Monday, October 19, 2015

"Queen of Shadows"

My rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass series (Volume #4)

Genre: YA, fantasy, action, adventure

Page Count: 656 pages

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Places to order: 

**If you HAVE NOT read the previous books of this series, DO NOT CONTINUE READING**
**Come back when you've read the first three books! I promise that you'll like it!**


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 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.

My review:

            Prepare yourself…this is going to most likely be the longest review I will ever write. 
            Because this review is going to be extremely long/I have a lot of things I want to talk about, I've titled each paragraph what it's about/the significant events I want to talk about (you'll see). And I'll be jumping around a bit (but I'll come back and edit more stuff in!)

            Warning: this review will contain LOTS of words in caps to express my feelings and thoughts, plus some cursing since this book was frustrating and insane!

            P.S. this is review will contain MAJOR SPOILERS (so if you haven’t read this series yet, DO NOT PROCEED)

            Before I start, I’m going to remind you that Celaena is Aelin, and Aelin is Celaena. So don't get confused if I switch her name back and forth.

            The fire-breathing bitch queen is back. Queen of Shadows is epic, dark, intense, action-packed, heart pounding—basically the definition of a badass book. The plot twists are even more twisted and unexpected, leaving you begging for the next installment.
Bye, bye #Chaolaena:
            First off, my Chaolaena feels with obliterated. The second that Nesryn was introduced, I knew immediately that Chaolaena was over. I figured out that Aelin would end up with Rowan, and Chaol would end up with Nesryn. But when he sold the ring he gave to her in "Crown of Midnight"…. holy crap, I had to stop reading to try to process that they were officially done. 

Aelin vs. Chaol:
At the beginning of the novel when Aelin and Chaol finally meet up again, I wasn’t too happy with the attitude they had with each otherand this is not because of my Chaolaena feels. In this book, Aelin and Chaol are constantly at each other’s throats, biting each other’s head off and saying the cruelest things to each other. I totally understand that in “Heir of Fire,” they were both apart from one another and were off doing their own things, but it still didn’t make sense for them to be so… cruel to each other. Chaol was threatening to hurt Aedion if Aelin tried to kill Dorian, but Aelin was threatening to kill Dorian if he tried to hurt Aedion... It just didn’t make any sense. It was just really painful to read and watch them act this way towards each other; they both lost trust in each other and didn’t respect each other anymore, which I found strange since I thought that they had at least patched a few things up before Aelin left to go to Wendlyn. 

Overall, their whole encounter/relationship throughout the first half of this book really annoyed me. I thought I was the only one that was feeling that way, but after talking to other people who have read the book and finished it, they felt the same way (about how they didn’t like Aelin and Chaol’s relationship). I think the problem was that Chaol was waiting to see Celaena, the Assassin again but instead got Aelin, the Queen of Terrasen. Aelin came back and started to criticize Chaol for leaving Dorian and not fighting for him, and she got annoyed when he called her Celaena since she claims she's gone. First of all, she doesn’t know what happened in that room with the King of Adarlan, and she just jumped to yelling at him for doing something that Dorian asked him to do (he asked Chaol leave because the King would have killed him).

Aelin pretending Celaena never existed/that she's gone:
            Okay, I get that Aelin wants to get rid of her past as Celaena Sardothien and pretend that "she" never existed—BUT THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS. You can't just leave your past behind; everything that happened to her as Celaena has shaped her into the person she is today. Yes, she went through a lot of shit (becoming an assassin for Arobynn, Sam's death, enslaved in Endovier, becoming King's Champion), but all of those hardships that she went through literally shaped her into the badass queen that she is now. So if she wants to pretend that Celaena never existed, that means she would have to forget about Sam because she never told him who she really was—he only knew and loved her as Celaena. But that's obviously not going to happen. And she learned all of her fighting skills when she was under the instruction of Arobynn, and as much of a psychopath he was, he helped her become stronger. 

Rowan’s Appearance:
Okay, now here’s where I got confused. When Rowan showed up in Rifthold, I had to reread that part. I thought that in “Heir of Fire” he said he couldn’t come to Rifthold and/or Adarlan because he is Fae and would be way too weak to go to a place without any magic. (Can someone refresh me or remind me of how he is able to be in Rifthold?) Anyways, I was shocked that he showed up; I thought that we (as the readers) would see Rowan in a different country or place since in “Heir of Fire,” he said he was going somewhere (I can’t remember where). And because he showed up, that also confirmed my suspicions that Aelin would choose him and not Chaol. 

Saving Aedion:
*will enter thoughts in later*

Arobynn Hamel being a psychopath
            When Arobynn slipped that ring on Aelin’s finger, I thought it was all over. If she was controlled by him, everything—and I mean everything—about this book would have turned to a  completely different and darker direction. Can you imagine having to figure out how to save Dorian from his collar AND save Aelin from the ring?? Good lord. It would have been a shit show. But let's thank god that Aelin was smart enough to trick Arobynn into thinking that he could mind-control her. 

Arobynn’s Death (YASSSS):
            I was really surprised when Aelin didn’t kill Arobynn because he ordered Sam to be killed and that was one of the first life-altering moments for Celaena. I thought that since Sam was the first thing that she held so dear and loved so much, she would get the chance to get revenge for him. Arobynn was the one who took her family necklace (forgot the name), manipulated her all those years into becoming a heartless assassin, took Sam away from her and sent her to Endovier. Because she had a lot a beef with him for the past that has affected her future, I thought she would kill him…But I won't pout since Lysandra was the second-best person to kill him. 

