Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

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My Rating: 2/5

Synopsis: 

“The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. 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.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what – and who – to sacrifice if she’s to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.” (X)

My Thoughts:

The biggest problem I had with this book that it seemed like there was a writing style change. A lot of the sentences were short and choppy and began with prepositions. I’ve been having trouble concentrating on reading lately and this choppiness did not help me at all. It’s why I eventually turned to the audiobook and why it has taken me months to finish. It got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying the story anymore because I was getting frustrated with how long it was taking me to read it.

Another problem I had was with the hyper-masculinity of the male characters. This is nothing new to Maas’s stories, but I had hoped that as she grew as an author, she would tone it down. Quite frankly, it’s getting really old. It seems really silly to have so many capable female characters and have the male characters reduced to snarling, territorial bastards over them. Not only do the fae males exhibit this behavior, but it was also thrust onto Dorian’s character as well. It felt like Dorian was being made into something he wasn’t and I was deeply uncomfortable by Dorian’s romance with Manon. Suddenly, Dorian was acting like some Christian Grey wannabe and Manon was suddenly acting submissive, which she had never done before.

It also seems like Maas is far more comfortable with male couples than she is with female couples (not that the male couples really play a big role in the plot, but they are mentioned with more frequency than female couples). It really would have been nice if Manon and Elide had become a couple, since their interactions in Queen of Shadows had that sort of chemistry.

Lysandra having to impersonate Aelin and sleep with Aedion to provide heirs for Terrasen is…really gross to be honest.

Aelin seeing Elena’s memories and figuring out she has to be the sacrifice sounded way too much like Deathly Hallows.

Lastly, I didn’t like how Chaol was left out of the narrative completely. Chaol isn’t really one of my most favorite characters, but he’s been a big part of the series up until now. To have him left out felt like there was something missing.

Overall, I don’t think this is the best book of the series. It missed opportunities to grow as a story and to be better than it has been.

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