Review: Queen of Shadows
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you are related to me in any way, I’d appreciate if you didn’t read this post. Unless you wanna read about me having the obscene hots for fictional characters. Thanks.
SECOND TIME READING:
Rating change: it has now been bumped up to 5/5 stars.
This book was amazing. Not saying the other’s weren’t; but this was almost on the same level as ACOMAF. Sarah was on FIRE when she wrote these two books. They made me so giddy
BUT ALSO MADE ME SUFFER A HECK OF A LOT OH MY GOD. This book was so interesting!!!
Order of SJM’s books (Fave to least-fave; so far):
1. A Court of Mist and Fury
2. Queen of Shadows
3. Heir of Fire
4. A Court of Wings and Ruin
5. A Court of Thorns and Roses
6. Crown of Midnight
7. Throne of Glass
NOT THAT I HATED the last few… I’d practically rate them all near 5/5 stars. But the top two especially really… blow it out of the park. At least for me.
Sarah’s books are one of the rare exceptions where the sequels just get better and better.
Although I could rave about this book for hours (like I have for the ACOTAR series), I think I’ll stop now so I can read Empire of Storms (
I’m not ready to cry like a baby tyv).
Like I do for my other reviews while rereading, I shall go down to my first review (below this one) and annotate with side comments that
look like this. Enjoy! 😀 (SIDENOTE: I just went through… I am too drained to add gifs to this second review. I am mentally beating the crap out of myself rn).
FIRST TIME READING:
This book was soooooooo much better than the others in the series!! I’m so happy I finally like one.
I’m so happy I reread them. I love them all now. But this one is definitely a fave.
Would I read it again? Sure. It wouldn’t be a painful read at all (as long as I maintained my almost skimming pace).
LOL @MY PETTY ASS, TRY TAKING ALMOST A WEEK, SAVOURING UP THE BRILLIANCE, U SALTY BIT-
I actually FELT what the characters were feeling this time. Each and every one of them (except for Manon. I really don’t like her storyline. I’d honestly prefer for her to be cut from this series pls and thanks).
GET OUUUUUT. HER CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IS AMAZING. ACTUALLY EVERYBODY’S IS. INCLUDING AELIN. AND CHAOL. tbh probably Nesryn was the character I least cared for, but who cares?? She was new and barely was in it compared to my faves. ELIDE AND MANON WERE AMAZING <3.
So many times I had to stop and go “AWWW” or sigh. The feels, man. The feels.
I had such low expectations after all the other books. Thanks for all my goodreads buddies for making me persist through the series.
Maybe this series is like twilight? You enjoy reading the first, the middle ones suck, and you’re back to enjoying the final ending of the saga.
Okay I still love Twilight but I’m so annoying GOD, I’m sorry. I no longer really spread so much hate on books. I like having a positive book community 🙂
One of my favourite moments was at the end:
K BUT WHAT ABOUT THE START. AND THE MIDDLE. LIKE ALL OF IT WAS MY FAVOURITE.
“Dorian said, ‘So here we are.’
‘The end of the road,’ Aelin said with a half smile.
‘No,’ Chaol said, his own smile faint, tentative. ‘The beginning of the next'”.
yeeeeep this still kiLLS ME.
HOW DARE YOU, MAAS. THAT TORE ME APART.
Of course there’s so many other quotable scenes in this book, but I’ll leave like other 3 people in the world who haven’t read this book to unearth that on their own.
I guess this is a super positive review because I literally groaned in reluctance when I finally picked up this book from my beside table. I really, really didn’t want to waste anymore time on a series I wasn’t enjoying. So hooray! I really liked this one. Celaena (or should I call her Aelin?)’s character development was so much better in this book.
I’m gonna be honest; not a lot of significant action scenes.
Now I’m gonna be honest: I skimmed them. Such as stupid past hoe I was– ignore anything I say about SJM writing action/conflict– it’s perfectly okay. Amazing most of the time, anyways. Back then, I only really liked how Cassie Clare wrote… well, any scene. Romantic/action etc… The only remotely action useful to the plot was at the end, involving Dorian. Which, by the way, somehow reminded me of the rushed ending of The One by Kierra Cass. But with more demonic possession and less … love triangley business.
