Review Wednesday: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #5)

Throne of Glass #5
Released: 2016
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 will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.”

Whew that was a ride!  I’ll admit, I put off reading this for a while because I heard rumblings that the ending was a gigantic cliff-hanger and can I just say, I’m so glad I didn’t read it until now when the next one is already released and the final book is due out in October which isn’t too far away.  So without further ado, let’s get into it, shall we?

“The fear of loss . . . it can destroy you as much as the loss itself.”

1.  The characters.  This is one of my favorite things about Maas’ writing.  She always creates and shapes such memorable and unique characters.  We get more information on Rowan’s cadre and their individual backgrounds and Manon and Elide are also explored much more fully.  One thing I disliked about Heir of Fire (the third installment) is how fractured the stories seemed but that was fully remedied here where all the stories and their respective characters are being pulled together.  Many strands into the same cloth, if you will.  How they all meet and how they work together is so seamless and beautifully done.

“You know, you ladies can let us males do things every now and then.”

2.  The plot.  The plot overall, is gorgeous.  There are multiple plotlines that rise and fall independently while also being influenced by the others.  There is never a dull moment!  Part of the half star comes in here, though, as sometimes I felt like things weren’t as intricate as they seemed.  Maas tends to favor the sort of ‘reveal’ intricacy where she’ll have Aelin do something and everyone else, including the reader, only find out when it comes to fruition.  This has worked so well for her in the past and worked again for most of the book, however, there were a few elements that felt a bit far-fetched.  There is so much interwoven throughout this entire series and the way Maas has been able to connect it all is truly astonishing but there were moments where I was a bit disbelieving.

“Aelin had promised herself, months and months ago, that she would not pretend to be anything but what she was. She had crawled through darkness and blood and despair-she had survived.”

3.  The romance.  There are several romances played out in this book.  Aelin and Rowan’s relationship is developed a bit more as they’re finally able to be together and they learn how to live with each other.  I loved how this was handled and how they had this sort of give-and-take relationship.  Rowan’s insecurities are also played very well and very realistically.  Aedion and Lysandra also come into their own a bit and they’re such a pleasure to watch together.  To avoid spoilers, I’m not going to mention that last romance that develops but let me just say that it took me a bit by surprise and I’m not sure if I approve yet.  It’s lovely and heartwarming (and slightly hilarious) but I’m not sure about it yet, the same way I wasn’t sure about Rowan and Aelin (I’m still not sure about them but what are you going to do?).

“Rowan’s always looking for an excuse to show off. Dramatic rescues give him purpose and fulfillment in his dull, immortal life.”

4.  The ending.  I feel like I have to mention this because it’s such an unexpected ending (and a MAJOR cliffhanger, like I said before).  While I did like how it all pulled together, there is a little disbelief in Aelin’s contingency plan with Lysandra.  There are SO many problems I see with it and I really don’t think it’s the best solution but we’ll see how it goes in the next book.

“You will find, Rolfe, that one does not deal with Celaena Sardothien. One survives her”

The Final Verdict:
A wonderful installment to an already beloved series with edge-of-your-seat action, hilarious banter, and beautifully sculpted romances.  Sometimes, the events only held on by a thread of belief.

4.5 stars

Meet the Author:
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.


0 thoughts on “Review Wednesday: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #5)”

  1. Glad to see you're so back into this series after the previous one maybe not being so good. I haven't read any of them myself – long series' are too much of a commitment for me!


  2. I mostly held off because the last book wrapped up one part of the story so nicely I didn't really want to open the can of worms back up but I'm so glad I did! Next up is Tower of Dawn! That I completely understand. I'm kind of the opposite: I want all the time in the world with characters that I've come to love reading about so I want their story to go on and on and on 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!


  3. More Sarah J Maas! You've really been loving her books a lot lately! I have to say that I haven't read the Throne of Glass series at all yet. It sounds like they're good and if they are still this good so far down in the series it must mean something. I should give them a go… Maybe after I'm done with the ACOTAR series.


  4. Haha sometimes I just go on these author streaks where I'll read like five books by the same author all in a row. I hope you love them as much as I do if you end up getting around to them 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Olivia!


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