Published on September 1, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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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.
After Maas proceeded to break my heart into a million pieces in Heir of Fire, I prayed for a “happier”story this time around. Which, in comparison to how the last book ended, I’d say this one was an a slightly more positive note.
Time has sprung forward a bit and Aelin is back in Rifthold and ready to stir up more trouble. With Chaol working for the rebellion (and the two not on the best of terms) and Rowan on another continent, she has to come up with a way not only to save her cousin but get to Terrasen and reclaim her throne. And while I’m mentioning Chaol, he has done nothing to redeem him in my eyes. A shame because I really liked him at first. Now I think he just needs to get out of the empire and start new.
As always, the characters make the books. Aelin has grown into her responsibility as a queen since last she visited the city but with magic cut off she’s back to her assassin tricks to stay alive. I love her character arc, how she went from fearing her fate to embracing it and throwing her all into the path ahead.
Also, Rowaelin! Love these two. Definitely one of my all-time favorite ships now. It’s funny because I loved the last two love interests she had but then Rowan came along and all I can think is “why the hell did I support the other two???”
Dorian. My precious Dorian. The scattering of chapters from his viewpoint shattered ALL the good feelings I had up to that point.
Manon is BACK and even more badass. This time her and Aelin get to take each other on and talk about a fight. But Manon isn’t just a bloodthirsty witch and she represents accepting all the parts of yourself no matter your upbringing. And Kaltain’s returned as well, in case any of you were wondering what happened to her, though she’s not in the same state we first met her in Throne of Glass.
Goodness, there are so many other characters too! I feel like this series is turning into A Game of Thrones with all the storylines. On one hand, there’s Aelin, her cousin Aedion, and Rowan (talk. about. testosterone). Damn territorial Fae. Then the rebellion has Chaol and Nesryn, a city guard and possibly something more to the former captain. Manon takes on a half-witchling Elide who looks like she’ll be getting her own story soon. Lysandra’s back, last seen in The Assassin’s Blade, and she’s definitely not the woman I expected her to be. One of Rowan’s cadre is on the hunt…you get the idea.
And in the sea of all of these characters is a story. Several, actually. There wasn’t a moment in Queen of Shadows where I thought things would slow down. One thing goes wrong with one story and suddenly you’re switched to another. Back and forth it goes until everything just goes to shit. But like I said at the beginning, there’s a hint of positivity to this one; perhaps the heroes will win.
Plus, as if the world could get any bigger, we learn more about the witches, the reason magic fell, the true evil in Adarlan (that one caught me by surprise), and what it all means for Aelin and Terrasen.
I’ll be honest, it’s really hard not to just gush about everything that happens this time around but since most of that would be spoilers, I’ll leave you with a gentle nudge to read this book ASAP so that your soul can be crushed and reformed as much as mine has been.