Empire of Storms

Empire of Storms

Book - 2016
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"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"--
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Children's Books, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781619636071
Characteristics: 693 pages :,map ;,25 cm


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May 22, 2019

In this book, Sarah J. Maas tries her hand at writing romance novel, and she's pretty good at it.

Admittedly, that might not be what the reader was expecting from book #5 in a series that has been primarily fantasy - with a little romance mixed in here and there. My suspicion is that #1-4 was the original plan for the series and that #5-7 were planned later. So #5 seems to be doing a lot of set-up for #6 and #7. Maas spends most of this book developing relationships - in particular those of four pairs. The idea, presumably being to get the reader more invested in those characters and relationships for when disaster inevitably strikes.

This worked for me, but I admit to having a soft spot for romance novels (having read many many many of them in my youth). Some readers may also find it useful to know that there are therefore romance-novel-style descriptions of sexual activity as well (generally euphemistic but more detailed than in of the previous books in the series).

I have to admit I was tending to find myself more interested in the newer characters than in Aelin. I'm not sure whether that was because they got more focus than she did, or if it's simply inevitable to be more interested in the shiny-and-new after so much focus on her in the earlier books.

Anyway, the plot does advance alongside the romance (the focus on which gives credibility when Character A is willing to sacrifice themselves for Character B, etc.) and the book ends on a pretty big cliffhanger - so don't plan on reading this one if you don't also plan to read #6...

Mar 20, 2019

Decent enough for being the 5th book of the series. Starts out kind of slow but picks up later in the book. I can understand the frustration of others with new character being introduced constantly, but hoping it all comes together at the end.

Jan 30, 2019


Jan 04, 2019

I always find it very difficult to rate SJM books. I usually thoroughly enjoy them, even though I know they aren't the best structurally and grammatically. Maas also tends to follow the same basic storylines, not to mention her knack for pairing everyone up, or inability to kill off any of her main characters. Despite all of this, I still have a good time reading her books. I love her characters- how she weaves their stories together into an intricate tapestry, no matter how far apart they begin from one another. Empire of Storms, book 5 in Throne of Glass, is no different. This was my favorite part of this installment; all of the characters that we've been reading about since the beginning of the series are finally coming together and working towards the same goal. Aelin, Rowan, Lysandra, Aedion, Dorian, Lorcan, Elide, Manon, and even Gavriel and Fenrys are all in the same place- and it took us 5 books (6 if you count TAB) to get here. It feels like more of a monumental feat than it actually is, since there is so much filler in some of these later books that it makes it difficult to push through. The first half of this novel was a bit of a slog. The Skull's Bay portion was much longer than it needed to be. There was a lot of standing around and waiting for things to happen, which I didn't really care for. Rowan and Aelin also took forever to do the deed, which I found not quite believable. There were several fight scenes, which were done very well, especially from Lysandra's perspective. We were finally able to see the extent of Rowan, Dorian and Aelin's magical abilities, which was immensely satisfying. The novel really picks up about halfway through, and hurtles from that point to the heart-wrenching ending. I'm glad I didn't pick this up two years ago and have to wait for the release of Kingdom of Ash!
Long and the short of it: decent continuation from Queen of Shadows, but quite a bit of filler in the beginning which could have been skipped or trimmed out. Very exciting story in parts due to the huge fight scenes and the coming together of all the characters. I will certainly continue on with Tower of Dawn, but only after a much needed break.

Jan 01, 2019

Here are some of my favorite quotes. Man, I really enjoyed this book. It felt like I was on an emotional, wild adventure.
Spoilers ahead!
1. “Because destroying a symbol can break the spirits of men as much as bloodshed.” (44) This was when Manon talked about the destroyed glass wall in Rifthold leftover from QoS.
2. “Yes, her cousin understood perhaps more than anyone else the power a single symbol could wield. How the loss or reclaiming of one could shatter or rally an army, a people.”
3. "The sunlight gilded the balcony as Asterin whispered, so softly that only Manon could hear, “Bring my body back to the cabin.”
Something in Manon’s chest broke--broke so violently that she wondered if it was possible for no one to have heard it.
And Manon understood in that moment that there were forces greater than obedience, discipline, and brutality. Understood that she had not been born soulless; she had not been born without a heart.
For there were both, begging her not to swing that blade.
Forgiveness shone in the faces of her Thirteen. Forgiveness and understanding and loyalty that was not blind obedience, but forged in pain and battle, in shared victory and defeat. Forged in hope for a better life--a better world.
At last, Manon found Asterin’s gaze, tears now rolling down her Second’s face. Not from fear or pain, but in farewell. A hundred years--and yet Manon wished she’d had more time." (163)
4. “... as that fist full of unimaginable power now opened toward his heart--
There was no force in any world that could keep her contained.” (322)
5. "Because I am going to marry you,” he promised her. “One day. I am going to marry you. I’ll be generous and let you pick when, even if it’s ten years from now. Or twenty. But one day, you are going to be my wife."
6. “Because she died. And even before she did, this world saw to it that she suffered, and was afraid, and alone. And even though no one will remember who she was, I do. I will never forget the color of her eyes, or the way she smiled. And I will never forgive them for taking it away.” (509)
7. “And then he said quietly, “I wanted to go to Perranth with you.”
Lorcan dropped the shield.” (537)
8. “Your mother told me to tell you that she loves you--very much. Those were her last words to me. “Tell my Elide I love her very much.”
For over ten years, Aelin had been the sole bearer of those final words. Ten years, through death and despair and war, Aelin had carried them across kingdoms.
And here, at the edge of the world, they had found each other again. Here at the edge of the world, just for a heartbeat, Elide felt the warm hand of her mother brush her shoulder.” (541)
9. “And tell Rowan,” Aelin said, fighting her own sob, “that I’m sorry I lied. But tell him it was all borrowed time anyway. Even before today, I knew it was all just borrowed time, but I still wish we’d had more of it.”...
“And tell him… tell him thank you--for walking that dark path with me back to the light.” (661)
10. “Time--she was grateful Elena had given her that stolen time.
Grateful she had met them all, that she had seen some small part of the world, had heard such lovely music, had danced and laughed and known true friendship. Grateful that she had found Rowan.
She was grateful.
So Aelin Galathynius dried her tears.
And did not fight when Maeve strapped that beautiful iron mask over her face.” (665)
11. “Aelin had never planned to see Terrasen again.
She had married Rowan knowing she would have months at best, days at the worst, with him. But she would give Terrasen a legal king. To hold her territory together.
She had made plans for all of them--and none for herself.” (676)
12. “I will find you.” (689)

PimaLib_ChristineR Sep 14, 2018

4⭐ I will admit that after reading The Court of Smut and Shopping and reading the scathing reviews of Catwoman, I went into this prepared for a good hate-read, but SJM worked her magic on me.

First: there were only three mentions of toes curling. Believe me, I counted. That's not bad for 689 pages.

So the best part of this story was the non-stop action. SJM just piles it on and this is the type of writing she excels at. Even when it's not an outright battle, there's always tension building. Who can be trusted? And for how long? This is probably my favorite of the series so far.

I still had some of the same gripes. She doesn't like anyone that is an important character to be bad. So Lorcan, who has lived practically forever, and prides himself on killing people for fun, he's pretty easy to knock over here.

Even Maeve's other soldiers, sent to find him, have "magic words" that suddenly free them from their duty. Um. No. And Aelin is evidently a better general than any general, despite being 20 or so and never organizing a battle. And continually failing to tell anyone else what her plans are... Anyway, it's her world, I'm just reading it. Until this series is done I'll be keeping it on the front burner.

Aug 18, 2018

still well written but poorly read, very very slowly read

Apr 22, 2018

A solid 3 stars for Fifty Shades of Whitethorn, aka Aelin Galathynius and the Horniest Road Trip Ever

If the characters in this book hadn't been so hormonal (apparently forgetting there was a war going on in the effort to keep their clothes on) or insistent on keeping secrets from each in favor of dramatic reveals that ultimately only hurt their cause (*cough cough* I'm looking at you, Aelin) maybe things would have gone smoother and the book would have been half its size and less of a waste of my time. It had all the potential to be another Heir of Fire, but instead it was a porno pretending to be a fantasy novel, curled toes, biting, and all.

And in true Sarah J Maas style, I was able to predict with perfect accuracy the main love plots in this book literally before I even started reading it.

IamWowie Apr 16, 2018

Im tired of this series. The author is dragging the stories and adding more characters each series. I am beginning to hate the main character. She's 19 and yet she makes all the decision making and just let the men around her to blindly follow. They are in the middle of war and she thinks about sex every time she sees her 300 year old lover.

coloradobuck Oct 29, 2017

I felt this novel was a bit racy for young adult readers. Interesting plot twists and turns along the way.

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Apr 07, 2019

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Add Notices
Mar 07, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Torture scenes and implied torture

Mar 07, 2018

Sexual Content: Many long and very detailed sexual scenes between most of the main characters

Mar 07, 2018

Violence: Excessive violence and violent dialogue between characters

Mar 07, 2018

Coarse Language: Frequent use of vulgar language not suitable for children under the age of 13

Apr 04, 2017

Sexual Content: At least pg 13


Add a Quote
Oct 17, 2016

"The world," Aelin said, "will be saved and remade by the dreamers, Rolfe."

Oct 17, 2016

"I promise you that no matter how far I go, no matter the cost, when you call for my aid, I will come. I promise you on my blood, on my family's name, that I will not turn my back on Terrasen as you have turned your back on me. I promise you, Darrow, that when the day comes and you crawl for my help, I will put my kingdom before my pride and not kill you for this. I think the true punishment will be seeing me on the throne for the rest of your miserable life."


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