Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Book Review of Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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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 who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Series: Throne of Glass (Book 5)
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (September 5, 2017)
Page Count: 720 pages

I'm really torn about this book because I like the plot, but there's just so much sexual content that a big chunk of it was really off-putting to me. Can we just have a good story without pages long sex scenes?

The Plot: A big hitch in Aelin's plans occur when people from her own kingdom won't accept her as queen, which really sucks. I didn't even think about that happening. It makes perfect sense though because of Aelin's reputation and the instability of the whole situation. Then on top of that we've got demons trying to take over the world plus Maeve trying to make everyone's lives harder. There's a lot going on here. XD All of which I enjoyed.

The Characters: I really like all of the main characters. Aelin, Manon, Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra, and Elide are all great. I really love their teamwork and they make a great gang. I really hope none of them die in the future books. XD I really love Elide especially because of her innocence. Like it really amused me but also was really realistic when she cried while fighting off villains. She's a great female character. All of the villains are terrifying which is Maas's specialty. 

The Setting: There's just so much to explore in this world! I love revisiting the pirate cove from Assassin's Blade and then seeing a new place of the Sunken Marshes. A city beneath a marsh just is so unique and cool. We've also got freaky ilken (basically demon monstes) to deal with and they're very scary. Also, a character gets sick from stagnant water which I've never seen in a book but is good to include because yes that's a thing that happens. 

Epic Things: I love the Little Folk. Them leaving little intricate gifts for Aelin is so adorable.  ^ ^ 

The Theme: There are many elements of loyalty and friendship.

Content Cautions: I don't recommend this book for anyone under 18. 

Here we go with the swearing. There's a lot so if you don't like profanity this isn't the book for you. There are 61 uses of d***, 48 uses of h***, 45 uses of sh**, 31 uses of bi***,  28 uses of ba****d, 13 uses of a**, 8 uses of p***, 5 uses of pr***, two uses of ti**, one use of c*ck, and one use of a**hole. Come on, Maas. I know your characters are big tough people. But you can be big and tough without having the mouth of a sailor. Also, the bird is given twice.

There's also a crap ton of sexual content in this book and for some reason, breasts are mentioned at least ten times. It's like can we not talk about the boobs? Yes, the boobs are big or the Amulet is between the boobs. Can we just say on the chest? Many of the characters have strong lusting thoughts. There is also a pages long steamy sex scene that I skipped cause I'm like, "Yeah nope, I'm good." And also two other shorter sex scenes which I also skipped because sex scenes are not in any way appealing to me. You can have great romance without explicit sex scenes. There's also a lot of nudity outside of the sex scenes. Some character strip naked for reasons. Also, another character turns out to be bisexual which is really random. 

And then we get to violence which includes throat tearing, severed head, people burnt alive. All the violence.

What We Can Take Away For Our Writing:
Symbols of a Culture - At one point, Aelin has to convince a group of people to join her cause. so she actually has Lysandra turn into a sea beast she saw on some carvings in a temple. This helped infer morale into the people to fight against the enemy. 

How this can be applied to writing: What symbols are important to your story worlds' cultures?

Conclusion: I'm disappointed in all of the content. I really love the plot and characters and I'll continue reading the series to find out what happens, but I'm just really not crazy about the content and that put me off a lot. This is my least favorite book of the series. 

About the Author: Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).

Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

You can find her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and her website.

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