4 out of 5 stars
Epic, long, intense, long, convoluted, long. But just when my Aelin fatigue kicked in, everyone else got much more interesting.
Super-quick recap: Aelin needs the word keys, and some kind of mythical lock, to put Arawan’s evil away for good. Everyone plays a part in helping locate and fight for these items. Aelin finds that her magic is much more powerful than expected – maybe even powerful enough to win the coming war. But the war may have two fronts, as Queen Maeve of the Fey launches herself into the story, with no indication which side she’s on.
If you’ve read any Sarah J. Maas, you know a few things:
All main characters will pair up. There are just enough guys and gals for them all to find love with whoever is standing nearby. Normally, I would hate this. It’s so rote. But we’ve spent like 9,000 hours with Aelin and honestly, I’m tired. We get her. But romantic interests open the other characters up in new and charming ways, and the supporting cast quickly became my favorite part of this story. Dorian/Manon and Lorkin/Elide are my favorites. (What if Lorkin took Elide’s name? Lorkin Lochan. I crack myself up.)
She needs a thesaurus. I wish I were reading this on Kindle. Can someone search the number of times SJM uses: barks, feline grace, incarnate, sculpted, or the infernal, hated phantom wind? I swear, punch yourself in the face every time she says phantom wind. You’ll have to start punching someone else when you run out of room.
Even with all these pages, a lot of things happen that aren’t written. Aelin does a lot of work off-page, which is suddenly (and very satisfyingly) revealed toward the end. Imagine if SJM wrote all that? I’d be here for life.
I am still greatly enjoying the Throne of Glass series. Exhausted, but enjoying. It’s most fun to see SJM developing the keys to the world of ACOTAR. Right at the end of Empire of Storms, someone important sends an essential piece of information “down the bond” – and instantly, I wished for Feyre and Rhysand.