Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #4
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Number of Pages (Hardcover): 648
Date Published: September 1st of 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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.
Rate: 5 of 5
Get a copy: Book Depository (Hardcover, Paperback, CD-Audio), Wordery (Hardcover, Paperback, CD-Audio)
Review (No Spoilers)
“‘We do not look back, Chaol. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on.‘
There she was, that queen looking out at him, a hint of the ruler she was becoming. And it knocked the breath out of him, because it made him feel so strangely young–when she now seemed so old. ‘What if we go on,’ he said, ‘only to more pain and despair? What if we go on, only to find a horrible end waiting for us?‘
Aelin looked northward, as if she could see all the way to Terrasen. ‘Then it is not the end.‘”
I have six pages of notes and I’m not someone who writes notes that often so by all means, expect me to babble on and on and on and on. I’m sorry, in advance. 😛 Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?
It’s alright, Sarah, I didn’t need my heart anyway. I spent the entirety of the fourth installation of the Throne of Glass series shifting between these two: a.) “Fuck you, Chaol. Go to hell.” and b.) “AWWWWW. MY BABY CHAOL WHY DO THEY DO THIS TO YOU?!”. Pretty much what happens. But on the other hand, I’ve finally finished an SJM book that has a satisfying/expected ending (yasss).
I finished this in five days and I can’t quite believe it because this is such a humongous book–648 pages! I honestly thought I wouldn’t finish the book according to my schedule because it’s so thick but holy cows it is impossible to put down. All I want to say is thank the heavens for text-to-speech availability in my reader!!! But it’s worth it since this is such an epic book! There are some storylines that I’m not too happy about but that’s the beauty of reading–you are not in control of what’s happening and you’re simply a tale listener and you just have to listen to this story that an author has weaved.
I gave this a five-of-five rating because there are so many actions going on in here and it’s true what the synopsis said. If you’re looking for action, oh boy, you don’t get one serving–you get a feast-ful. This is, indeed, a crescendo to the series. For the first time in a while, I can finally see the beginning of the ending of the series. And not in a bad way, I just feel that it’s already moving to a close. Precisely the reason why I refuse to pick up the fifth book just yet! 😛
So, we have aptly observed that there had been many pairings in the previous books. There are various ships to choose from and all are from Celaena’s point of view. Moving along the series, it has been quite confusing. But guess what! There are more ships! You think you’re okay with one? Well, how about six or seven? I KNOW. There are so many swoon-worthy characters in this book series, and by jolly, why not? When reading SJM, I should really make a note of being the neutral shipper because I can’t get this heart of mine broken in every book. Next time, I’ll just be there. Kidding, of course, pffft.
Setting aside that aspect of the book, let’s just take a minute and appreciate how SJM is perfecting the art of painting really kick-ass female characters. Because there is so much girl power here! I won’t be mentioning all the girls’ names because it would be a spoiler but upon counting them, I have seven favorite characters. On the subject of characters, the existing characters that we have known in the previous books are transported again to a common setting and they finally interact with each other again! Chaol, Dorian, Celaena/Aelin, Rowan, Aedion are all present–some sprinklings of new characters can also be noted. The nature of the characters are excellent but what’s more remarkable is the smooth flow into what appears to be a flawless interaction between them. It would somehow surprise you since most of the time their qualities clash. And by the way, I am also happy to tell you that I have finally learned to get around Aedion’s character! 😛 Meanwhile, Dorian. Okay, I didn’t really like Dorian’s character from the start but, damn, that guy needs a solid r&r ASAP–he’s gone through a lot. Also, there are so many villains. I had been perturbed half the time by the sheer amount of them. I was very worried for our beloved cast because they have so many against. So, let’s pray that SJM don’t kill any of them soon enough.
What I just don’t get is how SJM manages to write four books in this series and there still are so many things to uncover?! Talk about world-building. Maas really is an excellent world builder and honestly, who doesn’t like that? The other books feel like such a lifetime away from this one and it’s kinda disorienting. Seriously, so many things change in this series. This book is just the definition of moving forward–no more looking back.
There are mixed (and angry!) reviews of this book but I get it, I feel like some things were sacrificed for a pairing but I still loved the book despite me not thoroughly liking that said pairing. I am trying to understand as to why the author decided to make this happen. I choose to believe that perhaps Sarah J. Maas has something more up her sleeve for this series.
That ends my spoiler-free section of this review! Do read it and come back, will ya?
Thoughts (Spoilers everywhere! Sorry for all the gifs :P)
*So much shit happening but Aelin is finally home and my heart is so happy.
*I’m not happy about this Chaol and Nesryn thing. PFFFFFFFT. Nesryn is the new Sorscha. But for Chaol. PFFFFT. Nesryn liking Chaol (and vice versa) UGH KILL ME NOW. Pffft death to Nesryn, positive she’d be dying. I’m so sorry I just don’t like her character.
*I seriously think there will be something up with Dorian and Manon in the future? I’m not sure but I’m throwing this fearless prediction out there.
*I’m still not fully sold on this Rowaelin thing but what am I to do? Chaolena is already in the grave. Like, that ship crashed so hard. It doesn’t have holes–it’s already the mayor of the Mariana Trench.
*That epic witch/fae fighting doe! The crossover between Manon and Aelin got me like “Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh I’ve been waiting for this in so long! Finally!” And by jolly, did it kick ass.
*I didn’t even understand how SJM managed to turn Lysandra’s character around like 180 degrees. She becomes one of Aelin’s dearest friends and she’s an echo of Nehemia. (Lol, I had to google Nehemia’s name because I honestly forgot.) It’s really remarkable how their friendship has transformed from something so lethal into something so beautiful. It’s so real, too. Like that’s how I talk to my best friend and all that jazz.
