Overview (No Spoilers): Empire of Storms is the 5th installment in the Throne of Glass series and let me be the first to attest that this series keeps getting better and better! I absolutely flew through this book, with every character story line keeping me riveted! I love reflecting back on where the tale first began in a one dimensional, one city setting and has now expanded, and evolved into diverse realm with many intersecting plots weaving together. This story maturation and growth reflects Maas’ creative ability and wide spread vision for her characters. In Empire of Storms, much to the delight of the reader, several characters grew in significant depth, especially Lorcan. Throughout this book the readers were kept on their toes, much as was Aelin’s court, as the clever Queen reveled one scheme after another. As with any series I find myself immersed in, I’m always nervous to get my hopes up for the next installment due to the dreaded mid-series placeholder, in which most of the book was spent moving pawns into place for the big finale. This book teetered precariously on dreaded literary edge, Maas skillfully, and successfully I might add, pulls the story back from the brink with several key plot twists, while simultaneously revealing many previously established mysteries. Overall, if you haven’t given in and finally picked up this series, you might as well jump on the bandwagon. Every book in this series had continued to mature, evolve, and exceed expectations, all the while, keeping the reader guessing as to the future direction of the story line. Plus, it is chock-full of kick-ass, clever, strong women that are an absolute riot. Ultimately, I’m impatiently awaiting the arrival of the 6th book, which is due out in 2017.
Additional Insight (May Contain Spoilers):
Where to begin! So much happened in this book, while so many secrets were unveiled. I had go back to my Queen of Shadows Additional Insight to see what questions I had after the previous novel.
- Manon is my absolute favorite character! She has grown and diversified so much in this series. When Manon attacks her Grandmother to save Asterin, we find out in this book that she is the last Queen of the Crochrans, with her mother being the heir of the Blackbeaks and her father being a Prince of the Crochrans. She was made with the hope of peace and breaking the curse in mind. We also are privy to the reunion of Dorian and Aelin with Manon, with her relationship with Dorian indeed turning romantic. Again with Aelin, in many ways they are equals. Why was Manon supposed to travel through the mirror with Aelin? The story revealed to Aelin regarding Elena’s treachery was mainly for her ears, but the riddle required Manon to be present. For what purpose?
- Elide and Lorcan’s chapters are also one of my favorite. I loved the romance that slowly, and often painfully developed, and the overall thawing we witnessed of the Fae male. I cried so much in the aftermath of the scene in which Gavriel and Fenrys’ attacked Lorcan and Elide stepped in the way. The development of relationships, platonic and romantic, was a reoccurring theme throughout the Empire of Storms, e.g., Lysandra and Aedion, Aedion and his father Gavriel, Lorcan and Elide, Manon and Dorian. Most of these relationships are left in ruin by the end, perhaps most confusingly Lysandra and Aedion. His reaction toward Aelin and the shape shifter’s hidden plans was dramatic to say the least. Will the shape shifter be able to hold the guise of Aelin until the Queen is rescued? How will she be able to explain the lack of Aelin’s power?
- Elide also made it to her Queen thanks to Lorcan! When will Elide realize the ring she carries will help Dorian wield the keys?
- I was so happy that Chaol was gone from the plot, however I anticipate his imminent return in the next book.
- How will the Fae Queen revoking the blood oath for Lorcan and Gavril impact the story? Why did she not kill them? Poor Fenrys. He developed into a favorite character and I can only hope he will somehow escape the grip of that evil Queen. I had the thought that by the end of the series they have to kill off at least a few of these characters, my heart hurts at the thought of even losing one.
- We find out that Aelin will need to sacrifice herself to forge the Lock. Dorian could potentially too. How will she escape this fate? First though, how will Rowan free her from Maeve’s clutches? Her capture scene was beyond painful to read.