Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Wow.
That's a very traumatized, repetitive wow, in case you couldn't tell. The story brutalized me, again. This book inspired just as much of a horrified wow on the second read as it did on the first. I was so verklempt upon finishing this reread, that it took me another 6 days of being stressed out before I could actually get around to writing this review.
But holy wow was this brutal. The ending completely gutted me, and I knew it was coming. The way the plot and storylines are woven together across the course of the series astounds me. It all brought us to this mind-blowing scene in the series where so many different strands and moments come together to create possibly the most epic turning point imaginable. And it's like so much bad and so much good and so much---good lord, did that really just happen?--inside one climatic moment that it's almost impossible to be a functional human again after reading that.
Sarah J. Maas is a fantasy queen, but in order to understand her full brilliance, you have to read yourself through to this moment in book 5 that will show you that everything you thought you knew and understand was only a mere glimpse of the potential that exists for this world, these characters, and this author.
This would absolutely be in my pile of 10 books to take with me, if I was being exiled into a book-less society, even knowing how much that ending completely tortures me and has for the better part of two years.
Book 370 read in 2018