Title: Queen of Shadows

Series: Throne of Glass,
Book Four

Author: Sarah J. Maas ♠ @SJMaas

Published: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 656

Genres: Young Adult ♠ Fantasy ♠ Romance ♠ Action

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads: 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 will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. 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.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 09/11/2015): 4.69

Christina has read and reviewed the previous 3 titles in this series. To read each of her five star reviews, go here:

Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, & Heir of Fire.

  • Christina thought this title was AMAZING, obviously. It goes on her TOP SHELF! To find out why…

Quick Thoughts and Rating: 
4.75 brilliantly glowing, yet conflicted heart stars! Undoubtedly, it was obvious to me before I ever picked up this novel that it was going to be amazing. However, I don’t think I anticipated just how hard Ms. Maas was going to bring it in this novel. From a plot and action standpoint, Queen of Shadows is hands down my favorite of the series thus far. (But my ship was absolutely demolished, so I’ll just be over here clinging to a liferaft with a hope and a prayer that Maas might pick it back up along the way somewhere. Though, I’m doubtful, so *wailing sobs*.)

It was time.
One breath–another.
She was the heir of fire.

She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.
~quote taken from ebook of Queen of Shadows, page 132

The Lowdown: Let’s be honest, this is a pretty pointless part of this review. If you haven’t read the series yet (which, WHAT!?), then anything I include here won’t make any sense to you. If you have been keeping up with the series (which, aren’t you cool? Are we Goodreads friends?), then you’ve probably already had the summary memorized for the better part of a year now and you read the book on release day. So, in a nutshell, madness, mayhem, and general badassery occur in this novel, just as was the case with all its predecessors.

Review: Hardest. Review. To. Write. Ever. No, seriously, I get anxiety or feel particularly lame about my thoughts for each of the 978374982 times I’ve started, stopped, erased, and restarted this review. The quick and simple of it is this: I loved it, like, truly loved it… but I’m so conflicted over a few matters as well. It’s hard to arrange my thoughts as a collective unit, so I’ll fall back to my trusty lists to help me survive this ordeal without my brain exploding. Hopefully, I can do this spoiler-free, but there might be some spoilers for the previous books in the series.

– Characters: We rejoin/reconnect with several old characters, and are introduced to quite a few new ones, too. Maas’s characters are phenomenal. I love to love some, love to hate others, but I generally love how diverse and eclectic her characters are, and I thoroughly enjoy the roles they play in the books.

The good? Can a I get a solid huzzah for all the boss-ass ladies in this series? Honestly, though, there’s a lot of female pride happening in my body right now. I love that each of our girl characters, no matter how small or large their role is, has a fierce quality to them. Who runs the world? Yep.

The bad? {POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION BECAUSE I CAN’T CONTAIN MY FEELS. SORRY NOT SORRY!} Okay, I totally get that sometimes separation and different paths can lead to major conflicts, especially when you consider that Chaol and Celaena didn’t always have the best communicative conversations, but I was so disappointed with how much his character changed in this novel. I understand the evolution of a character, I do, but I saw nothing of the character I had grown to love and appreciate in this book, and that leaves me feeling so freaking bummed, to be honest. Furthermore, because of this particular character development, it dominoes into other things (LIKE NO MORE FUCKING BROOM CLOSET POWWOWS!) and well, I’m not happy about it (BECAUSE NO MORE BROOM CLOSET BROWNCHICKENBROWNCOWS). I’m just saying. I want Crown of Midnight Chaol back. {END SPOILER RANTINESS}

– Plot & Pacing: With so many character perspectives in this series, there never felt like a dull moment this entire book. I constantly felt overwhelmed as we jumped from one intensely heightened scene to the next. Not going to lie, I kind of hope this next book gives me a moment to breathe and enjoy the characters again. While I enjoyed all the character interactions (for the most part) in this novel, I definitely feel like the purpose of this novel was to accelerate the plot trajectory for the series.

– Writing: I feel like the author gains ground with each book that she writes. I liked the intensity of this novel and really enjoyed how all the fight scenes played out like a choreographed movie behind my eyes. It was spectacular!

– Ending: This was probably the most satisfying ending of all the books in the series for me. It left off on a hopeful note that has me eager for the next book in the series, but not pulling my hair out from the anxiety of being left dangling from a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see where Maas takes us next.

Swoons and Flail-inducing Teaser: Even though the swoons didn’t come from the person I was expecting them from, I’d be a lying liar if I didn’t say there was a spark and a flame and a betraying twitch of my heart during this book.

“I want to take my time with you–to learn … every inch of you. And this apartment has very, very thin walls. I don’t want to have an audience,” he added as he leaned down again, brushing his mouth over the cut at the base of her throat, ” when I make you moan, Aelin.”
~quote taken from the ebook of Queen of Shadows, pg. 385

Random Noteworthy Things That I Want More Of? Bathtub scenes and hair-washing, nightgown discussions, epic girl on girl fights, MORE SHAPESHIFTING, fem/fem camaraderie (I ship all the girls with all the girls!), serious dude bromances (I ship all the boys with all the boys!), always more Abraxos and whoever may be napping beside him, more badass chicks being their badass selves (AELIN! MANON! LYSANDRA! THE THIRTEEN! ELIDE!), and lastly and most importantly, more fire-breathing bitch-queen, please and thank you.

Rec it? Yes, as if there was ever really any doubt! While I’ll definitely be more reserved about staking my flag in ships from this point on (OH THE PAIN OF MY HEART MAKE IT STOP!), I still can’t deny that this was still a very satisfying, spectacular addition to the series. I can’t wait to see what more Maas has in store for us, but I say bring on the feels and epic adventure. My body is waiting!

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