[Empire of Storms: Throne of Glass V] Sarah J. Maas

Slight spoilers for the previous four books are below.

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Empire of Storms finally brings together everything that began in Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. This penultimate novel in the Throne of Glass series showcases Aelin’s power–political, physical, and magical–in a way that really presents her as a Queen for the people. However, not everyone is as in love with Aelin and her fire as her Court is. Many fear what her power could mean for them, should she decide that she doesn’t like what they’re doing. As always, people who have power fear to lose it. Aelin has to prove that she won’t use her power to force people’s hands like she did in Wendlyn. She has to prove that she’s a Queen.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Some of the events were a little more boring than others, but ultimately every moment, no matter how seemingly insignificant, matter. There’s a lot of perspectives in this novel and they’re all intertwined in a cohesive, entertaining, and emotional way. The book focuses on dealing with the aftermath of what happened in Rifthold when Dorian and Aelin end the King of Adarlan’s reign and the seal on magic.

In the previous novels, characters had been introduced but we didn’t get a lot of time with them because of the focus on Aelin’s quest. This time, more of the pages were given to those side characters, and I think it worked really well. I enjoyed reading how characters functioned and acted when the group separated and Aelin was off doing something else. Rowan and Dorian, Lysandra, Elide, Manon, Aedion…and even characters that we’d previously been told were not necessarily allies got pages. While I liked them in the previous novels, Empire of Storms made me fall in love with them completely.

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[Angeldust: Dark Angel V] Hanna Peach

This is the last review of a series that I’ve been reading. The review for the fourth book can be found here.  A huge thank you to Hanna Peach for providing me with Angeldust as well as the rest of the series! What follows is an honest review for the last book and for the series overall.

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After the events of Angelblood, Alyx and Israel have decided that they can’t wait until everything is right, both in the world and between themselves. They have to take advantage of the time they have together now, because they have no idea where there lives will be in the next few weeks. After uncovering Michael’s horrible plans for the angels, humans, and planet, Alyx and her followers have to stop him before they can come to fruition. As Alyx speeds off to uncover the secrets of Raphael’s charm in a lost Seraphim city, she puts her trust in her friends to continue protecting themselves against Michael and his followers, not knowing that Michael is moving against them more quickly than they’d prepared for. Angeldust has everything that is good and frustrating about the series as a whole in it, making this a final installment that concluded the main story line well but also kept some story lines unfinished for potential spin-offs.

The Dark Angel series has always had love triangles, and Angeldust is no exception. I understand that love triangles often make the young adult/new adult genre go-round, but they became something that was the norm in the series. It was no surprise when there were more that continued in Angeldust. I felt that there were too many and that characters were jumping from one person to the next like crazy, while also keeping feelings for their first love interest which annoyed their second. I didn’t feel that the spurned point of the triangle needed to find someone immediately. These events are happening so quickly that I doubted the spurnee could get over the rejection quickly enough to have a meaningful relationship with the new love interest.

That said, I still don’t feel like Angeldust went too much into the confessions of love realm. There’s always been a focus on the true issues of the world instead of the fact that Alyx loves Israel. I love that this series puts romance behind the fight to save the world. It really knows where the heart of the story is and puts romance (or at least, the desire to run away together) on hold for the greater good. Although I do love the Israel and Alyx relationship, I liked that I could rely on the plot being well-written and engaging without being bogged down by too much lovey stuff. The dialogue is intelligent and keeps us focused on what Alyx is working toward and the undercurrent of love never takes over.

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