2016 · Reviews · September

Book Review: “Empire of Storms”, by Sarah J. Maas

Published in 2016 by Bloomsbury | Throne of Glass #5 | Four Feathers

*This review contains spoilers*

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

Review:

GUYS! I FINISHED EMPIRE OF STORMS!

(As if you didn’t notice)

My official Goodreads rating of this is 4 stars, but at the moment I’m a bit undecided regarding whether I should lower it. There are several reasons for that.

First and foremost, I found the side characters much more interesting to read about than Aelin and Rowan. I loved reading about Lysandra and Manon and Elide and Dorian (and Abraxos! I love Abraxos) and what happened around the main storyline. It’s not that I didn’t care about Rowan and Aelin, it’s just that I wasn’t as invested in their storyline as I was in those of the side characters. And as weird as it may sound, I miss Celaena. I know that she and Aelin are the same person, but I miss the badass-assassin-who-also-loves-clothes-and-shopping who was Celaena, as opposed to the snarky fire-breathing bitch queen who is Aelin.

I don’t actually care that much that Chaol isn’t in this. I know that a lot of people are really upset about that, but Chaol was never one of my favourite characters. I don’t hate him, but he’s not my all-time fave. Also, he isn’t as narratologically important to this particular part in the series as some of the other characters are, plus he´s getting his own spin-off novella.

This series has changed a lot since the first book, to the point that the latter books are entirely different than the first two. I don’t see that as a bad thing – in fact, I think I like the new direction better then the “old” one. The only real thing I miss from the first two books is Celaena.

I think that my biggest two issues with this book are that Aelin seemed to know everything (or at least quite a bit) beforehand, and that it took until now to get the full picture from Elena. I’ve been wanting answers since Crown of Midnight. This leaves me wondering why we haven’t gotten answers earlier – I get the feeling that a big chunk of this series is build-up, which means that the series could have been much shorter. I mean, I don’t even remember what Crown of Midnight is about, and the entirety of Heir of Fire + like half of Queen of Shadows was build-up until the plot finally got on in the end of QoS. And this book pretty much consisted of Aelin trying to muster up an army. Action-packed, sure, but still laying the foundation for the last book. Is it really supposed to take that long? I mean, after all that, I really hope that the last book will be epic.

The ending of Empire of Storms was what eventually made me up the rating to a 4 instead of lowering it to a 3. It’s just that, is the book really worth four stars if I care more about the side characters than the main ones? Is it worth it if I still feel as if there is too much build-up for an epic finale?

Now I made it sound as if I didn’t like Empire of Storms. I do. I rated it four stars. It’s just that I had a few issues with it that I can’t really get around. But then again, it might have gotten me out of my reading slump, which I’m really happy about :).

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