EMPIRE OF STORMS

From the Throne of Glass series , Vol. 6

Tightly plotted, delightful escapism.

In the penultimate Throne of Glass book, Aelin meets unexpected obstacles as her enemies move against her and her allies.

Aelin may have put her role as assassin Celaena behind her, but that doesn’t mean Terrasen’s nobles are willing to hand the kingdom over to a young woman with her kind of past. Knowing the Valg king Erawan is a true threat to the entire world, Aelin must form alliances for the imminent war while uncovering the price once paid to halt Erawan—the price to stop him for good, because he’s moving fast and striking hard. This plot expands the world, introducing new delights such as a pirate haven (and—of course—naval battles) and swampy ruins in Eyllwe, as the cast also expands, with nods to the novellas collected in The Assassin’s Blade. (That said, with the number of characters presented and minimal recap, readers will wish there were a dramatis personae.) Much of Aelin’s scheming occurs off-page, as secondary characters’ viewpoints take on narrative weight—despite the occasional redundancy, this adds richness, as such characters as Manon enjoy deeper development, and Lysandra anchors the best action sequence. Romance runs rife (the main cast is mostly straight, with nods to queer minor characters) and this everyone-is-breathtakingly-beautiful-(and-also-mostly-white) world. Readers of Maas’ other series will spot her touch, especially in descriptions of lovemaking and the cliffhanger ending.

Tightly plotted, delightful escapism. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61963-607-1

Page Count: 704

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2016

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

DIVINE RIVALS

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A war between gods plays havoc with mortals and their everyday lives.

In a time of typewriters and steam engines, Iris Winnow awaits word from her older brother, who has enlisted on the side of Enva the Skyward goddess. Alcohol abuse led to her mother’s losing her job, and Iris has dropped out of school and found work utilizing her writing skills at the Oath Gazette. Hiding the stress of her home issues behind a brave face, Iris competes for valuable assignments that may one day earn her the coveted columnist position. Her rival for the job is handsome and wealthy Roman Kitt, whose prose entrances her so much she avoids reading his articles. At home, she writes cathartic letters to her brother, never posting them but instead placing them in her wardrobe, where they vanish overnight. One day Iris receives a reply, which, along with other events, pushes her to make dramatic life decisions. Magic plays a quiet role in this story, and readers may for a time forget there is anything supernatural going on. This is more of a wartime tale of broken families, inspired youths, and higher powers using people as pawns. It flirts with clichéd tropes but also takes some startling turns. Main characters are assumed White; same-sex marriages and gender equality at the warfront appear to be the norm in this world.

Ideal for readers seeking perspectives on war, with a heavy dash of romance and touch of fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-85743-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2023

Close Quickview