Review: Empire of Storms

28260587Title: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Author: Sarah J Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: September 6th, 2016

Summary: 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?

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WARNING: This is not going to be a spoiler review but if you aren’t caught up with the series, I would read at your own risk. There will be potential mild spoilers in this review.

So I’m going to do something different than usual for this review. Normally I take the time to type out a big complicated review, going in depth on things… But I’m not doing that this time. You guys are getting a jumbled speed review because I’ve sat at this computer for days now trying to write a review and I just can’t. My brain and heart haven’t recovered enough yet. So here we go…

AELIN: My poor baby, you big selfless, crazy, ridiculously stupid brat. I love you but I want to punch you so hard right now. Through the whole book she was just being her usual sassy badass self but I KNEW SOMETHING WAS UP. I KNEW IT. And I was right. That ending wrecked me.

ROWAN: I love this guy. And I cried for him so much. Like I just can’t even think about him right now. What he did for Aelin and just thinking about the next book… These tears are real.

MANON: Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to love his girl any more than I already did, she went and got more amazing. She is just the perfect blend of cold, killing evil badassery, with a gooey heart hiding underneath. CAN THIS GIRL JUST BE QUEEN OF EVERYTHING PLEASE?

DORIAN: Still love him. His part didn’t feel as big in this book but he still shone like a little star. His magic powers are seriously becoming really impressive, Aelin might have some competition.

AEDION: Can I just say, thank god for this kid… If he wasn’t around, no one would be challenging Aelin or calling her out. Sure, he might be wrong most of the time, but I’m just relieved to have someone around who doesn’t think she’s the bee’s knees 24/7. Oh and I would totes marry this boy.

LYSANDRA: ALL BOW DOWN TO THE NEW QUEEN IN TOWN, THIS SHAPESHIFTING GIRL IS KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES. Lysandra is so cool you guys. Like, to levels that I really wasn’t expecting. I doubted her for a little bit and I take it all back, she is perfect. And that sea wyvern scene just… I can’t.

ELIDE: This girl is in my heart like on a more personal level. I feel like if I was a character in this book, this would be me; forgotten about, no flashy magic, not unbelievably perfect… BUT THIS GIRL DON’T CARE. Holy wow, she was so resourceful and brave and tough and I really wasn’t expecting the feels I got from this. You go girl.

LORCAN: I really didn’t have much of an opinion on this guy and now I don’t know if I want to kiss him or chop his head off. I mean, I get it, I get him, but that just doesn’t make it better. But then… the whole period shirt thing just makes me want to bawl and shove him and Elide together.

MAEVE: I’m so ready for this bitch to die. I don’t even care about that other bad guy, this bitch needs to die. I hope Sarah J Maas takes several pages to describe her suffering when it happens.

Of course, I have to touch on the ships because there are so many for this stupid book series and my heart can’t handle it.

AELIN/ROWAN: Perfect. Enough said.

DORIAN/MANON: YES. I’ve shipped them since they first met and I’m so satisfied right now. Their relationship isn’t all warm romance and rainbows but I kind of like that because as they fix each other, then it can turn into that in their own way. Also, can Dorian please just marry her already so she can be queen of like, everything. K thanks.

AEDION/LYSANDRA: I can wait. This is worth waiting for, I can feel it. And can we just talk about how awesome it is that Aedion likes everyone and is still super close to and besties with one of his previous male lovers? What a cool guy.

ELIDE/LORCAN: I was so not expecting this and I’m still struggling to understand why I ship it so much. I don’t even love Lorcan or anything but my heart just broke when he told Elide he wanted to go to Perranth. I need them together but not until Lorcan grovels A LOT.

And everyone keeps talking about the fact that this book has some fairly descriptive sex scenes in it, so I suppose I’d better too. I keep hearing lots of people talking about how they are mad that Sarah J Maas put them in the book. Basically, I agree that the sex scenes aren’t really necessary. But do I care? Nope. I get that they didn’t need to be in here and I feel bad for anyone that was offended by them. But that being said, I still enjoyed them in a way. I ship these characters and sex is usually something that happens in a romantic relationship. And I can absolutely believe that these characters would have sex. So it didn’t feel forced or unbelievable to me. Would the books have been just as good without the sex scenes? Yes. But Sarah J Maas is the author and if she wanted to write some smutty scenes, good for her. I’m just here to read and enjoy and having some unexpected sex in my book did absolutely nothing to change that.

Anyways… THE PLOT: Brilliant. Mind blowing. Heartbreaking. Like, I’m trying not to think about it so I don’t cry. Sarah J Maas continues to amaze me. I’m a filthy fangirl when it comes to her, I know, but I can’t help it. And I loved that this book had the feeling of like, the dream team slowly coming together. Now we just need Chaol and Nesryn to swoop in at a key moment in the next book. Calling it now.

OVERALL: Darrow can die, Maeve needs to die slowly, no one on the dream team had better die, and I’m going to die after the next book.

