Review: Queen of Shadows – Sarah J. Maas

0

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.

Review: Heir of Fire – Sarah J. Maas

4

Throne of Glass #3

SYNOPSIS: She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed. – via Goodreads

So picking up after Crown of Midnight, the story shifts with Celaena to Wendlyn, and it is here that the tone of the books change completely. Up until thus far, they have been getting better and better, and here Maas finds the meat of the story. We have moved on from setup to actually starting to get into what will come, wars that will rage, and building the champions who will be required.

Celaena wallows a little in this one, but never too much or too long to become annoying and whiny. I really, really loved Rowan, slated to train her and take her to Doranelle. He is prickly but there is a lot going on for him, and he is a character that creeps under your skin, and ultimately becomes an absolute favourite. I loved the interactions between him and Celaena, and how their relationship grows. They are perfectly suited for one another. Prince Rowan for life! I

Then there is the case of Dorian and Chaol, still back in Adarlan. Dorian I wish I could read more about. He has these crazy powers and they are just hanging around. I want to know more, and I want to know it now! The whole thing with him and Sorscha though… I didn’t like it. I don’t feel she was his equal, and I don’t mean status wise, I mean strength of character wise. I am so horrified about what happened nearing the end for him, and I am worried about what it could all mean. Chaol, though, as much as I used to back him for Celaena, as established by the end of the last book, I don’t think they fit anymore. I feel Celaena outgrew him, and that he does not accept all parts of her. I appreciate that he is trying to work with the rebels, but I really don’t like how he picks and chooses here and there. I am so in agreement with Dorian about how Chaol can’t pick and choose his love and loyalty to parts of her. When she sailed to Wendlyn, I didn’t think they would remain an item. The King of Adarlan is scheming, and there is so much that could be coming from this. The man is a freaking tyrant!

We also have loads of new characters that are introduced in this book, and slowly but surely we learn more about their stories, and start to see how they could potentially slot in. Aedion is a character that you take to rather quickly. Cousin to Aelin Galathynius, he has endured some awful things and has so much potential to become so much. Then there is Manon Blackbeak and the Ironteeth witch covens, and holy goodness, they are freaking brutal and hardcore. So dark and unforgiving, wow.

Heir of Fire is slow to start, and there are rather large gaps/periods between characters. That being said, you get just enough to tide you over between characters, and enjoy enough about what you are reading between characters that you are fine, so you aren’t slugging through chunks you would rather not be assed with. Anyway, as you can tell, I am a fan of these books. There is so much that is going on and so many characters and I just love this adventure. I can talk so much about this. I need more Rowan, I need more Celaena getting stronger, I need more Aedion and I want to meet his Bane, and I need more Dorian and his magic. I just need MORE!