Book Talk: Empire of Storms

EImage result for empire of storms ukmpire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Series: Book 5 of the Throne of Glass series 

Genre: High Fantasy, NA Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Links:Amazon // Booktopia // Bookdepository // Dymocks // Goodreads


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 don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?


I always find it difficult to start my reviews and honestly feel like I have to go on an epic journey, complete three quests and slay a dragon before I can finish. However, this one is going to be particularly difficult for the sole reasons that I do not know I feel about this series anymore.

In order to explain it a little better – I held (hold? omg I don’t know) this series in high esteem for many reasons. First because it is important in a sentimental light as I read the first three books just before I started my Bookstagram (a little over year ago, kick-starting my book blogging escapades) and I entered the community talking about this series. Secondly, and probably more importantly, I LOVED the first three books. So much.  I loved the world-building, the characters, and basically everything about the story. And I even loved Queen of Shadows. But unfortunately, I did not love Empire of Storms. And that hurts.

This book, and the series itself, has kicked up quite a bit of discussion in the lead up to its release and I will be the first to point out that it has many issues. However, I am the type of person that can still love and enjoy books whilst simultaneously recognising the problems with them – in this case, mainly the lack of diversity – and so I still standby my choice to love these books. But that’s a WHOLE other blog post in itself so I will try not to get distracted.What I’m trying to say is that the discussion surrounding this book has probably influenced my reading experience.

Since I can’t really gather my thoughts well enough to write a structured review, I thought I would do a little book talk/ discussion instead to lay out some of the main things going through my mind when I read this book! If you have any ideas of your own that you want to add, definitely let me know in the comments so I can talk about it with you guys!


If you didn’t read the title then BEWARE – SPOILERS AHEAD.

Also just a warning – this book has a lot of mature scenes in it and is definitely a New Adult book rather than a Young Adult book so just take that into consideration younger readers! 

T H I N G S   I   L O V E D
  • The World Building This was one of the strongest aspects of the book – It was so exciting to travel to places that were previously unexplored in the series. Since we had three armies in three different places,  it really added to the tension of the book and also the scope of the world as a whole.
  • Aedion and Lysandra – okay I ship these two SO MUCH. I appreciate that SJM has made Aedion canonically bisexual and I feel like she is working towards having a more diverse cast of characters. I really enjoyed the pacing of Aedion and Lysandra’s relationship because I definitely do feel that the both need to time to find themselves before they start a relationship and I am excited to see where it goes! Also, the fact that Aedion is probably going to end up with a female does not negate his bisexuality, or make him “less bisexual” and if I hear it one more time I WILL FREAK OUT.
  • The reunion – I love how all the characters came together in this book and developed relationships with each other. I really like books with a huge array of characters because the dynamics between them are always interesting to read about. I particularly love the little court that Aelin, Lysandra, Manon, Elide and Ansel make because THEY ARE ALL AWESOME. Obviously something traumatic is going to happen to one (or all) of them (and I mean beyond the trauma that was the ending of that book) because why would Sarah J Maas let her characters be happy?
  • Fast paced plot – SJM’s writing of late has been so ADDICTIVE and fast paced because it’s honestly like reading a soap opera in book format and so it makes it really easy to get through 700 pages of text. However, as I mention below, this isn’treally that great when you expected a high fantasy and are instead delivered with this.
  • Aelin dying to protect the universe this is more a theory more than anything else because I am not actually sure how I feel about this particular plot line. On one hand, I didn’t see it coming and I feel like it added a lot the story BUT it added a lot to Aelin’s “special snowflake” syndrome as well so there is that. I think Dorian dying instead of Aelin (i.e. using his life force instead) is a little too obvious (also my heart can’t handle it) so I predict that Hollin might finally be useful and die instead since he is from the same bloodline.


