Title: Empire of Storms [Throne of Glass 5]
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 star (rounded to 5)
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. 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.
With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.
In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
At last me reread is completed! For those of you who don’t know after finally reading Tower of Dawn a month or so ago and realising that I didn’t really remember any of the few things we glimpse in Chaol’s book that are happening in Empire of Storms, that I needed to do a series reread of pretty much the entire series before the final book comes out on the 23rd of this month. I am so damn excited for that book its not even funny. But we aren’t here to talk about Kingdom of Ash, we are here to finally talk about Empire of Storms which I didn’t review the first time around. This time I did the audiobook and I really enjoyed them so I would recommend this series in audiobook form. I will also try to talk about the things that happen in this book without influence from what I know from Tower of Dawn, and mostly talk about the feelings that I had in both readings. For those of you who have for some reason not read this book this is where I leave you. I liked this book more the second time around, it was a little slow to begin with but the ending is just everything. MAKE SURE YOU READ ASSASSINS BLADE BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK. Goodbye people who don’t want to get spoilt!
Thank god pretty early on in this book most of our plot points/characters actually converge on one another so this time around my review may be more than just my opinions on characters. Just like in most of the books in this series, the book starts off a bit slow and then explodes into whatever the hell that ending was.
We get a bit more backstory in this book about what happened in the first war. By this I mean we find out that Elena is just a stupid idiot that didn’t bother to ask her father what the Eye of Elena, otherwise know of the wyd lock, what it was actually supposed to be used for, and used it to lock up Erawan. Then because she is an idiot finds out that her mother Mala, the goddess of fire, gave up her mortal life to make this lock to send the Gods back to their own world taking the valg with them, and that her father Brannon was going to sacrifice his life to seal the keys and the gates shut behind them with the lock. But it could only be used once, and Elena blew it locking up a valg king that was just going to get free again at some point. So now someone of Mala’s line and power has to give up their life to to fix the lock and send the Gods and the valg away for good. So Aelin or Dorian has to die now. Part of me sort of felt bad for Elena when we found out that she loves both Aelin and Dorian and had actually saved Aelin that night in the river years ago so that she could experience the full joys of life before she died, sacrificing Elena’s chance of getting an after life with the rest of her family to do so. But still, she was so dumb. So many things in books just wouldn’t be an issue if people would just talk to another human being!
Aelin works this out in this book. She works it out a bit before Elena explains it all to her and she vomits her gutts up because of this realisation. As time goes on though she sort of accepts this fate and goes on to put a bunch of plans in place to make sure that everyone she loves is looked after once she is gone and that her country would have a leader and heirs. Rowan, who is confirmed as her mate and who she sneaky marries near the very end, will rule and Lysandra who Aelin made promise to pose as her for the rest of her life so no one in the country knew Aelin was dead, would have heirs secretly with Aedion because they look so similar, not Rowan. Because of all this Aelin of course is very morose in this book and sort of in the previous one too. I have seen a lot of people say that they didn’t like her in either because she was acting so out of character but I really sort of have to disagree with those point. She is a different character. Celaena was a ‘carefree’ assassin who only had to worry about keeping herself alive. Aelin is a Queen cast out by most of her own lords and had to literally sacrifice herself to keep the whole continent/world safe. The two objectives couldn’t really be anymore different. When she decided to accept her responsibilities she had to let go of a lot of what made her who she was. And while she is so happy to have found all her friends and family and to have had Rowan for as long as she did, she is a woman that for a good chunk of this book knows that the closer she gets to saving them all and giving them all a better life, she gets a step closer to her own death.
One part I did really enjoy in Aelins story though was when she finally gets to Skulls Bay and talks to Ralph again. While in Terrasen Aelin’s group gets word that the witches are flying to take back Rifthold and kill Dorian (didn’t I say it was dumb to leave him behind), and she sends Rowan to save him and tells him to meet back up with her at Skulls Bay to try and win Ralph and his pirates and his secret people that have been in hiding for years, to fight on her side in the war because Aelin and Ralph don’t have good history (read Assassins Blade). Now Rowan might have come to late to save Dorian if Manon hadn’t of turned on fellow witches and kept him alive long enough for Rowan to actually get him out. We will talk about the Manon bit later, but Rowan gets him out and gets him to Skulls Bay and is just sort of chilling with his old Cadre members Fenrys and Gavriel (Aedion’s dad), trying to convince them and Ralph to help them out while waiting for Aelin to rock up. Then of course she does it in style, and while they are going to Ralph’s office to talk some more they turn on the lights and find Celaena just sitting in his seat smiling. I think this scene is probably my favourite Aelin scene because she was Celaena for a brief moment. She could drop all those weights holding her down and act like a part of her old self again. Yes she does have other funny and witty moments, I really liked the part where her and Dorian were talking and he thanked her for sending Rowan and she says:
Rowan is always looking for a chance to show off. Dramatic rescues give him purpose and fulfilment in his dull immortal life.