Speaking of cringe worthy, forced love stories; let’s talk about Rowan.
SMACK THIS MOFO DOWN WTF BITCHHHHHHH HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW. LOL IF PAST ME COULD SEE ME NOW.
I AM ROWAN WHITETHORN’S BIGGEST SLUT. I WILL GO DOWN TO MY GRAVE BEIN A BIG OL’ HOE FOR HIM. OH MY GOD.
Maas, I’ve said from the beginning, your books have been so original for the badass, feministic approaches to the YA high fantasy world.
… don’t go on. pls. i’m cringing.
So when I saw in Heir of Fire that Rowan and Ae bonded in such a sacred way, which has been so strongly emphasised as platonic; I honestly trusted you to create a refreshing, uncliche friendship between the opposite sex.
k so I get ur point @PastMe, but there were soooo many signs that he’ll end up being more than that. BUT THIS IS STILL KINDA AN ISSUE BUT I AINT MAD ANYMORE BC I AM A SELF-PROCLAIMED HOE-FOR-RO(wan).
So you can imagine my feelings of betrayal
(bitCH WHERE) when we suddenly have them separated for like, less than a month, and suddenly they’re like; “I CANT LIVE WITHOUT YOU; OH ALSO, I WOULD V MUCH LIKE TO BE NAKED WITH YOU ALL DAY LONG. AND I LOVE YOU. HAVE A MENTIONED THIS IS LOVE? YEAH, WE R SUCH ROMANTIC BUDS NOW.”
I don’t think I’ll ever recover from that. They’re not too bad, but cmon, man. I thought I’d finally found the YA novel, with a decent opposite sex friendship. I thought since you’d already attempted (KEY WORD; ATTEMPTED
kEyWoRd: ShUt TF uP BitCHHHH ) the cliche love triangle, you’d be over it.
And this is why the series over all disappoints me. It’s evident across the entire fan base that Celaena wasn’t a believable assassin.
okay how have I not been killed for my ignorant, whiny ass???? So that crosses off powerful protag as well as decent action. But if you also fail at the romance, having the most unoriginal I just choked on air HOE DO U EVEN REALISE– plot twists thought the series??? Then HOW am I supposed to appreciate this to my full extent? like me now bitch come at me oh my god i will never get over anything Sarah writes,,,,,,,, I just didn’t give her a chance… Like this book took me 2 hours to read when I first read it????? I SKIMMED LIKE NO TOMORROW. This, for me, proves this series is way too overrated. I think it were to be turned into a movie franchise, it would be very successful. There’s so much dialogue and set up given to make it an easy movie production, and usually in movies it’s easier to dismiss cliche plots. The movie platform would be perfect for ToG. i actually never wanna see it as a movie bc SJM has brilliant stories but I don’t love it for the dialogue…. she has beautiful thought-monologues (?????) that are written so perfectly and you can’t show it properly in a movie!!!!
The other reason I discovered why I was disappointed holistically with this series is how unrelatable (?) ALL the characters are. Celaena is an obvious example, I’ve read several reviews who mention issues surrounding her characterisation. I, personally, cannot find any of the following male characters (there’s not a lot of female characters in this series??
YEH THAT’S THE POINT WE R MEANT TO BE SAD BC AELIN IS ALL ALONE AND KEEPS LOSING HER FAVE GIRLIES ) relatable, including; Chaol (the lil shit head he was for the entire series I s2g who would resonate with him??? WHO CARES IF YOU DO OR DON’T??????????? LIKE WHO PICKED UP THIS FUCKING BOOK TO GO: “hmmm idk what my life morals are… how about I READ THE FORTH BOOK IN TOG TO SEE WHAT CHAOL REPRESENTS??????? ), Dorian (who had character until he was suddenly unimportant to the storyline in books 2-3 SAY THAT AGAIN, I FUCKING DARE U ), and Rowan (he’s either super angry or horny at Aelin and although I feel frustrated at Celaena; sexually frustrated, I am not “LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOO” current me, the biggest slut for Rowan there ever has been. ).
