Title/Author: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Considering that I bought this book on the release date, I’m a little late to the reviewing train. But, I have a lot of things I want to discuss about this book, and better late than never, right?
First off, I’m just going to say it: This was not my favorite book in the Throne of Glass series. Of course I enjoyed it immensely. Of course I still loved it. But… there was something holding me back from falling as completely in love with this book as I did the others. Whether it was the fact that ACOMAF was a fricking work of art or that I’ve just read so many of Sarah’s books by now, I just wasn’t as impressed with this book as I felt like I should have been.
For one, Aelin really didn’t have much character growth in this one. Heir of Fire was a crazy whirlwind of emotion and damage and healing, but Queen of Shadows was more… stagnant, flatter.
But on the other hand, where that character growth in Aelin is lost, it’s found in Manon. I really came to enjoy Manon in Queen of Shadows, much more so than in Heir of Fire. She became more of a real person, and I could truly imagine her–appearance, emotions, and all. I really, really came to like her and root for her.
Also, Dorian. Dorian will forever and always be my little cinnamon roll. It was so interesting reading from his point of view (minor spoiler here if you haven’t read Heir of Fire) after being trapped by the demon inside his own body. And oh man, when Dorian finally came back into play with the rest of the characters… that was crazy awesome.
Now, as for Rowan… Don’t get me wrong, I love Rowan. But (maybe because I just haven’t read Heir of Fire in so long?) I honestly didn’t feel that spark between him and Aelin. Their friendship has always felt so real and so right, but their romance? It didn’t feel bad, it just felt… like that’s not where they were supposed to be. Honestly, if you ask me, Aelin doesn’t need a man right now. Eventually, yes. But I mean, for goodness sakes, those pages and pages of territorial male
bullsh*t stuff? Didn’t we see enough of that in ACOMAF? Although Heir of Fire obviously set up for these two to be together, based on Queen of Shadows alone, the relationship between Rowan and Aelin felt like romance just for the sake of romance. bleh.
And, while I loved the end of this book, the beginning 75% of this book was nothing amazing. It was interesting enough, but a lot of the content felt repetitive or underwhelming, and (although I know it wasn’t ALL fluff) it felt like fluff to keep me occupied until the ending. However, the ending was well worth the wait. In typical Sarah J. Maas style, it was full of action packed craziness and stressful, epic, mind-blowing moments.
Did I really enjoy this book? Definitely. But was it my favorite? Nope. Do I recommend it? Yes, because it was still a phenomenally well-written, beautiful book.