Soooo… in my "take-a-break-from-life hiatus, I wasn’t able to actually review Queen of Shadows; however, I think it’s important to note that I bought it on Kindle even though I was going to get a hard copy just so I could read it at midnight, and withing 24 hours this 648 page book was demolished... and so was my heart. Damn this book was everything I ever wanted in the next installment. *It’s important to note that this review will have spoilers, so continue reading at your own risk*
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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. (goodreads)
My Bookish Thoughts:
I have soon many feelings about this book. But first imagine all the feels this book packs… well it was condensed into the matter of 24 hours. That’s all I did was sit and read this brick of a book. It was GLORIOUS and exactly what the doctor ordered.
Let’s first talk about how amazing and swoony Rowan is, can we? Ugh that beautiful Fae male is enough just to make me pass out, and this book was perfect. It was fantastic to see a more vulnerable side to this beast of a warrior. In HoF, he generally tried to be aloof and unfeeling and we only got very short glimpses into his character which were very few.
I enjoyed reading more in Rowan’s POV, and seeing exactly just how much Aelin affected him. Their romance was perfect and beautiful and to see my ship set sail was utterly breathtaking. Seriously, there were a few times that I could not breath for the swoons.
Also, let’s just talk about how badass Lysandra and Manon and Kalatin became in this book:
I hated Lysandra in Assassin’s Blade, and when I heard she would be in this one, I will admit to rolling my eyes, but in the normal Sarah J. Maas fashion, Lysandra’s character bloomed and became so much more than I expected.
As for Manon, I actually did quite enjoy her in HoF. I liked her cruelty and harsh jagged edges. Her character spoke to me on a level no character has before. She was angry, and hate-filled, and so utterly cruel, and for some reason I drank that up like a a dry sponge in the desert. And then in QoS, to see Manon’s character form and shift from just base cruelty to a woman who feels despite how she was raised was fantastic. I think very few writers could pull off what Maas did with her character in this book, and to say that I loved it would be an understatement.
Now Kaltain… damn. This was a character I had no expectations of. She wasn’t even really on my radar for half the book. I totally expected her to be a spineless, ever-obeying servant of Perrington, but when that all came crashing down, I found myself whooping and getting jittery because of the excitement. I have never read a book where someone was redeemed so completely. It was glorious and wonderful and beautiful and so freaking badass.
The one thing I had always struggled with in SJM’s books is the amount of males in her work. Her characters never had very many female friends or females in general really. Nehemiah was one, but she died. And she had no females around her at all in HoF, so to see Lysandra and Nesryn enter the stage and become her friends, was a few more points for House Maas. And then to see Manon and Kaltain’s development apart from Aelin just made Sarah J. Maas win the House Cup.
As for the male characters, I felt a little disappointed—though let me iterate these are VERY minor complaints. I thought I remembered Aedion being a little more snarky and sassy. It came out every now and then, but I would have liked to see more.
And Chaol. Damn. Chao was a douche! I hated him for the first quarter of the book. His self-righteous and blaming words were getting on my last nerve. I was so over his character in every single way. I loved Chaol in CoM, don’t get me wrong, but as Aelin has grown in character, I have seen how he needs to do the same, but has chosen not to. Frustrating, but that’s not SJM’s fault. It’s because I love Chaol so much that the way he acts is upsetting me.
Needless to say, this book is utterly gorgeous and absolutely everything I ever wanted in the fourth installment. Part of me hates that I even have to wait a year for the next book, but then the other part of me knows the book will be well-worth the wait.
I gave this book 5 stars.