Release Date: September 6, 2016
Read in: August 2016
While this review is spoiler-free for Empire of Storms, it does contain minor spoilers for the previous books in the series, so I highly suggest you read those before reading this review.
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?
I received an advanced copy from the publisher. In no way has this affected any of my thoughts and opinions below.
I don’t even know where to start with this; but I will say that this was absolutely, freaking fantastic.
Once again, Sarah J. Maas has outdone herself in writing this book, with unexpected plot twists, intriguing storylines and amazing character development. I literally sat down and did not move for about 6 hours in the time I read this book, staying up late until 3am (it was worth every second). It leaves you reeling, basking in the glory of the turn of events in the climax of the story, leaving you with wanting more, or the final book, to be exact.
I had no expectations upon starting this book, and while I was a little disappointed at the very start of the book, these feelings are overshadowed by the turn of events that occur throughout. It was intricate storytelling, with the plot and worldbuilding all interwoven with each other to create such an engaging story. I didn’t feel for a second that the plot was dragging, or accelerating too fast to be considered too rushed. It was well-paced throughout, with the right amount of plot, character development and also quite a fair amount of romance too.
We get to see a lot more of some side characters we didn’t to see in previous books, namely Rowan’s cadre. I really enjoyed reading more about them, because to be honest, I didn’t really remember much about the cadre from Queen of Shadows. There’s character development all around as well, especially with the characters who aren’t Aelin and Rowan, which is nice to see, and it done to the highest quality. Although it’s not to the same extent there was in Heir of Fire, it was still really enjoyable.
I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I will say one thing; after reading this book, I actually hate Maeve even more for what she’s done, the clever ways she committed the crimes inflicted upon even the most loyal of her court. I will grudgingly admit that it does enhance her character development, and makes her an interesting character to read about.
I suspect the events that shaped this book will be built upon in the final instalment of the series – I’ve spent way to long hypothesising what might occur in the future and obsessing over the final parts of the book which just broke my heart.
The one negative thing I do have to say is that I’m disappointed that we now have another year-long wait before we can get our hands on the last book. If only I could read it now to find out how this all ends! My unending obsession over this series is far from over, and I’ll probably spend the next week re-reading this entire book to sniff out some hints formulate some theories on what might happen next.
Overall, yes, highly recommended. Although you probably don’t need my verdict to keep reading this book, but just know that I loved this book, and it made me fall in love with this series even more.