Is it really a surprise that this book is 5 stars....is it?
Empire of Storms is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series and it. Was. Phenomenal! (Not that I was expecting any different...)
There isn't much I can say without spoiling you but I urge you to read it. The last book isn't out yet so there's still time to jump on this bandwagon! In one word, I would describe this series as 'epic'.
If you haven't read any of the books yet (!!!!!) Throne of Glass follows the infamous Celaena Sardothian- Adarlan's most notorious assassin. (And, yes, Celaena puts the 'sass' in 'assassin'). In order to regain freedom Celaena has win the Kings' Champion competition, fighting against a number of others thieves, assassin's and criminals. She has to win this as the Crown Prince's champion or she'll be sent back to Endovier- a death camp for criminals exactly like her.
This series is stunning and I'd definitely recommend it.
I have a BOOK TALK on Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) which I'll link here for you to check out!
I also have some crack theories at the end of this post (some more extreme than others) so be sure to check them out- and I'd love to hear some of yours too!
SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD- SPOILERS AHEAD
When I first started reading- heart in my chest and smiling like a hyper kid- all I wanted to do was jump straight into Aelin's perspective and see her kick ass. That's what everyone wanted, right? Sarah knows this so purposefully starts with Elide!!! It was painful in the best kind of way.
To get my little complaint out of the way to begin with....Chaol. Or lack thereof.
I desperately missed Chaol in this book because, despite all the Chaol-hate, he's one of my favourite characters. He lost himself in Queen of Shadows but he's brought himself back and I wanted to see how he was doing with his legs!!! I think it's so important for Sarah to include a 'disabled' characters because it will be very relatable to so many people and will send a great message that disabled people can do just as much as anyone else. Thank you, Sarah, for including this!
I've heard that Chaol's going to get his own novella showing his journey so I'm excited for that!!! I'm betting Irene will show up too from The Assassin's Blade! I'm calling it first!!!
We got a lot- and I mean a lot- of very steamy scenes and... 'romantic', shall I say, scenes between Rowan and Aelin. In my head, it's obvious now that Rowaelin is endgame (they're mates...come on). Yes, I was once a Chaolaena shipper, forever a Chaolaena shipper but, I have to admit- I don't mind Rowaelin. Like I've said before, I've separated Celaena and Aelin in my head into two different people- so I can ship both! (Though my Chaolaena heart is sufficiently broken...)
Another ship that I love (there are so many ships guys, it's hard to keep count) was Lysandra and Aedion! Aedandra? Lysaedion? Ship name...
I think they suit really well and I love how they banter back and forth. And when Aedion said he'd marry her!!!!! I really hope that happens.
Can I be the first person to say that Aelin is getting more and more epic with every single book!! Her power is freaking unstoppable- it's stunning! And I loved it when she burned someone alive! She literally burned him from the inside out! Like I said: she gets cooler and cooler with every book.
In Heir of Fire, I hated reading Manon's chapters because I didn't want to read about her and it made things seem very slow (probably why it's my least favourite book in the series). But, somehow, through the books, Manon has grown on me more and more. I love reading her perspectives now.
I also love Asterin and I don't think she's talked about enough. I think she's extremely loyal and pushed Manon to be more human. I really didn't want her to die and thank god she didn't!
Manon's epic defiance against her grandmother was so freaking awesome! And, side note, I so wish I had a wyvern like Abraxos- he's the best!
One of my favourite scenes in this entire book had to be the 'reveal' to Rolfe. I quite liked Rolfe in The Assassin's Blade and pretty much knew he'd come up again at some point. But it was brilliant when Lysandra shifted into Aelin and told Rolfe that Celaena had always been Aelin.
And the diamonds up Aelin's sleeve? And when she spat one out of her mouth!!! How did she do that!? I think why I loved this scene so much was because we got to see a bit of the old and sassy Celaena. Aelin (yes, I acknowledge they're the same person but...) isn't as sassy and fun so it was great to see that 'Celaena' side of her again.
I suppose the fact that Lysandra could shift into Aelin should have been a hint but....
Through this whole book, I felt a bit sorry for Dorian- poor guy. In my head, he's the guy that doesn't really know what he's doing, isn't that big of a help but is simply tagging along, trying to stay alive. It made me pity him but laugh slightly at the same time (sorry, Dorian). Before Manon came onto the ship, he was pretty passive and, honestly, pointless. Through no fault of his own he doesn't know what he's doing and is just kind of....there, really. Then Manon comes and.... he's more interesting!! It's nice because we get to see the fun, flirty Dorian once more- the guy that's been vacant from the previous three books as far as I'm concerned. (I'm not Dorian-hating, I swear).
I ship Manon and Dorian so much! I think that's safe to say. Dorian was so freaking forward with it all! They were both flirting like heck and it was just. So. Good! I think they'll be endgame (have since Queen of Shadows) and I really hope we can see Manon progress even more as character with Dorian's help.