RATING:

Must-Read Monday: Throne of Glass Series

I decided to start my Must-Read Mondays off strong with some of my favorite books ever, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. These books are some of the most amazing fantasy books that I have ever read. Period. With one of the best heroines of all time. Possibly the best.

To start with, these characters. Holy snap, these characters. 13519397

Celaena is such an amazing character, she is so layered and realistic, and through the three books that are already out, her personality just grows and grows. Not only that, but she also happens to be one of the most bad ass people ever. She is an assassin, a great assassin, betrayed and forced to be a slave in the salt mines, only to be pulled forth and thrown into a tournament for her life. Watching Celaena in action is beyond exciting, her skills at sneaking and killing are both impressive and terrifying. But under all of that, you get to see that she has a warm heart of gold when it matters. Her sass and snarky comments dominate the pages, only adding to the complete package of amazing that is Celaena Sardothien.

All of Celaena’s friends are well written and amazing too. Dorian, Chaol, Nehemia, they all bring so much to these books. I just can’t stop gushing about how well written all of these characters are. I always find it so impressive when an author can not only make the main character great, but all of the secondary characters too. I feel like that takes some serious skills. Dorian is the smooth Prince, son of the evil King that Celaena is competing for, an evil King who may or 17167166 may not want to annihilate the world. Luckily, his son is a pretty nice guy. Chaol is the captain of the guard, even though he is so young and inexperienced. In charge of helping Celaena (and making sure she doesn’t murder anyone), he provides support and a big dose of tough love, determined to not let Celaena die. They are both handsome and swoony, possibly in love with Celaena and willing to do anything they can to protect her (not that she needs it). This sounds like the perfect set up for a long triangle right? WRONG! Well kinda… You’ll have to read to find out but let me just say that the romance is unbelievable.

The thing about these books is that every single book just gets better and better. There have only been three released so far, with six planned, last I heard. The first book is great as the beginning, introducing all of the characters, setting up the political power struggles, introducing the villains and big baddies, and bringing forth a huge mystery. The second book just adds on to all of these, giving answers and more problems, creating more complex relationships and adding a bit of world building. You can see the transformation Celaena goes through between the first and second book, how the people around her change her, making her better in my opinion. 20613470

But the third book is where it’s at. Just released in September, this book topped the other two by far. The amount of character development that Celaena goes through is mind blowing. And the world building… Dear god, the world building was beautiful. In this book we are introduced to so many new places and characters, and suddenly there is so much more going on in this world, more than you realized in the last books. This book makes you realize just how Sarah J. Maas is setting up for something absolutely epic to happen in the next three books.

If you like any books with fantasy, romance, amazing characters, a kick ass heroine, an epic world, evil bad guys out to destroy everything, mystery, fight scenes, just about everything else that makes a book amazing, READ THIS SERIES! Basically, if you don’t read these books, you’re saying you don’t like any of those things and therefore you are an awful person and should never read again.

Review: Heir of Fire

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)20613470

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Summary: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love. ________________________________________________________________________________________________

I just finished with whole book in four hours. Four hours. My brain is hurting a little but not as much as my heart. For those of you that don’t know, I love the Throne of Glass books. Like, I love them with an unholy passion. The action, the setting, the characters, the everything about these books are just so good, I can’t put them down. Heir of Fire wasn’t released until today but by the power of all that is holy, I got it in the mail yesterday. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t about to complain. And this book lived up to all of my expectations. However, just as a warning, if you haven’t read it yet, my review is going to be very spoilery.

In Heir of Fire, Celaena has gone to Wendlyn, sent my Chaol to keep herself safe. But once there, she decides to find Maeve, Queen of Fae. Who is, by the way, a straight up bitch, to the surprise of no one, I’m sure. She finds Maeve who agrees to tell her all she has to know about the Wyrdkeys, but only if Celaena trains to discover the full extent of her fae power. So now Celaena is stuck training with Rowan, this cold bad ass fae, while a million other things are happening in Rifthold. And oh my god, where to start?

First of all, this book was so bitter sweet. I am a huge fan of all the Chaol and Celaena sexy time we got in Crown of Midnight, but they don’t even see each other once in this book. However, so much other stuff was going on, I wasn’t even sad about the lack of romance, which is saying something. When an author gives you an amazing romance, then takes it away in the next book, but makes you not even care because everything else is so good and distracting, something is being done right. The other sad thing was that in the first two books, I really came to love Chaol and Dorian. What happened to them in Heir of Fire was one of the things I was most curious about, as well as how their relationship’s with Celaena progressed. But since Celaena wasn’t with them, we really didn’t get much time with them. However, several new characters were introduced that I fell in love with.

