fantasy · review · young adult

Empire Of Storms – Sarah J. Maas

“Hand in hand, they stared towards the darkness coating the mountains, the dread-lord’s bone drums pounding like hammers on iron. Too soon, those drums would be drowned out by the screams of dying soldiers. Too soon, the valley fields would be carved with streams of blood.”

 

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Blurb: “The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalities 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. At the kingdom 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.”

This is the fifth book in the best-selling Throne Of Glass series and everything is certainly out to play for. Aelin Galathynius is finally back in her long-lost kingdom Terrasen though is having to stay hidden until she has built up enough allies to help her re-claim the throne. The witches are preparing for war and Dorian is reeling from the events of the previous book.

I found the reading experience of Empire of Storms very mixed. The main problem I had was that current storylines at the forefront were brought in during Heir of Fire so when I considered re-reading the previous two books in order to refresh my memory, I was left with the conundrum of “am I willing to re-read two 600+ page books before Empire of Storms?” I didn’t and so I found this novel a struggle because of how deep the roots of certain character arcs are now extending. I frequently had to access character wikis to remind myself of who certain people were and access full recaps of previous books to understand where the characters were. This is no fault really of Sarah J Maas but me and my laziness. However, what I did enjoy  is that seemingly separate characters are now starting to cross paths and form the bigger picture as this series is now nearing the end.

The character who formed the centre of my affections was Manon Blackbeak ( a character who previously I detested having to read).No matter what your thoughts are on her, it is impossible to deny how fantastically well she’s written. Throughout this book in particular I loved seeing how she grew when she finally decided to stand up for herself and I was rooting for her through every single appearance she made. Another was the seemingly irrelevant Elide Loche who becomes one of the vital characters in this part of the story. I wasn’t sure what to make of her but she is yet again another testament to brilliantly written characters and her story may be tragic enough to match Aelin’s. Elide was another character I rooted for every step of the way.

This book felt very slow, especially in the middle and I feel that a lot of the action that happened was moreso intended to keep the reader interested as it’s a long quest that takes the centre of the story.

Although, in true Sarah J.Maas manner, she left it on such a note that I can do nothing but impatiently wait until the next book.

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