T H I N G S   I   D I D   N O T   L O V E
  • *sigh* where to begin…
  • The Writing – The writing in this book was so off in comparison to the other novels. I don’t know what it was – actually that’s a lie, it was probably the abundant references to breasts and penises – but the writing felt really disjointed and just not as polished of her previous books.
  • Sex scenes – Since this kind of flows on, whoa were the characters horny in this novel or what? Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE relationships that have angst and sensuality to them but this book was over the top, even for me. Because there were so many relationships, it felt like every second page mentioned sex – even when a battle was raging around them. Priorities guys, PRIORITIES. I kind of felt… betrayed. I was expecting the epic fantasy that I had gotten from the previous books – the intricate plots, the political intrigue – but instead everything was overshadowed by lust and it felt more like erotica then high fantasy which was disappointing.
  • Dorian I just did not like Dorian’s characterisation in this book. It’s not that I don’t like Dorian because I LOVE DORIAN but I just felt, and I don’t know if it just me, that Dorian had very limited speaking roles in this book. Yes we had a lot of chapters in his perspective but most of it was just internal thought and I feel like Aelin took control of everything and everyone without considering the fact that Dorian is a king in his own right. I think Manon brought it up at one point and Dorian responded that he was under the protection of a friend but Dorian, come on man, you have just as much power as she does (both in a political and magic sense). SJM mentioned that Dorian would be a lot darker in this book but I failed to see it. Aside from one comment about chains (which really, wasn’t even that big of a deal), Dorian’s characterisation feels pretty bland. It didn’t help that he was sidelined by all the Fae male territorial bullshit that was going on and somehow made out to be lesser of a character because of the company he was in (DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE HAS MAGIC TOO).
  • Character dynamics I swear, half of Lorcan’s dialogue consisted of him calling Aelin a “bitch”. I GET IT LORCAN. YOU DON’T LIKE HER. Jeez. It was okay the first few times and then it just got to be a little too much to handle. Also, on the complete opposite side, I loved the female empowerment in this book. It was pretty obvious from the battles that Aelin and Lysandra were not only holding their own, but were pretty much the swaying factor in winning the fight. What I did not find necessary, however, was Aedion spouting “maybe you should let the males do something for a change” every time Aelin and Lysandra did something on their own. I get that it was annoying that Aelin was hiding things from you but how about instead of puffing up like a peacock and spouting your male dominance everywhere, you just do things together? URGH.
  • Nesryn & Chaol – Can’t saying much here because they WEREN’T IN THE BOOK. On one hand, I understand that SJM may have not included them in the book because they were in a different part of the world. However, that did not stop her from putting in Manon’s chapters in HoF even though she basically had nothing to do with the Aelin’s plot at that time so I don’t find any suitable excuses. Also, she totally could have had Nesryn and Chaol assembling armies in the South, that all came together at the end of the book so *shrugs*, say what you want – I think Chaol and Nesryn could have been in this book if SJM wanted it to happen.

Saying all of this, I definitely will continue on with the series (ONE BOOK LEFT) in a hope that it will regain some of the brilliance that was the first few books.


Until next time,



16 thoughts on “Book Talk: Empire of Storms

  1. Anisha says:

    I seriously agree about the Chaol and Nesryn thing! Chaol is my bae and the fact that he wasn’t in the book really rEALLY pained me! Also, the Dorian being a king and having his own power is quite true. It felt like he really took a backseat to Aelin which sucks because I felt all characters could have equal rights. But maybe he just did it to repair the relationships between him and Aelin??? Because he was quite lonely and didn’t have Chaol there anymore. Not sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Clara says:

    Honestly I love your review! and I totally agree with you!
    Like about this whole sexual thing. I mean I have nothing against it but I really wasn’t expecting it since the other four book contained basically none… So I think Sjm could just have used these chapters otherwise. I missed a bit more plot in EoS. Because all they did in this book was traveling from Terrasen to Ellywe, find each other and then a have a huge fight and they didn’t even win something from that. I really hope the squad would make huger steps in this book like defeating Erawan and then dealing in the next book with Maeven … But everything they gained in this book is a second wyrdkey and an army.. Idk just saying haha
    And yes I love Dorian so much either but wasn’t quit comfortable with how he turned out in this book. Like this chain thing and invisible hands that was a bit weird 😀 but I really hope since he now has the two wyrdkeys that he’s going to play a bigger role in the next book… And hopefully not going to sacrifice hisself …
    And chaol and nesryn idk why sjm left them out. Really I just don’t know :(((
    I’m so sorry for spamming you haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • headinherbooks says:

