Empire of Storms

Empire of Storms

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 wil...

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Title:Empire of Storms
Author:Sarah J. Maas
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Empire of Storms Reviews

  • Andrea

    Someone willing to talk? This book destroyed me and I think I need therapy to endure the wait and pain until next year.

    Edit:

    So, I'll need to wait another year to know what happens next... Not fair Sarah J. Maas, not fair.

    I know there's another book coming but really, I just don't care much for Chaol at the time.

    -

    Why did I read Queen Of Shadows so fast?

    Dammit, this happens every damn year.

    I read the damn book way too fast and I

    Someone willing to talk? This book destroyed me and I think I need therapy to endure the wait and pain until next year.

    Edit:

    So, I'll need to wait another year to know what happens next... Not fair Sarah J. Maas, not fair.

    I know there's another book coming but really, I just don't care much for Chaol at the time.

    -

    Why did I read Queen Of Shadows so fast?

    Dammit, this happens every damn year.

    I read the damn book way too fast and I don't think about the consequences.

    The consequences being I HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER EFFING YEAR AGAIN TO READ ABOUT ROWAN!

  • Andreea Pop

    Brilliance. Sheer, pure brilliance. This is what this book is. Everything I wanted and everything I didn't know I wanted. It's a whirlwind of emotions. Quite probably, the best in the series.

    Full review to come.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    ALL SPOILERS ARE HIDDEN.

    this story was way more powerful the second time through once I knew where it was going.

    This series means SO much to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to blindly love it or treat it any differently than other book I review. I really enjoyed the story, but still thought I was only going to give it 4 stars until the exclusive short stories added a lot.

    First off, I would

    recommend reading The Assassin's Blade before this book if you haven't

    ALL SPOILERS ARE HIDDEN.

    this story was way more powerful the second time through once I knew where it was going.

    This series means SO much to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to blindly love it or treat it any differently than other book I review. I really enjoyed the story, but still thought I was only going to give it 4 stars until the exclusive short stories added a lot.

    First off, I would

    recommend reading The Assassin's Blade before this book if you haven't already! Most characters and locations from those novellas appear here.

    The story starts out with Aelin and her court heading north to Terrasen where they meet with a few potential supporters at an inn before trying to waltz into Orynth. Aelin is told that the Lords of Terrasen don't recognize her as queen and it’s all very infuriating. She swears that

    Because war/annihilation is coming and Erawan is not messing around.

    So it's kind of like the breaking of the Fellowship in Lord of the Rings with how characters gets scattered around on various missions and eventually come back together. And speaking of LOTR... you know how while everyone freaking

    across Middle Earth the story kind of meandered but wasn't necessarily boring because the locations sounded pretty, little bits of action popped up here and there, and the characters were so wonderful that you'd be fine reading about them watching paint dry? The middle of this book reminded me of that.

    I was surprised by how much of this story is carried by the POVs of other characters instead of Aelin. I mean, that decision totally makes sense in the end, but at first I was definitely wondering why I wasn't connecting with her as much as I had in previous books. She spends most of the story making her own secret plans behind the scenes while everyone calls her out on not telling them anything until the continual big reveals. Seeing her through other characters often made her seem a bit distant, callous, not focused on the bigger picture, and pretty much back to her Celaena persona. But by the end it all makes sense and her whole journey is wonderful.

    So that decision to make the development of so many crucial plot points happen off-screen (off-page??) made the reveal at the end more emotional, but also made me kind of frustrated in the middle with how I couldn't get a strong sense of where Aelin’s head was or where the plot was going. And because we didn't get such a strong look into Aelin's mind, her relationship with Rowan didn't have much emotional impact for me. I love them both as individual characters and

    care about them together, buuuut I'm just not very invested.

    . So I did enjoy this book overall, but wasn’t super emotionally attached like I was in Heir or Fire or flipping through the pages like I was in Queen of Shadows.

    BUT THE CHARACTERS ARE SO AMAZING. They’ve all grown so much since the first book!!! I said in my reviews of previous books that I wanted to see more of Manon, Aedion, and Elide and I was

    let down. The amount of character development that secondary characters got here makes me SO HAPPY. It's so, so, so wonderful. I have no clue how Maas juggles all of these characters so well, but

    And MANON IS STILL THE GREATEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN TO THIS SERIES. Her scenes have some of the best action and emotions in the entire book. I love it all. (“

    ). I

    some fan art of her armor because her awesome helmet sounded so much like the Witchking (this is the last LOTR reference, promise).

