BOOK REVIEW: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen-of-shadowsThe 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.

WARNING: contains spoilers

”Let’s go rattle the stars.”

I can’t even express myself right now. Queen of Shadows is a perfection. It’s no secret that Throne of Glass is one of my favourite book series and Queen of Shadows is in my opinion the best of it so far. I’m mind-blown by everything! I kept asking myself if this series can get any better – SPOILER ALERT, IT DID. I will go down with this series.

Queen of Shadows is packed with everything you want – adventure, action, romance, *cough* Fae prince *cough*, character development, awesome plot – and it makes you feel everything – happiness, anger, annoyance, sadness, fear, love. What’s with SJM’s books that just makes us so obsessed with them? She can make us understand her characters and sympathize with their actions, thoughts and struggles. And boy oh boy was there a lot of struggle with all that character development – dude, literally everyone went through it; Aelin, Rowan, Chaol, even Manon, the cold-hearted cupcake (thank you Elide, u da best). The world building and the story itself – Throne of Glass was pretty dresses and  stupid games (I still haven’t gotten over that, no) and now, with Queen of Shadows, all we think about is just who is going to die and who will be the lucky person who will suffer the less. Ahh, I’m SJM trash. (Also, *cough* could be the Fae males that make us so in love with her books, just saying *cough*)

Okay, okay, I know I always start with our Queen (it’s so freaking good to say that, not gonna lie), but I feel like Kaltain Rompier gets her turn this time. What even. I thought I didn’t like you, Kaltain, what’s up with that? She was annoying and stupid in Throne of Glass but I still feel ashamed I’ve never written about her in my reviews. She literally gets forced to take this power of hers and just becomes a slave and obeys everything Perrington orders her to do. But all this time she just pretended to be broken. She defeated the demon inside her collar and it had been a while since she did that and she just freaking hid it all and pretended. Clever, clever girl. I underestimated her so much, I thought she was just going to be another person for Aelin or Manon to handle but oh no. She saved Elide. She burnt a freaking third of Morath. She burnt herself to death. Internal shock.

”She had once believed that she’d been born to be a queen.
She had since learned that she’d been born to be a wolf.”

I’d love to see whole Kaltain’s story, how Shadowfire was forced on her, how she was forced to do all that Perrington’s dirty work, how she fought with the demon and how she got herself back. She deserved better. Bonus funfact: I imagine her as Katie McGrath and we all now how awesomely evil Morgana was.

Aelin or Celaena? I like to say those girls are two different people and I’m in love with both, but I feel like there isn’t much difference to begin with. I won’t lie, I do cringe a bit when people still call her Celaena and it does make me somewhat sad some people can’t accept Aelin as a ‘new Celaena’, but then again, what’s so new? Yes, Aelin is the one who embraced what she is, accepted her past, her magic and her throne and she got to the point where she’ll do anything to get back what is hers. But she’s still got a Celaena inside of her, even if she’s trying to forget that ‘act’. She still does everything in her classic way, taking risks and hope for the best and she still does that while being that smart, sassy girl like she was back in The Assassin’s Blade. And she still loves chocolate. Being Celaena got her to being Aelin, so it’s kind of not fair Aelin is ashamed of Celaena. I dunno, I’m in a phase of confusion at the moment.

Two hundred freaking pages without my precious Rowan. Torture, torture I tell you. I was so scared I would have to wait for the 5th book  to see him again – you don’t want to experience that fear, you truly don’t. So when he finally showed up I screamed of happiness and thanked the Lord himself for his return. There was just a lack  of his sassiness that I missed so much. It was fun to read how he developed from this ruthless, arrogant pain in the butt to this loyal, less arrogant pain in the heart. Our Fae warrior has human feelings? Also, an obsession with night gowns?

Rowan and Aelin. Aelin and Rowan. Rowaelin. *heart starts to beat fast* I can’t even. They will eventually destroy my already weak heart and I’ll let them.  Can we talk about Aelin letting Rowan use her precious shampoos? She was very territorial of them in The Assassin’s Blade as I remember. And can we also talk about him using Arobynn’s gift – the perfumed skin oil – and what message that sent? I can die happy now.

