Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Posted September 4, 2017 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. MaasEmpire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Published by Bloomsbury on 2016-09-06
Length: 693 pages
Reviewing Hardcover from My Book Shelf


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.

I have no words for Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas. No, that’s not true. I have a lot of words for this book, but none are very flattering. I love the Throne of Glass series! It is one of my favorite high fantasies. So I was excited that I finally got the chance to read the next installment. Now I’m wondering what the hell I just read.

Everything I love about the series is still there. I love the multiple character points of view and I love the overall series arc. BUT there are so many things I disliked.

First off, I felt lost through a good 3/4 of the book. I wasn’t sure what was happening. The head hopping didn’t help. I have loved the different POV in the other books. I especially enjoyed Elide’s and Lorcan’s POV, but it just didn’t work this go around. The characters’ voices weren’t distinct enough. I found myself getting confused about whose POV I was in. “Was it Aedion or Aelin?” “I thought Lorcan was talking now”….the entire book!!! I had to backtrack multiple times to figure out who’s head I was in. Frustrating!

Then the sex…I admit I’m a prude. I don’t like sex scenes – not in books, not in movies, not on a TV show. They make me uncomfortable. I get the idea that the characters are going to have sex if you fade to black or shut a door. My imagination is enough. I don’t need the details. I can forgive sex scenes in adult and new adult books because I expect it to be there. Sex is a part of life. I get it. What I do NOT like or expect are these scenes in young adult books. They make my eye twitch and my poor husband has to listen to me get on my soapbox about sex in teen literature. It just shouldn’t be there. I get that we have all shipped the characters and want them to be together, BUT there has to be a line. Shut that door and let the kids imagine what is happening. Scenes like this:

She dragged her hands down his powerful, muscled back, over scars from battles and terrors long since past. And as his thrusts turned deeper, she dug in her fingers…..His hips slammed home…

I think you get the point. There are entire chapters devoted to sex scenes. I know it’s more than just sex. BUT it’s a book billed for young adults. If this was a new adult or adult fantasy series, I wouldn’t have thought a thing about it. BUT young adult, by definition, is geared towards 13-18 year olds. Would you let your 13 year old read that?! Not me.

Of all the books in the series, I felt like this one falls short somehow. At least half the book is filler, a bridge to the end of the series. Why do I feel this way? Not much happens in the first 70% of the book. Yes several characters ships sail into HEA land, but there is a lot of filler. The plot drags. Then the end comes and it is explosive. It’s why the book gets three stars instead of one from me. Aelin, who I have rooted for from page one, makes some dramatic reveals. It’s heart-stopping and heart-breaking. I feel like the entire series comes to this point. And now we are coming to the end and I’m not ready!

Perhaps my favorite part of the story was the side plot involving Elide and Lorcan. I found myself falling for these two and rooting them along. Praying Lorcan would come to his senses and Elide wouldn’t get her heart broken. They made for a good team as they brought out the best in one another.

Overall, Empire of Storms was not my favorite book. It feels like the story has been dragged out on purpose, which I don’t like. Yet the reveals and the massive cliffhanger ending has me wondering what will become of Aelin, Rowan, Dorian, Aedion, and Manon. Now to anxiously wait on my mailman tomorrow as he delivers Tower of Dawn. I’m curious to see what Chaol has been up to, however if I’m being completely honest I’m not looking forward to a Chaol-centered novel. I’d rather skip to the last book and find out what is going to happen to Aelin. But that’s just my opinion.

About Sarah J Maas

Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, as well as A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.


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