Book Review: Empire of Storms – Sarah J. Maas

Caution: This Review contains SPOILERS! If you don’t want any spoilers, Click HERE

Once again this is Book 5 of a series, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, please head to my Review page and find Throne of Glass.

Image result for empire of storms

Name: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: September 6, 2016


Premise from the official website

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.

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?

Book Cover Comments

US Edition




No doubts this is my favourite cover out of the entire series. Firstly Aelin looks pretty. Secondly all the weapons in her hands b like holy gods I don’t have a life anymore. The background looks holy frickin awesome, and it’s such a gorgeous color, I cannot.

The back cover is Aelin with a purple dress. It’s a super sweet color, and it’s super beautiful.

UK Edition

The flame here is not so nice as US edition, but the turquoise waves with the white background? Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Surprisingly, this time, the dress’ bottom color is not purple, but blue, but ONCE AGAIN ITS ALSO GORGEOUS.

The Actual Review

Queen of Shadows is AMAZING.
Empire of Storms is DEVASTATING.

Because for Terrasen, for Erilea, Elena would walk into the eternal darkness lurking across the valley to buy them all a chance.

This book has five hundred million moments of climax, five hundred million moments has sadness and breaking and love and relationships, it is absolutely unbelievable. And to write this review where I can express all my emotions is the best thing ever, because you, reader, can be spoiled.

Time. Her only tool—and her downfall. And she had run out of it.

The growing is over in Queen of Shadows. Now, Aelin and the crew are now matured, ready to take on the tasks that they are required to do. And you do not know how crazy this book was. I know I’m not making sense but I spent 1:30am ~ 3:00am gathering quotes for the book reviews, and now it’s 7:40am in the morning at school. I shouldn’t be making sense.

“Right there, you died. You had fought so hard and I failed you.”

I don’t even know where to begin in this devastating book. I guess we’ll just have to begin talking by character and ships because I can’t set the chronological events correctly.

The beginning starts off by introducing Aelin once again to the Lords of Terrasen, and the struggles she finds with coping with them, as not everything goes her way even if she declared herself in Adarlan as the heir to the Galathynius line and throne of Terrasen. It wasn’t since the beginning of Empire of Storms where Aelin started planning. It was since Queen of Shadows when her master planning begin.

“You are its master; you control it. Your fear grants it the right to take over.”

Aelin’s plans during the pit fights, gathering old debts and allies in order to take control over as many places in Erilea as possible, in order to support the now weak Terrasen if anything is to happen. Aelin actually really reminds me of Lelouch from Code Geass (anime yes i know). Both have a lot in common, with the cunning planning and the trickery, as well as the final act of sacrifice. Ok fine Aelin didn’t exactly die in this book but still. The plans she made for the future of Terrasen, the roles that Aedion, Lysandra and Rowan will be playing in court, the act and shade that they will pull up for the entire world is utterly heartbreaking.

The Queen of Flame and Shadow, the Heir of Fire, Aelin of the Wildfire, Fireheart…

My friend told me there would be some loophole where Aelin won’t die. But I’m just gonna tell myself Aelin is going to die to make life sadder in TOG 6.

To buy a future, she’d pay it.

Oh and can I talk about the mature content in this book? Everything I was looking for, unexpected, discovered wild, and holy shit. Because reading those scenes are exactly as how Sarah described it: the payoffs for all the hard work in the book. Then let’s move on to the ships. You, reader, have seen the gajillion ships going on in this book. SO let’s have this paragraph and probably the next paragraph be all about ships and lovers.

“You are my Fireheart.”

Rowan and Aelin, carranam, I find the ending super sad because of when Maeve revealed everything, about how she tricked Rowan so that fate might change, so that Aelin and Rowan might as well as not realise how they are actually mate, was really really really really really really really really really sad. (yes I’m losing control with this book review I know) I wanted to hug Rowan and say I’m sorry, but of course he’s not even 2-D: he’s 1-D.

To protect, to shield, to fight for what and who he loved.

