Queen of Shadows (#4) by Sarah J. Maas
My…oh…my… I thought “Heir of Fire” was good…but Sarah J. Maas definitely topped herself with this one!! This was SO GOOD!!!! The series is definitely taking a very different turn – and this book is where the turn definitely happens. I have so much to say and as this is the fourth book in the series, there isn’t a ton that I can say without spoiling those of you who haven’t read the series yet…which I can’t imagine is many people? Haha! I definitely feel like I’m a bit behind on the Throne of Glass series bandwagon…haha!! My quick thoughts on my review, though: way more action-packed, way bloodier and so much more character development – just when you didn’t think more character development could happen!! There is a very solid reason as to why I gave this a 4-star rating – I was debating between a 4 and 4.5 for a while, and finally settled for a 4. Let’s just say, there’s a ship that I refuse to get aboard in this next book of the series…le sigh… Last thing I’ll say is that I highly recommend that you read “Assassin’s Blade” BEFORE you read this!!! Now SPOILERS AHEAD for those who haven’t read this yet! 🙂
Okay…I obviously can’t start this review without commenting on Celaena/Aelins’ character development in this book. I so appreciate how much this character has grown from the first book to this one. I feel like she finally is living up to the title of the badass female protagonist. I appreciated the distinction bteween Celaena and Aelin throughout the first half of this book, which really showed how far she has come and how much she has developed as a person. How she is fully starting to own who she is and starting to let go of who she was. I also LOVED seeing how her mind worked in this book, which was a huge plus for me! Aelin is communicated to be beautiful and strong, but I really love how this book alluded to how incredibly intelligent and bright she is. Throughout the book, there are certain plans that come about and you’re not entirely sure how they’re going to work out because we’re not privy to the full plan…funny enough, neither are all the characters in the book aside from Aelin. Through all of her elaborate plans, you clearly see how quick her mind works and how incredibly brilliant she is. Love love!!
The main next pieces of my review are pretty specifics to the characters, as this book is incredibly character driven. Like I mentioned in the beginning of this review, there is so much character development in this book – both for the better…and maybe for the worst? 😉
I want to start with talking about Lysandra – love love love!! I was intrigued with Lysandra’s character when I first read about her in “Assassin’s Blade” and to see her back in this book was so interesting. When she is first re-introduced in this book, I wasn’t sure how to feel about her character and her motives. However, as the story unfolds, I love the friendship that develops between Lysandra and Aelin, and I love how she is another badass female character in this series. In the midst of a very highly masculine series, I love that Sarah J. Maas brings to life another strong woman that’s strong, beautiful, and incredibly intelligent. Anything and everything about Lysandra’s storyline definitely brought tears to my eyes – I love her so much!
I need to obviously acknowledge quickly the whole Dorian being possessed by the Valg prince chapters. They were short, heartbreaking and so creepy! Interestingly enough, I thought that this was an interesting way to build Dorian’s character. After “Heir of Fire”, I wasn’t entirely sure as to how his character could continue to develop, but I was clearly wrong, haha! I was all too entirely intrigued at the end of the book when he finally breaks free, with Aelins’ help, and we witness the depths of his own magical ability. I cannot wait to see how his character continues to develop over the next two books.
Ugh, Chaol…I obviously have to talk about Chaol next. I was so bummed with his character development in this book! 😥 I loved Chaol up to this point…but oh my, Chaol bugged me like no other in this book. He was stubborn, cruel and headstrong… He was annoying, just annoying. Le sigh. And I get it…my ship is sunk…fine…fine!!
Again, the Manon and the witches chapters – surprisingly interesting and suspenseful. Honestly at times, they were some of the best chapters in the entire book. There was so much world building and political intrigue, which was fascinating. Manons’ character continued to develop and I am totally digging the direction that she is going. I appreciate the internal conflict that she’s experiencing amidst everything that is happening, as she seems to really be coming into her own for the first time ever.
Lastly, the reason why I rated this a 4-star rather than higher, the Aelin and Rowan relationship. Sigh… Why?!?! I really dug how their relationship ended up in “Heir of Fire”…I appreciated the fact that they had a platonic relationship centered around loyalty and trust. Rowan appears in the fourth book and there’s a clear sexual tension between them, which felt like it came out of nowhere! I mean, one could assume that that was the direction that it was going in, but I wanted to hope for something more. Le sigh… Now, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about their relationship. I’m not a huge fan, as of right now…I’m expecting some continuous struggle in their relationship in the next two books.
All in all, a great book – these books just keep getting better and better! I cannot wait to continue!! 🙂