Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas

Goodreads Book Blurb:

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.

Series / Genres:

My Review:

enjoyable/easy to read:
3/5
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.
I don’t care how well trained you are; it’s not possible to have done everything Maas is claiming she’s done. Predicting the actions of all these moving people, finding/threatening/telling these new allies where to meet right after Maeve has taken her away, there’s no fucking way. I believe that she knew that Elena is leading her to her eventual death to take down Erawan and the Valg because, duh. What would be the point of all of this if she didn’t have to forfeit her immortal life to save the world?
Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be a loophole.
But there are just too many plots and loose ends that come together all at the same time like they were planned perfectly. Not buying it.
And yes, that was a spoiler inside a spoiler.

The witches always give me hope and I can’t wait to see what they do next. I guess Tower of Dawn is about Chaol and Nesryn and I can’t say I’m overly excited for that, but I am looking forward to getting back to our regularly scheduled programming in Kingdom of Ash (fingers crossed).

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