So This review is a non-spoilery section for Queen of Shadows. However, this will contain spoilers for the previous books (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire) as well as some spoilers for the prequel novellas, The Assassin’s Blade. I highly suggest you read all of those before reading this review, especially if you don’t want to be spoiled.
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 will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. 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.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
So Queen of Shadows was AMAZING. Oh my gosh, this book was an emotional rollercoaster for me. So much happened, in terms of world building, character development and plot. Sarah J Maas has an uncanny ability to blow my mind, because I did not expect this book to be one hell of a ride. I finished it surprisingly quickly despite its length, because I physically just could not stop turning the pages.
i just finished reading queen of shadows and oh my gosh i’m such a mess right now
— Katrina (@mysticwishes) September 3, 2015
Let’s talk about the plot first. There was so much going on in this book and sometimes it was a little overwhelming. There were two main story arcs – one following Celaena/Aelin in Rifthold, and the other following Manon and the witches in Morath. There were quite a few things that happens in terms of plot that I definitely did not expect and other things that I kind of caught on and anticipated. Seriously, I was barely 100 pages in and there was already so much happening. I was a little overwhelmed at times, but it was worth it. I was literally hyperventilating when I was forced to take a break from the book to shower, just because Queen of Shadows was unpredictable.
There wasn’t as much focus on character development, especially with Aelin, but I guess since more of that happened in Heir of Fire, there wasn’t really the need to focus so much on the character development. However, I do love the person she has grown into. She’s still fierce, feisty and extremely independent, but she’s also learning that sometimes it’s okay to have others help.
To be honest, I wasn’t really as interested in reading about what was happening in Morath, but I see why Maas decided to write about it. Some of those chapters were actually heartbreaking.
There are many memorable moments in the book that stood out to me, but I think my favourite part is near the beginning and Madame Florine says this:
“When you shatter the chains of this world and forge the next, remember that art is as vital as food to a kingdom. Without it, a kingdom is nothing, and will be forgotten by time… you will understand me clearly when I say wherever you set your throne, no matter how long it takes, I will come to you, and I will bring music and dancing.”
The romance! It went in a completely different direction to what I expected, and to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. On one hand, I’m happy for what happened, but then I’m still in denial as to what happened. To be honest, the romance wasn’t huge in this book, and I’m glad that it focused more on the world building and the magic.
There’s also a little reference to a motif that has appeared throughout the series:
In Throne of Glass:
“You could rattle the stars”
And in Queen of Shadows:
“Let’s go rattle the stars.”
Look how far we’ve come!
I’m quite pleased at the direction this series is going. Queen of Shadows has now replaced Heir of Fire as my favourite in the series (only by a tiny fraction!). There was the perfect combination of action, humour and tragic moments in this book. The climax especially was tense and epic it was so worth sticking around to the end. I really need the book soon, but now comes the fun part of having to wait a year for the sequel to discover what happens next.
Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate that cover? It looks even better in real life, I swear. It’s worth it.
I don’t know if I’m emotionally ready to move on from this book just yet though…
(still waiting for my pre-order buttons)