Before I get into the full discussion, all I have to say right now is that I absolutely loved this book despite all the negative reviews that have been going on for a while. This book certainly have some flaws, but I think it was covered up by the whole story so I didn’t even see or feel the flaws clearly. I have a few problems but there’s a LOT of things happened in this book that my first reaction after my first read was “holy sh*t” and I just stared at the blank wall for an hour, I didn’t know how to react because this book surprised me. Sarah J Maas did again, just like what she did in ACOMAF and this so close to that. The book hangover I have didn’t leave me like for a week. Geez. I’ll divide to Things I Don’t Like and Things I Don’t Like, so for real now, let’s discuss it!
[BEWARE OF THE SPOILERS]
[BEWARE OF THE SPOILERS]
[BEWARE OF THE SPOILERS]
The story picks up directly after the ending of Queen of Shadows where Aelin and her courts have finally arrived in Terrasen. They were going to meet the Lords of Terassen including Allsbrook and Darrow and this is where a little bit of politics happened and I loved it. It turns out that Aelin is not accepted by the Lords of Terrasen to be their queen because mainly they didn’t believe what would a 19 year old do to their kingdom that they have been protected for these past ten years and Aelin was given a condition if she wants her throne back or being accepted, she has to find allies and armies for the war. Then the story moves to Dorian in Rifthold where all of the witches sacked the city by the instructions of Erawan and this is actually one of my favorite scene, Manon killed one of the Yellowlegs witch because she wanted to save Dorian before other witches found him and kill him. She’s a witch who became a witch killer and she has saved Dorian again. Luckily, Dorian was rescued by Rowan and they’re going to meet Aelin and the others at the Skull’s Bay. Aelin on the other side, she was in a small city called Illeum (if I’m not mistaken) and she met with Brannon’s spirit that told her she had to find a Lock to bind the three keys together. So the journey is actually starts right there, where Aelin has to find a Lock, armies and allies.
If you have read The Assassin’s Blade then you’re lucky because it’s essentials for you to read TAB first before you read Empire of Storms because some characters in TAB are now back again in Empire of Storms and they will play an important part in this story. I like how there was a flashback with Gavin and Elena back when Erawan attacked Erilea for the first time thousands year ago and all of the the truths are now being revealed one by one. I really don’t like Elena though, she was too reckless in my opinion. She was doing things that were decided in last minute and that turns out to be her biggest mistake ever. There are a lot of things happened in this book and most of them are big reveal moment where all of new informations is just given out to the reader and trust me on this one, I took a deep breath every time when there’s a big reveal. *inhales deep breath*.
When I first finished this book (I’ve read twice now) I feel like the ending has some similarity to A Court Of Mist and Fury’s ending. There are some parallels that I’d like to point out:
- In ACOMAF, Feyre finally knows that Rhysand is her mate after all this time and Rhys has known about it for a few months but he didn’t tell Feyre at all. In EOS, Aelin knew that Rowan is her mate but she didn’t tell him because she doesn’t want to cause an emotional distress to Rowan. Rowan thought he had a mate, Lyria who died a long time ago and that have led him to a dark path until he found Aelin.
- In ACOMAF, just one day before Rhys and Feyre were going to Hybern, they sneaked out to a temple and did an official ceremony for their mating bond so actually they have married secretly. In EOS, Aelin and Rowan have married secretly with only Aedion and Lysandra as their witnesses just two days before Maeve’s armada came to their ship and launched an assault.
Despite this similarity, I still think it’s a whole different point of a story. I mean yes, the ending feels like a rip-off of ACOMAF ending but I don’t mind about it. I was utterly shocked when I knew that after all this time, Rowan and Aelin are mate and the fact that they didn’t recognise each other as a mate when they first met in Heir of Fire was just blew my mind. Such a hatred can conceal the mating bond that should have been stronger than any kind of bond. I have suspected it though, I knew there’s more than a Carranam bond between Aelin and Rowan but all I could think is “How come you can have two mates in your life? I thought it’s impossible?” and it turns out it was all just Maeve’s trick. She’s the devil behind all of this.
- Elide Lochan
In Queen of Shadows, Elide was on her journey to Terrasen to find Aelin and give the wyrdkey from Kaltain to Celaena. On her journey, she met Lorcan and I like how they were entangled with each other because of survival. Elide needs Lorcan to protect her from the Ilken that were trying to hunt Elide and Lorcan needs her knowledge of Morath from the landscape, the detailed of places, rooms and etc. Elide’s fear of going back to Morath is what keeps her alive, she’s trying so hard to survive using her cunning skills and I love how she pretends to be Manon/Asterin when she faced an Ilken that nearly killed her, she was so close and yet she imitates what would Manon said with the stone cold and ruthless voice. It was such an amazing scene. Elide is cunning, determined and kind but she only use her cunning/lie skills for her survival. She became really close to Lorcan and vice versa and the fact that Lorcan’s behaviour softens when Elide is near is just warms my heart and she never once scared of him or feel threatened to him. When Elide was almost captured with her uncle, she decided to kill herself instead to go back to her nightmare, Morath. She doesn’t want to waste any time so she put up a little fight and she killed two Ilkens with Lorcan’s ax and that’s just makes me so proud of Elide.
