Have you already read Queen of Shadows and/or Empire of Storms?
If you answered 'yes', you may continue.
If you answered no, proceed at your own risk.
'' The world began and ended in fire. ''
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
'' There was no such thing as a better world―no such thing as a happy end. ''
Since you've read this far into the series, you know, that with Maas you won't get a happy ending. You know that most probably you end up either crying your heart out or staring into abyss. In both scenarios your very soul is crushed. Ground to the earth and the pain feels like it won't ever stop.
Numbers, attitude and sass. Not forgetting scheming behind everyone's backs and sacrificing yourself over others. Over the greater cause.
The way Maas pieced together a puzzle, that fooled even Aelin herself, is amazing. Betrayal, lies and plots to take the readers far away from the shattered Glass Castle, to the very roots of Aelin's past. To the time before her. Empire of Storms brought together everything we've learned from the other books. Everything from the characters, politics and ancestry. And S.J. Maas wielded those carefully woven details like Cairn his whip. Minus the insanely sadistic streak, though.
''We shall create wonders that will make the world tremble.''
Through five books I've followed Aelin's development from a scared young girl pretending to be tough to a gorgeous woman wielding her words and swords perfectly. This book, though, brought the out the mortality from her. Like each one of us, she could get hurt, she could die. And most importantly: she sometimes made mistakes. Introducing this vulnerability made me attach even more to her, which made the end break my heart.
I can't say anything else about Empire of Storm, except words of praise. How it made me laugh, how it made me cry. Feel hate, anger, jealousy, happiness, grief, and the entire horde of other feelings we can't even name. Most importantly, it made me feel. It made me live with the Cadre under the stars. To plot with Aelin. To fight alongside with Aedion. To love them all, not only Rowan, but them all.
'' ''And yes―to whatever end.'' ''