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.
(If you haven’t read the Throne of Glass series yet, do NOT read the first five paragraphs of this review. While there aren’t any spoilers for Queen of Shadows, there are minor spoilers for those who have not read the books before Queen of Shadows. However, if you want to know my thoughts on the book without any specifics, just skip to the last paragraph. Cheers!)
Buckle up, kids, because you are in for a long spoiler free ride. Most of you may know that I am a HUGE SJM fan, so it is no surprise that I pre-ordered Queen of Shadows as soon as it was available. Then as soon as I got it I finished it in less than 24 hours. I was ravenous for more Aelin/Celaena and kickass journeys, and I got what I wanted and more out of Queen of Shadows. I thought that the previous books in the Throne of Glass series were unbeatable, but Queen of Shadows set the bar for the best book in the series yet. I don’t know how Maas does it, but she seems to know what I want and look for in a book and then provides it.
One thing that Maas provided in spades was a ton of action and badassery (It’s a word). In Heir of Fire, the action came towards the end of the book, but in Queen of Shadows the action started in the beginning and didn’t end until the book did. Aelin was on a mission to destroy the King of Adarlan, and when she sets her mind to something, you better believe that she is getting it done. We have everything from demon hunts, secret meetings, and plots to kill people to fights between the unlikeliest of people, fight scenes that will have you clutching your heart and your seat, and so much more. I couldn’t have been happier with the action in this book because it had my stomach in knots the whole time.
Then we have the characters of this wicked story. Aelin finally assumed the responsibility as the Queen of Terrasen and in this book, she allowed herself to let go of her Celaena persona. Beforehand, she was focused on revenge and playing her role as Celaena the deadly assassin, but in Queen of Shadows, she assumes her role as Aelin the deadly assassin queen. She began thinking of the kingdom she would soon rule and the people she was responsible too. Of course, Aelin was still focused on revenge, but that was not her only motive. I can’t explain it that well, but Aelin seemed a lot older in Queen of Shadows. She seemed way older than her 19 years. She was still mature, but she also had her moments in Queen of Shadows where she was joking around and just having fun. Those were the moments that I loved the most because we needed a little break from the high tension that Queen of Shadows brought. She was also so freaking clever in this book that she kept surprising me at every turn. The schemes and plots she came up with made my jaw drop. She was so cunning and sneaky that she even surprised Rowan and Chaol. I shouldn’t have been surprised. She never failed to keep me on my toes because she was always one step ahead of everyone. It was great.
Aelin isn’t the only character that I fawned over in Queen of Shadows. I also loved Rowan and Aedion in this magical book. I am telling you that they were good for my heart. Rowan’s POV in the book made my heart skip a beat more than once. The way he and Aelin interacted really tugged at my heart strings, and they definitely made me fangirl a time or ten thousand. Plus, the fact that he was a protective fae bastard (Aelin’s words, not mine) also had me laughing because he was so protective of Aelin, and she didn’t know what to do with him. Ah, how I love Rowan.
Aedion and Aelin’s relationship in Queen of Shadows was adorable too. The scenes between just the two of them were some of my favorite because Aelin just wanted to be around him, and it made me happy that Aelin finally had her cousin back. Plus, Aedion’s reactions to some of Aelin’s antics had me laughing. Of course, Manon was a badass in the book too. She quickly became one of my favorite characters simply because she terrified most people, but in this book, we get to know her a little more and get inside her head, which was really cool. She was definitely an amazing character. Chaol was an ass in the beginning, but I forgave him in the end. That is all I can say about him without spoiling something.
I tried to express how much I love this book, but words can’t really do it justice. The action, romance, characters, and plot are one of a kind and they really set this book apart from other fantasy books. The Throne of Glass series is a series that supplies a badass heroine who is an assassin and a queen. You won’t find anything cooler than that, and if you do, you need to let me know ASAP. Aelin/Celaena is a character that you instantly fall in love with because she is strong mentally and physically, smart and cunning, and loyal until her dying breath and probably even after that, but she is also a 19 year old girl who has suffered through a LOT and she has emotions that overcome her just like anyone’s would. Aelin is a girl that you cheer for no matter what, and I love that about this series. Maas is the queen of fantasy right now, and I cannot thank her enough for giving me a story like Aelin’s to cling to. This book is easily one of my favorite books of the year, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to get into the fantasy world or just looking for a great book with a badass heroine. I would give Queen of Shadows the whole galaxy of stars, but five out of five will have to do.