Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

"The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers."

In the highly anticipated fifth installment of the Throne of Glass series, Aelin Galathynius discovers that, despite unlocking her powers and revealing herself to the world, she still has a long way to go to claim her crown. Aelin must now forge alliances with her former enemies for Terrasen, and call in life debts from her time as Celaena Sardothien to defeat the darkness that is taking over Erilea.


I've been looking forward to reading this book for a long time - since Queen of Shadows came out a year ago, really - but I do feel as though Empire of Storms was missing a few things. Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy this book, I just think I would've liked to have seen a couple of things done differently.

So, what I liked. First off, the character development. Although I didn't think that Aelin herself developed much in this book, she's grown a lot in the previous four books. A lot of the secondary characters of this series were focused on much more in this book, and therefore were able to grow a lot - especially Elide, who has come so far from when she was first introduced. Manon was also in EoS a lot, and as always, remains one of my favourite characters of this series. 
(Whilst we're on secondary characters, I'll briefly mention Chaol. It's already been commented on by many people that he isn't in this book, and that's true. However, he didn't need to be. Frankly, with where he was at the end of Queen of Shadows, I didn't even expect him to make an appearance again until the sixth book. I have no doubt that he will be back in the final book of the series, and that him being in Empire of Storms wouldn't have enhanced the story in any way.)
Despite the lack of Chaol, many characters from the series who we haven't seen for a while do make a reappearance! 

Many of the secrets and mysteries from the rest of the series, some even dating back to Throne of Glass, are unravelled in Empire of Storms. Learning the meaning behind some of Elena's messages and codes was heartbreaking, and the answers to many of Aelin's question's weren't what I was expecting at all. I look forward to seeing how they unfold in the final book. 

The lack of Aelin point of view chapters did irritate me at first, however as the book goes on, you begin to see that this is all to enhance what's happening behind the scenes. It becomes clear that Aelin has been playing a very long game to get where her and her court needed to be at the end of this book, and I loved discovering how each little plot line linked together.

Now, onto the reasons that I perhaps wouldn't rate Empire of Storms as highly as the previous books in the series. 
Although I 'liked' the ending (for want of a better word - what I really mean is that I was in tears throughout most of the last 70 pages or so), I do feel as though Sarah J. Maas has written similar before. I am trying to pass this off as an unfortunate coincidence, though...

Secondly, the sex scenes just weren't for me (and yes, there are sex scenes in this one). I just thought that each one in the book felt really similar to each other, and not only that, but to scenes with Feyre and Rhys in A Court of Mist and Fury. I assume that this is just Maas's style for such scenes, but it did put me off a bit.

Overall, I enjoyed Empire of Storms, just perhaps not as much as the other books in the series. After that ending though, I can't wait for the final book to be released!


Have you read Empire of Storms yet? What were your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments!


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