Manon Blackbeak. Holy shit, she is such a bad ass. I want her and Celaena to become best friends and paint each other’s nails with the blood of their enemies. But seriously, the two of them could rule the world if they ever decided to team up. Manon was so impressive all the time, the way she fought and killed and had total control, she was scary but so interesting. Getting a look at all the witch clans was something I loved. The rivalry between the three clans constantly kept me on edge and the cold brutality of everything they did gave me chills. But even in the beginning, I could feel a spark of life in Manon. She was so fierce, I knew she was going to become a new favorite for me. And the second she looked at Abraxos and felt their bond, their similar desire the prove themselves and to be strong, I melted. I’m a huge How To Train Your Dragon fan and I couldn’t help but imagine Abraxos as a cute, Toothless looking dragon. And the way she fixed up is spikes and wings, was a total Hiccup moment. Her love for her wyvern became her weakness and her strength. Towards the end, she was clearly questioning the ways of her people and what was in her heart, but I’m still wondering if she is going to be Celaena’s enemy or friend on the battlefield.

Another new character we met was Rowan, the fae in charge of training Celaena. They had a rough start, with him being a big bossy ass butt all the time, and her being scared and battling her inner demons, but it turned out that they were both what the other one needed. I loved how he was so steady and calm to guide and help her. And watching their transformation from enemies to reluctant partners to friends to more was sad and heartwarming at the same time. While Rowan is old and sad, Celaena brings out life and hope in him, and when they got to the point where they would do anything for each other, I wanted to cry. I was nervous at first that he was going to end up being a new love interest, but it was never that for either of them, which was so refreshing. One of the things I love about Sarah J. Maas is that she knows how to create bonds through characters without going overboard. Even in book two, there was never really a love triangle situation between Dorian and Chaol because Celaena knew where her heart was. Just like with Rowan, they have an incredibly intimate bond, but not one rooted in romance. I’m just sad that she is leaving Rowan behind in the next book.

Aedion, Celaena’s cousin from her past was also introduced. He was a general, one of the King’s best, who killed his own people and rooted out rebellions. At first, I was nervous to see another new bad guy come into play, but he actually wasn’t bad. Well, not bad in the way Celaena isn’t bad. Sometimes. He kills lots of people but isn’t really evil. He knows Celaena (Aelin) is alive and wants to see her take back the throne and the land and free the people. And he believes she can do it with every inch of his soul. His relationship with Celaena and his regrets and worries about what she will think of him made me so sad. He tried so hard to do what he can, but he is so uncertain. The sacrifice he made in the end was all for her, and if they don’t break him out of prison in the next book, I’m going to have some serious issues. Celaena needs him, needs someone with his strength and convictions for when she forms her court to take down the king.

It was a toss up as to which story line was the best to me. Celaena’s training with Rowan was so interesting, since we didn’t know much about fae or her powers until this point, and watching her develop her flames and conquer her fears and her past made me feel empowered. Oh and I was dying to learn more about her past and this book delivered. That evil sneaky rotten king is such a snake. But anyways, Manon and the wyverns was so intense and interesting too. The mystery about the rotten meat and bad blood still hasn’t been answered and I can’t begin to guess what part they are going to play in all of this. I would think the witch clans would want magic back in the land and fight with Celaena, but they are all so bloodthirsty and heartless, maybe only Manon and her Thirteen will fight against the king. And everything going down in Rifthold, with Aedion and Chaol working for the rebellion, and Dorian falling in love with Sorscha and trying to manage his magic; I couldn’t breathe every time I read one of their chapters, thinking for sure that the king was going to jump out of the shadows and kill them. Turns out, I was kinda right.

There is so much going on in this book, I haven’t even had time to organize my brain. The king controlling the Valg princes is scary as fuck. Those things are going to destroy every last life in the land, I swear. Manon and the bloodthirsty witches now have wyverns to ride and rain terror down from the sky. Celaena embracing her bad ass, fire wielding fae side and planning to save the world made me want to cheer. Chaol conflicted by his duty and beliefs and love and trying to save everyone, finally kind of paid off. Dorian falling in love with a healer/spy and controlling his magic put me in a constant state of anxiety. My heart was permanently trying to beat out of my chest through this whole book.

Now the ending. Holy shit, that ending. My heart nearly exploded. Maybe it did and that’s why I hurt so bad right now. I mean, holy shit. The king could die a thousand deaths and it still wouldn’t be enough. I can’t believe he actually just chopped off Sorscha’s head right in front of Dorian. Jesus christ. Then Chaol finally manned up (maybe not at the best of times) and almost got killed by the king only for Dorian to blast everyone around with his magic. Yep, he kicked some ass, saved Chaol’s life, and revealed his magic to his bastard of a father… Who promptly snapped a black collar of evil around his neck. So now Chaol has given up everything to go find Celaena and tell her what’s happened, Aedion and Dorian are imprisoned, and Celaena seems to think that her returning back to Rifthold after everythin that’s happened it a good idea. I’m going to vote no on that one.

This book was beautifully written and a roller coaster of feelings. The new land, new characters, it all fit in perfectly, and I can’t help but feeling like everything is about to fall into place. I can’t wait to see Celaena come back and claim her throne with a vengeance. This was without a doubtm worth the wait and one of the best books I’ve read this year. I bow down to you once again, Sarah J. Maas.

RATING: