Title: Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: Fantasy, young adult fiction, Fae, magic, adventure
Thoughts: Okay, just letting people know, this review may contain spoilers for Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire. I’ll try and keep Queen of Shadows spoilers out.
Alright, onto the review. This book was pretty amazing. I mean, there were a few problems, but most of the book is pretty good. Let’s start with action. Queen of Shadows is full of it. Anyone who was put off Heir of Fire, because of its slower pace, you won’t be disappointed by this book. It literally doesn’t have a dull moment. A couple of times, I thought that it would, but then something always happened. It was a
lmost too much. There needed to be a little space between events. I understood that Chaol, Aelin and their group needed to finish off and prepare for what they were doing, but it was too fast, too much going on at once.
“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.”
― Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows
Another thing, I’m not sure if it’s good or bad yet, is the complexity of the plot. If you didn’t pay attention that much while reading the three earlier books, then you will probably have trouble following what is going on. Also, you might want to read The Assassin’s Blade, the prequel book, as Queen of Shadows does mention quite a few events and punishments that happened in it. So basically, know the backstory and what has happened in the past for all the characters, and you’ll be good.
Now characters. [Spoilers] I love how Maas has created a whole new character for Aelin. Yes, she has a lot of similarities to Celaena, because they’re the same person, but she thinks differently, acts differently, and is a whole new person. There are parts in the book where Aelin needs to transform back into Celaena, and the cold assassin’s mask slides back into place. But then she comes back out of it, and once again, becomes Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. One thing I don’t like about this character, is that she is just too good. She’s good at everything. I think she needs to have something, like a weakness, to make her seem more believable. Also Manon and the Witches come into this book. Their part of Heir of Fire was a bit out of place, their storyline a bit random, and I found myself not liking it as much, but in Queen of Shadows, it fits right in and flows with the rest of the story.
“What a shame that the current owner of the Vaults, a former underling of Rourke Farran and a dealer of flesh and opiates, had accidentally run into her knives. Repeatedly.”
― Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows
The new characters, like Elide, Nesryn and Lysandra also fit in. I love all the female characters in this series, but I find myself liking Lysandra and Manon a lot more in this book than the others. And we can’t forget Dorian, Aedion, and Chaol. Dorian’s parts of this book are very short, one or two pages at most. This reflects wat is happening to him. [Spoilers] At the end of Heir of Fire, the King traps him inside the Valg Prince with the Wyrdstone collar. The short chapters that have Dorian in them reflect that Dorian’s consciousness is only there for short periods of time. It’s like Dorian himself is only there for some parts, fighting to get out, but the Valg always wins, and takes over him again. This is why, I think, Dorian’s chapters are so small. Aedion is also a very lovable character and very overprotective of Aelin. But I like this about him. It makes him seem more believable. The big bad warrior, becomes soft-hearted for Aelin only.
Now Chaol. The biggest thing wrong about this book is Chaol. It ruined him. It was like Maas completely forgot about his character build-up throughout the first 3 books, and made him into a completely new person. That everyone hates. Everything that happened between him and Celaena is forgotten, and all he thinks about is Dorian. Seriously. Just Dorian this and Dorian that. At first, I understood, with all that’s going on with the Prince, but after a while… Really annoying.
So, after ruining Chaol, and building up characters, and the plot, the ending was bound to be good. And it was!! Those last 100 pages were the best! Everything was written so well, and Chaol even became more likeable. And the ending. I though the ending was perfect. Ended on the perfect line, and resolved a lot of things. But that just makes me want the next one. And it will probably be published September next year. A whole other year to wait for the next book. That’s a very long time…
Why should you read it: Well, if you loved the rest of the series, then this will be action packed and great for you. Even if you were let down by Heir of Fire, as apparently many people are, then this book is still a pick-up. Any fantasy, young adult and assassin genre book readers, this is the perfect series for you
Book in a word: Action-packed