For whatever Rowan would do for Aelin, that bond between them, that love between them that didn’t keep them apart, that lead them to each other no matter whatever outer forces there were to prevent the first predicted path, they still stayed together, Rowan by Aelin’s side, always for her, doing everything for her. Bowing, on his knees, in front of his cousin so that they might change their mind on who’s side they will be. Oh, if only I can have a wonderful hubbie like Rowan.

This was what drove her out of her mind—this fire between them.

Next, let’s move on to fresh budding ships. JESUS CHRIST MANON AND DORIAN. Like it was expected back in QoS, but how it turned out in the end… it was actually as if I never knew Dorian… he became so strong, so different from the prince I first knew in ToG, and that’s really when I knew how much he grew.

“You will find your way, too, Dorian. You’ll find your way out.”

Dorian was extremely different. Someone much more brave, someone who doesn’t panic when something suddenly happens, someone who asks for more adventure, someone who desires for one that can take his broken heart, with that being Manon. I find their relationship really interesting you know, and Dorian’s raw magic, as well as his will to keep on fighting for the sake of the world, even if the world was going to be reduced to nothing.

Never again. Never again would he be weak and useless and frightened.

YOU KNOW HOW LONG PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE HEIR OF FIRE FOR MANON TO GO AGAINST BLACKBEAK MATRON? SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. Manon Manon Manon Manon Blackbeak has finally turned against her grandmother when she realised she didn’t want to let go of Asterin, her second. And there is where the first big revelation of the story happens, where it turns out that Manon is the next heir to the Crochans, and is also the last Crochan Queen. A half blood. Manon’s love for abraxos, vice versa, is still something very notable, as Aelin had called Abraxos Manon’s nursemaid XD Manon’s role is actually so vital in this book, I’m so happy that she gets the pay-off scenes as well. And oh my god the relation between the so called Lock/Eye of Elena and the three faced goddess…

“Everything has a price.”
Lorcan and Elide, oh my god. Do you even know how brave Elide was, against Lorcan and the circus people, how she learnt from the Blackbeaks and used the techniques so that she can stand up for herself and protect herself?
No, Lorcan’s magic was that of will—of death and thought and destruction. There was no name for it.

And oh gods, when Lorcan attacked her with news of Celaena and Aelin’s behaviour, and then Elide standing up for her queen and talking back? HOLY MOLY OF JESUS.

“All I hear are the words of someone who saw Aelin and Prince Rowan fall in love and resented them for their happiness—because you are so unhappy.”

Then we have Lorcan, Lorcan, Lorcan. I still cannot believe how the two of them fell in love, how they stayed together through those days in town, and how Lorcan protected Elide just as Elide had asked him to stay.

“I will always find you,” he swore to her.
Lorcan whispered, “I promise.”

I wanted to weep so badly for Lorcan when Elide said he doesn’t understand what happiness is. Because I developed a love and care for Lorcan, I don’t hate him when he betrayed us all for the so-called-Maeve’s-sake. And in the end when Elide rejected Lorcan, I was like… I don’t even know what to say.

“I don’t think you even know what happiness is.”

Lysandra is the best best shape shifter I have ever seen. She who is willing to sacrifice herself so easily so that she might be able to protect her family, her court, the court that would change the world, she is so selfless. And at the same time, she knows Aelin so well, and she keeps her secrets so well. And OH MY GOD when I learnt that Lysandra studied Abraxos to make her skin spidersilk, so that she would be stronger during the final battle, I crie I crie I crie.

“People other than you can solve things, you know.”

Tbh I don’t really know what to say for Aedion, since he’s pretty much always excluded from the plans and what’s going on Lol. But I want to hug Aedion for the fact that he went to war at the age of fourteen, and for the fact that he understood how to go to war, what his role is in a war, to make the army not fear of death. It was also super heartwarming with whatever he said to Lysandra when she was pretty much almost dying. I was like AWWWWWWWWWWW.

And behind it, descending upon the Fae fleet with wicked delight, flew twelve others.

