Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #5
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Release Date: September 6th 2016
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 instalment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
The Throne of Glass series has fast become one of my favourites. After binge reading books one to four back in March I was left waiting for the release of the fifth, and as most people by now know how Queen of Shadows ended you should also know how hard that wait was. I loved Empire of Storms, as soon as my copy arrived I started reading and didn’t put it down until I was finished. It took me a while to reconnect with the characters and the story but this book exceeded all my expectations and now I can’t wait for the release of the sixth book in the series.
After leaving Rifthold with her small court Aelin arranges to meet with the remaining Lords of her uncle’s court, but before even stepping into Terrasen’s capital she is blocked at every path, after all no one wants to see the assassin queen on the throne. With no other option and receiving no help coming from her people Aelin is forced to call in all the favours she made during her time as an assassin to raise an army to face Erawan.
Then the news comes that Rifthold is about to be attacked by the witches and the Valg. And as Rowan rushes to save Dorian Aelin, Aedion and Lysandra make their way to Skull’s Bay and the Pirate Lord who rules there.
After escaping Morath Elide is slowly making her way to Terrasen and her queen, but she has no clue where she is going and no desire to head into any of the town she passes, and all too soon Elide realises she’s being hunted. When the Ilken attack Lorcan, who is also running from them, reveals himself and saves her life. With their two paths following the same direction Elide and Lorcan agree to travel together; Elide sharing the secrets she has from her time in Morath and Lorcan protecting her until she can make her way to Aelin.
Manon is still playing the part of a loyal solider but she starts to question her orders and her loyalty to the Matron’s is put to the test when she is ordered to launch the raid on Rifthold and bring Dorian back to Erawan. When things go wrong it isn’t Manon’s life in danger, but the lives of her Thirteen.
And meanwhile, as Aelin calls on her debts, all the paths of the individual characters start converging into one.
Aelin has already faced so much to make it back to Terrasen, but when she arrives it isn’t what she expects. Instead she finds herself with no home, no title and no army to fight the growing threat of the Valg princes. But Aelin remains smart and cunning; she calls in old favours to form her army and fights her way across the land. She keeps a lot of secrets from Rowan, Aedion and Lysandra. There’s always something up her sleeve, always another plan to save them when they find themselves too deep, but she never seems to let other people in on her grand plans
There is a lot Aelin is forced to face in this book, a lot about what Elena did when she first faced Erawan on the battlefield knowing what it meant for her descendants one day. Despite all her powers there are some things Aelin’s intelligence, brute force and power cannot conquer.
Elide has very quickly become my favourite character. We didn’t see much of her in Queen of Shadows, and when we did she seemed content to hide behind the protection Manon offered. Now, on her own, she is forced to rely on what skills she had to cross the land and find her queen. Though she never learnt to read, and sees herself as less because of it, Elide’s skills lie elsewhere. She is quiet and cunning, slipping into conversations and turning them her way, picking up the pieces of information people drop and using them to her advantage.
While she’s travelling with Lorcan Elide sees a different side to him. After everything the two go through they become friends, although the secrets they keep from one another can get in the way of their respective journey’s to Aelin and Morath. But Lorcan promises to keep Elide safe and he more than does that, protecting her above himself at times.
Manon is a character who has had some amazing development since she was first introduced. She started off as a loyal soldier, following the orders of her grandmother without question and ruling over the Thirteen with an iron fist. Now after the things she has seen, the things she has discovered, and the things she has gone through her loyalty is slowly being cast to one side. Above all Manon cares about her wyvern and her Thirteen, and that is worth more to her than the loyalty her grandmother has trained in her.
There are things revealed about Manon’s past which shake her, but she has always respected strength and control and she respects both Aelin and Dorian. I can’t wait to see where Manon’s journey goes in the sixth book, she’s been a really interesting character to read about.
Rather than exploring the world as Aelin and her court cross over it in Empire of Storms we learn more about the myths and legends guiding them; myths which lead Aelin back to Skull’s Bay and myths which lead her to Eyllwe. There is so much revealed in this book which shapes the paths Aelin, Elide and Manon take. We also learn a lot more about Elena and Gavin and what happened the first time they faced Erawan. Throughout the whole series there have been a lot of secrets, Elena has always been a cryptic character who never seemed to reveal much about what her plans for Aelin were. In this book that changes; we finally learn the truth behind why she first appeared to Aelin back when she was still Celaena, alone in the castle preparing to become Adarlan’s assassin.
Apparently the next book in the series is the last and after the way Empire of Storms ended I can’t imagine how only one more book can wrap everything up. Empire of Storms took the series in a completely new direction and it’s easy to see Aelin as the powerful queen she will likely become. Comparing the girl we met in Throne of Glass to the queen we are introduced to in Empire of Storms it’s like comparing two completely different characters.
What did you think of Empire of Storms? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.