I’m a bit over the whole 500 pages of buildup where I’m fighting boredom followed by 200 pages of excitement and cliffhangers, tricking me into thinking I loved the book. Empire of Storms was really a bit meh, but the excitement at the tail end was excellent.
Having Lysandra as a protagonist is paying off in spades. Her shapeshifting into animals (and people!) adds a new dimension to the battles and the narrative that I am living for. Her chemistry with Aedion is growing slow and steady, and I love it and them.
Having more of Rowan’s cadre around is also breathing more life into the story. Lorcan’s evolution in Empire of Storms is predictable but fun to read. I love his banter with Elide – they’re both so serious all the time, it’s nice when they try to lie or boss each other around. Fenrys stays pretty aloof for most of this, so I’m not sure how I feel about him yet, but Gavriel’s attempts to connect to his son are heartbreaking and beautiful. I love the dynamic these additions create – the tentative truce, the unbreakable bond, the realisation of power; it’s all very tasty.
Unfortunately, Aelin’s evolution into this godlike warrior and leader is not believable.