As you well know by now, I am obsessed with the Throne of Glass series, so I thought I would do a triple book review for the last three books, because I pretty much binge-read them consecutively. If you haven’t yet experienced the thrilling, magical, and witty world of Throne of Glass, then you have some serious life choices to reconsider. I was never really that interested in young adult fiction, especially not of the fantasy variety, but Maas manages to create such an intricate web of characters, backstories, and twists that you simply can’t help but become engrossed in this saga of secrets, powers, and sheer badassedry. If you are a fan of fantasy, mythology, Celtic lore, and feisty female heroines, then I would strongly recommend this series.
In Heir of Fire, the third installment, Celaena is struggling with her identity and the savage death of her dear friend, Nehemia. She travels to Wendlyn to find answers and is forced to remain and train with a dreamy yet challenging Fae warrior prince, Rowan Whitethorn, whom she grows closer to as she comes to grips with her grief and her lost identity.
In Queen of Shadows, the fourth installment, Celaena, now known by her true name, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, vows to exact revenge against the tyrants and villains who stole her kingdom and everyone she loves. She fights for her own soul, her friends who are tortured and imprisoned by the dark evils of Erilea, and for her throne.
In Empire of Storms, the fifth and latest installment, Aelin learns more about her heritage and hones her growing powers, while traveling and attempting to raise an army to fight for her kingdom. Faced with unexpected obstacles at every turn, Aelin and her cadre of Fae warriors and loyal friends must fight to protect the assassin-turned-queen and continue working towards their shared goals of a peaceful and prosperous Erilea, free of evil ad tyranny.
What I liked:
- The new characters: Rowan Whitethorn is possibly one of my favorite male characters of all time. He is brought in as a character who is meant to train and guide Celaena, and at first, he comes off as a very standoffish and stern character, but his tough exterior chips away to reveal a brave, honorable, and heart-melting sweetheart. Also, can we all just agree that Manon Blackbeak and Asterin are total badasses? There were many new characters introduced throughout all three books, and as always, Maas does a wonderful job of describing and developing each and every one of them.
- The plot: I love books that keep me riveted with every turn of a page. This series is chockful of exciting and thrilling developments and surprises. You hardly have time to process one event, when another one pops up in the very next page. However, despite being overwhelming at times, this is done in such a way that it fits perfectly into the overall story and within the context of each section. I can honestly say that I was never bored while reading any of these books.
- Maas’s writing style: Maas has an especially immersive way of writing these novels that makes the reader feel as if they were more than a third party observer. I love books that include a lot of description, especially when it comes to world creation, and Maas makes all the magical characters and kingdoms feel real enough that you want to jump into the pages and visit them all. You might want steer clear of the ridderaks, though.
What I didn’t like:
- I can’t really think of anything that I didn’t particularly like, since I pretty much ravaged the books. Perhaps the only thing that I felt slightly 50/50 about was the aforementioned overwhelming amount of consecutive events. Sometimes, it was hard to keep track of what was happening and to whom it was happening, but in reality, it actually kept the story captivating and the pace steady.
- Heir of Fire: This book deserved all 5 ★s, because it showed Celaena/Aelin’s struggle with grief and loss in a way that was raw and Her gradual recovery and development throughout the story was also very well portrayed.
- Queen of Shadows: I’m giving this book 4 ★s, because I felt as if it was a complete detour from the expected sequence of events. Having read the next book in the installment since reading this one, I know that the plan remains on track, but it was strange reading this book and having no idea when or how Celaena/Aelin would finally get around to reclaiming her throne, and frankly, it made me rather impatient. Granted, there were many loose ends to tie up before she could go about doing that, which I know now, but I didn’t know then, and it bothered me slightly throughout this read.
- Empire of Storms: ALL THE STARS. 5 ★s! A million stars! This book was an emotional rollercoaster if I ever saw one. I was rapt and obsessed and just thinking about how long I will have to wait for the next one makes me hyperventilate. This was the long-awaited crescendo to an unpredictable and enthralling symphony, packed with drama, love, loss, ass-kicking, and snarky comebacks. It also left me completely bereft. So, please hurry with that sixth book, S.J., my heart cannot bear the suspense.