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Audiobook Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Published September 6th 2016

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Narrator: Elizabeth Evans

Audiobook Length: 25 hours 18 minutes

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?

Empire of Storms is the fifth novel in the Throne of Glass series. As books five and six take place near the same time with different characters, I heard you can read them in any order. I decided to just stick to the publication order and them in that order. I did miss Chaol and Nesryn in this installment, but I can’t wait to read about their adventure in the next one. Assassin Celaena Sardothien has fully embraced her true identity of Aelin Galathynius, the heir to the throne of Terrasen. While the adventure continues from the fourth novel, there are also many callbacks to the prequel novellas, so it was nice to get some wrap-up on some of those stories.

Aelin and Rowan’s relationship continues to blossom in this novel. I still wish there was more to the build up as the previous novel took a jump from friends to lovers fairly quickly and this one continues on the lovers path. While I enjoyed their relationship in this novel, I am still not fully on-board as Rowan seemed too wrapped up in Aelin where he lost some of the initial traits that I liked about him when he was first introduced. As Aelin and Rowan do separate for parts of this story, it was nice to see his character shine again. He interacts a lot with Dorian and it was great to see the friendship that formed between them. There is a new relationship that is hinted at involving Manon that was briefly foreshadowed in the previous novel. For me, I am not on board with this one either as it was a heterosexual relationship for a character where I initially believed they were written as LGBTQIA+. I am not against the direction the author wanted to go with the character, it just did not seem to match the previous novels.  

There are tons of other relationships in this novel, such as Elide/Lorcan and Lysandra/Aedion, among many others, so romance definitely seemed to the central theme of the story. Aside from some character development for the characters throughout the story, the main plot takes a back seat for about the first two-thirds of the novel. Here there are mostly developments with the characters, but there is not a lot going on with moving the plot forward until the last portion. The pacing towards the end (about the last 100 pages or so) picks up a lot, so I can see the build up towards the finish line of the story. As the sixth novel features Chaol’s part of the story and occurs on a similar timeline to this novel, it will be interesting to see how the two stories come together before the final conclusion. Overall, this novel was interesting plot wise. While I am not fully on board with all of the romantic relationships in the story, it is still an interesting series. I cannot wait to try the sixth novel to see what happens next!

6 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

    1. Agree that this book can turn people off for the rest of the series. While the couples in the series are not quite working for me, I luckily love enough of the other elements to enjoy it and want to continue. 😀

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