Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass #4
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: September 1st 2015
Book Length: 648 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Physical Copy, 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.


“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.”

Just when I think I know what’s about to come next, some bloody secret revelation comes to light which obviously changes everything until I can barely think straight. Naturally this is now my favourite Throne of Glass book, Maas has outdone herself and taken fantasy to a whole new level. Queen of Shadows doesn't end with a cliffhanger but I am nowhere near satisfied, I need more!

Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen, returns to Rifthold to retrieve the third Wyrdkey that was taken from her 10 years ago by her former Master Arobynn Hamel, King of the Assassins. Chaol will stop at nothing to save his best friend, Crown Prince of Adarlan Dorian Havillard. Dorian’s inhabited by a Valg Prince whose slowly consuming him, leaving him weak and unable to fight for control. Manon Blackbeak lives by 3 rules: Obedience, Discipline, and Brutality but she slowly comes to question these rules when she’s forced to obey commands that put her coven in danger. Aedion Ashryver is being imprisoned for treason for conspiring with rebels and will be executed. Rowan Whitethorn is back, that is all <3

That’s about as much as I will say about the plot to avoid spoilers, I wouldn’t dare spoil this for anyone it’s really too good and everyone should read this with fresh eyes to be completely blown away. The above summary is really just an extension of the blurb and a little information on the characters and after a few weeks I can obviously come back and fangirl over my favourite moment, so to avoid major spoilers let’s talk about the amazing characters shall we?

“Fire-breathing bitch-queen.”

Aelin is out for vengeance and by the wyrd does she mean business. Queen of Shadows is the best book at showing just how cunning Aelin is. She creates these elaborate schemes with each detail planned to perfection; it was great to finally see her leave her assassin identify behind but never the badass assassin and to finally become a Queen you don’t want to mess with. Aelin is such a strong character who doesn’t just exists anymore as a slave to a master but actually lives and loves fiercely. Aelin definitely goes through come character development, with her actions and words it sometimes felt like I was reading about a different person, she's much more ruthless and sometimes cruel. However with that being said I definitely felt that some of it was needed because Celaena couldn't even look into the King's eyes in Throne of Glass so in order for Aelin to go up against Arobynn Hamel and the King she needed to be more vicious. Just be prepared to be shocked. 

“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.”

Aedion Ashryver the gorgeous Demi-Fae warrior gets his own POV in this book and I just loved it!! He’s willing to go to his death knowing he’s saved his fellow rebels and that his Queen is alive. He’s so noble and will do anything for his cousin Aelin even though he hasn’t seen her for 10 years, such a sweetheart! He continues to protect those he loves, with his wicked sliver tongue and let’s face it he looks damn fine doing it.

Dorian Havillard breaks my heart in this book, the end of Heir of Fire was devastating. If there was ever a person to be trapped by a Valg Prince, by far the least deserving person is Dorian. He’s possibly the sweetest/cutest character in this series and even though I loved his little romance with Celaena in Throne of Glass, I can actually see that they’re not for each other, Celaena/Aelin is a little too much for our precious prince BUT he definitely deserves someone just as amazing as him!

Chaol Westfall redeemed himself in Queen of Shadows for me. I didn’t really like his decisions in Heir of Fire but he will do anything, risk anything to save Dorian. Friendship goals! Chaol is only loyal to one person and he won’t let anyone stand in his way. He definitely let's go of his worries about honour, loyalty and vows and instead follows his heart and instinct, this is the Chaol I've been waiting for.

Rowan Whitethorn: all my prayers were answered when Sarah announced that Rowan would get his own POV *thanks the Gods*, it was truly amazing to be insides his head because he was such a stoic character in Heir of Fire and I just knew there was more to him than he allowed people to see. Rowan continues to be the alpha male, badass, fiercest Fae warrior that ever lived and as always he continues to hold my heart; Team Cowan or Rowdy anyone? Hahaha! *shameful, bows head*

Manon Blackbeak is back bitches and she’s as bloodthirsty as ever. Now Wing Leader of all the Ironteeth witches, she's now in Morath with Duke Perrington awaiting news from her Matron. In Heir of Fire, Manon was a great new addition to the characters and even though she seems to be evil incarnate she definitely has her mortal moments. In Queen of Shadows she starts to question orders instead of blindly following them even if her and her Thirteen might face the wrath of the Matron.