    I still ship Manon & Elide, but am also fine with where the characters went in this book. Whatever. And I liked Elide in Queen of Shadows, but can we talk about how she becomes the most amazing character ever here?!! “

    Her POV and everything that happened in it was the most unexpected part of the book (and also maybe the best).

    Soooo this book felt a lot like a chess board with how it strengthened every player and moved them into the right position before the final battle of the next book. It might not be the most gripping story as a whole, but it did an amazing job of building an impressive lineup of characters. Like I NEVER expected to care this much about Lorcan?! I loved how the most unexpected characters paired up for different missions or whatever and how everyone’s different stories wove together at the end.

    So yeah, I just love Manon, Elide, Aedion, Lysandra, Dorian… oh my goodness HOW HAVE I NOT TALKED ABOUT DORIAN YET. He's still adorable.

    - MANON. Manon and her Thirteen. Manon and Abraxos. Manon and

    .

    - Maeve just got bumped up past Umbridge level of loathing

    - all of the foreshadowing

    - all of the ACOMAF similarities

    - the Rowan + Dorian bonding scenes

    - how amazing Maas is with her mythology references (like how Fenrys is a wolf haha)

    - one of the more central characters is bisexual

    - Aelin calling Rolfe “his Pirateness” and wanting Rowan to call her “milady”

    - Elide adopting characteristics from Manon & Asterin and working with what she has

    - the sheer scope of the phenomenal worldbuilding

    - how the big reveal gave the previous books WAY more depth

    - seeing Dorian and Aelin referred to as the King of Adarlan and Queen of Terrasen

    - Dorian still eats like a fine lady

    - that ending was AMAZING. (Not amazing in that I particularly

    what’s happening, but amazing in that this takes the story to a whole new level of intense).

    Now I know that a ton of people were losing their minds over the sex scenes in this book before it was even released, so let me just take a minute to weigh in on that. Yeah, this book is definitely more mature than the previous books and could be something parents might not be comfortable with their kids reading... I get that. I defended the scenes in ACOMAF because they meant something to the plot, but reallllyy am not feeling that here. I definitely could have lived without those scenes and wish the page time had been spent elsewhere... it didn't do much for the characters or plot. So, yes -- you can easily skip them and not miss anything.

    Anyways, there are a lot of things I wanted to see happen that didn’t, but I was equally thrilled with where the story ended up going in the end. I really don't understand some of the intensity in this fandom... like if you

    need the story to go in an alternate direction, maybe go write some fanfiction?

    And I adore Chaol, but honestly think cutting him out of this particular book was a really smart move. The tone of his POV would’ve been seriously disconnected from the rest of this story with where he is mentally right now (and physically... like he’s in an entirely different part of the world that wouldn’t have worked into this plot).

    I thought the end wasn’t so much sad as it was inspirational, but it’s possible I’m just in a different mindset. This series has meant a ton to me on a personal level because Aelin is dealt a tough hand, yet makes the decision to keep fighting. Doctors told me I wouldn’t live to see 2013, but I’ve been hanging in there one day at a time. I read books so that I have something to keep holding on for… kind of like some weird version of 1,001 Nights. (I know I get overly excited on social media about Empire of Storms, but I just

    thought I’d make it to read this book and can’t explain how amazing it is to even hold it). I thought I resonated with Aelin’s journey in Heir of Fire, but the quote towards the end of this book was like someone put my mind on paper:

    .

    There are a few things I'm still waiting to see set up more (like some Valg history or better sense of the threat), but hopefully the next book can squeeze that in before the war. (UPDATE - omg TOWER OF DAWN TOTALLY FIXED THIS. MAJORLY).

    ______________________________

    (because these stories honestly added another star to my rating)

    WHY are these stories not in the books?! This just strengthened Aelin & Rowan's relationship 10000% and was EVERYTHING I was looking for in terms of character development for Rowan. I'm changing my rating to 5 stars after reading these.

    The B&N story would have

    been one of my favorite scenes because it shows Aelin with her people and what a great leader she'll be. And just a few pages here made me connect more with Rowan & Aelin than

    of pages in the main story did. Even the stuff with Lysandra & Aedion helped.

