I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Queen of Shadows

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , ,
Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
by Sarah J. Maas
YA Fantasy
Amazon  /  Goodreads

Plot Summary:

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.


As I keep reading this series, I increasingly tear my hair out at the task of writing a review.  (I will be bald by the time the last book comes out.)  There's just so much to this book that is very difficult to put together coherent thoughts that give potential readers an idea of how and why I loved the story.  Without giving away too much information of course.  The thing with the Throne of Glass series is it's continually growing into this expansive, beautifully dark and emotional world with epic characters and relationships.  It takes it's time telling the story and wrapping you up in it's magic.

I suppose I'll start at the beginning with my review then.  The beginning of the story did feel slow to me - there were lots of threads to pick back up after the amazing finale that was the previous book, Heir of Fire, and Sarah really does take her time making sure the emotions of all the characters and what's at stake for them is clear from the beginning.  I wanted to devour this book and be impelled towards it's emotional denouement, but I appreciated that for a bit, there was just some good storytelling and a focus on getting a handle on the story before things started going crazy.  Everything that is set-up with the beginning pays off completely by the end.

The story still has epic, emotional moments from the beginning though.  With the state of things from the last book, there are many reunions and dangerous tasks that needed to be completed, and the story parses out those moments perfectly.  Even if there was a lot of careful buildup, there were still great moments to make you read ravenously.  I absolutely loved how much Sarah was in control of this story, and how well everything came together in the end.

The characters are a major appeal of this installment.  Aelin (formerly Celaena) is fierceness incarnate, and this book shows her at her deadliest and at her most cunning.  I loved seeing that she was not only a formidable fighter in the extreme, but also amazingly clever.  It's easy to understand why so many people are following her lead, because she is a fantastic leader, who in this book gets things done.  Aedion, Rowan and another character make a great support system for her too, and their dynamic as characters was absolutely marvelous to read about.  I felt for their friendship, and also for their anger, and it was all so emotionally rewarding.

The other side of the story that concerns Manon was again beautifully done.  Manon is such a complex character and her development in this book is just brilliant.  I love how much Sarah has made this character one to admire just as much as Aelin.  The whole storyline with the witches was also creepy and revolting to a degree that when this book is adapted for TV, I'm not sure I can watch it, but it was definitely engrossing to read about and perfectly fit in with the high stakes in this series.

Because the previous book was so amazing, I really had fears for this one, but I should have laid them all to rest immediately - this book is nothing short of pure brilliance, and I will never be afraid for this series again.

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