SAM *cries*:
            When Aelin went to visit Sam’s grave, I was gone—I was SO gone. That scene destroyed me. It was so sad to see that Aelin loved him so much and thought that he could have been with her, had Arobynn not been an insane man, and she said that he would have been a great king… * dies * Sarah did a great job with that scene and with Aelin’s speech to him. My god, I was crying so hard reading this. And I really hoped that he was somehow still alive—I even had theories that he was Abraoxos (Manon's wyvern aka dragon).

CHAOL’S (almost) DEATH:
            OHMYGOD. I was reading this scene when I was on an airplane and literally started sobbing, and my parents and some passengers were staring at me. Before I read this book, I knew in my head that something REALLY BAD was going to happen to Chaol, but my heart simply said NO. And when I read the part where Chaol sacrificed himself to give Aelin more time to bring Dorian back, I bursted to tears. I will always love Chaol because of his undying loyalty and love for Dorian; they have a true bromance. I remember in "Heir of Fire" when Dorian said, “I love you” to Chaol and I was literally dying because of how tragic the whole situation was. But THANK GOD that Aelin was a genius and put the Eye of Elena in his pocket before she went after Dorian. If that necklace wasn't in his pocket, he would have been dead for sure. 

            I definitely like Manon a lot more as a character because when I was reading "Heir of Fire," because I didn’t really understand her character since she was a brand new player. I was also trying to figure out what kind of importance she held for throughout the series (and now I know). But in QoS, we get to see different sides to her and her character growth (aka not just being cruel and following the rules, but thinking about what she’s doing before she acts). She watched over Elide, the girl who fled from Terrasen and has witch blood. Another thing I really liked reading was her relationship with Asterin, who was her second-in-command for many years, throughout this book. Manon was really cruel and cold towards Asterin, who was only trying to make Manon understand that following the rules is not always right. 

            Her mother was the one who saved Aelin that night when her parents were killed; she gave her time to runaway. *MIND BLOWN* The connections that Sarah weaves together is absolute insanity—complete insanity. 
*will write more about her soon*

            THAT TWIST. WOW. When it was revealed that Perrington was Erawan (aka the Dark King), I was truly shocked—that was truly a great plot twist and made a whole lot of sense after thinking about the things he’s done/what he’s been involved in (Ironteeth and Yellowlegs witches). And to finally see that it wasn’t the King of Adarlan that was the big, bad guy, but PERRINGTON. 

            Lysandra is a returning character that we met in “The Assassin’s Blade” (prequel novel) and honestly did not like her. But it this book, she returns and becomes friends with Aelin since they share a mutual hatred for Arobynn. We later find out in the novel (through Rowan) that Lysandra is actually a shape shifter! The way she currently looks is not her true face, and she can't remember what her real face looks like. And at the end, she shape shifted into a GHOST LEOPARD and SAVED ROWAN & AEDION’S ASSES. And I totally foreshadowed that she would eventually shift into a ghost leopard since Aelin was talking about how cool it would be if she did shift into that to scare people, and how Aedion was scared of them (page 406 in U.S. edition).

            Total badass. When I first read about Kaltain in "Throne of Glass" (first book), I absolutely despised her since she almost got Celaena killed; but after the first three books of this series, she has changed drastically. I really like Kaltain in this book and when the plot twist was revealed that she broke free from the collar’s control but had been secretly hiding it all along, I was doing the slow clap. She managed to BREAK FREE from being controlled by a Valg Prince AND managed to hide it for so long! Dorian couldn’t even do that! She was an amazing, haunting character in this book. But I was really sad to see her die… but she did it in the most badass way possible…. She burned the whole place down with her SHADOWFIRE, like, WOAH.

PLOT TWISTS Breakdown:
  • Aelin not getting manipulated by Arobynn
  • Lyssandra being taken by the King
  • Perrington being the bad guy
  • The King was actually manipulated by a demon the whole time
  • Chaol * almost * died
  • Dorian kills the King
  • Chaol is paralyzed from waist down

Things I REALLY liked about this book:
  • Manon and Aelin’s fight scene (YASSS)
  • Aelin saving Manon
  • Aedion’s rescue scene
  • Dorian and Aelin vs. the King
  • Manon saving the servant girl
  • Manon and Asterin’s talk
Theories I Had
  • Sam still alive
  • Abraoxos being Sam (LOL)
  • Chaol dying (well, he almost did)
  • Dorian and Manon getting together (YUP)
  • Aelin killing Arobynn
  • Aelin killing the King
  • CHAOLAENA (definite no…)

Theories about the next book:
  • Ansel is coming back (she's from "The Assassin's Blade" prequel book)
  • Aedion dies (or Rowan…)
  • More characters introduced (especially from the Southern Continent)
  • See the healer from “The Assassin’s Blade” again
  • Terrasen and Adarlan fight together (alliance)
  • The Valg witchlings are used as weapons

            Overall, I gave this book 3.5 stars out of 5. This DOES NOT mean that I didn’t like the book or that I didn’t like the previous books in this series! I just didn’t understand the first 1/3 or the first half of the book because of Aelin and Chaol’s and how it continued to be a problem throughout this book. I thought we were past them being tense around each other in “Heir of Fire,” but this book made it like 500x worse.

           Sorry that this review was EXTREMELY long; this book was massive, which means there was lots to talk about. I still have more that I wanted to talk about, but I'll just come back and add some stuff in soon! Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a crazy break-down of the book! I love all your theories, and I'm having tons of fun dreaming up my own at this point...