    The Target one takes place during Heir of Fire and starts out with Aelin and Rowan just being

    while they make crowns of fire and ice for each other. Then the whole meal with Rowan's ex who dubs Aelin the "fire-breathing bitch queen" happens. Aelin is awesome. But it also brings in another character who analyzes Aelin's motivation to claim Rowan aaaaand THE BOOK REALLY COULD USE THIS SCENE. Even just the observation that

    And then Rowan kind of maybe realizes something important and Aelin makes him a chocolate hazlenut cake that's so gross he vomits it up when she's not looking. The end.

    And I just had to include this Chaol quote from his short story, though, because it is so important to the story:

    Ok yeah sorry this was so long. Intense rambling over...["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Christine Riccio

    I DEVOURED THIS AS I DEVOUR ALL OF SARAH J MAAS'S BOOK ENJOYING EVERY SECOND. I love the characters in this seris so much!!! Here's my booktalk:

  • Emily May

    3 1/2 stars. Much better than

    and

    , methinks. But maybe not if you're unable to skim over the

    , or you just can't deal with a book where

    .

    I have to say, though, I think

    3 1/2 stars. Much better than

    and

    , methinks. But maybe not if you're unable to skim over the

    , or you just can't deal with a book where

    .

    I have to say, though, I think

    is far better plotted than the third and fourth book. It's a whopping 700 pages long and yet it moves much faster than the previous two. It drops us into the action and nastiness pretty much immediately and continues to deliver

    right up until that EVIL ending.

    For me,

    was a 650-page book that contained only about 200 pages of plot development. The rest was filler in which Maas waxed on in melodramatic poetry about how amazing Aelin is and how sexy Rowan is. We get some of that here, of course, but if you can overlook some of the more nauseating moments between the two of them, then it's actually a really great, exciting book.

    Yes, I had to push through all the scenes where Rowan's sexiness and utter

    (WTF?) is described

    . Yes, his erection is pressing against her perfect, magical ass when we first encounter them in chapter 2. Yes, he is constantly nibbling and nipping at her whenever he sees her. And, like, why is she okay with this?! Seriously, she's trying to save her kingdom with every douchebag in the continent on her tail and her bf won't control his penis for two bloody seconds! I'd be like "Dude, stop effin' nibbling me!"

    I clearly just don't get this whole Rowan fangirl party everyone else seems to have going on.

    That being said, there really are so many great things going on in this book. For a start,

    . I longed for any chapter with her in it and I was on the edge of my seat when she does that

    awesome thing earlier on in the book. I also, kind of surprisingly, really came to enjoy the chapters with Lorcan and Elide. I must confess it: I ship them. I can't help it.

    If I'm honest, I think I'm starting to feel a shift in the way I view this series, which may also have made me enjoy it more. There are those books where we feel a very personal and close connection to one or two characters and their relationships (often true of 1st-person narratives); and there are those that have large casts of characters, each with their own stories, and we care about them all to varying degrees (think epic fantasy series like, say,

    ).

    For me, this series started out as the first. I cared about Celaena and Chaol, and Dorian, but to a lesser extent. I felt close to them; I angsted about them; I really wanted Celaena and Chaol to be together. Now the novels have a wider scope - there's Aelin, Chaol and Dorian, but also Rowan, Lysandra, Aedion, Manon, Evangeline, Lorcan, and Elide. Perhaps even Gavriel and Fenrys. From

    onwards, this has become a very different kind of series and I'm only just starting to accept it. I'm starting to enjoy the overall plot, the bigger picture, and perhaps loosen my more personal ties to Chaol.

    I'm a little sad about it, but I also think Maas and her stories have grown in many ways.

    . Something lost, something gained.

    If you've been clinging to the hope that Maas will go full circle and return this series to how it was in the early installments, it's probably time to part ways with these books. But if you're just looking for some great storytelling, gruesome action, and lots of interesting characters (and can put up with the insufferable smirking and nibbling that is his royal gorgeousness - Rowan), then

    has it all.

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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    I'll have a full video review discussing my thoughts soon.

  • Simona Bartolotta

    *Do I need to remind you to be civil? No, I don’t. Good kids.

    This is the story of how Sarah J. Maas reviewed her own poetics in one of her books.

