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Empire of Storms (ToG # 5)

[A quick not: I don’t want to speak too soon but I might be enjoying this series a little more than ACOTAR. It could just be that it’s longer, so more enjoyment time. But it’s also that we get to see so many character POVs and I’m a fan of 3rd person storytelling. After finishing EoS, I’m strongly considering this. ]

“𝑯𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒄𝒓𝒐𝒔𝒔 𝒄𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇𝒃𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒅𝒔𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒔, 𝒂𝒄𝒓𝒐𝒔𝒔 𝒐𝒄𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒅𝒐𝒎𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒂𝒓.” —Sara J Maas

Aelin’s path to the throne is only just beginning. But war is on her doorstep, and she needs allies. When Mave’s powerful fae forces from the east appear on the cost, everything is sent spiraling out of control. There may be no coming back from the sacrifices Aelin must make to save those she loves.

Immersive doesn’t even begin to explain it. This story broke me. Exhausted me emotionally. I walked away in a daze. That ending. Wow. How does someone come back from something like that? And the relationship between Aelin and Rowan? Goals! It was the characters and the relationships that stood out most to me in this installment. I am blown away by how well SJM weaves her characters together and how well she distinguishes them from one another. I loved getting to dive into each, though I missed Chaol in this one. But he has a whole book dedicated to him coming up—so he can wait his turn.

The story itself was intense. SO DAMN INTENSE. I couldn’t stop turning pages. It’s a huge book and I read it in a weekend. I just couldn’t put it down. Immersed for two days in a world not my own. I couldn’t stop thinking about it while trying to sleep at night. Every element held suspense. There were NOT any calm moments, though there were sweet moments that snuck between the action-packed ones. But, I found myself wishing there were more times of calm. It was just...intense. But I suppose that’s how you keep someone reading. And that ending. OMG. I was NOT prepared for that ending. It wrecked me.

Aelin’s character continues to captivate me. Her cunning is ever-present. And her strength. I love that about her. That she doesn’t need the males in her life to make her decisions for her—a true queen. I love hat she’s bold, and puts on a brave face even when she’s terrified. And that she does things on her own terms. Even if it makes everyone in her court angry at being left out of certain secrets.

All in all, I can’t stop thinking about the story. This book has utterly stolen me from the world. I’m so invested in the plot, the characters, the world building. I cannot wait to dive into the next one. Once again, SJM blows me away! 𝗠𝗬 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝟱/𝟱⭐️


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