continued to keep secrets from Aedion and Rowan. I know that she was trying to protect them from disappointment, but all she did was hurt them more by making them feel she couldn’t trust them. I hope she finally learns that lesson in the following books and starts to trust her court more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! Like, it wasn’t Lorcan’s fault; he took the blood-oath centuries ago, and so there isn’t anything he could do about it now.

      And I felt the same way! I love Aelin, but everybody kept trying to justify her actions by saying she didn’t want to tell anyone because she was afraid she would fail, and that never seemed like a good enough reason for me. Especially when the other people in her court could have helped ensure her success. I feel like a lot of what went down in the end was caused by her keeping secrets, and I hope she’s more open in the next book!

      Liked by 1 person

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