    (Because rest assured they'll use every single one of them to have sex or to seduce someone into having sex, and sometimes not even imminent danger will be enough of a deterrent. Sadly. A massacre or two would have spiced things up.)

    *Do I need to remind you to be civil? No, I don’t. Good kids.

    This is the story of how Sarah J. Maas reviewed her own poetics in one of her books.

    (Because rest assured they'll use every single one of them to have sex or to seduce someone into having sex, and sometimes not even imminent danger will be enough of a deterrent. Sadly. A massacre or two would have spiced things up.)

    (Self-explanatory.)

    (Even

    acknowledges the thing got way out of her hand.)

    The secret being,

    . Because, people,

    . And I most certainly

    need that.

    And mine it's not a simple impression: I have proof, and here it is.

    :

    :

    (whatever that's supposed to mean)

    :

    :

    :

    :

    :

    And,

    :

    But the best has yet to come.

    ?

    Yes? Great. Well,

    .

    Lightning, you get it? Freaking

    .

    What's Fae's problem with sex? It seems they are unable to climax decently without getting dangerously close to unleashing some cataclysm on the population that do not share such sexual prowess. And someone care to explain

    Majestic, yes, stunning, yes, but lovely? It's not a summer breeze you're talking about, sweetie. It's freaking lightning. The kind of thing that could kill you in less than a split second, you know.

    (Oh, why do I even bother?)

    As you might have guessed, I could go on and on, but I've already wasted enough of my time. So let's just try to put everything down in black and white, as neatly as we can manage.

    •I used to be able to enjoy

    , but, whether I changed or her style changed, now I can't anymore. It

    -not only the sex scenes-

    . Besides, the multiple PoVs on a same event bored me out of my mind -a fifth of the book could just go and nothing relevant would be lost. And I still have to figure out why, in the dialogues, half the questions are deprived of a question mark.

    , or I should say

    . Because it's not even mere romance anymore-

    . It's not that I have something against erotica, it would be ridiculous, I simply don't see why the

    series took this turn, and I think it rather

    of Maas to change the label (I don't care if it didn't change officially- this is no thing for "young adults") from ya to na in the middle of the series. What if an eleven-year old started reading book one now, and then, once at the end of book four, were forbidden to go on because the parents knew that this book would traumatize the kid for life?

    , in literature as in every other thing in life,

    .

    .

    Moreover,

    . It's like Maas tried and tried with all her forces to celebrate this thing as much as she could. She practically idolized this relationship and wanted her readers to get to idolize it too through of all her idolizing. If this is not twisted and convoluted, then I don't know what is. And I should be sick of saying it by now, but Hello,

    writing. I really did not miss you.

    •And talking about coherence,

    . They

    . They are all bold, sexy, self-confident and cool. Guess what- after ten characters exactly like that and five books, I grew weary of this shit. Not only that; it was as if

    were written by a totally different person from the one who wrote the books up to

    but probably related to the one who wrote

    . The characters completely change the way they see the world: how come the first thought on their minds is one and always one? (If you're wondering, yes, that should be sex.)

    , in particular, is not himself anymore. If there was something I hadn't accused Maas of yet it was of using

    as a real thing (okay, more or less), and yet I cannot find a better word to describe what happens between him and

    (

    What did I say about Maas plagiarizing herself? What's so bad about thinking out of the box for just a single moment?). They meet, she saves him; he's beautiful, she's beautiful; he heavily hits on her without knowing her in the slightest, she likes it against her better sense, and you know where it is going to end. And

    , I was snorting and gagging and rolling my eyes all at once.

    As a matter of fact, the whole book made me roll my eyes so much it's unreal. My eyeballs tunneled their way up my skull and emerged on the top on my head.

    •But what makes me mad, what

    makes me mad, is that

    . The plot is good, and I do like the idea of the boatload of villains and kingdoms and the variety of the

    , but, as things are, they are only general ideas. This universe is vast and offers a number of scenarios and creatures and artefacts, but it all

    , and I've been saying it since my review of

    , and every book after that did nothing but confirm my first impression.

    (remember, all bold all brave all cheeky)

    . Camaraderie is one of the things that usually have me sold on the spot, but seeing how lame all these characters ultimately are, my enjoyment was always very short-lived. I normally empathize a lot with heroines who are as resourceful and enterprising as

    is, but she

    because, what if said schemes fail? Shame on you for even trying, Aelin!