- Lorcan Salvatorre
Lorcan was a savage, cunning Fae and a stupid one, I think. In Queen of Shadows, he threatened Aelin and she even scared of him but in here, there’s more side of Lorcan that I have never seen before. He was still powerful and savage but when he met Elide, he started to care for her and all he wants to do is to protect her which leads to the ending in this story where he made a stupid mistake. He wants to kill Aelin after he founds out that she tricked him to believe that he has the real wyrdkey. His stupid act was that he called Maeve to protect Elide like WHY LORCAN WHY?! So in the end, he had betrayed both Elide and Aelin by calling Maeve using his powers. He thought that was the right thing to do but he knew his mistake was gravely wrong and he regrets it in the end. Elide doesn’t want to talk to him at all but I bet there’s more about Elide and Lorcan on the last book because they’ll be in the same ship together to rescue Aelin from Maeve’s. He will get his redemption for what he did but I just hope that means he have to die of course. I really like Lorcan and Elide ’s relationship because they feel so natural to me, it doesn’t feel like it was rushed, it’s just happened.
- Manon Blackbeak
Manon’s character is by far has the best character development throughout the series and Manon has become my favorite character ever. She started questioning about her grandmother’s order, she started doubting herself when there’s actually more to it if she really looks at it. There’s one of my favorite scene in here where her grandmother told her the truth of her background family, about who she really is and it feels like she just thrown everything to Manon. I love how she finally accepted that she’s the last Crochan Queen and she wants to raise a Crochan army with her Thirteen (how cool is that?)
- Dorian Havilliard
I’ve always loved Dorian since the first book, he’s my cinnamon roll. So in here Dorian is still trying to build back his kingdom, he has a lot of things to do now that he’s the King of Adarlan but he has nobody at all in Rifthold (Aelin is on her way to Terrasen, Chaol went to Torre Cesme) and he needs someone to teach him how to control his magic and luckily Rowan wants to teach him. I like how Dorian in here is somehow back into his early Throne of Glass (first and second book) character like how he was flirting with Manon (I ship Manorian so hard now, I want them to be together ugh, so much tension before it really happened). In the end when he has the wyrdkeys, Dorian finally embraced all of the things that have happened in QoS and HoF where Sorscha died and he killed his father and he accepted and finally not afraid for what will happen in the war. I’m so excited for him in the next book as he will join with Manon & The Thirteen to the Western Wastes and probably will help her to raise an army.
- Rowan Whitetorn
I feel like Rowan’s character development in here is almost the same as what he was in Queen of Shadows. He still wants to protect and serve Aelin and one thing that I love from him is where he asked all of his cousins to join the cause and fight for Aelin’s army instead of Maeve’s. He kneeled down to all of his cousins who joined Maeve’s armada. Is there any reason not to love Rowan?
- Aelin Galathynius
Last but not least is our main hero in the series, Aelin. I really love the scene in Pirate Bay where she acts as Celaena again and I miss the sassyness of her character (she still has it but it’s just different when she’s Celaena). Aelin has endured a lot and now she has to accept her fate where she has to die just to forge the lock. WHY. SHE DOESN’T DESERVE TO DIE AT ALL. At first, she’s still trying so hard to open up about her plans to her courts. She still likes big surprises and I really like when she did that, it’s very “Aelin”in my opinion. I like how she ask all of her debts back to Ansel, Ilyaas (the son of the Red Desert) and Galan from Wendlyn to be her allies but the sad thing is they didn’t know the real Aelin was taken by Maeve. I have a feeling that she will not die in the next book or maybe she will let go of her immortality and just being a mortal and I’m really okay with that as long as she’s not going to die.
BOOK 6 SPECULATION
I have my speculations about what I think will happen in the final book so I just want to make a bullet point for this one:
- Fenrys will help Aelin to escape Maeve’s wrath. Remember when the book describes Fenrys’ power? He can move in a short distance like just poof he’s gone and the he’s somewhere in a second. It’s like winnowing in ACOTAR series. (Fenrys does ring a bell to me like a mix of Feyre and Rhysand maybe? hahaha)
- I think Aelin will not die in the last book, she probably will let go of her magic power and her immortality just to make the Lock or maybe she can use her water’s element to save her life.
- Dorian will play a bigger part in the last book, I have a good feeling on this one (and praying SJM WILL NOT KILL HIM, PLEASE NO). He has a raw magic power that could turn into water, fire , ice, even shapeshifting if he wants to learn that and now he has the wyrdkeys and his power is as powerful as Aelin. Maybe Aelin and Dorian will forge the Lock together (?)
- I really hope Chaol and Nesryn will bring some armies or allies with them when they’re back in Erilea because that would be a huge change to Aelin’s army and can you imagine what the FINAL BATTLE with Erawan would be like? So much bloods, scary and maybe a lot of death which I’m still not ready for it.
So overall, I really love this book and I think this was much much better than Queen of Shadows. I’m so excited for the last book but at the same time I don’t want it to end because I will surely miss all of the characters from this book.
If you have read Empire of Storms, what do you think about it? Do you have any problems with the story or do you have any speculation for the last book ? Let me know what you think about it in the comments ❤