Published by Bloomsbury on 6th September 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Royalty, Young 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 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?
NOTE: No spoilers for Empire of Storms will be posted in this review but there may be spoilers for previous books in the Throne of Glass series.
Empire of Storms has been my most anticipated read of 2016. Since reading the first book of the series in 2012, I’ve been in love with the Throne of Glass universe Sarah J Maas has created. Let me start this by telling you the fifth book of the best selling series did not disappoint!
I was worried that this book would be a bit of a filler – one of those books in series placed in between big instalments to further the overall plot but not really adding anything unique to the overall story. So not the case with Empire of Storms. Aelin and her court face a lot in this book. They may have won a battle but the war is still being fought across land and sea with many races deciding where to swear their allegiance.
I love what this series has become. With each new book in the series, we get a richer picture of the universe these characters inhabit. When I started this series I never would have imagined the girl being taken from the salt mines to enter a competition to become the King’s Assassin would be now trying to gather an army and take back the lands she was born to rule. It’s crazy when you think of it that way. But one of the best things about this book – and this series in general – is the pacing. A lot happens but it is always at a pace which feels right for the events and the characters involved.
Empire of Storms combines magic with politics with many factions each having their own interests and none of which are clear to anyone. Aelin has her own agenda and there are times when you wonder just how she can keep track of everything she’s involved in but I think that just adds to the fun and the mystery of what is going to happen. I love how as a reader we don’t know what she’s going to do next but also how the other characters in the story are just as in the dark as we are.
This book reintroduces us to some important characters from Celaena’s past as well as giving us a better picture of their part to play in the war between good and evil. If you haven’t read the series of short stories featuring Celaena before Throne of Glass (published as a compilation called The Assassin’s Blade) – I highly recommend you do so before reading Empire of Storms. It’s not essential to understand and enjoy this book but if you read the short stories you get a better sense of certain characters and just how they have crossed paths with our heroine in the past.
As we get closer to the end of this series (I think there’s only one book left after Empire of Storms) we get a better picture of the author’s endgame for these characters. There’s a lot more romance in this book than in the past and we do see a lot more of the characters couple up. As a hopeless romantic, I liked the break from the action to see a glimpse of possible futures for these characters I’ve grown so fond of and in many ways it amped up the excitement. I’m all sorts of anxious for these characters and the sense that any happiness they have could be gone in a second.
To put it simply, Empire of Storms is amazing. There’s all the excitement of the previous books but as readers we can start to see just where all the action so far has been leading. Magic, witches, fae and pirates collide to deliver a story you will not want to miss. This book has cemented this series as one of my all time favourite reads.