Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on December 11, 2015 | 2 Comments

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. MaasQueen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's (9.1.2015)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 648 pages
Source: Library

3.5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows, and these men were already carrion.

I had the same exact problem with this book as I had with Heir of Fire – painfully slow pacing. This book was FAR too long. I feel like there was a lot of unnecessary filler that could have been cut out to push the plot along a bit faster. It didn’t get exciting and start catching my interest until the last third of the book. Thankfully it wasn’t quite as slow as Heir of Fire was, but still pretty close. I started this book at the end of September. That’s nearly two months. It rarely ever takes me so long to get through a book! I’ve been feeling as if I’m slowly falling out of love with this series, to be honest (I absolutely LOVED the first two!), but thankfully I still enjoyed it. I was rather bored for all of the first half, though, and struggled to maintain interest for the first 400 pages. Except, of course, for Manon.

Like I said in my review of the last book, I freaking love Manon Blackbeak. She is by far my favorite part of this entire series, and in most of book 3 and 4 she’s been the only thing holding my interest. Let’s face it, my enjoyment of this series has boiled down to nothing but Manon. I wish there was a book just about her! She’s such a complex character, riding the line between good and evil. She’s definitely an antihero, sometimes even villainous. But she still has good in her. I think that’s what makes me love her! I just love her character arc, and the development of her character since she was introduced to the series has been profound. I daresay she’s one of my favorite high fantasy characters out there! She has definitely been the driving point of this story for me.

View Spoiler » To tell you the truth, I don’t really care all that much about Aelin. She’s just kind of there at this point. I see her character as kind of generic, a cookie-cutter badass heroine that doesn’t have much personality outside of being a badass. Replaceable. Interchangeable. I find Manon 1000 times more interesting than Aelin! View Spoiler »

I am, however, pretty thrilled that another love shape hasn’t branched off. It seems at this point that it’s to stay Aelin & Rowan. Thank. Goodness. The love square was a bit annoying. I am glad to see that Chaol has moved on, although I don’t care about him much like I did in the beginning of the series.

And can we please talk about Dorian for a minute? View Spoiler »

Lysandra really took me by surprise. She’s really changed since the beginning of the series, hasn’t she?! I found myself actually getting attached to her, liking her. Cheering for her. View Spoiler »

Other than my fierce enjoyment of the Manon parts, my emotional connection to this book was pretty poor. I didn’t care about any of the main characters, least of all Aelin and Rowan. View Spoiler » Honestly, if I could rate this book in parts, here is how it would go:

Manon parts: 5/5
Aelin/Rowan/Aedion parts: 2.5/5
Lysandra, Elide, and Kaltain parts: 3/5

If Manon wasn’t part of this series, I doubt my rating would top 2.5 heartbeats.

Favorite quotes

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.

“We do not look back, Chaol. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on.”
“What if we go on only to more pain and despair? What if we go on, only to find a horrible end waiting for us?”
“Then it is not the end.”

“What was it like? To love.”
“It was like dying a little every day. It was like being alive, too. It was joy so complete it was pain. It destroyed me and unmade me and forged me.”

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3/5 
Premise: 4/5 
Writing style: 4/5 
Originality: 4/5 
Characters: 3.5/5 
World-building: 4/5 
Pace: 2.5/5 
Cover: 3/5 
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Previous Books

throne of glass crown of midnight heir of fire

Jessi (Geo)

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