      Yes that’s exactly what I mean! It’s not that the book wasn’t enjoyable, it’s just that it was completely different to the first four books! And I really hope Dorian get’s a bigger part in the next book because I do love him! And don’t apologise for spamming, I love your comments Clara 🙂


  3. Of Books and Dreams says:

    I agree with this review, but tbh, I’d give it lower than 3 stars. This book series started being disappointing to me after Heir of Fire, because everyone seemed to have a personality-swap. I know it’s natural for feelings to change, but the whole thing felt forced:(

    No Chaol, and Dorian was…weird. He wasn’t himself. And yes, hormones and horny people everywhere. Sigh. I love romance, but there is a time and place for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. literaryhues says:

    I ship Aedion and Lysandra so much as well! It disappointed me that I didn’t have a Chaol POV at all (my copy wasn’t a special editions), and Aelin and Rowan were way too horny for my liking. I also agree that Dorian’s role was very limited here, he has much of a right to decide things as Aelin, but everyone looks to her. And the one time Dorian actually made a decision, he gets punched in the face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • headinherbooks says:

      Yeah I didn’t have the special edition either unfortunately! But I agree, she could have totally included a Chaol POV and it disappoints me that she just thought he wasn’t necessary to the plot! Also yes! Dorian needed to have a bigger leadership role and just a role in general *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

      • literaryhues says:

        I’ll have to add about Manon too. I hate how she was reduced to somewhat of a follower with Aelin bossing her around. It had way too much sex scenes, yet the one I was actually looking forward to (Dorian and Manon) was meh. I expected it to be hotter. 😑 And yeah about Chaol, why didn’t she make him relevant to the plot at least. She could’ve squeezed a few chapters of him going through healing and him and Nesryn gathering people for Aelin too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • headinherbooks says:

        Yeah because they were talking about then gathering soldiers but it never appeared? And Chaol is just going to come back magically healed when he is one of the main characters of the books? I just don’t understan

        Liked by 1 person

  5. anika says:

    I can’t say I agree much with your review unfortunately. I mean, yes there were quite a few sensual scenes, but I think it was a lead up from everything happening in the previous books, and just a way of relieving the heat between the characters. I for one, had been waiting for Rowan and Aelin to reach that point in their relationship, and SJM didn’t disappoint me to say the least. Yes, Dorian didn’t have that much of a lead role in EOS but it made sense…Aelin has the fate of the world on her shoulders, and I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty big deal to me. So it’s only natural for born leaders like Dorian and Manon to take a step back. However, if I had to choose between which relationship I shipped the most, it would definitely be Lorcan and Elide. I know Lorcan made some regrettable mistakes at the end of the book, but literally they were so cute and suited for each other. Finally, I would like to say that despite all your constructive critism (which is always a great help), SJM did an amazing job and I will never not be amazed by her flair for writing. I am so sad that there is only one book left, but I guess all good things must come to an end, and I only hope that they pull through and defeat Erawan without any of my favourite characters dying (hint ROWAN, AELIN and MANON). Also, WHO LOVES ASTERIN ? ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • headinherbooks says:

      I guess the beauty is we all have differing opinions! All the books previous to this one were 5 star reads for me but I guess this one just didn’t hit the mark for me 😊 However, I am really excited to pick up the 6th book and see how the story ends!


  6. Audrey says:

    The two points that I agree with you on are the ones about Dorian and too much sexual scenes. I was so disgruntled that Dorian was treated lesser than Aelin. I mean he has PURE MAGIC!!! Meaning it can become anything he wants! And, unlike Aelin, he was actually raised to be royalty and future king. He knows how to act like one instead of just keeping secret plans to himself all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Aelin and how much she deeply cares about her people, but in this book, there were little things here and there that just made her a bit unlikable.
    And the sex scenes were meh to me because I’m not really a shipper of any otps (I only got close with Dorian and Sorscha, but we know what happened there) so they just felt like useless fillers.
    Also, the similarities to ACOMAF in regards to love made me a bit disappointed. The males are always tall, tan and muscular with a wicked side to them while the females are always super powerful special snowflakes and they always have more than one bond with there partner (Feyre and Rhysand while the eye tattoo bond thingy and than the mating bond, Aelin and Rowan with the carranam (???) bond and the mating bond).


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