I have no words. I honestly don’t even know what to type right now because all that my mind can think of are the last few scenes of this book.
Now, I try to go into each book I read without bias and try to enjoy it as much as I can. Still, I must admit that I went into this expecting not to like it. This expectation came to me due to the fact that I almost died of boredom while reading Queen of Shadows, and then expressed it all in a ranting review. So, as you can imagine, I picked up this book expecting boredom and expecting another rant review to be written.
Obviously, that’s not what happened.
Heir of Fire made me a liar (see review for details). Queen of Shadows filled me with regret (see review for details). Empire of Storms then came and shut me up, leaving me with my mouth hanging in shock at how good and how action packed it was.
Before reading this book I had been spoiled onto almost everything that happened in it. I already knew everything that was coming, including the ending, and yet, each twist and turn hit me in ways that I did not expect.
The action in this one was increased by 100%, with twists at every turn and epic battles that left my heart racing. The plot is finally all coming together, all of the strings starting to get tied and the larger picture starting to become clear. We can finally see how all the stories and plots interconnect and I am loving every second of it.
Also, the characters here all seemed stronger, better. Not physically, but in their characterization. My main problem with Queen of Shadows were the characters. Here though, I really got to see them in action and I loved every single one of them. Maas trimmed down the paragraphs of Aelin giving herself pep talks and go and on about how “I am the heir of fire…” “I am power made flesh…” “I am this, and that, and all of these other adjectives that me sound awesome”. And thank the Lord that she also trimmed down on all the descriptions of Rowan’s hotness. Like we got it, the dude was hot, thanks for the million reminders. Queen of Shadows was unnecessarily long, and that’s why I was bored. This book felt just right, getting in all the necessary things (sorry Chaol).
In this one we also got to go deeper into these characters and got to see sides of them that had been peeking out before but never truly shown. Especially for Manon. I absolutely love Manon. She is now one of my favorite characters in this whole series. The girl deserves her own book instead of Chaol (again, sorry Chaol).
Even Aelin was a little better in this one. I don’t hate her anymore. I’m extremely annoyed at her, but no, I don’t hate her. She was a little more Celaena in this one. A little more swagger, a little less bratty. She made some questionable choices at some parts, but she was also very selfless, and did such badass things that I can’t really help but forgive most of it.
Now, let’s talk about the ships. ALL the ships!
My reaction to the mass shipping BEFORE reading the book:
After reading it:
I don’t know how I feel about Maas’ need to give everyone a mate, especially in ACOTAR. Not everyone needs a romantic interest. And yet, I am not going to lie, I ship them. I ship them all so much! I can’t help it! I thought I wouldn’t be a fan of Manon and Dorian but I actually love them together. And who knew Dorian was so kinky? I love it!
And Elide and Lorcan? I ship it. I ship it so hard! And I know that we are supposed to be hating Lorcan for what he did, but come on, he thought he was doing a “good” thing. If anything, I blame Aelin. This is yet another reason why she will never be my favorite character here.
“She’d refused to immediately explain Ansel’s presence, wanting to enjoy the surprise of it, and he had summoned Maeve’s armada to take on what he believed to be an enemy fleet. To save Elide.”
–Empire of Storms, Chapter 71
Had Aelin not been busy trying to make dramatic reveals, this would not have happened! Lorcan would never have called for Maeve, and they probably would have ad a pretty happy ending or something. If Aelin had told her crew at least some parts of her plan, things could have been avoided! AHHH! I’m angry! I get that she is trying to be selfless and whatnot, but come on! So many lives are at stake. So many people are involved. She can’t keep all of this to herself, can’t make all the plans and then expect everyone to just kinda play along and be ok with it after she makes her dramatic reveals later on. That’s not how it all works!
I also don’t like the fact that she would ask Lysandra to do what she did at the end. To completely lose herself. To give herself and never be allowed to be happy. To sleep with them, and have their children, and be stuck in that form forever. And yes, I am being extremely vague because of of spoilers.
But enough about Aelin. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, which really surprised me. I didn’t expect to love it as I did. I was grinning from ear to ear half the time, getting excited when things happened and almost falling out of my seat when a certain someone did a certain awesome thing that I cannot say without spoilers.
Now, so that I don’t sound like I am taking back everything I have said before in my previous reviews, let’s make it all clear. I still don’t like Queen of Shadows. I still think that Rowan and Aelin’s relationship seemed kinda forced in the beginning (it’s better now). And this series is, in my opinion, extremely over hyped. Despite that, this book has restored my faith in the series, although it did not take away the foul taste left by Queen of Shadows and Heir of Fire. I just hope that the next few books don’t completely shatter that faith again. I’m looking at you Tower of Dawn.
My one regret is that I read this so soon. What the heck am I supposed to do until the next book? And no, not Tower of Dawn, but the actual next book when Aelin and the gang get back together. I need it now!
Also, predictions for the last book: Dorian’s brother (whose name I forget) is going to die. We can’t let Aelin or Dorian go down for the count, so obviously the brother needs to go. What do you guys think? Let me know.