Saturday, January 7, 2017

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date: September 6, 2016 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA 
Pages: 693
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: 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 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?

Review: I'm not quite sure where to begin with this one.  The Throne of Glass series is beloved by so many readers, myself included, and yet I've always had somewhat of a bone to pick with it, and this only became more evident in Empire of Storms.

The writing was and always will be fantastic.  If Sarah J. Maas knows how to do anything, it's how to execute a spellbinding story that will have you up all night saying "just one more chapter."  And yet there's just something about her books that fail to satisfy me.  I've said it once before and I'm saying it again, Sarah J. Maas' stories are like extremely well written fan fictions. 

The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.

It's a twisting, heart stopping hell of a story, but one that fails to bring anything new to the table.  It's done well, presented in exquisite detail...but it's a jigsaw puzzle made up of other stories.  There's nothing I've not read before, nothing done in a style I haven't seen before, even within Sarah J. Maas' own works.  Has anyone else noticed the irritating similarities to the A Court of Thorns and Roses series?  It's practically the same at its core.

With the plot in particular, I wasn't entirely satisfied. To be fair, it held my attention and it is well put together. However, it's just a bit boring. The plot progresses and yet I feel as if nothing has happened. I mean, we all know where this story is going to end up, don't we? 

War is sanctioned murder, no matter what side you're on.

Manon's character arc has always been my favorite. She's badass, this cunning and wicked witch queen.  Her perspective really made the book for me. Dorian also grew a lot as a character, very much a different person than he was at the start. He's a bit harder, a little more jaded but also more mature and learning to handle his newfound abilities.  On the flip side, Aelin and Rowan seem a bit too lost to their relationship to grow much as individuals and I unfortunately found their chapters to be rather dull in comparison.  The new characters, Elide and Rowan 2.0 (I cannot remember his name to save my life) while interesting, distract from the main plot more than they add to it. Then again I'm just not in favor of how romantic relationships always seem to sidetrack the point of this series.  Personally, dragons, magic, and war are far more interesting than whether or not this one character is going to kiss this other character in the most maudlin scene possible. 

All in all, Empire of Storms is no different than the rest of its series. But that's my issue: there's nothing novel or particularly stand out about it, either.  I read it, I enjoyed it...but I want more out of this series.  


  1. Well, at least I'm glad you liked Manon because she is my favorite. This series has become very LOTR, which is why I love it so much. I'm sorry if it hasn't worked for you, but for the old LOTR fans, we love it!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

    1. Oh I love Manon with all of my heart. I do enjoy this series, I've just become increasingly frustrated with Sarah J. Maas' books. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I haven't read this far with the series yet, but I know exactly what you mean... I feel like I'm constantly waiting for Sarah J Maas to surprise me ... Loved this review Erin!!

    1. Yeah, I can't wait to read the rest of this series, and for you too as well! Thanks for commenting, Rebekah!

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