Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Length: 693 pages
Type: 6 Book Series
Overall Rating: 5 stars
Ok so I love SJM and everything she writes so this won’t be so much of a review as me rambling about all the feeling I have been left with after finishing the book an hour ago. Sarah J Maas has once again murdered my life. She always pulls something like this so I don’t know why I no longer expect it. I guess it’s just because the end of Queen of Shadows was so happy and by chapter 64 everyone was still alive and everything seemed to be going fine. But then she just ripped the rug out from under me.
Now let me back up a little bit to the beginning. So we do not start off like I was expecting. First of all we start with an Elide chapter which practically made me groan. Not what I wanted, since she was just wandering aimlessly through the forest. Then there’s no grand entrance into Terrasen. In fact, she’s told she’s not the queen so she can get out. Well let me just say I was not happy about that at all. But then the story quickly go moving.
So much happens so fast right at the beginning and it was all so awesome. Rifthold gets taken and the scene with Manon saving Dorian and then Rowan saving Dorian was epic. The fact that we see Manon is willing to become a “witch killer” for him and then willingly lies about it after. And then Dorian and Rowan’s bromance was something I did not know I was missing but needed. Their boat ride together and the conversation they have is so heartbreakingly cute.
Meanwhile, Aelin is in Ilium tearing shit up. I can’t really believe Aedion didn’t notice that she was having Lysandra study the sea dragons…I thought it was kind of obvious. At this same time Elide and Lorcan are becoming traveling companions. I was grateful when they finally got together because their separate chapters were a little boring. But let’s face it Elorcan happened fast. By their third chapter together I was a complete Elorcan fan and when he saved her, and she sort of saved herself from her Uncle I was screaming. That scene was so great and they were finally so honest with each other. She’s so good for him because she’s all hope and he lost his will to live for something besides fighting for his queen a long time ago. If you had told me I would be freaking out because Lorcan was about to die during HoF or QoS I would have laughed at you. But that scene in the marshes where he’s under attack and she’s jumps infront of him I nearly died. And then he was going to sacrifice himself for her. UHG FEELS!!! WHICH IS WHY THE END KILLED ME. After all this beautiful relationship building he ruined everything and I’m honestly not sure she’ll forgive him (anyone else getting vibes between Elide and Asterin?)
Ok tangent over. So this book was amazing so just some key points that murdered me. Asterin willing to die for Manon. For a second I actually thought she was going to kill her, but I’m very glad she did not. Also that bombshell about her being half Crochan??? Did not see that coming. Also very happy when Manon FINALLY joined the squad because all the scenes between her and Aelin were perfect. I love how they challenge each other as 2 queens and all the males seem to hold their breath when they’re squaring off.
Then we had the entire Skull’s Bay section which was amazing start to finish. I did not realize how much I needed Fenrys in my life and I am very glad he made it to the end (I was expecting him or Gavriel to be killed off). And of course we were all just waiting for Aelin to show up and Rolfe’s reaction was exactly what I needed to be. Chapter 27 had me falling out of my chair laughing. Again I did not see it coming at all that he was a Mycenian. Then of course we had the big battle where I feared for Lysandra’s life more than I ever have. I really thought she was a goner because SOMEONE has to die. We all know the whole squad isn’t going to make it through to the end and so every time one of them is in danger it’s always “is this it? are we going to lose someone?”. And I don’t know if it’s better or worse that it hasn’t happened yet because they’re all still alive but for how long. Anyways the other plus of Skulls Bay was we finally got our sexy time between Aelin and Rowan and it was everything I needed it to be.
Another heart stopping scene was when Manon said “No he’s not” about Fenrys and then shit hit the fan. Again, I though Fenrys was a goner but thankfully he survived. Also that was the scene where grumpy parent Rowan came out. A few times Rowan killed it with his grumpy dad status. In this scene when they’re all making the bet and he says “remind me why I bother with any of you” then later in the marshes when he rips the fight between Loran, Gavriel and Fenrys apart like they’re children and then finally when Aelin and Manon have a little contest over Elide and Rowan finally has to say “Ladies” in that exasperated tone. (Also did it make anyone else think of Rhys having to say “Ladies?” to Feyre and Amren in ACOMAF *cough cough Feyre=Aelin Amren=Manon**)
The scenes in the wastes were good. I was expecting a big battle but the heart stopping scene ended up being Elide and Lorcan caught in the middle of Aelin’s fire and then the ambush on Lorcan. And then of course another bombshell leaving the wastes when we think they’re under attack and it’s freaking Ansel!!! Just more amazing scheming by Aelin from QoS plus I died when she got her horse back.
And then everything goes to shit after that. The battle ends up working out, but we finally learn all the horrible truths about Elena and what she did and that Aelin is supposed to die to save everyone. And then when she comes back it gets even worse with Maeve. The ending scenes with Maeve were so unbelievably painful. Seeing Aelin tortured. Hearing all the awful truths from Maeve about Rowan and Aelin and how she manipulated them together. And then Aelin giving herself up for Elide and being whipped again!
And then of course she’s gone when the squad finally shows up and this awful plan she’s been scheming all along finally comes to light. Lysandra is to be her, sire children with Aedion, Rowan and her got married, Manon has the keys, and she’s off to be a slave to Maeve. I swear if Maeve breaks her, I’ll die. If we have to wait more than half the book for Rowan and Aelin to reunite, I’ll die and if this series ends with her dying, I’ll die. The end just pulled the rug right out from under me and I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do in the meantime.
All in all, another amazing book in the series, 5 stars.
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