I SWEAR IN THIS I’M SORRY I COULDN’T CONTAIN MYSELF AND I’M A LAZY EDITOR SO ALL MISTAKES ARE MINE
5/5 FUCKING GLORIOUS GLOWING STARS.
Holy Fucking Shit.
What in the ever-loving fuck.
This book is more than a book, it is the book upon which every other subsequent book will be measured against. I was in a constant state of stress and anxiety and excitement – a combination that surprisingly worked but my heart is still feeling the effects.
This was more than a book, ok? Did I just say that? Yes, I bloody did because this is MORE THAN A BOOK. It killed me. I am writing this from beyond the grave. I am chillin’ with bloody Deanna. I don’t know how i survived. i just finished the book, i JUST FINISHED and my life has irrevocably changed.
It’s not normal for my heart to be located OUTSIDE OF MY BODY.
Before I delve into what makes this book one of the best I have read, ever, I’ll let y’all know how I embarked on this grand, heart-wrenching adventure.
The Throne of Glass series was introduced to me by my dearest and awesomest partner-in-crime, Hannah. Now, Hannah, like me, looooves books and we got to talkin’ one day at Pancake Parlour about epic reads. And Hannah said, ‘you have to read Sarah J. Maas’. So I did. And holy spitballs my life has not been the same since. Why? Because Calaena/Aelin is one of the most awe-inspiring characters I have ever read. In this, she reminds me so much of Nalini Singh’s Elena Deveraux of the Guild-Hunter series (which READ WOULD YOU THEY ARE AWESOME IF YOU LOVE ANGELS AND VAMPIRES AND KICKASS, TAKE-NO-SHIT WOMEN THEN READ IT) but still completely her own. Aelin’s character from the beginning, was incredible. And I’m not talking about the whole prophecy thing- and the fire, the tiara and all that (though they are epic, women do like to be represented as kickers heroes too, thank you) but its the way in which Maas writes Aelin. She is wholly her own person. So completely tune of herself, she knows her body, her mind – she is an independent firestorm of awesomeness, who is given room to grow and develop and figure her shit out. and I love it. Aelin is the reason so many people love this book, love this series I should say. She will go down in literary history as one legendary protagonist. Aelin’s intellect, her skills, the way she observes the world around her and the people around her, is completely astounding. Maas has created a character who is real – with flaws, with dreams, with pain, with vanity, with arrogance. She created a character who is wholly human (ha, well semi-human but you get the point) who is trying so bloody hard to survive. And does she ever.
Although I adored Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows – Empire of Storms, so far, is Maas’ crowning achievement. Empire of Storms illustrates the depth of Mass’ work, the progression of her writing – and it coalesced into something so fundamentally incredible: the plot-line. I literally just pulled up my sleeves because I am about to get into this bad-boy. This plot conveys the absolute epicness of Mass’ writing. Everything is important. Just warning you, ok? Everything. I will not spoil what the everything is because y’all need to read it, and because I am trying to keep this review spoiler free, but little things – scenes you’ve possibly forgotten about, conversations pushed to the back of your brain, throwaway comments- well, they all add up. Maas has created a universe and a plot that is three-dimensional. That’s really the only way I can describe it using the limited amount of words I know, so I apologise if you’re sitting there like, ‘seriously what the fuck allie’, but I’ll try to explain.
Ok, three-dimensional plot-line.
There are so many connections, all linking up and forming a an intricate web. And i do mean intricate. Empire of Storms portrays the immensity of this universe, and the reason why i am bowing down to Maas’ greatness, because it shows the level of concentration in her construction of every single aspect of the plot. Nothing is ever minor. Every thing has a purpose, for Maas to write it in a scene, for it to be mentioned that Aelin dyed her hair red, or a whispered name- it all is of import to the overarching plot. The development of each situation, of the interactions between the characters and of the development of the characters themselves, all help in the creation of a three-dimensional plot. A well-rounded story that does not overwhelm, but instead, makes you crave more. The plot twists alone nearly drove me crazy – but they were done in ways that didn’t annoy me; it drove the plot forward into different territories and allowed Maas to expand her authorial skills. Honestly, looking back, Maas’ writing – even the way she writes relationships, friendships and the enemies – has matured and become more sophisticated. Even comparing the writing if A Court of Mist and Fury one can see the difference – Empire of Storms exceeds expectations. It is realistic fantasy, and it is thrilling, suspenseful and wonderful.