Best relationship development (nope not Rowan sorry
HAAAAAAAaaaaaa ); Lysandra and Aelin. But Maas a trend for this in literally all her characters from ToG:
Initial impression: “oh wow I want to kill u, u r my biggest enemy”
*moderately intense moment occurs*
Post- trauma: “wow we either are in love or bffs lets walk across the beach while the sun sets yay”
… okay. I forgot this. But that salty bitch kinda has a point but that’s BC OF HOW CEL/AELIN WAS RAISED AND ONLY KNOWS HOW TO ACT LIKE THIS TO SURVIVE AND IT’S FUCKED HER UP ETERNALLY AND SHE WILL FOREVER BE SCARRED OOHMYGOD.
But really; I did enjoy this story way more than the others. I would probably reread the first and last one. I would hate to ever read Heir of Fire again.
I’d gladly do this bc I just wanna get str8 to the good stuff but my reason is so Rowan is in it more lol how the tables have turned
Chaol’s storyline was an emotional rollercoaster and Maas, I’ve gotta admit; you effectively made me hate him for a loooooong time. But the ending (I shan’t spoil) made up for it. Just a little, but enough. (view spoiler)
I really don’t see how the series can progress
lol okay but also I’d be happy to stop reading it simply bc Aelin is somewhat okay and living u know?? , but I’ll probably read it (once it’s in the library– I will never pay for this series SARAH CAN TAKE ALL MY MONEY GO AHEAD GURL U DESERVE MY 6 CENTS I HAVE ). I’m dreading reading the prequel, but I’m hoping the writing style is at least decent for me to skim over. Like in this instalment.
My last point is I think this should be classified more onto the New Adult side. There’s so much swearing (and I’m not one to one super sensitive to swearing, I’m pretty sure I’ve sworn at least twice
… let’s just raise that to about 100 times now in this review– but it was way too strong for a YA novel). There’s also (albeit, what I find as weak) graphic action and other topics that I either flinched at or at least begged internally to be reclassified as NA. I HADN’T EVEN READ ACOTAR YET G DOWN
On a happy note, I did really like this book. I read it in about 2.5 hours.
THERE U GO On average I can read 200 pages/hour. I DO NOT SKIM READ USUALLY. For this series, technically I skimmed. Some pages I flew over because it WASN’T EVER USEFUL TO THE PLOT. SHUT YO GOD DAMN MOUTH Too descriptive, not entertaining enough.
If you didn’t enjoy the other instalments (particularly 2&3), give this one a go. The writing magically gets better, and the characters are somewhat loveable.
“And at long last, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius was home.”
PS; I admit I sorta found Aedion x Rowan with more chemistry than Rowaelin (if that’s their ship name??)
……………………………….. kill me
PPS; I hate how Aelin’s twin brother is called Aedion. Authors that write twins to have similar names need a reality check (even for their fantasy novel): Twins usually have very different names. They do no have matching names. There are no benefits besides cuteness factor in naming your twin children similar names. This also didn’t add to the plot whatsoever, in extension most likely confused many initial readers like myself tying to navigate this very unclear world. It was hard enough with the map (*eye twitch*, see my Heir of Fire review to know what my problem is) so why make characters have similar names????? Like I said in my Sweet Peril review; name your characters uniquely so they are distinct.
WHAT THE FUCK I CAN’T EVEN READ MORE THAN THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THIS OKAY OKAY OKAY WHAT THE ACTUALY FUCK U CAN SEE HOW WELL I READ THIS BOOK INITIALLY OH MY GOD SOMEBODY SMACK ME DOWN PLS
I’m happily ending this book, and glad it’s on a high note! I wish Aelin would have a consistent love interest, and secretly I want her “dear friend” Dorian to reunite with her.
at this point……….i cant- I wouldn’t be terribly effected if she stuck with Rowan (though I’d still be a lil hopeful til the end of time for Dorian to be with her). (: 🙂 (: 🙂 (: 🙂