Format: Hardcover, 648 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
The 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.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Queen of Shadows is the fourth installment in Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series. Assassin, former prisoner of Endovier, King's Champion through blood, sweat, and tears Celaena Sardothien is no longer. Long live "fire-breathing bitch queen” Aelin Ashryver Galathynius of Terrasen who has returned from her mission to Wendlyn to begin her final push of defeating the King of Adarlan, saving her friend Prince Dorian Havilliard from being possessed by a Valg prince, punishing those who did her wrong, rescuing her long lost cousin General Aedion Ashryver, and locating the final Wyrdkey that is also being pursued by Fae Queen Maeve.
Queen of Shadows is a story that is filled with multiple characters and storylines. There is Fae Prince Rowan, who is now bound to Aelin. Aedion who is facing death by the hands of the King for treason. Dorian who is possessed by a Valg Prince. Manon who is the Ironteeth's Wyvern Wing Leader, and a new character that I don't remember from previous novels, Elide, a Terrasen whose mother died protecting Aelin. Of all the characters in this book, Elide is the one that most intrigued me. She intrigued me for her connection to Terrasen. She intrigued me by her mother's bloodline. She intrigued me because she breaks through Manon's harsh exterior.
I didn't want to accept Rowan as Aelin's mate, but that ship has sailed and it is time to move on. I feel a bit bad for Aedion who thought for 10 years that his cousin was dead only to learn that she is bound to someone else now. But, I am hopeful that he finds a connection with another, maybe Lysandra? Chaol drove me into hating him from the first time he reunites with Aeline. Then, he does something so unselfish and brave, that I can't help but to forgive him. I loved one of the final scenes of the book where the three friends, Aelin, Dorian, and Chaol are all together realizing that a new future is possible. This is how the series started with the 3 of them. This is how I hope it ends as well.
You know what I most loved about the book? The relationships. I've already come to expect action, and adventure, and romance, and betrayals, and machinations by the evil villains who will go to great lengths to stop our heroines from succeeding. But, it is the relationships that I can sink my teeth into.
Aelin & Lasandra - Queen and courtesan; adversaries now friends; Aelin's actions towards Lysandra caused me many a misty eyed moments. I don't remember Lysandra from before, but apparently she's part of Celaena's past when she was working for the King of Assassin's Arobynn. Thankfully, we also get yet another badass female to fight alongside Aelin.
Lasandra & Evangeline - I adore Lasandra's protectiveness of the 11 year old girl. Evangeline is another new character that SJM added to the series. I do love the spunk of this girl, and the possibilities.
Chaol & Nasryn - This is why I am OK with Aelin moving on with another. I adore Nasryn as well. This is yet another badass female who can fight right alongside the best of what this series has to offer. She and Chaol have a connection, and I do hope that SJM explore's it further.
Chaol & Dorian - bromance anyone?
Manon & Elide - There is just so much I can say without spoiling the book. Then again, I think that by saying Elide opened Manon's dark heart just a little bit, is a good way to summarize things. I do hope we get a chance to learn more about Elide, and her connection to Aelin, Ren Allsbrook, and Aedion.
Manon & Aelin - Oh the possibilities if they were on the same side. I loved the fight scene. I loved how protective that each of them were of those they loved. Aelin with Rowan. Manon with Asterin. I know a war is coming soon, but I do hope that Manon and her Thirteen find a way of becoming allies, instead of antagonists. Manon deserves a bit of her own payback.
Dorian & Aelin - Friends from the beginning. Unstoppable together with their powers. Rulers of different kingdoms, but partners against evil. What could have been if Rowan hadn't come along. He saved her in Throne of Glass. She returned the favor in this book.
Some have asked me why I haven’t given this book 5 stars. The simple answer to that question is that it was 200 pages too long. I lost my focus, and had to put the book down more times than I cared for. I was worn out by the time SJM brought the story to its ending. And, yet it's not really the ending, ending is it? There's still TWO more books to go!
Also, after four books, readers of this series know how badass Aelin/ Celaena is. Hell, it’s the reason I am like a kid on Christmas morning whenever a book in this series is released. I can't wait to see what happens next. I can't wait to see what she does next, and who will survive the upcoming war. Perhaps we can move on now and find a way to cut some long conversations, and drooling by other characters over her badassery and beauty. Just saying.
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”