Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #4)


Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas // VBCQueen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Sarah J. Maas
Published: Sept. 1, 2015 (Bloomsbury)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Krista

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it does reference events from previous books in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Throne of Glass.

It’s not a secret that I fangirl over the Throne of Glass series—I championed Celaena/Aelin during the Alpha Showdown this year. I am only somewhat embarrassed that I want to be Celaena/Aelin when I grow up, even though I am already older than her. With each subsequent release I have been blown away by Sarah J. Maas’ writing. She breaks the traditional rules for an established series left, right and center, but it works. Also she had such a WTF moment at the end of Heir of Fire, that I have been having an inner monologue argument with myself all year about it. It’s an understatement to say I was anxiously awaiting the release of Queen of Shadows.

At the end of Heir of Fire, Celaena has announced to the world that Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen, survived the slaughter of her family and is ready to take her place on the world’s stage; Dorian has been enslaved by his father; Aedion thrown into the King’s dungeon awaiting execution; and Chaol, poor Chaol, has lost everything. So when Celaena/Aelin returns to Adarlan it is a very different Kingdom than the one she left—to be more accurate the world is drastically different than it was even six months ago. Change, or rather evolution, is a constant theme through this series. Each book has been a very different beast than its predecessor.

I liked Queen of Shadows, maybe even loved it, but I can’t say I adored it like I have the rest. It may be that a certain beloved character had me wanting to smack them upside the head because they were being a whiny prat or a new couple being obviously ‘shipped’ together. It also didn’t have that big reveal/moment at the end of the book that had me counting down the days to the next book. I even had a friend ask me if this was the end of the series because of how the end of the book played out (as far as I am aware it’s not).

This is still an excellent addition to the series. The action sequences are spot on, I almost squealed when Manon and Celeana/Aelin meet for the first time. It was everything I could have wanted and more. The relationship development (good and bad) between characters is engrossing and frustrating at times. Maas is also one of the best writers when it comes to female characters. One of the complaints I have heard about kick ass heroines is that they come off too ‘butch.’ Why can’t a girl kick ass and embrace her girly side? Celaena/Aelin is deadly and powerful but that doesn’t stop her from coveting pretty clothing, art, and music. Maas’ female characters are so multifaceted and have so much depth, they almost seem to jump off the page.

Sexual content: kissing

3 Responses to “Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #4)”

  1. Brad says:

    I have been waiting all month for the review of this book since I was curious if it would get a 4.5 or 5.0 score. Personally I would of given this book a 5.0 I thought it was either tied or just barely behind Reign of Fire for my favorite of the series so far. Since Reign of Fire I had been wondering what the deal is with the witches what part will they play. I was not disappointed at all.

    Celaena/Aelin ranks up their with Kate Daniels, and Sydney Sage as my favorite female heroines.

  2. ssloo13 says:

    I completely agree with this review – spot on! I loved this book, but like you said, I didn’t adore/cherish it. This is one of my favorite series, and Celaena/Aelin IS my favoriate female lead. But, there was something missing. I wasn’t reeling at the end of this one. It felt like the end of a chapter. Regardless, I can’t wait for the next one.

  3. Sarah says:

    Totally squeeled during Rowan and Aelin moments, I’ve been shipping them since he was introduced in the last book. I loved the book and this series but the abrubt change in her and Chaol’s relationship threw me off and one thing that saddened me was how she was no longer known as “Celeana” we spent so long with her that I felt like I was saying good bye to Celeana for good when the book started and that’s pretty much what happened. I’m not saying I dont love Aelin (obviously I do because their the same people, just different characters) but the main turn off of this book was the fact that she literally became a whole new character in such a short interval.

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