Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas (2015)
YA/NA Fiction | Fantasy
“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.”
Book One: THRONE OF GLASS
pooled ink Review:
This series has ZERO CHILL. Am I even still breathing?? Queen of Shadows was like one insane rollercoaster ride and my legs are still wobbling from the adrenaline-rushing thrill. Maas kicks up the action, the characters, the stakes, etc. with each book, escalating and twisting the plot lines with expert grace and leaving my jaw hanging open in pure awe. Hidden details and clues long forgotten resurface and mere strangers are drawn into close quarters as the fate of the world crashes closer to darkness. I’m shaking from the shattering events in this book and yet the journey is not yet finished.
Maas is so good at escalating the energy in each book that I immediately jump from one cliff-hanger to the next devouring the pages in-between captivated and needing to read more. We get more characters, more twists, and more items on Aelin’s to-do list in this sequel and I have no idea how she keeps everything straight. She’s one of the most badass characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. Heir to a kingdom, queen of assassins, fae fire-wielder, master planner, most loyal of friends and deadliest of enemies…Aelin Galathynius is a force to behold.
Despite how book 3 ended, Rowan shoves his way back onto the page and I love him a lot more than I did in Heir of Fire. Not that I didn’t like him then but with every scene we get I love him more and more. And Rowan is just the start of Queen Aelin’s court rising from the ashes. Oh my gosh so much happens I’m afraid to talk about any of it for fear of spoiling it for you! So. Many. Twists. And. Evolutions. OMG. With this book Aelin’s past, present, and future collide as her kingdom calls, her old master, Arobynn, plays his hand, and new players await opportunity to sway which side they will join in the looming war.
As with all the books we get to see through the eyes of several characters as the story bounces between POVs thus allowing us to know what’s going on in several parts of the continent. Some of the shortest glimpses, and the saddest, were Dorian’s as he struggles to stop the evil locked in his body from smothering him completely. Honestly Dorian got one of the shortest (if not the shortest) stick. I mean, all of the characters in this series have endured traumatic events that will haunt them forever but poor Dorian…*shakes head*. At least we get to see him unleash quite the spectacular show…
I grow to appreciate Aelin’s cunning more and more with each book and I always liked Dorian but of the original trio that we meet in book one I think Chaol is the only character whom my opinion has swayed like a pendulum. I liked him at first, then I grew to really like him a lot, then I started to pity him as his black-and-white world shattered around him, and then came this book and at last I understood why so many people decided to wash their hands of him. On one hand I get it and by the end of this book (and I mean the very end) I decided we can be acquaintances again but oh boy for most of this book he was so irritating!!! I just…Chaol needed to stop being dramatic and self-pitying and casting blame to help make himself face another day. Ugh.
Manon!!!!!! Let’s talk about Manon for a moment. She is still terrifying as ever and Morath seems like Hell on earth but the evolution of her character in this book was fantastic. Manon and the Thirteen are quickly shooting to the top of my favorites list in this series and I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next with them. At last, even if only briefly, their path has crossed with Aelin’s and I know it will not be their last.
Some new characters we meet in this book include Nesryn, Lysandra, and Elide, and I love them all. Nesryn reminds me of Celaena but a bit less arrogant and volatile haha. Lysandra has ties to Celaena, not great ones unfortunately, but she proves to be such a strong ally to Aelin and I just need her to be happy please! Elide is a wildcard thrown in and tips Manon off her axis. Crippled, illiterate, presumably human, Elide is nothing and no one and yet chance or fate brings her before Manon and she sets out on a journey north and I can only wait in wild anticipation to know what role she will play.
I love Maas’ characters and her plots and how she weaves it all together. Captivated is perhaps the best word to describe how her books make me feel and I know that even after I finish the series that a fascination will always cling to my thoughts regarding these books and I will feel no less exhilarated when I go to read them all over again.
I managed to survive Queen of Shadows and now I’m off to embark on Empire of Storms. I’m both terrified and excited to read what will happen next just as I have been with each book thus far. Thank goodness this series has such a large fandom or else I’d go mad with no one to talk to! (Also the memes are so hilariously spot-on).
Purchase Here: Queen of Shadows