There are a great many things I appreciate about the Throne of Glass series, not the least of them being how different each book is. Throne of Glass, despite its darker subjects, is almost light-hearted in nature thanks to the cast. Crown of Midnight is darker, grittier and shows its readers a glimpse of what’s to come. Heir of Fire takes us to a completely different part of the world, to completely different characters, to magic and fae. Queen of Shadows returns us to the familiar castle but with a character who was not at all the same.
And, finally, Empire of Storms. Where do I even begin?
The court of Terrasen
The most beautiful thing about Empire of Storms is how it gathers the entire party in the same place. (Well, minus a character or two. But no worries, that just means they get their own book.) More than that, it adjusts the dynamic to fit all. From fiercely loyal Rowan and Aedion to much less trustworthy Manon and Lorcan, everyone has a place on Aelin’s side of the war. Everyone has a task.
But, of course, when you have such strong personalities gathered in one place, there is bound to be problems.
For example, Aelin’s magic, as epic as it is, does not come without a price. And part of that price is her comrades’ attitude towards it. Because it isn’t just Chaol who sees it as problematic.
And that’s what I appreciate a lot about Throne of Glass series and other Sarah J. Maas works: you may be a good friend and a loyal follower, but that does not mean your love and trust are blind. You question, as you should. Aedion, in particular, has a very beautiful relationship with his queen in Empire of Storms.
Then, of course, the bonds. Oh, the bonds! They all had me screaming for days. And howling at the moon. While sobbing into my chocolate ice cream. I continue being a mess over the characters and their relationships even months after reading the book. I suspect I will be a mess even on my own deathbed. Possibly the afterworld, too.
(Also, Dorian. Dorian who deserves a separate mention because I said so. Dorian is everything.)
Versus the world, or two…
So, we have the merry band of epic heroes. Each with their own set of issues and problems and romances. (And oh, are there romances! So many. Some of them very, very unexpected. And some of them My Constant Cause of Death.)
In addition to the heroes, we have some very questionable people joining the cause. To trust or not to trust, that is the question… Especially since some of them (read: all of them) did not make the best impression in the past. And because nothing is ever simple with faeries.
But what about the villain?
Well, now that the King is no more, we move against the Queen and the other King. (Yes, there are multiple. Because why not.) It’s… not pretty. It’s brutal, like any war. Aelin may be the promised queen, but she is fighting against forces way beyond the human realm. And from the looks of it, it will only get uglier from here on.
And then, there is the ending.
Honestly, I feel like my advice to anyone regarding this series should be to wait for the last book to come out. Because no one should be subjected to the brutality of the cliffhanger that concludes Empire of Storms.
(Of course, just because I should, doesn’t mean I will. Because the series is just too fantabulous not to love and adore and cry over. Eternal suffering is just part of the package. So don’t be weak and read it.)
What are we supposed to do now, though?
Empire of Storms is hands down the most epic book in the series. It effortlessly meets the high expectations set by its predecessors. As well as kills you with feelings and pain and agony and more feelings.
This book is everything I want from an epic fantasy about a lost princess who damn well will take her country back, no matter the sacrifices required. And who knows, she might save the world while she’s at it, too. Nothing wrong with being an overachiever, right?
But my unconditional love aside… What am I supposed to do now? How do I go on? Or rather, how can I enter a state of comatose from which I shall awake only when the last book in the series is out? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, please.
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #5
Published by Bloomsbury on September 6th 2016
Fae, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
→ Add on Goodreads
KINGDOMS WILL COLLIDE.
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 Times bestselling 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.