Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas is the fourth installment in the Bestselling, YA Throne of Glass series!
This review contains lots of SPOILERS!
“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.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.“
We finally get to see what happened after that epic plot twist at the end of Heir of Fire!
Dorian.. he had no clue what was coming.. and now, the love of his life has her head rolling across the castle floor, he’s under the power of his evil father, and to top if off, a demon prince is now living in his body.
And now, he can’t even remember who she was, or who he even is. His short chapters give us only a small glimpse into his new world, and from what we can tell, it sucks!
“But there was a thing waiting in the darkness, and he could not bring himself to fight it for much longer.”
– Dorian, pg 4
And then we follow Aelin as she is now on her quest to find Arobynn and the missing wyrdkey that he took from her long, long ago.
And let’s talk about him for a minute because he’s another thing that sucks with this story.
I’m sure we can all agree with the characters in this book in how much we despise this man. Between his manipulative ways and the way he worms into everyone’s business.. yes, he really sucks. BUT, karma catches up to him pretty quick in this book. And by the hands of Lysandra, of all people!
I have to say that I really did not like her when she appeared in Throne of Glass. But now, she is one of my favorites in the series. We find out so much about her in this book that not even Celaena could have guessed.
She is the ultimate underdog in this book! Her development from the thrown-away maiden to now one in her court, she is everything when it comes to her true identity.
Then Aelin finds out that Chaol is closer to the situation when she uncovers his secret meetings with Arobynn.
Chaol is a character that I still don’t know what to think about. His development in the series is iffy. I really liked him in Throne of Glass through Crown of Midnight, but when the whole situation with him and Nehemiah unfolded, his demeanor did a 180′ flip. I want to like him, but I feel like he plays the pity card a lot. He’s constantly feeling sorry for himself. I’m currently in the middle of reading Empire of Storms, so I’m itching to see how he develops further.
And with his epic ending in this book, I REALLY want to know what happens in the rest of the series. How will he come back from his injury??
His relationship with Aelin is just so sad and heartbreaking, but the reality of their situation is so much more than them at the moment.
I have to say that my favorite part in this huge book was when she manipulated Arobynn’s will! She played it so intense with the other assassin’s and their reactions were priceless. If there was a way to bring down Arobynn and his empire, it was this!
The witches! Oh how much I’ve come to love them! Manon’s conflict with what dark magic is happening under the mountains just tugs you everywhere. She is definitely the character that you can’t begin to guess what she will do next.
I was a little confused when it came to Elide though. I wasn’t sure what her whole part was about until the last few chapters. And considering Manon let’s her go suddenly, it makes me wonder how their connection will continue on in the series. I mean, is she a part of the witch clan or not?
But back to Arobynn for a sec. Can we gush over Aelin’s trick she pulled at their special dinner?
It’s crazy to think that she guessed that was going to happen in the first place. She was trained VERY well. But, he’s no longer the sore thumb in the picture, so we will just forget about him.
So now for the romance between Rowan and Aelin. Like come on already! Sarah J. Maas does a good job in making her readers wait for the good stuff. But when the time is right, we won’t be disappointed. (If you’ve read her other series, you’ll recognize the suspense)
But, the Valg princes are ready to be unleashed in the weird experiment under the mountain. And Manon having to pick the witches whose fates would be compromised. Even she knew she was deep in a hole with that one. And then karma explodes all over that experiment with a huge bang.
The second half of this book gets super crazy and intense.
We learn more about the history of the dark magic that the king covered up, and his scheme to control the entire continent with his ever-growing army. But with the skills of Aelin and her crew, they are able to piece the puzzle and devise a plan to stop all the madness.
Kaltain. She is the other underdog of the series. Again, she was a character that I really didn’t like, but once you read the final scenes, you will have more respect for her. Her abilities to suppress the Valg prince and deviate the master defense plan was brave in and of itself. Did anyone see that coming because I sure didn’t.
I always had a weird feeling when it came to Aelin and Manon. I still have a strong feeling for what will happen with them. Their connection is pertinent for the future books, and I hope that it’s not one of the relationships that come to a splintering end.
“Because that golden-haired witch, Asterin . . . [s]he screamed Manon’s name the way I screamed yours.”
– Aelin, pg 508
Asterin is another character that I want to know more about. Since her confession to Manon, I have an idea that she may be intricate to helping Manon with her loyalty decisions. I can see her gears turning, and I hope it’s for the right choice!
What do y’all think about Nesryn? I put her in the same category as Chaol. I don’t know what to think about her. She seems like a fit for the story, but I don’t know if I see her as a part of the crew. Since Tower of Dawn is supposed to be about Chaol, I’m hoping the author brushes up on her more. But the love they have for each other is strangely satisfying. I could tell that there was something between them, but I was never sure what their current situation was.
“Let’s go rattle the stars.”
– Aelin, pg 532
The final battle between Dorian, Chaol, Aelin, and the King was epic! I had no clue how it was going to turn out. Eyes wide and heart racing, I couldn’t put the book down. And then the surprise with the King’s demon! The brilliance behind all the pieces coming together was awesome to be able to read.
I can honestly say that after reading those last few pages, I could feel a book hangover coming on. The surprises and stakes were so high that it took me a few days to absorb it all.
I am super excited to continue on with the series. Especially since I am done with the re-reading part of these books, it’ll be fun to read brand new content in this world.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. With Dorian now on the throne and Aelin that much closer to her rightful throne, this series feels like it is just beginning.
I highly recommend that if you haven’t finished this book or moved on in the series, that you should reconsider!
Published: 1 September 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Genre: Adult Fantasy
How I Read It: Hardcover
Want to join in on finishing the Throne of Glass series?
Currently, we are about to finish Tower of Dawn (#6) which is the last installment before the epic release of Kingdom of Ash!!
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