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 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?

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 5 STARS! To say I was wholly unprepared for how much this book would absolutely wreck me is probably one of the biggest understatements to ever pass beneath these typing fingers. The action and angst and unfolding events that had me desperately clutching my hardcover were relentless in the best possible way. I don’t know what exactly I had wanted from this book, but SJM definitely gave me that and so much more.

     I promise you that no matter how far I go, no matter the cost, when you call for my aid, I will come, Aelin had told him she’d sworn to Darrow. I’m going to call in old debts and promises. To raise an army of assassins and thieves and exiles and commoners.
    And she had. She had meant and accomplished ever word of it.
– quote taken from Empire of Storms, pg. 683

♥ Review: I’ll admit, with each new book that Ms. Maas releases in this series, I go in to each novel with a bit more trepidation than I did the previous installment because there’s always that flicker of doubt that she’ll be able to deliver on the same degree as before with the momentum that she gains with every new story. None more so than this book because of all the rumors and spoilers being tossed around before it was ever released. So, it’s with somewhat bewilderment that I type this: I think this might actually be my favorite book of the series so far. (I know, I’m shocked to be saying that which is awful because every time my heart and head goes up against SJM, I come out on the other end licking my wounds. One, because she kicked my heart’s ass and, two, because how dare I challenge her capability of producing a kickass book.) This review won’t be a breakdown of the entire book or a delving into the many storylines spread throughout or even an individual analysis of the many perspectives or romance developments simply because I feel those are better experienced firsthand by the reader and the spoilers would be far too numerous, especially if you haven’t read previous  installments. Instead, I’ll sum it up with my feelings. Which were plentiful. I finished this book a little after 1:30AM and I lay in bed contemplating it until almost 3AM, then I dreamed about it, and then I woke up this morning thinking about it, and now I as I sit here typing this review . . . I still don’t have the right words.

It’s been a hot minute since a book has overwhelmed me so thoroughly. Each perspective bled into the next, bringing a whole new world of chaos and destruction and purpose and feeeeeeeeeeeelings. There are old friends and new (to me– something tells me they are from The Assassin’s Blade short stories I haven’t gotten to yet) friends and a whole host of terrifying new creatures that come alive on every page with each new introduction or reintroduction. So many times throughout my reading process, I literally had to put the book down and walk away for a bit to calm my racing heart or soothe my anxiety because every single time there was a POV shift, I felt like I would finally be able to breathe again, but nope. The pacing was altogether barreling and you just had to buckle yourself in and pray to make it to the other side. (Not unscathed, though, because this book rattled my soul and broke my heart in ways that I couldn’t ever have imagined I would need to be prepared to handle.) A lot of what happens was so unexpected. I will note, either SJM is a master of her craft in the plotting department or she can write the hell out of any plot hole corner she backs herself in to, but I’m betting on the former. I say this because so much that Maas has laid out in previous books that left you quirking your head a bit or felt truly vague was given reason and a voice in EoS. I believe SJM has been carefully setting up her dominoes in each installment, and in this book, she gave them a nudge and slowly they all started falling. It appeared to be at the perfect time as well, when it was supposed to captivate you and break you and shore up the defenses in your heart and then totally wreck you again. So many storylines converge in this book and for reasons I assume Maas has been building since the very beginning when we first met our beautifully broken, perfectly lethal badass assassin champion that stole our hearts. I can’t wait to see where Maas takes us next.

I’m sure in the coming days once I’ve had more time to reflect on Empire of Storms and everything that happened in it I’ll find a few minor complaints and issues that I had, but based on my feelings at this very moment where emotion are likely clouding my judgment and I’m just going off the high of all this post-awesomeness glory (and pain), I think this book was damn-near perfection. I want to see how this all ends and I want it to go on forever, simultaneously.

ALSO NOTE: I certainly agree that this book definitely crosses very mature YA headed straight for New Adult levels of sexual content, just saying.

♥ Teaser Quote: There are so many that I could put here. So. Many. Ones that would break your heart, make you fistpump the sky, sit back in quiet reflection, swoon or cackle. Decisions, decisions…

     All of it for Terrasen, she had said that day she’d revealed she’d schemed her way into getting Arobynn’s fortune. And Rowan knew that every step she had taken, every plan and calculation, every secret and desperate gamble . . .
     For Terrasen. For them. For a better world.
     Aelin Galanthynius had raised an army not just to challenge Morath . . . but to rattle the stars.
– quote taken Empire of Storms, pg. 683

Book Rating Breakdown
General Book Feels
Degree my heart was ripped out
Cute, Fuzzies, Flutters
Angst Me So Good

♥ Rec It? Yes! No matter if your ship was born or broken in the last book or previous ones, read this one! Why do I have to wait a year to see how all of this magic continues to unfold!?

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥

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