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Book Reviews

Review: “Queen of Shadows,” Sarah J. Maas

October 7, 2015
Review: “Queen of Shadows,” Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Written by Sarah J. Maas
Published September, 2015 by Bloomsbury
645 pages
Genres: Faeries, Fantasy, Medieval
Purchase: The Book DepositoryBookworldBooktopia
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four-stars

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.

Spoilers in the full review. The Throne of Glass series is one that I’m definitely still invested in, but I’m still waiting for the singular book in the series I can claim as my favourite. I absolutely adore where the series is heading in on all fronts (relationships, plots, character growth and world) and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. I’m so glad I finally discovered what this series is all about and have caught up! I just need to read the novellas now!

 “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.”
– Aelin


Queen of Shadows was long. Although I definitely enjoyed it, the size of the book was a bit daunting and the plot wasn’t as faced paced as Throne of Glass. My main issue with this series is that it takes me so long to read. I’m unable to speed through the chapters, as I do with other books. There is just SO MUCH to take in and so many points of view to experience the story through.

The POV’s only grow in Queen of Shadows. While I enjoy the story through Aelin and Manon’s point of views, I always find the story to drag when it comes to Chaol or new characters such as Elide. I’m sure that Elide has a story to tell, but in Queen of Shadows, her POV felt a little unnecessary.

“You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”
– Aelin

I’m happy with where the romances and relationships are heading – Aelin and Rowan are so obviously endgame and it makes me happy. I love that Sarah J. Maas isn’t rushing into the physical side of their relationship, too, instead forging a meaningful emotional one that began as a solid friendship. I am equally as intrigued about the possibility of a Dorian and Manon relationship. I didn’t know I wanted this until it happened!

The first ‘main plotline’ of Queen of Shadows seems to be Aelin’s revenge where Aborynn is concerned. I must admit, I didn’t think it would be successful and was pleasantly surprised when it was. Aelin’s vengeance also meant she found a lifelong friend with former enemy, the courtesan Lysandra, who also happens to be a shapeshifter. I really loved the addition of her character and all that she brings to Team Terrasen! It’s also fantastic to see Aelin become close friends with another female character. It’s been a while!

The second was the destruction of the tower in Rifthold. Once again Aelin is a master manipulator in getting what she wants – her plans to achieve this goal even held secret from the reader until it all unfolds. I had a lot of fun reading the final few chapters of Queen of Shadows for this reason – the crescendo of action was pretty epic, with everyone involved and working together.

“The queen looked at the nails, the teeth, and grinned. Honestly–it was a shame that Manon had to kill her.”

As far as character development goes in Queen of Shadows, I think I’d have to give the award to Manon. Contrary to popular opinion, I actually really love her character and experiencing the story through her eyes. You can start to see how she’s questioning things, how she’s changing. I admire her determination and her toughness. There were also some great revelations from Asterin regarding their history and I was so enthralled in their story. And when Aelin and company met with Manon and the Thirteen? Agh, epicness. I can’t wait until they’re all working together. I got shivers when Manon left the message in Rifthold regarding Dorian.

Another surprise for me this time around was Kaltain. I always wondered why she had POV privileges in Throne of Glass since I didn’t particularly like her character, but Queen of Shadows made her into something awesome. Her demise and the ruin of Morath was absolutely mind-blowing.

“It’s Aelin now,” she snapped as loudly as she dared. “Celaena Sardothien doesn’t exist anymore.”
– Aelin

While there were parts of Queen of Shadows were so very epic, I find it hard to piece it all together as one book. As I mentioned, I read it in fragments and had to keep putting it down. For that reason only, I gave the book four stars rather than five.

I feel a bit guilty, as if I can’t write a review that sums up EVERYTHING in this book (have I said how much stuff happened?) but perhaps my incoherency speaks for itself.

About Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

1 Comment

  • Reply Alise October 13, 2015 at 6:55 am

    Fantastic review, Brittany, I couldn’t agree more! Elide and her POV kind of annoyed me at first too but I do like where her story went and how it influenced Manon’s character development (who I LOVEEEEE) And the Aelin meetup-perfection.
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