Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Empire of Storms

**This is the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series, and will contain spoilers for Throne of Glass,  Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. **

Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: I bought it at Waterstones
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
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?

My thoughts:
I have to warn everyone, this review will contain a lot of spoilers for this book. I have so much I need to share. If you haven't read this book yet and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading. The only non-spoilery thing I can say, is that I absolutely loved it and it broke my heart.

*Spoilers below*

I don't even know how to being this review, I have so much on my mind and I don't know how to get it all onto the page, with it still making sense. Because of that, I'll just start with the characters.

Aelin. My favourite heroine of all time. She's amazing in this book as well. We have a vast choice of perspectives throughout this book, and I don't think there's one I enjoyed more than the others, but Aelin is one of my favourite characters. She's so complex, and it's clear that she isn't just a selfless, perfect heroine. She's selfish and doesn't always make the best choices. She's very obviously flawed, but that makes her all the more likable, in my opinion.

And then we have Rowan, who we first met in Heir of Fire. He's just as amazing in this book as the others, and I really enjoy reading about his relationship with Aelin. I know a lot of people say they hate the fact that they became romantic, but I don't have anything against it. I'm on board with whatever Maas decides. 

We get to know Lysandra a lot in this book, and we learn a lot more about her shapeshifting. I found this so intriguing, and Lysandra is one of my favourite characters, though, to be honest, they all are. I loved learning about how it worked, and how Lysandra was able to take one shape, and then tweak it to make it better for what she wanted. And her Sea Dragon moment was amazing, I've never been more scared in my life. 

We also see a lot of Manon in this book, which I really enjoyed. Pretty early in this book we learn that she's actually a Crochan Queen, not just a Blackbeak. I did not see that coming, and I'm so excited to see what this means for the next book. I still can't get over the fact that she sacrificed herself to give her Thirteen time to run away, because she cared so much for them. I am just so glad she didn't die, because I don't know what I would have done if that happened.

I also want to talk about Manon and Dorian. We got hints in the last book that something might happen between them, though no one was sure if it would be platonic or romantic. I totally ship them together, and if that what makes them happy I'll support it. Both Dorian and Manon deserves happiness.

And then we have another ship that a lot of people didn't like, Elide and Lorcan. Again, I'm on board with whatever Maas decides, so I really liked this as well. It was interesting reading from both of their perspectives, and I feel like we learn more about this world and the dynamic with every perspective added. 

The last ship, though they're not "together", is Lysandra and Aedion. Aedion is so clearly in love with Lysandra, and he just want her to be happy. They form this strong friendship, which, of course, is broken by the ending of this book. I also really loved that we get to know that Aedion is bi-sexual, in such a casual way. 

We have all of these characters in this book, and many are complaining that Chaol isn't in this book. I didn't really mind it, because the book worked the way it is. I'm used to reading series where not every character is in every book. And the only thing he did during this book was being on a boat, travelling to healers. Though I am a big fan of him, I don't think it would have added anything to the story, and would have made the book so much longer. And we even got a novella about him and his journey, and honestly, that was enough for me.

I can't not mention the Battle at Skull Bay in this review, where Lysandra becomes the sea dragon to fight the wyerns in the water. I cried so much, I was terrified that Lysandra was going to die. Maas surely knows how to write action, because I could not put the book down.

A lot of people have been complaining about the sex in this book, and though I understand that some people might not enjoy them, I don't understand all the complaining. There are 3 sex scenes in this book, and if you wan't to you can skip them. They don't bring anything to the plot, but I don't think they made the book worse. People complained that the sex scenes were mature content, but I felt like a lot of the action was that as well.

Before I get to the ending, I just have to discuss Maeve a little bit. She is definitely the new main enemy, and I cannot stand her at all. I hate that Lorcan, Fenrys and Gavriel had their blood oaths to her, and that she was able to just control them like that, and they didn't have any choice. I've seen a lot of people saying she's the "new Umbridge", and I definitely agree. Some villains you love to hate, but others you just want gone. And Maeve is one of those.

I cannot believe the ending of this book. I was honestly not okay after reading it, I had no idea what to do with myself. We learn all of these hidden plot points, even from previous books. This just shows how smart Aelin is, to keep it hidden from everyone. Because of all the perspectives, Maas was able to hide from the readers as well, and it worked so great. I was so sad, and excited at the same time, when everything got revealed in the end. But I still cannot deal with the fact that Aelin is now all alone, captured by Maeve. I felt sick to my stomach reading the last chapter, especially with the whipping. 

I really hope you've read the book if you're reading this, unless you really wanted to be spoiled. I can't wait for the next one, which I'm sure will be just as great as the others. 

What did you think of Empire of Storms?

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