Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release date: September 6, 2016
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Pages: 704
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The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. 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.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what – and who – to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Empire of Storms is the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series, which means that this review may contain spoilers for the first four books.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I loooooved this fifth installment of this series but I didn’t love it more than Queen of Shadows and Heir of Fire. While there were lots and lots of elements and plot points that I highly enjoyed, I had a few minor issues. But they were so minor that I could probably overlook them.

The plot of this book was great and I thought it followed on nicely from the ending of Queen of Shadows. However, at times, I felt that the plot lacked logical flow and transitions. There were things that kind of happened out of the blue and I think that’s a little bit inexcusable for a book that’s 700 pages. Having said that, while it did make me slightly confused at times, it didn’t really bother me and I loved where we went in this story and how the book ended as well. It fit in really well with the overarching story arc of the series and I’m super excited to see where the finale takes us and how it’ll end.

This book follows a couple of different perspectives and character journeys and I enjoyed all of them. We follow the stories of not only Aelin and her court but also Manon’s story, Elide’s journey to finding Aelin and Lorcan’s own personal quest to find the Wyrdkeys. I loved finding out more about Elide and Lorcan because they were intriguing characters that we didn’t really get to see a lot of in previous installments. Those two characters really, really grew on me throughout the novel and I love them so much! I also highly enjoyed Manon’s story arc. I loved her in previous books but now I think she might be my favourite character of the series. Her journey throughout the book was heartwrenching but worked so perfectly with plot of the series. What I think was slightly missing in this book was Chaol’s story. I’m not the biggest Chaol fan but he wasn’t in this novel at all and I did find myself wondering what he was up to. I can understand why his story wasn’t included in this book since it was already filled with lots of juicy action but I think fans of Chaol will really be disappointed by the lack of Chaol in Empire of Storms.

All of the characters were fantastic in this novel. I had problems with the characters in A Court of Mist and Fury but I was definitely not disappointed by Empire of Storms. I do have to say though that some of the side characters overtook Aelin as my favourite. I thought the complexity of Manon and Elide’s characters in this fifth book were much more appealing and interesting to me than Aelin. She just felt a little bit less feisty and funny than in previous books. We saw a much more serious and responsible side of her in this novel, which worked well with the plot and makes complete sense. I just found her to be slightly less interesting to me than some of the other females in this book. In terms of the other characters, I continued to love Rowan in this novel. But I felt that his character was also slightly different to who he had been in the past. He was also a bit more subdued and at times came across as a bit weak and needy, as opposed to the big, bad Fae warrior he was in Heir of Fire. These are all very minor criticisms though because I love the cast of characters in this series and the things they make me feel.

All you really need to know about Empire of Storms is that it is absolutely amazing. Fans of Chaol might have a bit of a problem with the lack of Chaol in the novel but you definitely cannot deny that this is a wonderful installment with a clear story arc. I can’t wait to find out how it all ends and I’m so sad that it’ll be another year before I find out.

Empire of Storms was published by Bloomsbury on September 6, 2016 and is now available at Australian retailers for $17.99.

Book Haul: August 2016

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I went slightly crazy this month with my book buying. There were a lot of events and that prompted a lot of book buying. Whoops?

BOOK DEPOSITORY

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You might be thinking “Jenna, didn’t you buy Bone Gap a few months ago already?!” And the answer is yes, I did. I got a paperback copy when I was in Florida because the book isn’t published in Australia. However, I wanted the hardcover edition. So when Jeann @ Happy Indulgence mentioned that she wanted to buy the paperback of the book, I offered my copy to her in a heartbeat so that I could buy the hardback. And here it is! This month, I also received my preorder of the Shatter Me boxset. It’s a series that I’ve wanted to read for a really long time but the Australian covers are hideous and I couldn’t justify buying the series in hardcover. I saw some of Colleen Hoover’s books with large discounts so I bought Confess and It Ends With Us, which are the two that I’m most interested in. And finally I also bought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Americanah, using the BooktubeAThon discount.

KINOKUNIYA

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August 13 was National Bookshop Day in Australia and of course I had to visit Kinokuniya. I ended up buying Uprooted, The Walled City, Breathing Under Water, Twenty Boy Summer, Saga Vol. 1 and Monstress Vol. 1 that day. I’m super excited to pick up those novels!! I also received a free book that day for spending over $30 (I’m kicking myself for not splitting up my purchases because I could have received 3 free books with all the money I spent). I ended up getting Queen of Shadows, which I already own a copy of so I gave away this copy on Twitter. A week later, I was at Kinokuniya again for a panel that Jeann was moderating and during a quick browse of the YA section, I picked up Monstrous Affections, an anthology of beastly tales by some wonderful authors that I’ve read and lots of others who I’ve never heard of.

DYMOCKS

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Dymocks had a 2 for $30 sale on select Aussie YA books this month so I bought Newt’s Emerald and When Michael Met Mina. They also had a double points sale one day in August, which prompted me to buy The Memory Book, The Protected, Between the Lives and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Finally on National Bookshop Day, I bought The Hating Game and I’m super excited to read it. I read Sally Thorne’s fanfiction about 7 years ago and have been following her on Twitter since then. It’s so exciting that she now has a published novel and the synopsis sounds right up my alley!

angus & Robertson BOOKWORLD

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I already own the original green hardcover edition of Fangirl but because I was getting the opportunity to meet Rainbow Rowell, I decided to buy the pink collector’s edition too. Angus & Robertson is an Australian online retailer and they just happened to have free shipping when I decided to purchase this book so I took full advantage. The book arrived the day after I ordered it!!! I was sooo pleased. The book itself is lovely. It isn’t that much different from the original edition but it has lovely Cath & Levi and SnowBaz fanart as its endpapers and a cute coffee cup on the naked cover.

RECEIVED

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I’m a very lucky girl and received lots of wonderful books this month. My Happy Indulgence coblogger, Aila @ One Way or an Author sent me her ARC of Heartless!!!!!! I’m still internally screaming. Like I haven’t stopped screaming enough to find time to pick up the book. I also did a trade with Angel Reads for Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The book was signed by Laini Taylor and I’m still internally screaming about that too. Jeann sent me copies of Words in Deep Blue and Our Chemical Hearts to review on Happy Indulgence. Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Penguin Teen Australia for those. Bloomsbury Australia sent me Stealing Snow and The Devil You Know. And finally, I got a copy of #SaveOzStories, which is a collection of short stories by a whole bunch of Australian authors. This book is a response to the proposed changes to the book industry by the Australian government. The two main changes proposed are the reduction of the copyright period from 70 years to 15-25 years and the abolishing of parallel importation restrictions to create an open market.  These will both have a detrimental effect on authors and the publishing industry in Australia.


What was your favourite book that you acquired in August?