Friday, October 7, 2016

#Friday Review - Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (YA, Fantasy) @SJMaas @bloomsburykids

Series: Throne of Glass # 5
Format: Hardcover, 704 pages
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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?

"Nameless is my price."

Empire of Storms is the fifth installment in author Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series. The story takes readers from Morath, to Rifthold, Adarlan, Terrasen, Ellywe, and Skull's Bay just to name a few places where action actually takes place. It features alternating perspectives from Aelin Ashryver Galathynius (formerly known as Celaena Sardothien), Rowan Whitethorn, Aedion Ashryver, Manon Blackbeak, Lysandra, Dorian Havilliard, Elide Lochan, and Lorcan Salvaterre. This story has the largest world building of any other book to this point as I have already pointed out.

As the story kicks off, we get our first look at Terrasen Princess Elena, who along with her love Gavin, fought against Erawan long before any of the current crop of characters was born. The same Erawan who has tossed away his disguise, and is once again attempting to conquer Erilea with his cadre of witches, wyvern's, and other assortment of dark beasts. Elena's choices, dare I say, have led to this point. In the end, it will be Aelin's choices and allies who will have to find a way to put the genie back in the bottle. 

Our next character who really matters is Elide Lochan. Elide left Manon and her Thirteen behind in order to head north to Terrasen. Elide searches for Celaena, not knowing who she really is, with something that she needs. But, she's also being tracked by our third character who matters, Lorcan Salvaterre, Yellowleg witches, and Erawan's dark creatures known as Ilken and Bloodhounds. Elide's story is fraught with danger, and twisted situations with Lorcan alongside. Elide is no pushover but you want to protect her because she has a good heart. She is a character who I have respected since she was introduced. She is a character who I hope will survive to see her own happy ending.

Meanwhile, Aelin, Rowan, Aedion, and Lysandra arrive in Terrasen where Aelin doesn't exactly get the warm welcome she was hoping for. In fact, it pretty much kicks Aelin in the teeth, and gets her blood boiling in anger. It forces her into calling in all debts from those who owe her and sends her on a journey that will end in the most shocking way possible. When this series first started, and even in the novellas that have been released, things had happened to Celaena that would eventually lead to this point in the series. She found friends in Dorian and Chaol (who doesn't not appear in this novel after being hurt in the last book). She found Rowan and encountered Maeve who has had her sights set on Aelin even before she was born. She made alliances with so many different groups, that when they are finally introduced in this book, you will be blown away by the
ingenuity of her thinking ahead.

"Aelin Galathynius had raised an army not just to challenge Morath, but to rattle the stars."

One of my favorite characters really has some interesting choices to make in this book and in the future. I am talking about Manon Blackbeak and her wyvern, of course. I love Manon and her Thirteen. I loved that Manon finally has had enough of her Grandmother, and fighting for an evil that doesn't care who he destroys. I love that Manon, along with Aelin, and Dorian, are key pieces to the puzzle for which I am eager to have revealed in the final installment. I am also curious about the relationship between her and Dorian. Dorian definitely needs someone to kick him into gear after losing so much.

This book is also filled with curious relationships. We already know about Aelin and Rowan, and Manon and Dorian, but there is a curious revelation at the most shocking point. I am, of course, speaking about Elide and Lorcan. Whether or not this relationship was a hit and see you later situation, or whether it ends up being something to talk about remains to be seen. The final relationship I'm going to speak about is Aedion and Lysandra. While this makes lots of sense, I can't help but saying that nothing appears as it is in this series. Can they survive? Will Aedion find another avenue? Or will it be just another twisted angle that Maas loves dumping on readers?

Have to say that was one helluva an ending. I guess that's one way to ensure readers will come back for the final novel in the series. Will absolutely admit I had a few tears in my eyes over those last chapters. 

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