review: empire of storms

 I literally just finished and i am so overwhelmed by all the emotions it gave and the tears i shed. I have so much love and hate for this book i dont even know where to begin this review. I was gonna rate EoS 4.7 or 4.8 but after listing down the problems i had i'm gonna settle on 4.5 stars.
Synopsis from Goodreads (don't read if you haven't read the 4th book):
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 who 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?

I'm going to be honest: i planned to hate this book. I was shattered by the knowledge that my favourite character wasn't even going to be in it, that he wasn't going to get his own POV. I started reading this book with the lowest expectations, wondering what was the point if the reason i was still holding on to the series wasn't even going to be in this particular book.

That bias did effect my reading experience for a while, making me resent some characters and doubting i would enjoy this book. After a while though, i started to understand why Chaol didn't have his own POV, and i learnt to accept that the entire plot was so much bigger than him, so much bigger than all the characters individually. All the POV's in this book had at one point merged with other ones when the characters finally come across one another. Chaol's story was somewhere else, and didn't cross anyone else's at the present time period. I'm glad he will get his own novella because of this. I miss him so much, i even tabbed every page where his name was mentioned. And Sam's name too. I'll love them if SJM won't.

With my confession aside, i think i can judge this book more fairly now.

It's brilliant. It has flaws and definitely isn't perfect, but it is still such a brilliant book. Finally, most of the mystery built up from the four previous books had been unraveled and laid out for the characters and for us to understand. Even if Sarah J Maas had had different plans in her previous books, i think she gave a decent attempt to try make it work with what she eventually decided with.

I think the writing could have been better, because after a while i started to notice some repetition and the way some things were really exaggerated kind of annoyed me and made me roll my eyes. But Sarah deserves credit for being able to distinguish her characters so well, which was very impressive considering there were so many POVs in this book and i had no trouble or confusion reading any of them. My favourite character in this one is Dorian and Manon, I think.

The plot was just mind-blowing. There's action throughout the entire book, and a lot of it was absolutely intense. Especially the final 100 pages, oh my god i got so emotionally exhausted reading all the action and plot twists. I can't believe i cried, especially for a character I didn't even have much respect for. The scene was just so emotional for me I actually shivered when imagining it. At one point i had to pause and make myself turn to the next page.

I really enjoyed seeing minor characters develop and become very significant in the series. I never would have thought i would love reading Manon and Elide's POV, but for the first half of the book i craved for their chapters. The relationship/bond between the characters was also built well, which i guess made the ending more effectively painful to read.

But like i said, this book isn't perfect. One of my main problems with the book would have to be how a lot of things had appeared at too convenient of a time and place;

- Manon had appeared unconscious on Abraxos when Aelin's court had been at sea at the perfect time

- Lorcan and Elide arriving in Ellywe(?) around the same exact time Aelin's court had arrived -- and around the same location too

- Ansel's fleet had arrived JUST when Aelin's court had finished exterminating the army of ilken

- the rest of the aid Aelin had called for -- the army lead by the Prince of Wendlyn, the Silent Assassins -- had arrived JUST THE MOMENT AFTER Aelin had vanished...AT THE SAME TIME. APPARENTLY A BIT LATE TO THE WAR THOUGH HUH. 

[end of spoilers]

Personal problems; 

- the whole mate thing kind of pissed me off because before this we were to believe that Aelin and Rowan weren't mates and now we are forced to accept that they are because it was fate and they just hadnt realised that Rowan's ex wasn't really his mate at all because of Maeve's tricks. Coming from a hardcore Chaolaena shipper, this was painful to accept but I'm too tired to care. In the end i still dont ship them but i had so much love and respect for Aelin that I'm glad she has a mate like Rowan to go rescue her.

- everyone was just so "gods-damned" beautiful and attractive it's kind if irritating. Are there no normal, plain-looking humans or Faes at all? Even Elide draws men's attention.

- must they all have a love interest? Don't get me wrong, i SHIP three of the couples and enjoyed seeing the growing romance between them, but it just seems too planned out, if that makes sense?

- not a single character dies?

- since i dont ship Rowaelin, their flirting had me cringing every time and their first sex scene had me laughing out loud because it was so ridiculously overdramatic. I'm sure this is because i just don't have any emotional attachment for either of them, but yeah. I liked Dorian's scene though, HOT DAMN. Please please SJM write a steamy scene for Chaol! Did i just say that? Heh.

- GENERALLY, this book felt very similar to A Court of Mist and Fury. There were a lot of similaries(about faes, mating, finding a lock/important item, two main characters secretly getting married, female lead gets taken away etc.) that it bothered me a bit that there wasn't more originality/fresh ideas, which I personally think is very important considering this is a different and separate fantasy series(even though i did still enjoy it).

[end of spoilers]

What i did really like:
-SOME of the ships!!
-Manon and Elide's POV chapters

-How complex the plot has gotten

- Aedion's confession to Lysandra when she was stuck as a sea dragon OHMYGOD HE HAD MY HEART RIGHT THERE but then Lysandra didn't take it serious GODDAMMIT. And they're not on good terms at the moment :(

- ELIDExLORCAN ANYONE?? LOVED IT!!ugh heartbreaking though in the end.

-DORIANxMANON! Even though it's mostly lust for them(which im glad because i appreciate Dorian still loving and remembering Sorscha), their flirting was so entertaining and LOL THE STEAMY SCENE WAS HOT

- Rowan's cadre joining in on Aelin's cause. I really like Gavriel and Fenryn!

- how Aelin's whole burden and role was uncovered and all the things she had prepared for her court to continue without her. As annoying as i found her for most of the series since the 3rd book, it all vanished from the whipping scene. God, i cried at that scene i cried for Aelin and all the shit she has to go through. It's so heartbreaking that she made Lysandra promise to shift into her and lead Terrasen and how she made sure Terrasen had a legal king by marrying Rowan. UGH THE FEELS.
[end of spoilers]

All in all i think Empire of Storms was pretty fantastic and adds a whole new level of depth in the series. I'm not sure how i can wait a whole year to read how it's all going to end.


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2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.