Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Published: 6th September 2016
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Summary: 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?
This review contains spoiler for earlier books in the series!
Empire of Storms is the fifth book in the popular Throne of Glass series. I’ve enjoyed this series for the most part with the previous book, Queen of Shadows, being my favourite in the series. So, I had high expectations for this novel. However, like many others I had some issues with how this story played out.
The plot follows Aelin’s attempts to rally her forces together to try and reclaim her throne and protect those she cares about. Unfortunately, I found this book difficult to get into. I love Sarah J Maas’s writing but it’s dense and as a result it took me ages to get through. Reading this book took even longer than usual and I found the first half of it boring. There wasn’t much going on apart from a lot of political discussions between different characters that I didn’t understand.
When reading all the other books in this series I’ve disliked the chapters from other characters’ points of view. But in this book, I looked forward to Elide’s and Manon’s chapters the most because they were the most entertaining to read.
The plot does pick up in the second half; I enjoyed the last 300 pages or so a lot more. This is when the action began and the stakes rose. The end of this book brought up a lot of emotions and I am looking forward to the final novel.
“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”
Aelin has matured a lot over the course of this series which it wonderful. Yet, for some reason I still struggle to accept her as being royal Aelin as opposed to assassin Celeana.
I found myself more interested in the side characters in this novel rather than the main protagonists. I’ve discovered new favourites in Manon, Lysandra and Elide. I’m also frustrated that Chaol, who’s been a major character throughout the rest of the series, was shipped off to some far away land not to be heard from in this book. He was barely featured apart from a few mentions in passing.
I do have issues with the lack of diverse characters and relationships. In fact, the only relationship I loved in this book was Manon’s relationship with Abraxos. Abraxos is such a precious creature and I appreciate how much he and Manon care for each other.
Sometimes reading Sarah J Maas’s books can feel quite repetitive with similar characters, plot points and conflict. I wish she’d try something different and there is a part of me that hopes she’ll somehow rectify this in the next book (although it’s unlikely).
I’m still completely in love with the complexity and detail in this world. I love that more locations are explored and more characters are roped into Aelin’s crazy adventures. The world-building is a major strength of this story.
This series is so close to the end and I’m intrigued as to how everything’s going to be wrapped up. I think this book is my least favourite in the series but I’m still excited for the final novel.