Book Review – Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows [Throne of Glass 4]

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Length: 648

Rating: 5 Star

Series Review: 0.512, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Description/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.

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.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Sorry for the late review today everyone. I stayed up late to finish it last night before work and thusly I have been brain dead all day and it has taken a really long time to put my review down in a way that actually makes some sort of sense. Plus this is a huge book with so many people in it so it takes a lot of words to actually cover everything. For those of you who have been following me the last month or so know that these reviews are coming after my second read through of the books in time for the final book in the series coming out this month. This time around I did this book in audio book form, and I would highly recommend the audio book, as well as the book in general. Where the last book was a bit slow, things never really stopped happening in this one. For those who don’t want spoilers, I will say goodbye to you here. Go into this book knowing it was great and sets up all whole new chapter for the series. I will see you later after you have read the book.

Our character list in this series just gets longer and longer with every book we get. The main new one we got this time was Elide. I didn’t mind Elide but I wasn’t jumping up and down every time we got one of her chapters. I cared more about how her interactions affected the characters around her. I am so looking forward to her seeing Aelin again I think thats going to be a touching reunion, and I just loved the way she helped bring out the feelings within Manon. I started liking Manon when she started having feelings with Abraxos, but in this book she is firmly placed as a favourite character as having to interact with Elide who questions her about how things are, and she is faced with things happening around her that is destroying her on the inside cause she doesn’t understand why she is feeling things. I was horrified by the description of the yellow legs that were being experimented on and tortured, I was cracking on the inside when Asterin was confronting Manon about it, and it broke completely when Asterin told Manon about how she fell in love with a man and become pregnant, later giving birth to a still born witchling and Manon’s grandmother had beaten her, branded her, burnt her baby and didn’t allow her to see it, and cast her out to die because of it. I am so glad that Manon is feeling things now and is silently rebelling against her grandmother and getting her own idea of what is right.

Kaltain was so freaky in this book. She was mostly a broken doll the entire time with this truly scary shadow fire power, but then we find out she has had control of her demon within for ages now and chooses the moment when Manon is saving Elide from also being experimented on because of her witch blood, and blows herself and all the demon babies and all the suffering witches up. I thought this was a really worthy ending to her story arch.

The big Aedion rescue scene. We all knew it was coming and it was everything I wanted. He was trying to kill himself so that Aelin didn’t fall into whatever trap the king had set and that had me freaking out and just praying he would stay alive long enough for him to see her again and for her to get him out. I loved how she snuck in with the dancers and their rose props were smoke bombs and she got him out in a big chase scene. Then when he recovered enough they had their touching moments together. I felt so bad for him though when he started talking about the blood oath and about how it meant everything to him and she sort of just mumbled about it and he had to find out from Rowan that he had already taken the blood oath. This is the only part that upset me but the rest of his story in the book was just lovely.

Aelin. I thought she grew so much in this book. She is still running around and doing sneaky things and not letting people in, but she becomes more queenly to me and is getting better at actually relying on her court. We get Lysandra from Assassin’s Blade back in this book, and while I hated her in the other book I loved her in this one. That moment when they just decided to be friends and plot Arobynn’s demise together and eat chocolate. It warmed my heart. Then when she came back when magic was freed as a snow leopard and basically saved most the group was a bloody amazing scene.

Every scene with Arobynn unsettled me. He was creepy and that scene when he slipped that Valg ring on her finger and I thought he had control of her for moment before we found out it was all part of Aelin’s plan had me freaking out. I loved the part though where he sent Aelin almond oil to put on herself before their big dinner as some kind of ownership, but then when Rowan meets him he thanks him for the oil because his skin was getting dry and was wearing it as well. That had me cracking up. I loved how his whole story arch ended as well. I loved how badly Aelin ruined hum and framed him for a bunch of stuff she was doing around town, she let Lysandra kill him, and then she changed his will so she got all him wealth. Amazing end to that whole plot point.

I didn’t think we were going to get much Rowan in this book but I am glad that we did. We actually got to know him as a character and I connected with him in this book and I am more happy now with him and Aelin being together than I was in the last book.

Chaol. I know a lot of people were probably waiting for me to talk about him but I just want to give a big fuck you to Chaol. The first half of this book I was just seeing red the entire time he came on. He was blaming everything on Aelin, even her being away when he was the one that sent her away. He become a little bit more bearable in the second half of the book, but I had already written him off at that point. I cannot believe how bloody stupid he was. First he stops Aelin from killing Dorian (thankfully but still), then he gets it into his head that he is going to do it but stuffs up so bad that instead of running after Dorian he somehow runs after the witches and nearly gets everyone killed. Sure, this leads to one of my favourite scenes but still. How goddamn stupid. Aelin was also quite stupd though because she had talked Manon down and the witches were going to leave them alone, but Aelin had to open her mouth and tell them she killed Babba yellowlegs leading to the Manon and Aelin showdown I didn’t know I wanted. Manon nearly dies when the temple they were fighting in collapses around them and Asterin’s cry for her touches Aelin and Aelin ends up saving Manon, which leads to Manon telling them that Dorian is still alive inside.

Then last but not least we have poor Dorian. My heart was just breaking for him everytime we got one of his chapters. When he was giving up because Aelin didn’t kill him when she had that first chance. Then Manon’s eyes give him that moment to actually have control of him body for a brief moment, which is what really leads to Aelin being able to free him. When she slipped that ring on hims finger that protects from the Valg I was so damn excited. I didn’t have any idea of how they were going to get him back and I thought this was done really well. She tries to call him out and keeps telling him that she came back for him just like she promised, but then it ends up being the King telling Aelin that he killed Chaol (which I was fine with even though it didn’t actually happen), that snapped him out of it. Then he and Aelin join hands and just bring the world down, Dorian killing the king who tells them how he blocked Magic to try and protect Dorian and fought the Valg in him with all his might and that the Valg king is in fact inside the Duke, and destroys the glass castle. Aelin uses her powers to protect the city from the destruction, but takes the blame for killing the king so that the people don’t hate Dorian.

The ending to this book was so good. The only thing I would question was the decision to leave Dorian alone so soon after all his trauma.

Since this is such a long review I will leave it here. I know I have missed things but I really tried to cover all the important things, and there were so many great moments with all the characters. If I missed a spot you think is important or loved let me know so we can talk about it!

 

Till Next Time. . .

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