Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published on: September 6 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
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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 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?
Immediately after finishing EMPIRE OF STORMS, I knew this review could go one of two ways: short(ish) and sweet(ish), b/c nonspoilery fifth-in-series review, or dauntingly long with an extensive spoiler tagged section.
Nearly a month after the fact, I finally decided to go with door #1. I’ll probably update at some point, but for now, addressing the myriad teeny-tiny issues, while trying to communicate that I still very much enjoyed the book, is beyond my abilities. *shrugs awkwardly*
SO. I’m just going to say straight out that overall, EMPIRE OF STORMS was an excellent read.
Aelin was as snarky and bloodthirsty as ever, Dorian was as boyishly charming, Rowan was his usual Fae-warrior self, Manon as conflicted and as fierce, etc. The plot was reasonably well-developed and unfolded at a steady pace.
The finely tuned details that have been a major selling point in earlier installments were a bit lacking.
1. Several characters from THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE were reintroduced without much explanation or backstory—they were absent, then, suddenly, they were back with significant roles.
2. We went all the way to Eyllwe and did not meet a single member of Nehemia’s family.
3. Abraxos was sadly absent, but when he was around he had an unexplained, yet incredibly convenient ability to locate random individuals all over the ToG world.
There were several other similar problems that were momentary distractions, but didn’t detract from my reading experience on the whole, but . . . I did have one issue that was a real problem: View Spoiler »one of the biggest plot points in one of the earlier installments was when Aelin and Dorian got their magic on, demonstrating (in a flashing billboard of the laying-groundwork-for-the-future kind of way) that the sum of their combined abilities was greater than the parts . . .
Ergo, one can reasonably A S S U M E that at some point, the two of them working together is, once again, going to be a Big Deal, maybe even the foundation for the solution of the endgame conflict.
It was immediately obvious to me that, NO, Aelin (or Dorian) will NOT have to sacrifice her(him)self to make the new lock contraption, b/c TOGETHER they will be able to manage the task quite nicely, and presumably without death.
Which basically made the main conflict of EMPIRE OF STORMS pointless. « Hide Spoiler
So that’s unfortunate.
But again, overall, the latest installment of THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas is way better than anything else you’ll find in the YA fantasy section of your bookstore, and it continues to be one of my favorite series. Highly recommended.
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