Oh my god Fenrys and Gavriel. Fenrys is legit the Erilea version of someone-with-Rhys-personality-from-ACOTAR-realm. Lol what the hell am I even saying! I find Fenrys and Connall’s story extremely sad, about how the twins would do anything for each other, would stay together at all costs. The fact that Maeve was the ultimate douchebag just makes life really sad I cannot. I really love the fact that Fenrys actually regrets what he did. I just found it really amazing. And gods, Gavriel. It was super interesting to see the development between Gavriel and Aedion, with Aedion being the one who is refusing him. It’s just really sad. But there’s one pressing reason why I love Gavriel, and why he is the best father anyone can get.

“But if Maeve has tried to harm either you or her, Aedion, I would have done everything in my power to get you out.”

Let’s not even talk about the Villains. TBh, what is Erawan doing? I was talking to my friend awhile ago, and she was also like “I feel like the big boss right now is Maeve, and Erawan is just there chillin'”. I was like “lol”. Which is kind of true. Right now, I feel like Maeve will be the challenge for all of them: how Aelin will bear the future and burden that she is given in the chains of Maeve, and how the others will struggle and fight until the very end until they can get their Queen back, as well as how to put up a show for the sake of the world, for the sake of a better tomorrow.

And he wondered if Aelin was somehow watching the archipelago, and he seas, and the skies, as if she might never see them again.

I also mentally cried so much when we came in to see Elena’s past, about how mistakes lead to causes, and it stays true to the quote of “Everything has a price”. And the price for Elena’s mistake would be damning the entire Galathynius line, making Aelin to be the one to pay for the price of misusing the lock.

“Why do you think you burn so brightly? It is not just Brannon’s blood that is in your veins. But Mala’s.”

There is just so much to “cry” about in this book, because for the fifty thousandth time, there are so many emotional parts in this book, and do you know the agony of going through all those revelations? Of who is who’s offspring, what actually happened in the past? Who the blame should be put on?

Aelin and Manon stood in silence as the scene unfolded. As the truth, at last the truth, now wove together.

I don’t know how I should feel towards Elena. I love her in the first four books, but when we come to the fifth book, she turns out to be the one to blame for the unhappiness brought upon our main characters, the reason they are fighting, to atone one’s mistakes. Somehow, Elena always leads me back to Sailor Moon, and in this case Sailor Cosmos from the alternate universe. Both had made a mistake and tried to run away from it (i guess?) I just see a resemblance. Don’t know how.

“Two females whose paths crossed tonight in a way we’ve rarely witnessed. Two queens, who might control either half of this continent, two sides of one coin. Both half-breeds.”

For Terrasen. For them. For a better world.

I know, I know, I was basically fangirling in this long “review”. I’m actually kind of surprised how I have less words here than for the reviews in Queen of Shadows. Maybe because this is such a fresh read, I don’t remember the details yet and the plot lines. But there are so many parts that broke me into tiny pieces, all those relationships, emotions, it was utterly beautiful, and every time I pause reading to do something else, I’m always scared to continue reading, to pick up the book and flip the page. I have never ever been so scared to finish a book, and this is how you know how stunning Empire of Storms actually was.

Hope—precious, fragile hope—stirred Rowan’s blood.

The finale when Aelin was already taken away, and the forces began to gather. Let’s first remind ourselves of Ansel from Briarcliff who first made an appearance in the Assassin’s Blade, the Silent Assassins that came from the same prequel story as Ansel; i-already-forgot-the-pirate-lord’s-name-pirate-lord who promised to find the lost pirates-whatever-people, and when Galan Ashryver arrived as well (omg forces from Wendlyn b like), and the possible force of the southern continent if Chaol were to bring an army, then we have Manon and Dorian and the Thirteen going to go on a Crochan hunt. I was like…

*takes a deep breath.*


(continues the sobbing)

His Fireheart.
His equal, his friend, his lover. His wife.
His mate.

Empire of Storms is the ultimate masterpiece that will take away anyone’s heart from the very beginning, hang one from a cliff at every page the reader flips, and crushes it into millions of pieces by the end of the book, the book that is filled with an ocean of chaos, love, future and hope, leaving the reader utterly speechless, tears in eyes and emotions torn.

Unleashing a cry that set the world trembling, Prince Rowan Whitehorn Galathynius, Consort of the Queen of Terrasen, began the hunt to find his wife.


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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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