    Now, honestly, what person on her right mind would risk

    because of that?

    •Regarding

    , I'm linking here

    , because not only does she say everything I too had to say about this issue, but she does it brilliantly. Plus, I'm a disgustingly lazy person. So go read Kat's review.

    •Almost needless to say, the ending is unbelievably similar to that of

    . Seriously,

    similar:

    . You did that once already, Maas, remember? No? Because I do.

    are completely absent. I just thought the world would want to know.

    •Oh, and let me put your minds at ease: people still purr, hiss, growl and grunt. Heaven forbid someone should do something as trivial as

    . *shivers*

    (still my favourite book of the series)

    . As it always happens to me with her books, I read this one quickly enough and without particular effort, but as every one of us knows, your reading speed not always is a guarantee of the quality of what you are reading. I will finish the series because now there is only one book left, but

    is more silly and absurd that it should have been -which, all things considered, is probably a perk, given how much I laughed.

    Even though I will never be able to admire lightnings again without having some totally inappropriate and unintended thoughts.

    05/09/2015: So here's the million-dollar question: will Aelin heal from her bipolarity or will she keep being a shamefully embarrassing frenzied brat good only at bullying everything that's breathing?

    Who guesses wins a trip to Morath on Abraxos' back.

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  • Kimi

    Here are my reviews of the previous books in this series:

    These two girls said it all

    ,

    *sigh* I’m not sure where to start. I’ve pretty much loved all the previous books in this series but aghhh this one.

    Welcome to Empire of Storms, the try not to cringe challenge book edition.

    ➨ The first thing that you notice while reading Empire of Storms is the similarities it has with

    . I thin

    Here are my reviews of the previous books in this series:

    These two girls said it all

    ,

    *sigh* I’m not sure where to start. I’ve pretty much loved all the previous books in this series but aghhh this one.

    Welcome to Empire of Storms, the try not to cringe challenge book edition.

    ➨ The first thing that you notice while reading Empire of Storms is the similarities it has with

    . I think that in trying to release two HUGE books a year SJM doesn’t really have enough time to properly edit her books anymore. The two books ended up sounding exactly the same, except for the fact that ACOMAF was much, much better.

    ➨ The sex scenes situation: I have nothing against steamy scenes in YA books. I believe it makes the book more realistic and we all love seeing our OTP finally getting down to business.

    , what I don’t like is seeing a YA book turn into straight up

    There’s a scenes that combines my first two complaints about this book. Brace yourselves.

    Remember the mountain situation is ACOMAF?

    Well, if Rhys can make a mountain tremble imagine what good ol’ Rowan could do.

    Are you cringing yet ? Alright, moving on.

    ➨ I’m so done with Aelin trying to be sassy all the freaking time and bossing people around. Oh, and is it normal that she doesn’t share any of her plans with ANYONE?

    ➨ This book has no diversity whatsoever. Every single main character is straight and white af. SJM has like 50 pov characters between her two series, you’d think some of them would be a little different, right? Right? Wrong.

    Also, every single character is blindingly beautiful.

    Oh and let’s not forget that most characters are royalty for some reason.

    You’re a queen and you a king ! Let’s throw a prince in there and another king and another queen.

    Aww my gaawwd !

    ➨ Chaol who?

    Remember that main character we were in love with for three books?

    Nop? Okay.

    ➨ Characters acting out of character: Dorian felt really off in this book. He didn’t sound like Dorian just like Chaol didn’t sound like Chaol in the previous book but we already got rid of that problem, didn't we?

    ➨ Must every single character be in a relationship?

    I’m seriously not feeling Manon and Dorian’s relationship. I had a feeling she was gay. I don’t know maybe it’s just me.

    ➨ For some reason the narrative is mostly third person limited but we randomly jump into other people’s minds here and there.

    Ps: Thanks for everyone who pointed out that Aedion is actually bi-sexual I didn't omit this fact on purpose. It just slipped my mind when I was writing the review.

    I hope I didn’t forget anything. Anyway, before you bite my head off, I just want to say that I do love SJM’s writing and I think the plot of this book and the series as a whole is great. This book could have been amazing if there wasn’t so many things annoying me about it.

    This is just my honest opinion. Feel free to leave a comment so we can discuss.

  • Wendy Darling

    MORE WYVERNS AND BATHTUB SCENES, PLEASE.

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