Book Review – Empire of Storms (ToG #5)

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Title: Empire of Storms (ToG #5)

Author: Sarah J Maas
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 who 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?
Rating: 5 stars
Review:  Nearly a month after it came out, I’ve finally read and finished this, and oh my gods, by the end of it, I was left hanging from the metaphorical cliff by my fingernails. That’s how suspenseful and thrilling the whole experience was for me.
Me before reading this:
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Me halfway through:
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Me after finishing:
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Following on from the end of ‘Queen of Shadows’, Aelin and her friends are en route to reclaim Terrasen, but of course, nothing is that easy – especially when you’re the returning lost-lost queen of a whole kingdom. Along the way they face multiple problems like misogynistic lords, bitch queens, and cryptic spirits who only appear to give some puzzling clue and then vanish again.

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

I absolutely love the dynamics between the whole group – Aelin and Rowan, Aedion and Rowan, Aelin and Lysandra, Lysandra and Aedion….honestly, the list goes on and on. Right from the start, I was hooked on the heat of Aelin’s relationship with Rowan (I mean, those sex scenes? Hot as fuck.) and I grew to become very, very invested in the relationship between Aedion and Lysandra. Also, I wasn’t expecting to ship Manon and Dorian quite as much as I do. Ugh, so many ships!!
Speaking of Aedion, I couldn’t be more thrilled that we now have some major LGBTQ representation in the main cast – especially when it’s along the lines of bisexuality. I NEED more openly bisexual characters in the books I read, and in a way that it isn’t such a big deal.

“I’ve been with just as many people. Women, men…. I’ve seen and tried it all. I find pleasure in both, depending on my mood and the person. Attraction is attraction.”

 

And then we had a hell of a lot of Lorcan and Elide – another ship that I wasn’t expecting to love so much. They actually remind me a lot of Aelin and Rowan, with the antagonism and the underlying attraction to each other. Elide is such a layered character – she seems weak and helpless, but when she had to be, she rises to the occasion, and lets loose this whole other side of her.
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But by far, the best part of the whole book was Rowaelin. I mean, read some of these passages I pulled from the book, and tell me you’re not totally in love with this ship as well:
Strong hands slid over her waist, tugging her into his warmth, as Rowan’s lips grazed her neck, right under her ear.
“Rowan and Aelin have a tendency to say one thing and mean something else entirely.”
They would burn the entire world to ashes with it. He was hers and she was his, and they had found each other across centuries of bloodshed and loss.
Rowan didn’t know whether to be amused, thrilled, or slightly terrified that he’d been blessed with a queen and lover who had so little care for public decency.
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Christ, they’re hot. I don’t know whether I want to sleep with Rowan, or sleep with Aelin…..ooh, maybe both? That’s a book nerd fantasy that’s worth a good daydream.
Sarah J Maas has truly earned her place in my top three favourite authors – no matter what she produces, it’s always good. She creates these beautifully intricate fantasy worlds, and you can’t help but be sucked in by the characters and the relationships. Hell, even the villains are captivating!
I’m not going to give away any spoilers (well, no BIG spoilers), but I will say that by the end of this book, you’ll be sobbing like a baby, but also melting at the romance in it, and possibly also screaming at the book because of stupid, evil Maeve. This book has all of that and so much more, and I might actually go back and re-read it over again, purely because that’s how intense the whole book was for me. Bravo!
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