Review: Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas

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Throne of Glass #4

SYNOPSIS: 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. – via Goodreads

Wow. So much went on in this! The ball gets rolling a little faster in this one than ever before!

Anyway. Let’s move on. I really like Aelin. Like, we get strong heroines in books, no doubt about that, and I am obviously a fan, but I have a lot of time for her. She is not super whiny or anything. She had a moment of it in Heir of Fire, but she moved on from it so quickly. She is pretty awesome – strong, smart, not scared to get her hands dirty, loyal, resourceful, the whole shebang. She is brave and strong. I think the transition from Celaena to Aelin was not jarring at all, which shows you just how gradually things were set up. Queen of Shadows also features an array of new characters. We finally get to meet Arobynn and see a bit more about how things are there. There is Lysandra, whom I really enjoy. She is quite a good character and has a terribly sad story… although this can be said of most of them. Lorcan, too, makes an appearance and could very well be quite the character if left to develop.

I missed Rowan so much. So much more than I missed any other characters so far between breaks! I just needed him to come back. Naturally, when he did, I was practically squeaking I was so excited. He and Aelin are totally matched for one another, and there is enough of them not doing anything about that in this that you get desperate eventually.

Let us not even remotely forget to address Dorian in this. Oh no, no sirree. It broke my heart to see what had become of him. He was shattered and broken and hanging in by a damn thread. I feel that there was just enough of what was going on with him in this book – too much and it would be the same, too little and it would mean nothing. Then Manon Blackbeak makes her appearance and there is a click there, way more convincing than Sorscha ever was. I am, of course, hoping something comes from this. I will totally back this! Dorian needs to get back to being Dorian! Speaking of, there is Manon, and her story slowly but surely changes as the book progresses, and it is damn interesting. Everything she thought she knew is shifting and changing. Between the super adorable Abraxos, Elide, and Asterin, she will have to question large parts of her life.

Speaking of sad things, Roland. Kaltain. Really. Roland might not have been a huge character, per se, but the way he cropped back up in this and what was happening forces you to remember/see just how freaking cruel the King of Adarlan is. Goodness. I am not saying you forget, but he was the example that really slammed it home for me. Kaltain suffered, and I felt immense amounts of pity for a character I didn’t much like to start with. Then there is Aedion and Aelin together, and I love it. Their family has hurt enough and yet they still have each other, are still loyal to each other, both forgiving the other’s sins after both having thought there could be no forgiveness between them for their actions.

Flipping hell, I just wanted to smack the crap out of Chaol all the time reading this. What a whiny twit! He never stopped, and he was so self righteous and super annoying. My goodness! This totally runs home why I am glad that he and Aelin are no longer a thing. When she got on the ship to Wendlyn, they were over. And I am totally okay with that because, well, yeah. They both changed and grew apart and that is fine.

Queen of Shadows features a ton of drama, an array of new characters, loads of tension between characters, and adventure left, right, and centre. I would have it no other way. No sir, no other way indeed. These books are the most fun, just in case my raving didn’t inform you of that xD Get out, go read! I can see I am going to hang so bad when all this is said and done.