Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass Series | Book 4
Pages: 656
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 1, 2015)
Rating: 5 stars (Read It!)

The fourth Throne of Glass novel, Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas continues Celaena Sardothien’s journey as Aelin Galathynius, the heir of Terrasen.

SPOILER ALERT – PROCEED WITH CAUTION IF YOU’VE NOT READ: The Assassin’s BladeThrone of GlassCrown of Midnight, or Heir of Fire.

Celaena Sardothien has returned to Erilea for many things. But she has come changed. In Wendlyn, Celaena let go of the fears of her past that constantly haunted her and embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius: heir of Terrasen. She wants to, needs to, rescue her fallen kingdom, save her cousin, and save Dorian.

But first she must face her former master, Arobbyn Hamel, king of the Assassins. When he rescued Aelin as a child, he also unknowingly took the third wyrdkey from her. Aelin must take back the wyrdkey to save Erilea, but dealing with the cunning Arobbyn will be far from easy.

Following his sacrifice so that Chaol might escape, Dorian is fighting an internal battle with an ancient evil locked within him with a wyrdstone collar.

After being named Wing Leader, Manon and her Thirteen have been sent to Morath to work with the disagreeable Duke Perrington. But the duke is keeping secrets and something sinister is going on inside the mountain and Manon is determined to find out what it is.

Negotiating with Arobbyn Hamel for support and the wyrdkey will be far from simple for Aelin. If she is to succeed in her plan though, she’ll have to accomplish many other things before she’s done, if she ever will be.

Can Aelin save the people she loves while playing a dangerous game of power?

Queen of Shadows the fourth novel of the Throne of Glass series marks a significant point in the series: Celaena has stopped running from her past and instead embraced it, taking on her birth name: Aelin Galathynius. This book contains a total of eight amazing POV characters: Aelin, Manon, Rowan, Elide, Chaol, Dorian, Lysandra, and Aidion. Although I found all of their POV’s necessary to the storyline, I didn’t necessarily enjoy all of them.

As expected, Aelin’s POV was always exciting and enjoyable to read. I could definitely see how Aelin matured and grew up from the somewhat petulant and vain assassin she was in the first book, but she still is as capable of being a strong protagonist as ever. Reading from Rowan, Aidion, and Chaol’s perspective was amusing because you got to see Aelin’s unpredictability from a different angle.

I was also, yet again, pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Manon’s POV. She is another strong character with a similar, yet different upbringing than Aelin who also is an excellent fighter. Manon’s relationship with her cousin Asterin was one of the many things I loved about the book. Asterin serves as the Second in Manon’s coven the Thirteen, but she is also the closest person witch to a friend Manon has ever had. In Queen of Shadows, Asterin has some tense moments with Manon where she challenges the decisions her cousin makes. However, as those of you who have read Queen of Shadows know, Asterin also has an intriguing back story, which is revealed in the book.

While I did not necessarily loathe, Elide’s character, I didn’t exactly cheer for her. Even though she did brave things, I still felt occasionally irritated with her because of her naiveness. By the end of the book, however, I’d grown to respect Elide as she was wise, even though she wasn’t one of my favorite characters.

Dorian’s perspective mostly let me know as a reader that he was still alive and fighting, but his didn’t really get interesting until the end because it isn’t really him. Fortunately, they’re very short.

Having read The Assassin’s Blade I expected to dislike Lysandra. But in Queen of Shadows Lysandra’s motivations are revealed and I actually liked her because she was brave and became a good female friend to Aelin after Nehemia’s death.

Like always, the writing blew me away. It was fast-paced and smooth with the perfect balance of character development and action. One aspect that delighted me was the number of kick ass heroines. In Queen of Shadows all of the females were skilled at some kind of fighting (especially with swords), but at the same time all of the heroines were very distinct.

There was also important vital plot development in this book, but never once did it feel like a filler book. New plot elements were introduced while old plot twists were wrapped up. Now I can’t wait for the fifth and sixth book to be released. I still have to wait for ten more months! This is an amazing young adult high fantasy. I’d recommend this book to fans of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments and readers who enjoy young adult.

What are your thoughts on Queen of Shadows? What was your favorite part? Who was your favorite character?


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