Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

6:17 PM

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas | Rating: ★★★★☆

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.

It's official: Empire of Storms is the best (the bloody best) of the Throne of Glass series thus far. It will have you gasping for air by the final pages and well, I'm more than a little emotionally scarred by this beautiful novel. Finally! Throne of Glass is living up to its potential for me. That's the good news--the bad news is, I'm still not into Rowan but he is mostly growing on me and I'm trying to get used to him but eh, he left a bad taste in my mouth from the start.

Once more, Sarah J. Maas proves that her writing--her characters, the world-building--gets better at every release. It's easy to get lost in her fantasy-world. It's easy to root and hate certain characters. It is easy to love and become invested in this game of war. There's something undeniably intriguing and violent about Empire of Storms that sets it a part from its previous installments. And, I think, this cliffhanger is possibly one of the most thralling--and heartbreaking--releases as of yet.

Let's talk romances. You know my opinion on Rowan and his relationship with Aelin. I had/have a very bleak outlook on his actions when we first met him a couple of books back. I probably won't ever love him. I probably won't ever fully support/want him with Aelin. But, my feelings were a bit less cold towards him than before. Lukewarm. At least it's better than that mix of fire and ice of annoyance, right? I suppose--Aelin and Rowan have some pretty strong chemistry and it certainly shows in Empire of Storms and under any circumstances, I might have liked them at one point. It just doesn't do it for me.

Elide and Lorcan are up next. I like them far more than I expected but I mostly am a total Elide fan. Lorcan... is Lorcan. And I do love him for it. I think that's a bit hypocritical for me to like him more than Rowan because they are oddly similar when it comes to the outlines. I think what I preferred about the way Lorcan is written is that you expect him to be morally grey and he isn't fashioned into a romantic lead quite like Rowan was. I always feel like Rowan was choppily put together. He was one thing and then another. Whereas Lorcan, I never know what to expect.

I sound dumb.

Anywho.

Aedion and Lysandra are cute as heck, as per usual. I really love these two? I think they are rough around the edges like all characters/relationships in this world but there's this sort of lightness in quality to them that sets them apart from Aelin/Rowan, Elide/Lorcan, and--drum roll please--Dorian/Manon. It's entirely necessary to have that balance of angst and goodness. Plus, I think, the two are my favourite characters in the series.

Lastly...
Dorian.
And.
Manon.

Oh my God, they are my favourites. I was kind of hoping for some Elide/Manon in this book but I was really surprised with how much I liked that their tension and chemistry was explored. We saw it previously but in Empire of Storms it reaches an all-time high. I like the element that they were always saving each other for one reason or another; against their better judgments. I like that it's all fire, no ice. There's something there. Even if it's not endgame, I really enjoy their "relationship" with one another. The princeling and the witchling. Oh, I do love the sound of that.

Notably absent was Chaol during this book but it's not all that noticeable. Even for me, I just felt like it lived up to its potential much better without him--it was the right move to give him his own story outside of this installment and I can't wait to read it. Until then, you'll miss him if you're a fan but only just.

Overall, the stakes were high in Empire of Storms and although it was a lengthy release: I finished this book at a crazy fast pace. Even with going out and balancing life, I think it took me a few days maximum. It's easy to get lost in a Sarah J. Maas book and she certainly owns that title as one of the best YA fantasy novelists of our time. I loved every minute of this book; even when her words stabbed me and left me wondering what the heck just happened.

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