This is a spoiler free review for both the book and the series (which is why I’ve decided to leave out the synopsis)!
My initial and incredibly articulate reaction to this book is: holy shit.
I was really excited to start the series, which I did really late (summer 2016), and I found that it didn’t quite live up to the hype. I genuinely enjoyed it, but something was missing. I didn’t really care about the fate of the characters and the plot came across as really dull. But for some reason, I had a gut feeling that I needed to carry on. So I did. The Throne of Glass series wasn’t very high on my list to read, so I slowly trudged through. Out of nowhere, I found myself getting more and more attached. Every single book was better than the last. The plot thickened, the characters developed, and I only wanted to start book five, despite everything else I had lying around. I kept putting it off – I don’t really know why. I think, maybe, I was worried that it would be a disappointment. Weeks went by, and then I finally couldn’t take it anymore and started Empire of Storms.
I really wasn’t expecting much. I knew it was most likely (and hopefully) going to be better than book four, and waaaaaaaaay better than book one, but I was in NO WAY prepared for how absolutely amazing book five was. Every single thing I wanted to happen did. Things I didn’t even know I wanted to happen, happened. There was so much action and things were coming together that I had a really hard time putting it down. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. That might seem like a total exaggeration but as I was driving home from a friend’s house late last night, eyes drooping, I was thinking about what hell Maas was going to put those characters through next.
Empire of Storms gave me a new appreciation for the series. A few of the side characters that were introduced, and who I originally found incredibly annoying and pointless, are now ones that I hold deep in my heart. The clever way Maas unraveled the plot, with pieces that are, now, so obviously placed in the first book, makes me want to start the series over to see if I can pick up on them. This is huge to me – the series went from one I was never going to re-read to one I genuinely wanted to.
From flawed characters, to ones that think they can do no wrong, to subtle sexuality, to someone actually getting their period in a fantasy novel, I have been continuously impressed. I can’t speak on the diversity aspect as I’m really bad at skimming over/not retaining character descriptions, but there are two that instantly come to mind. Two out of a whole whack is definitely not ideal but I’ll take what I can get.
If you started the series and never continued, or if you needed some sort of sign to pick up the first book, this is it. My head is still reeling, in a good way, and I don’t think the arrival of book six is going to come nearly as quickly as I need it to.
Have you read this series? What are you (hopefully spoiler free!) thoughts?