I think, if everyone lives (doubtful).... they'll all pair up nicely! Aelin + Rowan. Aedion + Lysandra. Dorian + Manon. Elide + Lorcan. Chaol + Nesryn.
Another of my favourite scenes in this book- if not my favourite- was the Lysandra/dragon fight scene. Lysandra is bad-ass!! I've always loved her (...maybe not in The Assassin's Blade) but never have I had this height of respect and admiration for any character. The sea dragon sequence was so tense and gripping and it was written so perfectly.
Yes. I freaking ship Elide and Lorcan. At the beginning, I hated switching to their POV- I wanted to read all the action!!! But, some when during the book something changed (probably Elide and Lorcan sexual tension) and I suddenly wanted their chapters to go on forever. Sarah J. Maas has an amazing ability to do this. I think Elide and Lorcan really suit (Elide making Lorcan want to be a better man and all that...) and, as we've only got one more book in the series, I think a lot of these couples will be endgame!!! Which excites me!!!
I also love how Elide is quickly growing into herself. She went all kick-ass on the Ilken- prepared to kill them- and I loved seeing that side of her. She's becoming stronger, more confident and just plain sassier- which obviously I admire in a character. I was on the edge of my seat when she was about to kill herself but it just truly showed how much strength she really has.
The book started to get really tense for me when we get the inkling that Aelin is hiding something. I couldn't fathom what it could be. In hind sight, I probably should've guessed but, to be honest, a lot was freaking happening and my mind was usually elsewhere.
One of the epic fight sequences was when the 500 Ilken came to attack them, Aelin lit up like a light bulb and, with everyone's collective magic, kicked Ilken butt! It was pretty awesome. But that's just my opinion.
I loved watching Elide and Aelin's reunion so much- it brought tear to my eye because they'd finally found each other. I was also so happy that Elide could finally give Aelin, Kaltain's message! I never really liked Kaltain but after Queen of Shadows I have some huge respect for her.
Re-occurring character number two!! First Rolfe and now Ansel!!! My literal reaction to this was "Ansel!!! What happened with you again?" I can remember bits and bobs from The Assassin's Blade but not too much so I think a re-read is probably in order. I'm also excited that Ilias is back though, again, I can't remember too much about him- only that him and Celaena kissed...?
And, finally, we get to the ending!! Oh. My. God!! The ending had me crying, hyperventilating and jumping up and down at the same time.
I've noticed so many parallels between ACOMAF and Empire of Storms while reading this book. (Sarah, can we have one marriage that we actually know about when it happens? That's all I ask.)
I loved seeing Nehemia again but it was so freaking sad to know that Nehemia always knew she'd die!!!! I teared up at that point, I really did. It just shows how much thought Sarah J. Maas put into this series because, even in Throne of Glass- when Rowan isn't even introduced, Arobynn wasn't an issue- there are hints and foreshadowing to book 5!!! We're at book 5 and we're still finding out things that happened in book 1! All the plotlines link and wind together so intricately and it's stunning!
I'm a bit hazy on some of the details with the whole 'key' thing but I know one thing...
Aelin is a clever bitch! She plans everything down to a tee. She knows that she's going to get taken/die and she makes sure that everything can carry on with her gone! She marries Rowan so that he is King of Teressen, she slips Manon the Wyrdkey before being taken, she organises for Lysandra to shift into her and become Aelin, and she organises for Lysandra to procreate with Aedion so that the Ashryver genes gets passed down and so it's more believable that they're Aelin's and Rowan's heirs. You can say a lot about Aelin but you can never deny that she is smart!!! Aelin baffles me and leaves me awestruck just at how intelligent she is.
I have so much respect when she refused to count her whips. She doesn't give them the satisfaction of begging them and it reinforces my love for Aelin so much! It must have so horrible for her to be whipped once more- like when she was at Endovier- and she still stays strong and figuratively spits in the face of Mauve.
And then.... Rowan finds out that he's her mate!! It's such a heart-breaking part of the book but I can't wait for him to fight and get Aelin back.
The thought that there's only one book left in the entire series is both exciting and unbelievably heart-breaking at the same time. I have no idea how Sarah is going to wrap this up (most likely in a gigantic finale) but I have no doubt that she'll do it flawlessly!
I am super excited for the last book. The finale!!!! I am going to have the world's worst book-hangover after finishing that book. Just the thought of an army of thieves, assassins and commoners!! It sounds epic (how many times can use that word in one blog post- epic, epic, epic) and I'm so freaking excited!
It was briefly mentioned that Dorian could also nullify the keys and shut the gate but, obviously, he would still die if he did it. However, I think Dorian may end up sacrificing himself?? He hasn't done much so far and I can see it being his final stand to save his friends and give Aelin the chance to live. Also, when he's on the ship as they're being attacked by Mauve's army, he said to Rowan that it wasn't a bad thing to die with/for friends. Foreshadowing????
Thank you so much for reading that giant book talk! Please comment your thoughts/theories- I'd love to hear them! Stay amazing!