That line was amazing, but she in those other moments she isn’t as carefree as she was in Ralph’s office at the start.
The scene though where Lysandra was fighting sea wyverns in Skulls Bay though was truly the opposite of fun though. She just manages to kill two babies and then three adults rock up and she can’t transform again to get out of the water because she is too drained and only just manages to kill them. I honestly didn’t think she was going to get out of that scene alive, only her quick thinking saved her.
Manon. I love her so much and I was so stressed for her pretty much the entire book. She killed withces to save Dorian so when she goes home all the other witches are demanding blood for those killed and it was decided that Manon had to kill Asterin for the life she took. Then right as she is about the kill Asterin she tells her and the rest of the Thirteen to run and she swings to kill her grandmother. Of course she doesn’t succeed and her and her grandmother fight and her grandmother reveals that she killed her mother and her father who was infact a Crochan prince and they had hoped that Manon would be the witch to bring peace and return them to the wastes, but her grandmother made her a Crochan killing machine who infact had killed her own half sister so she is now the Queen of the Crochans. Manon gets away just before her grandmother can finish her off thanks to Abraxos and then spends forever just on the brink of death until Abraxos takes her to the safety of Aelin’s crew. There are many fun moments with her and Dorian but she is sad because her whole life has turned upside down and she thinks that the Thirteen are dead, and Aelin wants her to unite the Crochan’s to her side despite the fact she has spent her whole life killing them. But then Elide finally turns up and we have few touching moments with her and Manon until Maeva’s armada comes to nearly kill them all but Abraxos saves the day by having left to go find the Thirteen days before and arrives in the nick of time. Manon isn’t at the battle though because she is off having chats with the gods, Elena and Aelin about how the war needs to be won and she asked the gods since she has valg blood in her does that mean she is going to get sent off to a different world too which we don’t get an answer for and this stresses me out some more because I don’t want a world where Manon isn’t in it.
I am really looking forward to the final battle she will have with her grandmother in the last book.
I think I said that most people get paired off with other people romantically in the last book but they really do in this one. There is a lot of sex, some good and some repetitive. Elide and Lorcan get paired off in this book and I don’t mind it. She actually stands up to his bullshit and puts him in his place when he is being stupid. Their storyline wasn’t one I really felt like I needed though. The moment she see Aelin and Aedion again wasn’t quite as touching as I wanted it to be but was still good. Lorcan’s purpose in this book though pretty much seems to be just to fuck things up which made their whole story a bit hard to swallow. Its basically all his fault that Maeve came at the end when Aelin was drained of most her power because he freaked out over an army that arrived that was on their damn side and called her to protect Elide. Like Maeve was ever going to protect Elide. Aelin just manages to give the wyd keys to Manon before Maeve tortures her and captures her in iron chains, mask, and casket and whisked away to places unknown to be tortured for the rest of her life, which we have just found out is immortal because she will ‘settle’ into her immortality within the next five years, Aelin went through all that willingly to keep Elide safe and because she had set everything up for her friends to finish the job.
Just as she leaves her Ashryver cousin(?) Galan from Wyndlen shows up with all his army, and all the silent assassins from the desert amass in force to help fight for Aelin. Then we also have Ansel from the wastes came just before with her army, we have the army Ralph is putting together, all the guys Chaol is supposed to be getting wherever he is, all the Cousins Rowan convinced to turn against Maeve on the eve of battle and to fight for Aelin, and now the Crochans Manon has decided to rally. She made them a huge damn army to ratlle the stars and I just had to sit there and go ha Aedion, you were such a dick in this book doubting her and you should feel horrible about questioning her what she was actually doing for the country and her people. She set all this up for you guys and didn’t expect any of you to bloody help her in return except Lysandra who is basically giving up her life for Terrasen, and maybe Dorian who might have to use the lock to help get rid of the valg since she is all locked up.
And thats where the book ends and where I am going to leave this review/recap. I really enjoyed this book especially the end, and I am so keen for the next book it isn’t even funny. This is porbably my longest review for the series so far so I apologise if it was a bit hard to get through, and I will say sorry in advance because I don’t think the final review is going to be much shorter. Please, please leave comments down below. All I want to do is talk about things that happened in this book and how everyone thinks things are going to turn out. It doesn’t look like we are going to get a happy ending where either Aelin or Dorian doesn’t die despite Rowan flying off to find Aelin and declaring that he would not stand for an ending where either of them were gone. Maas does like a happy ending though so maybe Rowan will have success. GAAAHHH so many thoughts and feelings. I look forward to speaking with you all!
Till Next Time. . .