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:

Review: Queen of Shadows (SPOILERS)

Title: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) 18006496

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: September 1st, 2015

Summary: Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

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This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, if not my most anticipated. The Throne of Glass series is one of my favorite series and one that I’ve amazingly never really had any sort of issue with, which is really saying something since I can be a huge nitpicker. When I got this book in the mail, I knew that it would be another successful read, an amazing continuation of this equally amazing series.

Queen of Shadows starts off with Aelin back in her city, scheming and planning against her old master, Arobynn, King of Assassins, to get back the Amulet of Orynth and the Wyrdkey inside of it. She finds out that the king has her cousin, Aedion, held prisoner and is planning on executing him on Dorian’s birthday. Oh, speaking of Dorian, he’s just withering away as the Valg prince takes over his mind and slowly destroys him. Oh and Chaol is leading part of the rebellion and decided to be a sulking, grumpy ball of misery. Things aren’t looking very good, to say the least.

One of the biggest things I heard about this book was that people decided to not continue the series and bad talk Sarah J. Maas for her decisions surrounding Chaol. I’m a huge Chaol and Aelin shipper so I was really disappointed to find that their reunion wasn’t all I had hoped and dreamed about. In fact, they basically went for each other’s throats, blaming each other for everything that had happened and destroying whatever relationship they had. After a while, it became apparent that they would never be rekindling their romantic relationship, and while I found that immensely disappointing, I also understood. I think that what a lot of people are missing is that Aelin and Chaol aren’t the people they were during ToG and CoM. They have gone through so many struggles and have had to change who they are to survive. Chaol was the man that Celaena needed when she was an assassin, but now she is Aelin, a queen and ruler, and she left that other girl behind. By the end of the book, Aelin and Chaol seem to be mending their friendship, but I think we can all agree that romance is out of the question, which I actually found myself supporting, simply because it wouldn’t make sense for the people they are now. I think everyone should give the book a chance and realize that even though things might not go the way we want them too, realistically, in series like this, changes are going to happen, and as long as they make sense and honor the characters, I’m fully support that.

While I’m on the subject of romance, I should probably address the fact that Rowan and Aelin are now romantically involved. To be completely honest, I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this yet. A huge part of me feels like a traitor because I’ve always been completely on Team Chaol, but when I was reading this book, I found myself really supporting Rowan and Aelin together. Rowan is who and what Aelin needs and I adore their relationship. But the thing is, in HoF, I loved that they had such an intense connection without is being sexual or romantic, so I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that it’s become that now. It was refreshing to see such a beautiful relationship that went beyond friendship between a man and woman, while remaining platonic. I’m not surprised that they starting smooching it up, and I loved every second of it, but part of me will always miss what they had before. But my inner fangirl is crying over their devotion to each other and how stinkin’ adorable they are all the time.

As for the actual story in this book, it was full of so many twists and turns and intense parts that I could not put it down. I absolutely love reading books where the schemes feels so smart and there are a million layers to every plan, so kudos to Sarah J. Maas for managing to be so unpredictable and clever. I loved the revenge aspect with Arobynn and seeing their strange relationship in action, as well as the differences between Aelin and Celaena. There were so many different story lines going on, but each one was so vital and interesting, there was never a point that I was bored or uninterested. And that ending, HOLY MOTHER, I couldn’t even comprehend what was happening because my mind was so blown. I mean, I NEVER saw that coming.

Aelin was, as usual, absolutely amazing. The amount of growth she goes through in every book, as well as the obstacles she overcomes, continue to shape her into more of queen. The one thing that upset me about this book was how quickly she seemed to accept Dorian’s condition and how easy she made killing him seem. But Aelin will always be my number one bae. We also get more new characters in this book and my favorites had to be Lysandra and Nesryn. Those girls knew how to kick ass and take names, I mean, DAMN. And Manon, don’t even get me started on how much I love that witch, having her and Aelin fight each other was like a dream come true. Just watching Aelin’s court grow as she helped people and earned their loyalties literally had me tearing up at some points. I loved seeing how Rowan and Aedion never once judged her for any of her current and past actions, and their love and commitment to her was unwavering.

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for the next book in this series. Now that Aelin and her court are back in Terrasen and Dorian is king, and the war looming overhead, things are about to change for sure. I’m really excited for Chaol and Nesryn to go to the Southern Continent, and to see what Manon and her thirteen are going to do. Not to mention Elide working her way to Aelin with the Wyrdkey; I’m definitely going to cry when they are finally reunited. Okay, and am I the only one hardcore shipping Dorian and Manon together? Can we just all take a minute to enjoy the thought of Manon ruling beside Dorian? That poor boy wouldn’t know what to do. In all seriousness though, this was a solid fourth book in the series, exceeding my expectations and hurting my heart and soul so good.

RATING: