Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Page Count: 689
This review may contain spoilers!
Aelin Galathynius is building up an army to against Morath. As she goes from Skull’s Bay to the Stone Marshes she always has a plan in motion that no one sees coming. And as she prepares to ally herself with anyone willing to help, they run into obstacles one after another.
If you haven’t read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas or Empire of Storms then I suggest that you don’t read any further. This is the 5th book in the series and there will definitely be spoilers. To start off, I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 like the rest of the series but it wasn’t as good. Don’t get me wrong, I did like it but I felt something change in this book. One thing being Aelin. I don’t really like her anymore. She’s so mean and secretive and has such a “none are holier than I” attitude with no humility whatsoever. Her attitude changed so tremendously and I’m not loving. She’s one of my least favorite characters in this book and that’s beyond crazy because I usually always love the main characters. Rowan is another character that I enjoyed in Queen of Shadows but not as much anymore. He basically worships Aelin and she always needs to be within his sights at all times. That’s too much for me. Their entire relationship has gotten to be too much. Now let’s talk about my favorite character. Manon!!! She is so kick-butt and I loved her every single second. This book was the total opposite with my opinion on Manon than from Heir of Fire. In Heir of Fire, I wanted nothing to do with her chapters. I just wanted to skip over them and get back to Aelin’s story. But in Empire of Storms, I wanted to skip Aelin’s chapters and go right into Manon’s story. She’s so fearless and has turned into an amazing character in this series. Oh and how can we not talk about Dorian?! I have been team Dorian since Throne of Glass. Queen of Shadows had me edging toward Rowan and now I’m all for Rowan and Aelin being together. They can have each other. The real ship here, is Dorian and Manon. YES! I would read a book about them for sure. Maeve saved Dorian when the Ironteeth attacked Rifthold. She killed a Yellowleg and the heir of the Yellowleg’s could smell it on her. Manon was sent to her trial where her grandmother said that her second, Asterin would die because of what she did. Manon said she wanted to be the one to kill Asterin and when it came down to it, she turned her sword towards her grandmother. And told her thirteen to run. YES! But of course, her grandmother blocked it and cut Manon’s stomach really badly. Abraxos took her away to get help and that’s how she ends up with Aelin and back with Dorian. I was trying to think of who my favorite male character was and I have to say that it’s still Dorian. With Lorcan following after him.
Lorcan is Maeve’s second in command. He has the blood oath with her and he has betrayed her and on the run. Who else is on the run? Elide!! Remember Elide? Manon dropped her off so she can make her journey to Aelin. So who runs into each other? Lorcan and Elide and what a glorious pairing they make. They instantly soared to the top of my ship list. Lorcan is this brute of a character who keeps telling himself that he doesn’t fall into relationships with women. He has his one night stands and that’s it. But along comes Elide and oh my… the pairing is great! Elide comes across, at first, as this weak, limp character who can’t fend for herself. But she really shows that she is underestimated in this book because I think she can kick some butt too. The ending with Lorcan betraying them by sending Maeve the signal, was heartbreaking. I hated to see him and Elide apart but he screwed up. I think he will redeem himself in the last book. At least I hope he does because like I said, he’s one of my favorites!
So basically Aelin goes to Skull’s Bay to get Rolfe’s army to join her against Morath. There’s a big fight scene in Skull’s Bay and this is where Lysandra really shines. She shifts into a sea dragon and she fights off the sea wyverns. And she’s amazing and I didn’t think she was going to survive it. She was slowing down because she had shifted too much and it was just such a close call but she defeats them and when she’s laying on the beach, Aedion comes to her and tells her that he’s going to marry her. It was a really cute moment but I don’t see this ship sailing very far. It seems like Maas just forced this couple together. Everyone else is paired with someone, let’s stick these two together. I’ve noticed the flirting in Queen of Shadows but I didn’t really sense anything more than that and I just don’t approve of this. It is what it is though.
Aelin then gets a message to retrieve the lock that will lock the wyrdkeys and she’s told it is in the Stone Marshes. So she heads there. When they get there and find that it’s a mirror they are not too sure about what it does so they take it back but before that and team of 500 Ilken come for them and Lorcan sends them a warning. They prepare and Aelin kills them all with her fire while the rest of her crew kills the ones that remain. As they are leaving, they ships in the distant and a red-haired queen from Briarcliff is coming to shore. Ansel. If you don’t know Ansel, she befriended Celaena in the Red Desert but then betrayed her and the Silent Assassin’s and Celaena didn’t kill her so Ansel owed her a life debt and Aelin called in the debt. So Ansel is there to fight with them.
And again they see more ships and it is none other than Maeve with her Fae army. She gives Aelin until the next day to surrender. Aelin has no idea what to do and then Dorian comes along. He grabs her and Manon and tells them that fire and iron are suppose to enter into the mirror and away they go. They just go into the mirror without even thinking about it. While they are in the mirror Aelin sees memories of the truth of the Lock and the Wyrdkeys. Outside of the mirror, Rowan has asked his family members that came with Maeve to consider joining them and they all tell that they will consider it. All they can do is hope because they are outnumbered. As the fighting begins, Rowan’s family decides to help and they attack the Fae ships. And out of the skies they see 13 wyverns. That was one of the best moments in the book. Seeing those wyverns coming to their aid was just so fantastic!
But Aelin and Manon are sent to the shore, where Maeve is waiting with her soldiers and one has a sword to Elide’s throat. Rowan’s ship realizes to late that Aelin is at the shore and he is drained of his power to shift, so he takes the wyvern. On the shore, Maeve tells Aelin that she must come with her without any problems or she will take Elide too. Lorcan shows up at the shore as well and wants nothing more than to save Elide. Aelin is also drained of her power so there isn’t much she can do. Maeve makes Aelin bow to her and Carin, her new cadre, gives her ten lashes. She tells Aelin to count them out loud and if she misses one then they will start over. It was heartbreaking reading this. As much as I’ve grown to dislike Aelin, it really broke my heart seeing that she was getting whipped like that and I was really hoping that Rowan would swoop in and save her. But he didn’t. Maeve had iron chains put on her and an iron mask and then put her in an iron coffin and took her away. Of course, as soon as they were gone, Rowan shows up and he can see the blood on the beach. But he will do anything to get her back.
The ending was so epic! So so epic! They see another boat coming to shore and it is the crown prince of Wendlyn, Gallan Ashryver. Aelin wrote him a letter asking for his help and along with him came the Silent Assassin’s of the Red Desert. OMG! I totally forgot them and Illiyus from The Assassin’s Blade and it was just so great to see such a huge army coming to defend Aelin and fight for her. Aelin and Lysandra had made a plan beforehand. Aelin knew that she was going to have to sacrifice herself to use the Lock and she told Lysandra to shift into Aelin’s form so that she can marry Rowan and he will father the heirs with Aedion so that they will look like her. But just two days before that Rowan and Aelin married and the whole time Aelin knew they were mates but didn’t want to tell Rowan because of Lyria, his first wife and he thought she was his mate but it was all part of Maeve’s plan.
I really did enjoy this book just not as much as the first four. I just felt that Aelin was different and I wasn’t into her new demeanor. I am really excited about reading the final book that comes out in October and I guess we will all find out what happens!