The action and adventure never stops, the world building is incredible as always and we’re taken to new scary places. We finally get the epic, epic, epic showdown that we've all been waiting for, trust me you don’t want to miss it! Only the ruthless, deadliest and cunning players are left in the game to face off.

Right in terms of romance: Steamy, Hot, Desire, Passion, Angst, I seriously spent the entire book waiting to combust, the tension was through the roof with this slow burn romance!!! I won’t say much about the romance but I will say a choice is made, no more guessing which is a relief. I can’t really comment on it because I think you all know I was totally Team Rowan but I will say that Queen of Shadows does not focus of the romance, it’s still all about the characters and action. Here’s a little taster of these scorching moments…. *dies*

“I want to take my time with you- … every inch of you. And this apartment has very, very think walls. I don’t want to have an audience, when I make you moan Aelin.”

The romance was little and far between but it was the perfect amount to keep you invested but ToG5 is looking like it’s going to have much more steamy moments yay! Oh and let me tell you this, it definitely looks like there's going to be a romance that you will never ever see coming, it's weird but I also hope it's true. I can definitely see why this book has had such mixed reviews, it seems like the romance which was great but maybe came at the expense of other issues and characters, and it didn't seem not out of character but not in flow with the previous books.

Lastly we see a return of some old characters and given an insight to their backstories that totally changes your opinion of them. This book is huge and I worried it would read a little slow but with the changing POV’s of so many characters I found myself instantly immersed and wanting to catch up with everyone. Maas has smashed it again with her incredible world filled with action, adventure, enchanting characters and magic. Queen of Shadows will definitely keep surprising you with it’s plot twists, astounding character development and addictive writing.

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  1. Although I haven't finished QoS yet, (just started part 2) I FEEL LIKE YOUR REVIEW IS ON POINT. The last quote omg!! *faints* Ahh I love our huge essays and chats about this book ;) I haven't talked about Manon though, while I didn't really like reading Manon's parts in HoF in contrast to reading about Celaena, I enjoyed her parts a lot more in QoS, because she is so much more involved in the actual plot (with Kaltain,Duke, etc). Lovely review!! Looking forward to finishing this <3

    1. I will be forever re-reading that quote until next September <3333
      I know me too, and you haven't even finished the book yet! Just imagine them when you have haha ;)
      Yes Manon is becoming a little more human but still fierce, she's much better in QoS (Oh and poor poor Kaltain btw, I actually feel sorry for her)
      Thanks so much sister!!! <3

  2. Your review is PERFECTION. I haven't read any Sarah J. Maas' novels (I know, shame on me) but trust me, I've been DYING to. Your review makes me want to read it more!!!!!

    By the way, thanks for visiting my blog! Followed you back via Email & GFC.

    Kyla @ Book Buddies PH

    1. Thanks so much Kyla, WHAT REALLY? Oh you must give them a try, they are so so good!
      I'm sure you will fall in love with them, like us all. You must tell me when you get around to reading them, we can totally fangirl!! :D

  3. So glad you liked it!! I'm still DESPERATELY waiting for my copy I pre-ordered. I can't wait. Love the review :)

    1. *prays for fast delivery* How dare they make you wait? Do they not know how important this is :P
      I really hope you enjoy it, we must talk when you read it! Thanks Erin x

  4. I'm reading this now, and it's so good so far! I'm just over half-way through and I'm really loving it. There hasn't been any romance yet, but I'm really looking forward to when it does come in because everyone's said how good it gets. I'm really enjoying reading about all of the characters that have come back from the previous books (like Lysandra - she's awesome). Manon is also a great edition. Amazing review :)

    ~ Denise @ The Bibliolater

    1. Yaaay, I'm so glad you're enjoying it so far.. I hope it stays that way!!
      Oh the romance definitely worms it's way in and it's so beautiful, you will enjoy it regardless of your ship *prays* :P .
      I liked Manon better in this book, we got to see a different side to her and an unusual love interest :) well possibly.
      You'll have to let me know what you think when you're finished.
      Thanks so much Denise :D

  5. I just got this yesterday but now all my library reservations are through too. Scarlet, and Blue Lily, Lily blue what to do!

    1. YES LIZ! Oh that's perfect, I cannot wait for you to read them... They're seriously so good, you're just going to freak out ;) Let me know when you're done!!!

    2. I will do so much to read and no time through work! Its not fair! I have a new blog too I keep changing the name but this one will stick I hope. I think on my days off I'm just going to do nothing but read! love the new layout by the way looks gorgeous.
      Liz xxx


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