In this Queen of Shadows book review I share my thoughts on the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. This review will likely have some small spoilers, for a completely spoiler free review check out my Throne of Glass series review here.
“You and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins.”Sarah J Maas, Queen of Shadows
After where Heir of Fire left off I couldn’t even take a day to recover from that book. I dove directly into Queen of Shadows and it grabbed ahold of me and refused to let me go through the entire book.
The plot, the power, the emotions, it was all so very good and I cannot wait to dive into this review and share my thoughts with you. It has been a long time since I’ve loved a young adult series like this.
Since we don’t always get trigger warnings on books I like to give trigger warnings in my reviews. This can help people avoid certain triggers that could hurt their mental well being.
Possible Triggers in this book are:
- Physical Abuse
For a list of the triggers I look for you can check out this link here.
Synopsis and Author
Celaena/Aelin returns to Adarlan to seek out her former master Arobynn, the king of Assassins in order to get back a family heirloom. After he informs her about the capture of Aedion, she seeks out the former Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall. He catches her up on what’s happening in Rifthold and what happened within the Glass Castle.
Celaena has to find a way to save her cousin and somehow find the will to kill her friend Dorian who is now under the influence of a Wyrdstone collar. While she’s doing all that, she needs to find a way to destroy the King of Adarlan?
This is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series written by Sarah J Maas. The original chapters of Throne of Glass were written and published on a website when Sarah was just 16 years old. 10 years later the book was picked up by a publisher and Sarah began writing the epic fantasy series.
We are back in Rifthold and The Glass castle for the majority of this book. However, Manon’s point of view does mostly take place in Morath. As per usual we get Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol point of views. Now we also get Aedion and Rowan as well.
The overall experience of this book is mostly cathartic. As Celaena and Aedion both deal with their pasts and what their futures mean for Terrasen. Sarah J Maas has you cheering, crying, and feeling an entire range of emotions from the characters.
The characters start to show real growth in this book, accepting things for what they are, changing behaviors, realizing how they can be better. It’s just a magnificent book filled with growth.
I would say that while this book is mostly cathartic with a lot of character growth the main theme of this book is revenge. The characters are seeking revenge for the wrongs done to them from multiple sources.
It’s this commonality that really brings these characters together and forms this small chosen family. It’s beautiful and prepares you for everything that is to come.
As per usual Sarah J. Maas is masterful in world building. While most of the locations are places we have personally seen before in the series, she does a fantastic job about bringing them all to life again.
The books are starting to get a bit longer which is more of a Sarah J Maas style in writing; this book was 656 pages with 89 shorter chapters. It still was an easy read that moved at a steady pace.
I personally could not put the book down and I read through it in just a couple of days. There were so many fantastic, thoughtful, and almost devious twists and plans coming together that the story just worked. The reveal at the end of this story though has you shocked and nervous for what is coming with our main characters.
Queen of Shadows Book Review
As we dive deeper into this series I’m finding more and more to say. It’s just building and becoming one of my all time favorite series very quickly.
Celaena and Rowan once again top my list of favorite characters in this book. I don’t think that will change at all in the rest of the series. Their carannam bond and their closeness is just perfect and extremely well done. They work so well together and even individually I just adore them.
Aedion is at the top of my list for favorite characters again. What can I say I love a confident and protective character. His love for his queen and country, his determination, and his idolization of Rowan is perfect.
Lysandra was not someone I thought I would like upon first meeting her, however, she quickly moved into my favorite characters when she finally brought some closure to Sam’s death. Her and Celaena’s growing friendship through this book is amazing. The two of them together will ruin somebody’s entire existence if they are crossed wrong. I love a powerful female friendship.
Finally we have Elide. Can we talk about someone with strength that surpasses anything we’ve seen so far in this book? Elide doesn’t need wildfire, ice, or any other power because Elide is a damn Queen all on her own.
I hated Arobynn from the moment he appeared on the page. He disgusts me. He took in a young child, Celaena, trained her to be a killer, then betrayed her because he had a fucking temper tantrum. I hate him.
Vernon, another piece of shit. This horrible man actually shared the same air as our Queen Elide and he is not at all worthy of that. He’s an abusive self serving prick.
There is a difference between being confident and being arrogant. Aedion and Rowan are confident and confidence is sexy. Lorcan is arrogant and for most of the book I hope he suffers. He’s an annoying fly that buzzes around your head then disappears for a few hours to come back to annoy you again.
Characters Who Grow On Me
In the last book I was really skeptical of Manon. I didn’t know how to feel about her and the witches as a whole. However, she really started growing on me through this book and by the end I was on her side.
In this book I seriously felt that I might actually be falling in love with Asterin. She’s amazing, strong, loyal, and so not what you expect her to be according to how the Ironteeth Witches are. She grew on me a lot.
I did not expect Kaltain to come in for the win and boy does she ever. Was not expecting to be cheering for Kaltain.
The plot was strong, the writing style was strong, the world building was fantastic, and the dialogue got even better. This is the type of story telling I am used to from Sarah J Maas and she absolutely delivered on this one.
It’s hard to believe that it can get any better than this, which made me nervous for the remainder of the series. I was pulled in and could not put the book down. At this point I had a hard time stopping for most of the rest of the series.
Again my recommendation is based on the entire series. If you like flawed characters, the fae, mate romance, rebel and revolution stories, this series is for you.
Before I rate this book I want to give you a bit of background about what my rankings mean. I typically read books that I check out through the Libby app with my local library or through Kindle Unlimited.
I rarely buy ebooks unless they are cheaply priced or on sale. I also very rarely buy physical copies of books. I’m a bit of a minimalist so I have to absolutely adore a book to buy a physical copy that will be proudly displayed in my home.
So my ranking system is as follows:
- 5 Stars equals I am buying a physical copy of this book. I will read this book at least 10 more times, it is the best ever.
- 4 stars equals a great book. I might buy an ebook version when it’s on sale so that I can re-read it at least one more time.
- 3 stars equals a good book. I likely won’t read again but I appreciate the story.
- 2 stars equals “Meh.” I will not read this book again, it had a lot of problems and I did not care for it.
- 1 star equals a bad book. I barely finished this book and I will never recommend anyone waste valuable book reading time on this book.
- 0 stars is a did not finish book. I will never finish that book and it is banished.
Queen of Shadows gets a 5. Everything about this book was fantastic. The character growth, revenge, and entire plot of this book was fantastic. It moved at a steady pace through the entire book with a few areas moving a bit faster than the rest.
- The emotions I felt towards the characters
- Plans Celaena/Aelin made and them working out and creating a scenario she needed.
- The women
- Chaol – his behavior once again annoyed me
- One fight scene in the sewers after magic had returned was a bit odd to me.
Final Thoughts on Queen of Shadows
Fantastic book, a great way to move through the series. If you are planning on taking a break at any point in the series this will likely be the point where you would want to take that break. I felt it was complete enough and the ending wasn’t as much of a cliffhanger though there are still questions and curiosities that will have you wanting to pick up the next book.
Sarah J Maas did a fantastic job with this book. The pace stayed steady and the story gave and gave with twists and turns. I love when a book pulls on all different types of emotions while I’m reading it and this book did that.
Have you read Queen of Shadows? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite book boards.