Maas, Sarah J. Empire of Storms. New York: Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2016.
Hardcover | $18.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1619636071 | 693 pages | YA Fantasy
Empire of Storms is another decent installment of the Throne of Glass series. While some of the flaws from the last installment or two do carry over, it does also improve on some of them, as some of the bits that felt disjointed in terms of the different characters in different locations finally coming to interact with one another. And despite being longer than the prior two books, it does feel a lot faster paced, in part due to this development, and in part due to there being a lot more going on. And I found Manon and Elide a lot more interesting this time around as well, knowing how their arcs fit in with the others.
And despite my initial dissatisfaction with the progression of Aelin and Rowan’s relationship from friends and colleagues to lovers, their relationship grew on me this time around, as I saw how much they cared for each other. And given the uncertainty of her fate by the end of the book, I felt this provided proof of the depth of their feelings for one another. However, it did start to feel a little much after the first few books of being relatively tame in terms of content, to have them (but especially Rowan) be all over each other. While it is somewhat familiar to readers of the ACOTAR books, it’s something that might be a bit worrying for a younger reader who expected the series to remain more consistent in terms of the sexual content.
I think fans of the series or readers who stuck it out through some of the previous books, despite the subpar moments, as I did, would probably like this one, and much more than the previous installments. But as I said for the previous book, it is really only worth it if you have the investment with the series and the characters, and if you’re reading them “just because” and you find yourself hating them, it might not be worth it to keep going.