I’m not going to lie- I started this book, lost interest, and picked up “A Court of Wing and Ruin” instead. Once I started reading EOS again, of course I fell right back into the story and it was a quick read. At this point I owe readers 2 reviews: one on “Heir of Fire” and one on “Queen of Shadows”. Be warned. . .this post does contain spoilers. . . so if you haven’t read it, and don’t want to know. STOP READING!
If you were to ask me which series I preferred over the other (ACOTAR vs. TOG) there’s no way that I could answer. Each is splendid in it’s own way. While I was a bit let down with ACOWAR, I have to openly and honestly say the TOG series has YET to disappoint.
The character development from “Throne of Glass” all the way to “Empire of Storms” is absolutely, breathtakingly brilliant. Let’s discuss:
Celaena/Aelin: Starting from the broken mess we found her in Endovier, all the way to a walking contradiction in the last book. And by walking contradiction I mean:
- Merciful yet ruthless
- Friend yet enemy
- Broken yet strong
- Organized yet lost
There are still times I forget she’s just a girl. To have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time is beyond me. I feel as though throughout the books, Sarah J Maas had everything, every detail laid bare before the reader. And it took the last 3% of the book to reveal itself to the reader.
Manon Blackbeak: Let me preface this by stating she is my absolute favorite character. A ruthless beauty. Leader of the Thirteen, heir to the Blackbeak coven, and yet her grandmother hides the biggest secret I could imagine. We all know (for those that have read the series) that Manon starts to “feel”; something a witch doesn’t do. Witches don’t have a conscience. They are born without a soul. But with everything the covens are going through with their wyverns, Manon starts questioning her grandmother’s motives. What I loved seeing Manon develop into her character, is severing that “loyalty” with her grandmother to do what she KNEW was right. Even if it cost her. And when she turned on her grandmother, and her grandmother gutted her (and revealed she’s the last Crochan Queen). . .WOW! For a moment I truly thought I lost my favorite character.
Lysandra: When first introduced to Lysandra, I immediately disliked her. Page after page I was waiting for Celaena to just lash out and kill her. Slowly, Lysandra’s backstory was revealed. Readers learned she is a shape shifter, and the her body isn’t even her actual body- she was a plain girl who formed herself to look more attractive: and to this date she has trouble remembering what she truly looked like. Because of her looks (and the fact she is a shape shifter) is what caused her to be in the streets and wind up with Arobynn. Who knew that a character I scoffed at when first introduced to, would wind up being another one of my favorites. Throughout “Empire of Storms” Lysandra turns into a free spirit. Happy to shed the guise she wore for so long, Lysandra tries out many new skins- even an ancient one that stirs the hearts of a city who has given up hope. Lysandra is loyal to her queen. Despite how exhausted she is (shape shifting taxes you) Lysandra keeps showing up to save her friends, and give her queen a fighting chance.
So now we have this:
Not to mention all the supporting characters Maas makes you fall in love with and yet is lack on all the backstory you truly want :: cough cough:: ASTERIN :: cough cough::
Let’s talk about the boys now. . .
Dorian: I’ll admit, in the “Throne of Glass” book I had the “girlish crush” on Dorian. That all ended after she chose Chaol. I thought Dorian turned into the “oh, poor is me” person. Whiny, complaining. . .yet still saddled with minor responsibilities is father was grooming him for. And then readers thought we lost Dorian for a bit once that collar was put on. Dorian went into (not willingly) the collar a broken man with the death of Sorscha, interestingly enough he came out a broken man too. Done were the days of fragile women; the darkness left a bit of darkness in Dorian, making Manon look like a goddess in his eyes.
Chaol: Thank the good stars above Chaol wasn’t in “Empire of Storms”! He was working on my last nerve too!
Rowan: seriously. . . SWOON! I love man who can push a woman to her full potential without knowing it- especially when they’re meant to be together. I will speculate here and say that the relationship between Rowan and Aelin is alarmingly similar to that of Rhysand and Feyre (“A Court of Thorns and Roses”). I’m not complaining. . . .I loved the dynamic of this relationship before it was even a relationship.
Aedion: I’m still up in the air about this dude. It’s not that I don’t like him, but I dunno. Throwing internal temper tantrums that he didn’t get to take the blood oath- okay maybe it was due him, but still. . .come on. I will say the relationship with Lysandra though, oh! Heart be still. . . . it makes me laugh every time she’s in her ghost leopard form and he pets her head.
And here we have this beautiful depiction:
We’ve got an empire that once settled after the impending war is going to have 2 dominant queens and a king. An equilateral triangle of power- especially considering Dorian and Manon may or may not wind up together. . .Aelin, if she ever loses the “Man in the Iron Mask” imprisonment is already married to Rowan, and it seems her rag tag court continues to grow with warriors.
Let’s see, have I missed anyone? Oh yes, short but sweet. . . .
Maeve: I’m 200% convinced there is a blood tie here to Amarantha.
I’m sure I missed a lot, and I feel this review is absolutely jumbled, but there it is. A great book, a great “finisher” until the novellas come out. I absolutely recommend this series!