”You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”

If Rowan and Aelin aren’t mates by the time the series ends I’ll start killing people and it won’t be good-looking. I know A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass books are two very different series, but I can’t resist not comparing and hello, telepathic conversations? Territorial nonsense? Rowan found an  answer to a question he’s been asking for centuries? (No, I didn’t need to look up that sentence, I know every Rowaelin moment by heart, oops.) Sarah confirming one can have more than one mate in their lifetime? Aedion smelling Rowan’s scent on Aelin? His Fireheart? Her Rowan? Yes, yes, YEEES! BRING IT ON, MY HEART IS READY!

Ahh, Dorian. His POV was so painful to read. Just his 1-page chapters made me want to cry. I couldn’t make myself believe he’s somehow gone and was scared to death he was going to actually die. Precious baby, he must be saved at all costs. I’m always an emotional mess when it comes to SJM’s books and I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a tear when he frees himself of the demon inside of him and breaks the collar just because he heard that Chaol is ‘dead’. *starts ugly crying again* The bromance, man.

I don’t need to say much about his and Aelin’s relationship, I’m just so very glad they even met because:

They joined hands.

So the world ended.

And the next one began.

Um, um, ummm, what’s up with the king? I’m so confused – should I continue on hating him or … ? He was possessed, what to make of that? After all he, the real man, did try his best to save Dorian. I’m not sure yet if killing him was as satisfying to read as killing some other men was. (Hint: it starts with an A and ends with -robynn) And how will that affect Dorian? He’s too fragile as it is, he can’t afford to have doubts of his actions towards his father.

I feel like Chaol has changed so much throughout the books. And I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I certainly thought it was a bad thing in the first half of the book – that man drove me insane with his hating towards Aelin. Can you not blame it all on her? They didn’t even have a proper conversation and he already started to despise her. Since when are you such a duck with an i? I like to forget that we saw him saying all those things from Aelin’s POV and maybe that’s why he came out looking as a really cold person. Yes, Chaol, you are a fool for calling her a monster, thank you for finally realising that, it took you some time. Since I think Aelin and Celaena are two different people I can safely say that I love and ship Celaena and Chaol, but when it comes to Aelin and Chaol I just like them seeing as friends (or, well, trying to be friends). I think Celaena needed Chaol at a certain time of her life, to just have someone, but guess what, life moves on and Aelin doesn’t need him anymore, not in a romantic way and I’m 100% okay with that. They both deserve to be happy, no matter who they end up with. And as for now I’m happy Chaol has Nesryn. Peace out!

He’s also a stupid lill human who would do anything for his friend & king, not even looking on the consequences aka witches and wyverns. *facepalm* *is an emotional wreck* Chaol feelings and sacrifices for Dorian make me forget that I’m mad at him. I also probably looked ridiculous with my mouth wide open and strange noises coming out of it while reading his realisation his legs don’t work anymore. He can fix that, right? *starts to panic*

I didn’t read The Assassin’s Blade before first reading Queen of Shadows so I was a little confused of where all this hate came from but  I did not expect I’d fell in love with Lysandra at first. I was happy with Aelin’s male company, but Aelin was in need of a female friend and who better to be friends with than with Lysandra, who knows and had experienced not having any freedom, felt the loss and grief and pain. I was surprised when Rowan revealed she’s a shape-shifter (Rowan makes such great first introductions – first with Aedion, telling him who his father is and now with Lysandra). Damn, this whole series has some badass characters and they keep coming. Nuša likey. But I was still a little suspicious of how Aelin would accept all this, accept yet another friend with secrets. Her reaction, separating Nehemia from Lysandra and realising they were even with Aelin not telling her she was a queen, made me smile. She really does need someone like Lysandra and I’m so happy she didn’t throw her out of her house. The smile got even broader when Aelin was willing to rescue her no matter what and Lysandra didn’t expect that. BROTP (wait, what’s the female version of the word brotp? Internet language is so confusing)

”You and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins.”

What Lysandra did for Evangeline is what got me to start loving her. So basically all that confusion if I like her or not when she was first introduced turned to admiration within few pages. That’s fast, even for me. Not only that she’s a smart, underestimated young woman with a hard past, she’s also brave and willing to save her friends even if that means death. As a cat person I totally support her likings in ghost leopards. Her being one and taunting Aedion is one of my favourite parts of the book. (My secret wish is that Aedion and Lysandra are one day a thing. (Or Lorcan and her (vomiting on him is totally a reason to start shipping them). Haven’t yet decided;)))

”At dawn, Aedion had burst in, demanding why they weren’t ready to leave—to go home. Lysandra had shifted into a ghost leopard and chased him out. Then she returned, lingering in her massive feline form, and again sprawled beside Aelin. They managed to get another thirty minutes of sleep before Aedion came back and chucked a bucket of water on them.

