Saturday, January 09, 2016

REVIEW: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Queen of Shadows

Title: Queen of Shadows
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Rating: 5/5
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.

My Review

Oh my life... 

It is so hard to put what I feel in words right now. This book was just...absolutely mind-blowing. If you do not know, this series is my favourite series of all time, and I don't think anything will ever be able to replace it any time soon. And this book is probably my favourite so far in the series. I'm going to split this review into sections because I don't think it will make any sense at all if I just jumble everything at once :D

So first, let's talk about the characters. AELIN. I. Freaking. LOVE. Aelin. Compared to the first book, it's almost as if Celaena has been brutally slaughtered and has been reborn as a kickass assassin that has two sides, one of which you would wish you'll never get to see :D The character development of Aelin has left me almost breathless. She has gone from being sort of pale, slightly weak, assassin, to being a full-fledged bird that broke free from a cage of invisible ropes. While reading Heir of Fire (book 3), we saw a lot of Celaena trying to break free from her demons, fighting them through combat as well as magic, physically and mentally. And in Queen of Shadows, we see so much more of Aelin after she had finally come to terms with her identity. Throughout the book, Aelin goes through a lot of problems with other characters, in which they fight over her decisions, her thoughts and why she does what she does. What I love so much about Aelin is that despite people telling her that she is a monster, she will carry on being so if only those she cares about is safe. She put others in front of herself, and fights not only for her survival, but for those she loves as well. I often forget that she is only nineteen, but despite her age, the maturity that flows through my mind when I read about her is unbelievable. I absolutely adore Aelin! And talking about how kickass she is, she chopped someone's head off twice in the book so you know... :P 

Moving on to my second favourite character of this book: MANON. Manon Blackbeak will forever and ever be in my heart. We get introduced to Manon in Heir of Fire, and at that point I knew very little of her, but I was still curious at how her life would entwine with Aelin, or if they were going to entwine at all. But oh my life yes they did. And it was my favourite scene of the whole novel. Manon is the heir to the Blackbeak witch clan, and I have to say, apart from loving Aelin, I am OBSESSED with Manon. She is strong, so so strong, reckless, cruel and very very cunning. She is described as being heartless to humans and those below her, but we get to see that change and develop throughout the book, and everything that happens with her always surprises me. The scene where Aelin and Manon met...oh my gosh I have no idea how I survived holding in my breath for so long. My arms and legs were itching, and my eyes would not tear from the page. I would've collapsed if it wasn't for the school bell that went off to get us to the next lesson XD But yes, Manon. I cannot wait to see more of her and see where her storyline leads to especially with her clan and the new addition, Elide.

Now, I would love to talk about more characters (ahum...Rowan <3) but I feel like if I do, all you'll see is me rambling on and on about how I love Rowan lol. However, I was so glad I get to see Rowan in this book since Aelin left him behind in Heir of Fire since he couldn't use magic in Rifthold *sobs*. But what a surprise!! I love every single moment with Rowan, how he conducted himself, and how his personality changed depending on Aelin. He treats her like a queen when she is a queen, treats her like an assassin when she is an assassin, and treats her like a normal person when she is a normal person (not going around chopping heads off :D). I love every single moment. 

Moving on to plot line. I felt like the plot line set in this book was absolutely spectacular. We started of in the slums of Rifthold, then gradually climbed from mountains, to forests, and to the sky on top of a wyvern flying. The whole book was breathtakingly painful to read, only because half the time I would find myself hyperventilating at the short bursts of breaths I took while reading. It was fast-paced, and all little pieces left behind in book 2 and 3 were quickly tied to each other and it felt like unravelling a present filled with blood, gore, action and some spicy shirtless dude *wink* :P

Overall, everything was beautiful. If you compare everyone to the first book in the series, you might ask yourself if they're even the same person. I cannot WAIT for the next book (hurry up please hurry up I'm dyinggg). Sarah J Maas is an absolute legend, everyone of her novels improves so much every year, and I cannot wait to get started on ACOTAR (once it comes in the mail, hurry up book depository, I need more of Maas' kickass characters).

If you have not gotten started on this series yet, PLEASE DO. You will not regret it, at all!

About The Author

Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Queen of Shadows, Book 4, will be out in September 2015), as well as the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (out 5/5/15).
Sarah lives in Bucks County, PA, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much tea, and watches an ungodly amount of TV. When she's not busy writing, she can be found exploring the historic and beautiful Pennsylvania countryside with her husband and canine companion.

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