Up to this moment, I am still at a loss as to what happened with Empire of Storms when Heir of Fire finally upped the game followed by Queen of Shadows that sizzled with so much amazing goodness. It was Maas’ momentum to finally steer the ship into the “fantasy” direction and then, Empire of Storms happened. Suddenly, I am at a loss at why Maas took the sudden turn towards erotica when we’re finally getting what Throne of Glass series promised us—a full blown fantasy with badass characters. Empire of Storms was still some sort of a satisfactory read but a fantasy book it is not. It was so fan-servicey—there was a lot of romantic drama in the book and a lot of ships and potential ones—that at some point, the real message of the book got lost on me.
I also hated the “The Queen That Was Promised” thing because it felt like a godawful parody of GRRM’s “The Prince That Was Promised.” Like why can’t we stick with the Fireheart stuff and had to resort with all these weird overly glorified names? The sex scenes didn’t fare any better. I mean, I’m really glad that Rowan and Aelin finally crossed the bridge instead of teasing us as to when they would do it, but for Pete’s sake, does the sex really have to be that weird? Is there really a need for lightning to occur and palm trees to be cut down from the sheer force of their orgasm? I know it’s fucking fantasy (fantasy erotica actually) but Maas is overstretching it. Yeah, it somehow reminded me of those dino/orcporn books, ya know.
The characters also kind of suffered from a personality makeover or worstover whatever you call it. Dorian. Dorian. Dorian. A favorite of mine and he’s now reduced to some bland, cookie cutter character that it was hard connecting him to the once vibrant and womanizing Prince of Adarlan.
Except for some parts of the plot, there were so many things in Empire of Storms that went wrong. The fucking length (seriously, if I’m gonna take out all the fillers in this one, a tree or two could have been saved), some overly dramatic and written parts, the can’t-suspend-my-disbelief sex scene, the numerous and unnecessary ships (just how many romantic affairs can you cram into one book, Maas?), the OMG-you’re-actually-my-mate-stuff (because ya know, Rowan and Aelin’s relationship was more meaningful when they got together after going through the hate-to-allies-to-friends stages than being with each other because they were fucking soulmates), and so much travelling (every POV character seemed to be suffering from a severe case of wanderlust).
Comparatively, Empire of Storms, is by far the weakest book in the series though it covered a lot of significant plot developments which I really enjoyed. But in the end, there was just too little enjoyment to make up for the pain.