Waiting for the postman to arrive yesterday with my preordered copy of an Empire of Storms was like waiting till it’s time to go downstairs and open your presents on Christmas morning, I was practically guarding the letter box by the time he finally showed up. It’s only been 4 months since I finished the last book in the series, Queen of Shadows, but it feels more like 4 years. I’ve been desperately waiting to find out what would happen next in this incredible world Sarah J. Maas has created. Thankfully, Empire of Storms did not disappoint and was totally worth the wait.
Empire of Storms follows Aelin as she finally attempts to take back her rightful throne. I don’t want to give too much away plot wise, but like the other books, it’s fast paced, exciting and full of twists. There are so many intertwining plots throughout; Aelin and her court trying to reclaim her throne, Manon (my Queen) trying to balance following her grandmothers rules whilst protecting her Thirteen and Elide trying to find Aelin to deliver Kaltain’s gift. Normally I struggle when I’m reading a book with so many different story lines, there’s nothing more annoying than getting right into a exciting plot and then having to suddenly switch to a boring one. That wasn’t the case with Empire of Storms, literally every story line is important and there’s not one boring part in the entire book.
There’s no boring story lines because every character is so interesting and everyone brings something different to the series. There isn’t one character that I don’t like, apart from the villains we’re obviously meant to hate. It makes me so happy that there are so many amazing female characters, which is really sad when you realise how rare that is in YA. Aelin is as brave and confident as always and is one of the rare main characters you don’t get sick of after 5 books. I adore Lysandra, and her character arc has been my absolute favourite throughout, I was a nervous wreck reading some of the scenes involving her. I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed Elide’s chapters, as I wasn’t too interested in her in Queen of Shadows. She’s really grown into a great character that I can’t wait to see more of. My favourite character though, is obviously Manon. Manon is such a Queen, even though she has more of a conscience now, she’s still a badass who’d happily kill anyone who gets in her way. I’ve loved her since she first appeared in the series, but now I’m obsessed with her and want to join the Thirteen.
I loved all the male heroes too, which is rare for me. Rowan is perfect and remains near the top of my book boyfriends list. He manages to be protective but not the standard gross possessive creep we normally have to deal with in YA. I loved how he became more integrated with the rest of the court, rather than having him just stick with Aelin. Aedion was great again, he’s a bit more serious in Empire of Storms than he was in Queen of Shadows, but that just adds more depth to his character. The character that surprised me most though, was Dorian. I did like him in the first book, but lost interest in him as the series went on. To be honest, I was over him and Chaol as soon as Rowan was introduced (don’t judge me, I’m fickle and can’t resist a love to hate relationship). I feel like we saw a completely new side to Dorian in Empire of Storms though, and I loved it. I always found him a bit boring, but there’s definitely an edge to him now that makes him way more interesting. There are other great male characters in the book, but I don’t want to spoil anything by mentioning too much about them as they’re a bit of a surprise.
The relationships between characters, platonic and romantic, were all really well developed too. I love the loyalty between Aelin and her court and Manon and her witches. The romances are all so good, I literally ship every couple. Rowan and Aelin are amazing and bring out the best in each other, I need Lysandra and Aedion to get together immediately and Manon and Dorian, well…all I’ll say is she brings out a more domineering side of him… I was actually quite surprised by how graphic some of the romantic scenes were. It can be frustrating reading a YA series where the romantic scenes have obviously been ridiculously censored to suit the younger audience. That’s definitely not the case in Empire of Storms, and I’m not complaining (I feel like a creep writing that).
I started reading Empire of Storms mid afternoon yesterday and only put it down when I absolutely needed to. I had just under 100 pages left at 11 pm last night, and if it wasn’t for my driving lesson today, I would have just stayed up and finished it. I should have just kept reading, since it took me ages to stop trying to guess what was going to happen and actually fall asleep. I finished it this morning and am already regretting reading it so quickly. I struggled enough waiting 4 months, how am I going to wait a whole year for the next book?! I’ll just have to buy the colouring book to keep me occupied (how cool is that?!).
Empire of Storms was an amazing addition to the best YA series that’s currently ongoing. If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series yet, you’re seriously missing out.
Have you read the series yet, if so what has been your favourite book? Who is your favourite character (it has to be Manon, right?!)?