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.
Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 648
Publishing Date: Sept. 1st, 2015
This book has left me amazed and surprised and practically speechless. I honestly don’t know how to put into words how much I love this series and this novel, but I’m going to do my best to write a review without instantly going into fangirl-mode by just typing “ASDFGHJKL” for the rest of this post. Queen of Shadows is definitely my favorite from this series (so far). It had so much action and romance and the plot twists were insanely epic. Sarah J. Maas’s books just keep getting better and better and she’s definitely gained a permanent spot near the top of my “Read Any and All Books This Author Releases” list.
The rest of this review contains spoilers!
The plot of this book was so good. I loved seeing Aelin (who I know I can now refer to as Aelin and not Celaena because YES, she’s finally come to embrace her past) really come into her own element in this novel. This story shifted dramatically from the multiple different perspectives in Heir of Fire with characters who were miles apart to perspectives from characters who were now interacting with each other and I loved that so much.
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”
From the very first page, this book gripped me with all of the action. From rescuing Aedion to trying to help rebels escape, I was fully entranced within this story and I could barely set the book down. I think the moment that Rowan re-entered into the plot was really the moment where I realized that I was going to full on marathon this book within hours because every chapter was getting better and better.
From Lysandra’s major character change to Dorian being possessed for almost the entire novel to Chaol helping the rebels and developing a relationship with Nesryn to Aelin finally confronting Arobynn to Rowan and Aelin finally forming a relationship (which made me fangirl for hours) to Manon helping Elide to Aedion being rescued and recovering to that epic ending, I could talk for hours about the different plot points that I loved in this book.
I loved Aelin in this novel. She was strong, confident, caring, and such a badass. Then again, when isn’t she a badass?! There was a new side of her shown in this book, though; she showed a lot of leadership and multiple queen-esque traits. The romance that developed between Aelin and Rowan was so slow-burning but it was so, so worth the wait because I love them so much together and if they aren’t endgame then I don’t know what I will do.
“Elegant, feminine, and utterly wild. Warm, and steadfast—unbreakable, his queen.”
Rowan’s character development in this novel was everything. He was much more open and, although there were times when he closed himself off from Aelin, it was obvious by the end of the novel that he has truly grown as a character and GAH, I just love him so much.
“You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”
Dorian’s chapters were probably the hardest chapters to read. I’ve loved Dorian since he was introduced in the beginning of Throne of Glass and it seems as if he can never catch a break. Ever. He was literally possessed for almost this entire novel. Possessed. Yet he still fought it and, in the end, he was able to come back. It’s clear that he has a lot of problems and struggles to work through and I’m hoping that’s all explored further in Empire of Storms. I may or… may not… ship him with Manon…
“They were infinite. They were the beginning and the ending; they were eternity. The king standing before them gaped as the shield of flame died out to reveal Aelin and Dorian, hand in hand, glowing like newborn gods as their magic entwined.”
Chaol continued to annoy me off and on throughout the majority of this novel. I feel like as soon as he left the castle and his job (and basically his entire life) his character changed immensely and he’s struggling with adjusting to so much change. There’s so much angst to his character but I think that his relationship with Nesryn will really help him.
“Everything — everything was for Dorian, for his friend. For himself, he had nothing left to lose. He was nothing more than a nameless oath-breaker, a liar, a traitor.”
I really grew to love Aedion’s character even more in this novel. It was actually really adorable seeing him being such a protective cousin and the bond between him and Aelin is so obvious and I’m glad that Aelin finally has at least a small piece of her family back. The character change in Lysandra was wild and I went from loathing her to loving her within a few chapters. (*whispers*I ship Aedion and Lysandra so much!)
I enjoyed seeing Manon’s character development throughout this story, especially towards the end of the novel. Elide’s introduction was obviously a key point within Manon’s character arc and I love how Manon came back to save Elide in the end. I’m interested to see what she will do when it comes to picking sides because it’s obvious that an all out war is going to occur within the remaining novels in this series and I’m hoping that she chooses to fight with Dorian instead of continuing to obey whatever her grandmother tells her to do.
“But perhaps the monsters needed to look out for each other every now and then.”
The ending of this novel perfectly sets up for the story to continue in Empire of Storms. Let’s see; Aelin, Rowan, Aedion, Lysandra, Evangeline, and Fleetfoot (we can never forget about Fleetfoot) have finally made it to Terrasen, Dorian is the new King of Ardalan, Chaol is going to travel south with Nesryn to try to find a cure for his legs, Elide is traveling to Terrasen to find Aelin, Manon is finally discovering how wicked Perrington is, and there is so much more going on, oh my gosh. I need Empire of Storms now. ASAP.
I’ve said this in all of my other Sarah J. Maas book reviews and I’ll say it again — this author’s writing style is addicting. I could probably read Sarah’s grocery list and I’d become infatuated with it. There’s this elegance to her writing that really hooks you in and then there’s this constant underlying humor that adds some light to such a dark story.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It is definitely my favorite in this series (so far) and I loved all of the romance and action and plot twists. Sarah J. Maas never fails to make me freak out, fangirl, cry, laugh, and smile with her brilliant novels.
So, have any of you read Queen of Shadows? What are your thoughts on it? Comment below!