Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: September 1, 2015

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 contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Long review time guys, so buckle up and enjoy!

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing this book is. I'm sure you've heard this by now, but it truly is. At first, I was a little worried because this is a whopper of a book, coming in at 656 pages. I was very concerned that the book might drag, or...and I would hate to say it...be boring. But I had nothing to fear, as this was 656 pages of thrills, adventure, pain, love, and growth. Sarah J. Maas has delivered yet another astonishing novel that you will want to get your hands on as soon as possible. Every single scene blew me away, and I relished every word on the page. Sarah J. Maas has such a unique talent, a talent that allows the reader to become so immersed in the world that she has created that it feels that they are part of the book. I feel like these characters that I have read about over the past 3 books and collection of novellas, have become part of my life. Their heartbreaks are my heartbreaks, and their joys are my joys. Quite simple, every time I pick up a book in this series, I feel like I'm coming home. And very few authors are able to achieve this.

Celaena is gone, and Aelin has finally accepted her past and her role in becoming a leader and a Queen. While she is the same, she is different, and this is a very important thing to note. Even though she is no longer the "assassin," she still has no problem killing or getting rid of those in her way. Aelin is not as ruthless as Celaena was, but still a badass woman that takes no prisoners. She is out for revenge, and no one will prevent her from doing just that. The one thing that was absolutely fascinating for me while reading this book was to reflect on just how far Aelin has come in this series. The amount of character development for her is quite simply something of beauty and something to admire. In some ways, you actually feel like you aren't reading about the same person anymore because she is so different and has come so far since the first novel. She fully embraces her role as Queen of Terrasen, but she remembers and respects her past and those who have played a role in getting her to where she is today. Many people have shaped Aelin into the person she is now, and while they might not all have been the best of influences, they have all made her into a strong leader that is willing to fight until her very last breath for her people.

The other aspect of this book that I absolutely loved was how much of her past came back into the spotlight. Not just things she did in the past, but also the people. Arobynn Hamel is a very prevalent character in this novel, and I loved every scene between Aelin and him. He has played a major role in shaping her into the fierce warrior she is now, and I can see why Celaena loved him in her own way.

I was very interested to see where Sarah J. Maas would take Aelin and Chaol's relationship. Let's just say I went through a couple of stages of anger, disbelief, and then fury when Chaol came onto the scene. Not because of how Sarah J. Maas wrote it (in fact I thought it was so realistic and the perfect way to go about their relationship), but because of Chaol acted. I knew that he wouldn't be happy, but by God Chaol, man up a bit! I seriously wanted to smack him for a good majority of this book, and kept wanting to tell him to get over himself. However, this being said, I understood why he acted the way he did. I admire his dedication to Dorian, and I can't blame Chaol for wanting to try every possible way before doing the worst thing he could ever imagine. Have no fear though, he and Aelin finally come together, and make amends. I think that both of them are in a better place now in terms of their relationship, and fully understand each other. They have a loyalty and bond to each other that is hard to break.

Dorian, my beloved Dorian, goes through so much in this book. I can't say too much on him because I don't want to spoil anything in regards to his character. However, I will say this...Sarah J. Maas did an excellent job with his character, and set his story up very well for the next book in this series. Dorian is going to be facing some major struggles in the fifth book in this series, but with Chaol and Aelin at his side, he'll be able to conquer anything that comes his way.

And finally there is Rowan. Let me just tell you, I was extremely excited when I heard that Rowan was getting his own POV in this book. I think his perspective was crucial to the story, and it let us in on how his head works. I love him even more after this book, and from the very moment he enters this book, your love for him just escalates. There are some truly breathtaking and beautiful scenes between him and Aelin and they brought a tear to my eyes sometimes. The protectiveness that both Rowan and Aelin have for each other is yet another admirable aspect of this book, and they have quite the development towards the end of this book. I'll just let your imagination run wild with the possibilities ;)

While I wasn't the biggest fan of Manon's POV in the last book, I actually greatly enjoyed it in this novel. Perhaps it was because there was more action and development with her character, but I loved her fierceness in this book. There is one particular scene where Aelin and Manon meet, that is AMAZING. The epicness that is that chapter is just mind-blowing. And then there are a couple scenes when she meets a certain person. That certain person makes her realize that there is something more to life than being a bloodthirsty witch. I'm so excited to see where this aspect of the story goes because I think it's bloody brilliant!!!

Overall, this was such an amazing installment in the Throne of Glass series, and sets up the fifth book in the series very well. There are endless possibilities in which Sarah J. Maas could take this story, and I am so excited and eager to see what happens next! Just a little bit of good news...there is NO CLIFFHANGER! Let us all thank the gods above that this happened because I don't know what I would have done if there was a brutal cliffhanger like we all know Sarah J. Maas can write. Check this book out as soon as you can because this is not to be missed!

Happy reading :) 


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