He was lucky to escape alive.”

I lived and breathed for the Aelin-Aedion reunion. And I was no disappointed.

”And Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell”

*shivers* HELL YEAH. Such epicness, such awesomeness. The party can begin. I’ve already said before that I absolutely love Aedion, but is it possible to love him even more after Queen of Shadows? Yes, yes it is. Aedion and Aelin make each other happy and that makes me happy. Them teasing each other makes my mouth wobble of happiness. I did feel bad for Aedion though – he always thought he was the one to take the blood oath. Aww, poor baby. When Aelin offered him to still take it and he said no, not after he sees her on her throne I got scared it’s going to be too late for him. Aedion, what if you don’t make it till then? The guilt is already eating me alive. (Such depressed thoughts)

Aedion calling Rowan a brother (yeah, yeah, they call themselves like that in courts, but let me be happy) and standing between him and the Valg soldiers to defend Rowan even if he thought they’ll both die are again one of my favourite parts of the book. The territorial fights between them made me laugh out loud. I feel like these moments between Aedion and Rowan are their first steps – they’ll have to be around each other for quite some time because ROWAELIN LIVES. 😀

I’m curious of what will happen when Aedion and Gavriel meet, which I’m sure will someday happen. I hope their union will be as epic as Aedion and Aelin’s was.

I can’t decide about Lorcan. He gives me mixed feelings. If he ever again harms Aelin or any of Aelin’s friends I will rip his throat out. But then again I can be grateful that he did not turn his back on Aedion and Rowan. Of course I’d like to see him like that more often. We’ll see what I think about him in the future, maybe I’ll be surprised, maybe not.

One of the most joyful moments of the book? Arobynn Hamel’s death.

Aelin and the witches. What a perfect combination. Manon and Aelin’s fight was pure epicness. Let’s be real, that scene was one of many people’s favourite scenes. I did however want to rip Asterin’s throat out when she almost killed Rowan.

”But perhaps the monsters needed to look out for each other every now and then.”

Hell yeah! Imagine Aelin and Manon being actual allies. Which I’m pretty sure will happen at some point and until I can just dream about how awesome that will be.

Manon Blackbeak has a heart? She lies for Aelin and her friends? She saved Dorian? (Is my SJM trash heart sensing a new OTP?) She actually helped Elide? (Yep, definitely new OTPs) Are those … feelings I’m seeing? My baby’s growing up. I will never be bored with this character, especially now that she’s developed so much. (Also, can we get a Manon Blackbeak novella? Thank you, that’d be great.:))

I SHIP MALIDE and no one can stop me from it.

Elide was one of those Throne of Glass characters I didn’t really care about and I basically enjoyed her chapters just because of Manon. I’m sure Elide has a much interesting story to tell but I was still bored and her POVs just dragged a bit. Although I’m pretty excited for Aelin-Aedion-Elide reunion (so many reunions I’m excited about, gimmie Empire of Storms).

Asterin’s character became one of my favourites. I was fed up with her at first, her not obeying Manon made me want to punch her, but oh man, has that opinion changed. Her past – I can’t even. I never expected that and I thought she was so against raising Valg witchlings was because she finally got some sense in her head of how absurd all that is. Nope, how foolish of me to think like that. Something fell in my eye when learing the truth, the story of the hunter, of being pregnant, of loosing that witchling.

”What was it like?” Manon asked quietly. ”To love.”

”It was like dying a little everyday. It was like being alive, too. It was joy so complete it was pain. It destroyed me and unmade me and forged me. I hated it, because I knew I couldn’t  escape it, and knew  it would forever change me. And that witchling… I loved her, too. I loved her in a way I cannot describe – other than to tell you that it was the most powerful thing I’ve ever felt, greater than rage, than lust, than magic.”

And just because I can, here’s my favourite of my favourite quotes of the book:

”And at long last, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius was home.”

To sum up everything:

14624999

5/5

Until next time,

podpis2

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6 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

  1. May says:

    Queen of Shadows is such a great book! especially after how sad Heir of Fire was. Remember Dolaena? I can’t believe that ship almost sailed lol! I can’t wait to hear your thought on Empire of Storms!

    Like

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