This book would not be soo good if it weren’t for how the relationships are written. Maas knows how to write romance, but I’m talking about the dynamics themselves of each character within their relationships. For me, the sisterhood between Manon and her Thirteen was depicted beautifully. You felt the loyalty, you felt the ties that bound them together. Every interaction, even small, was seeped in history and it helped create three-dimensional characters with three-dimensional personalities. And personally, though i adore i good romance, what i enjoy more is reading about how those two people work within a relationship. Give me all the domestic feels! Rowan and Aelin. Holy Gods. Those two are absolute fire. In Empire of Storms you see their relationship and see their dynamic. Rowan is such a boss and his love for Aelin – honestly, Maas has crafted such a strong character in Rowan (i totally call him Ro in my head), not only is he a Fae Bae with all the magic and the physical strength, but emotionally GODS. Emotionally, he kills me. He knows himself so well and his love and adoration for Aelin shines through every single thing. Especially that scene with Maeve’s armada am I right?! His love is on show for all to see and there is an incredibly strength to that, I think. It’s so easy to get over the whole stereotype of the man who doesn’t see his feelings, but still DEMANDS that his lady-friend loves him but he’s too good to ever lay claim to love coz he a player but then the ending is all like ‘i love you!’. It can be annoying. So so annoying. That is what Rowan is such a breath of fresh air – ok, earlier in the series there may have been elements of that, but even then Maas moved away from the same ol’ same ol’ – and wrote a relationship with such depth. These two will be the end of me. THE END OF ME, YOU HEAR?!
And I should say that Manon is my Witch Queen, she is MY QUEEN. Manon, holy hell, is the greatest. I could literally read all the books about Manon and Abraxos and her Thirteen. All the books (wink-wink) because they are incredible characters – I want to know more. Shit gets real with Manon in this book, things are said and told which fundamentally changes the way Manon understands herself. And that realisation and reflection was an elemental part within the book. It transforms the way you understand Manon, as a witch and as a woman. And ok, I know a lot of you will be chanting ARE YOU GOING TO MENTION DORIAN??? so – *SPOILER ALERT* – Dorian and Manon become a thing. And it works so well. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they think Dorian and Aelin are the ultimate couple – which I disagree, sorry y’all, each to their own- and Manon’s iron works with Dorian’s ice, they don’t have to pretend with each other. They are who they are – not gentle, raw and powerful and a little kinky. Look forward to this dynamic, because I have a feeling that in the next book, there will be more.
Aedion is, and continues to be, one of my favourite characters. He constantly surprises me. There are so many layers to his character which makes for a wonderful one. And – *SPOILER ALERT – pair that with the enigma that is Lysandra, it’s so beautiful. I love that their relationship is still in the pre-stages, I mean Lysandra is a kickass woman and considering what she’s been through, she has bigger priorities than getting a boyfriend, like honestly. But Lysandra is written with such respect and Aedion understands this – and understands her boundaries, and he is fucking awesome. But like literally, I was live-reading this with the aforementioned Hannah, and we both were fucking BLOWN AWAY BY HOW BOSS LYSANDRA IS. Epic women is why I’m along for this ride.
Now, you’ve literally read 1600 words of me gushing my fangirl heart out, so thank you reader for staying with me honestly, you a cool dude. But I in all seriousness, I hope that you’ve gleaned from my word-vomit, that this book is worth the read. The entire series is worth the read. Just read it. Please. What Maas has written is so much more than just a book; she has written a legend.
I’m being dramatic now, so I’ll sign off. And maybe stop drinking the coffee. Happy reading!