This review is intended for those who have previously read the first four Throne of Glass books, so some spoilers may be in here for the first four books. There are no spoilers for Empire of Storms.
Synopsis: Book Five in the popular Throne of Glass series, Empire of Storms takes us back into the world of Aelin, Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra, Manon, Dorian, Elide, Lorcan, Gavriel, and Fenrys. Note I didn’t say Chaol. Where the heck was he???
Genre: Fantasy. Some consider this Young Adult, but this was too sexually graphic to be considered Young Adult for me.
Setting: The fictional world of Erilea.
My copy came from: I purchased Empire of Storms from Amazon.
Review: Empire of Storms was good, it was entertaining, but was far too long and it took me well over a month to read. The whole time I was reading, except for the end of Part One, and the end of the book, I wished that I were reading something else.
But Aelin had promised herself, months and months ago, that she would not pretend to be anything but what she was. She had crawled through darkness and blood and despair – she had survived.
Empire of Storms does a lot right; it fleshes out characters we only had glimpses of before and brings a lot of plot lines together at the end.
Empire of Storms gives us more insight into the character of Lorcan, and I really enjoyed that. I like Lorcan now, and I didn’t in earlier books, and I liked his conflict here. Besides Lorcan, we get more from Elide, and she is excellent as well. Other excellent characters are Lysandra, who once again steals the book with her shape-shifting abilities, including a stunning sea dragon scene, and also Manon (as always). Manon Blackbeak is my favorite character of the series, and she really had some excellent scenes here, mainly in the first half of the book.
The plot was so slow in this book. I’m not usually in a hurry to read my books, I’m content to savor slow plot lines, but this one just really dragged for me. And I like the world, I like the characters (for the most part), and it may have been that I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to pick up a 600+ page book. Also, I don’t know what it is with Dorian lately, but his scenes in this book were so boring.
Another issue I had with this book (and with the previous book) is the forced romance between Aelin and Rowan. I just do not like them together. I really enjoyed their relationship in book three, and was so glad to have a male – female relationship that to me was platonic, and then Maas threw romance into the mix in the previous book. The romance is dialed up in Empire of Storms, and there are many sexy scenes in this book and I don’t think they were necessary. They just felt cheap and silly.
Besides the Aelin and Rowan romance, another aspect I didn’t like was the fact that Chaol is not in this book at all. Why build a character up for four books to have him disappear in this one? Perhaps his narrative didn’t fit with Empire of Storms, but it will seem odd to just have him appear in the next book.
One thing that was very apparent to me in this book is that the novellas come into this story more than in previous books. Characters appeared with brief introductions, and I feel that had I read the novellas (I have not read them), I probably would’ve gotten more out of this particular book and the new characters added. I don’t know that I will go back and read the novellas now; I did have The Assassin’s Blade checked out from the library awhile back, but never got around to reading it.
Another thing about this book is that the world is so complex with many different characters and relationships that I had to read a brief refresher on the previous book before starting Empire of Storms. Had I not done this, I would’ve been completely lost, as the narrative just picks right up and doesn’t really explain a lot of previous action. I actually prefer series to do this, rather than recapping all of the previous books, but the downside to this is that when there is time between books I forget what happened! So this might be a series best read all at once, so you don’t forget anything.
Despite my issues with the Aelin/Rowan romance, and my issues with the length, I did enjoy this book and will continue on with the series when the next book is published. It doesn’t rank as one of my favorites of the series, those are Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire, but it does have several memorable scenes, and I do find myself liking Aelin more as the series goes on.
Bottom Line: Overly long, with unnecessary sex scenes, but fans of the series will enjoy the plotting and characters.
Links to my reviews of the first four books in the series:
Have you read Empire of Storms? What did you think? Are you over Rowan and Aelin, or do you think they are the best couple? Who is your favorite character?