*Chaol couldn’t walk?! FUCK.
*I was hoping, nay, expecting a Chaol/Rowan battle for Celaena…but I was disappointed. Oh well.
*I hated Arobynn’s death. It was too swift for my taste. He should’ve suffered a little longer. Granted, he did choke on his own blood. But still. (I’m aware this makes me sound like a very icky person and perhaps a violent one, but come on, if you knew Arobynn you would be like me too psssh.)
*I cannot wait for Rowan and Aelin to happen. Ya know, THAT. The night. Oh my lord. Good luck, Aelin. Girllllll, you gonna need that luck.
*I wonder, what could’ve happened if Nesryn didn’t interfere when Aelin saved Aedion when she was about to chop off Dorian’s head? (Even their names are so the same, my gulay, I’m just so confused.)
*I thought Kaltain would get to be free and help Aelin towards her efforts but I guess her dying and taking down a third of Morath is good, too. I just was expecting more from her character since she has been alive for four books now but, again, oh well.
*Magic is freed, oh yeah.
*Lysandra and Aedion PLEASE! Fave Aedion and Lysandra moment:
“…Aedion found Lysandra leaning against the hallway door. Tears gleamed in her eyes even as she smiled.
She gazed at the closed bedroom door, as if she could still see the prince and queen inside. ‘That,’ she said, more to herself than to him. ‘That is what I am going to find one day.’
‘A gorgeous Fae warror?‘ Aedion said, shifting a bit.
Lysandra chuckled, wiping away her tears, and gave him a knowing look before walking away.”
Dear me!!!! My heart oh my god they’re for each other!
As jessethereader said, Lysandrion! Yessss! (I formulated my own ship name and the name I came up with is Aedra. I know. I suck.)
*I hope Mort’s still there–he’s so adorable.
*The return of Fleetfoot!
*There was something heartbreaking with the last time Chaol, Dorian and Aelin were together. It’s the end of an era.
*Ugly crying on this scene:
“…the captain merely squeezed Aelin’s hand and said, ‘Can I see it?‘…red and gold fire danced through his room, bright and glorious and elegant.
Chaol’s eyes had been lined with silver when the flames winked out. ‘It’s lovely,’ he said at last.”
I just–why can’t they make it work?! SARAH PLEASEEEE MAKE IT WORK.
*I honestly thought Chaol would die and tbh I would be down for it, at least that way I know Chaol really has no shot on Aelin and I can wrap my head around them not being together anymore.
*I hated how Aelin was like: “Lol sorry Chaol I didn’t know what I was saying to you when we got to the docks for Wendlyn. People change ya know, just forget it.’ And I’m here like, “No Celaena! No one talks shit around here! Take that back!” You can apologize to my heart.
*I partially hated Chaol here because he’s just a bitch to Aelin and wtf he says Dorian’s imprisonment is Aelin’s fault?! What the actuality…I feel like Chaol changed so much and wtf really happened while Celaena was gone?!!!
*I don’t get how Rowan and Aelin can talk through their minds–I don’t get it, just how? As far as I can remember, this wasn’t really tackled in the books?
*Rowaelin is just too fast. I mean, I won’t object to it if it did happen in the future–but it’s just too fast. My ship has sunk, like so hard. And I know this is the next big thing, but I may have preferred it if SJM developed their relationship or friendship or whatever they had for a book and then moved to have them together. Because, Chaol and Celaena just didn’t have that kind of closure and I need closure. I’m still hoping for #Chaolena, I will never stop hoping. NEVER.
*I was actually down for Aelin to put down Dorian (sorry)
*Heart attack: When Arobynn thought he already got Aelin in a leash and I was like SHIT.
*Honestly, Rowaelin’s were friendship goals and I felt SJM was just too swift on developing this to a romantic thing #chaolena forevs
*Chaol and Aelin are like the ultimate exes now and it breaks my heart 😦
“You and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins.”
*It’s funny cause Lysandra said this, and she actually is a shapeshifter LOL.
“‘You bring my court into this, Chaol,’ Aelin said with lethal softness, ‘and I don’t care what you were to me, or what you have done to help me. You betray them, you hurt them, and I don’t care how long it takes, or how far you go: I’ll burn you and your gods-damned kingdom to ash. Then you’ll learn just how much of a monster I can be.“
*YOU LOVED EACH OTHER !!!! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?!!!!!
*Ansel of Briarcliff: another name, wtf
*Arobynn is such a grade-a, premium asshole. But lol no, Rowan is a much bigger asshole mwahahahahahahaha *evil laughs through eternity*
*My favorite is Asterin’s story! I have no idea what it is with me but I like these kinds of tales and I didn’t even know that witches were capable of loving. 😦 The witches be like: “Feelings? Feelings? What the hell is that?! Is that a thing?”
Sorry, this is just too hard. This is my favorite part of the book. I’m sorry, I know it’s so minor, but I loved this. Which, made me ugly cry so much.
“‘I’d fly overhead every few years, just…just to see.‘ She wiped at her face. ‘He never married. And even when he was an old man, I’d sometimes see him sitting on that front porch. As if he were waiting for someone.‘”
*And finally the SICK BURN OF 2017!!!!!!
“‘Should I thank you for putting on pants?’ Lorcan said…
‘I didn’t want you to feel inadequate,’ Rowan replied…”
Do I recommend it? Ohohohohoho yahasss.
*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads; Gifs via Giphy.