In the fifth book of the Throne of Glass series, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, queen of Terrasen, is on the road returning to her homeland after 10 years. She does not expect an easy and welcoming homecoming, but she has her friends and carranam at her side. While the journey from Adarlan to Terrasen is long but uneventful, all is not well after the liberation of Adarlan and the release of magic.
The lords of Terrasen, who have struggled to maintain some semblance of peace after their country was overtaken, do not welcome Aelin and her band with open arms. They do not recognize her as queen but do not deny her the royal bloodline she carries. Forced to stay away from Ornyth, Aelin must come up with a plan to save Terrasen from further destruction when word of Duke Perrington’s – now using his true name, Erawen – movements reach her.Meanwhile, the Ironteeth witches, working as Erawen’s aerial assault team, are ordered to reclaim Rifthold from Dorian Havilliard’s rule. While Manon, as Wing Leader, prepares for the assault, she makes plans to smuggle Dorian out during the fighting. Her actions result in severe repercussions from her grandmother, and a punishment Manon cannot accept. When she confronts her grandmother in the ensuing chaos, a secret about Manon’s past is revealed, one that could potentially change the fates of all witches.
Ultimately, both Dorian and Manon are in their own circumstances forced to join Aelin’s quest to gather an army for Terrasen. They make their way south into the heart of Eyllwe on a quest given to her by Elena and Brannon. Aelin has instructions to find a mysterious Lock, one that could turn the tide in the battle with Erawen. But when she discovers how the Lock must be forged – coupled with Maeve’s armada arriving from Wendlyn on an unknown mission – will she have the strength and resolve to see this war through?
Empire of Storms broke my heart. This is a massive book; at nearly 700 pages, it is full of twists and turns, lots of action (of all sorts), and – as per most Sarah J. Maas books – a good amount of heartache. It took me a bit to finish since I was in a slight reading slump but oh gods, I didn’t think I would survive. It ends on a massive cliffhanger, more so than previous books, which will make the next year before the final book release agonizing. But I loved every minute of it. Especially the Manon chapters. Manon has come to be my precious witchling baby. I so want her to have a happy ending (or a relatively peaceful ending). I also really adored Dorian in this volume as he really begins to come into himself and his magic.
I am so looking forward to the next and final book. The next year is going to be agonizing, but I plan on rereading this volume again before the story ends. Hurry up, 2017. I have so much to look forward to.
My rating: 4.5/5
Side note: This book also holds a special place in my heart. It was released 6 days before my birthday. Two days before my birthday, I got the chance to meet Sarah J. Maas while she was on tour and got my book signed. When I told her she had just made it the best birthday weekend ever, she wrote a happy birthday message for me. Special treasure, this volume. 🙂