Thursday, 17 September 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas :: *panics like an octopus* MAAS WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME?

23848145Publisher: Bloomsbury
and Allen & Unwin
Release Date: 1st September 2015
Source: From the publisher
Purchase: Mighty Ape | Book Depository | Amazon
Read it in: 7-8 hours

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.


**Pssst, so I have tried very hard to be spoiler free in my review but there might be minor spoilers for the other books in the series, ok??!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!**

So basically my brain feels like a big snarly ball of wool that the cat has spent the day terrorizing. I am feeling soooooo many emotions right now!! On one hand this was a fantastic and mindblowing book....but on another GIANT hand this book had so many problems I could fall through the craters and easily never be seen again! I AM IN SUCH A DILEMMA. SOMEONE HELP ME!

Basically I think my biggest problem was that I was expecting things to happen and when they didn't happen or they happened in a way I wasn't expecting it, it REALLY bugged me and also disappointed me. And I think after loving Heir of Fire so much I was maybe expecting a little too much from Queen of Shadows? So when it turned out not as good as Heir of Fire (or the two books before it, if I'm being honest) I was disappointed. And disappointment is never a nice reaction to your number one most anticipated book of the year is it?!

So I'm going to group this review into parts because otherwise my brain is just going to literally EXPLODE. You've been warned!


+ AELIN. Celaena now goes by Aelin AND I JUST FOUND THAT VERY ANNOYING OKAY??!!!. Girl, YOUR NAME IS CELAENA NOT AELIN. DEAL WITH IT. *eye twitches* Aelin acts like a completely different person from old Celaena with unfortunate sides of spitefulness, bitchiness and pettiness. Yeah...I didn't like Aelin/Celaena in this book... Aelin is also extremely horrible to Chaol and I was pretty much like, WHHUUUUUT??!! GIRL YOU WERE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS GUY. YOU TOLD HIM YOU LOVED HIM AT THE END OF CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT ALREADY???!!

+ CHAOL. I feel sorry for poor Chaol I do! Some horrid things happen to him, not including Aelin treating him like absolute crap which is SO SAD. Also, do you remember how during alllllllllll of Heir of Fire, Chaol was acting like a love sick idiot over Celaena??!! Like every chapter including him, involved him thinking about her and thinking about how much he loved, well in Queen of Shadows that disappeared on about page one and not only did it not make sense it made me angry!! SO. ANGRY!!

+ DORIAN. OMG DORIAN MA POOR BABY. *hugs him tightly* Stuff happens to my little pooky baby in here AND IT BROKE MY HEART. *hugs Dorian tighter* NEVER LETTING HIM GO AGAIN NEVERRR.

+ MANON. OH MANON HOW I LOVE THEE! I don't get for the life of me, WHY people don't seem to like Manon!? She's now my favourite character and if it wasn't for her chapters, Queen of Shadows would've definitely been 3-stars. I really love how Manon's character has developed and also let's not forget ABRAXOS! We didn't see as much of him as I would've liked but still: ABRAXOS!! (He still likes smelling flowers if you're wondering!) Manon is definitely waaaaay more human then she was in Heir of Fire and I really liked that.

+ ELIDE. Elide is a new character introduced in Queen of Shadows and I really enjoyed her chapters, but, yet again, I don't understand why people didn't like her very much?!

+ AEDION. Um, this is just me, but I really don't care about Aedion? PLUS, not to mention the fact that I kept getting mixing up Aedion's name with Aelin's. THAT REALLY ANNOYED ME IF YOU CAN'T TELL.

+ ROWAN. Oh, Rowan! Rowan, Rowan, ROWAN! Still hate you, man! Please go away and die a nasty death because I really hate your guts.

+ LYSANDRA. EEEEeeee LYSANDRA!! Lysandra is AWESOME, people! Also, something brilliant comes out about her and it is GLORIOUS. To. Much. Awesome.

+ OTHER CHARACTERS. Other characters like Manon's witchy team and Nesryn and other-people-I-can't think-of right now-but-will-remember-later-when my-brain-isn't-tired were awesome!


We need to talk about the length!! HOLEY CRAP THIS BOOK IS MASSIVE. And it's not just that the book is massive, it's that the font is tiny as an ant, which means the Publishers had to shrink the font down as much as possible otherwise literally the book would've been 1000 pages easily and then there would be lots of mysterious bookworm deaths happening AND WE ALL KNOW WHO'S FAULT THEY'D BE. But *ahem* murdering bookworms aside, this was too long and I thought 100 pages could've been hacked off easily and would've added to the story not taken away.

Queen of Shadows didn't hook me like Heir of Fire did. The first 300 pages especially were very slooooow and I found myself putting it down a lot which was something I couldn't even think of doing while reading Heir of Fire! The last 300 pages were absolutely amazing though and where the action really warmed up, I just wished it had happened a bit sooner in the book.

Alsoalsoalso, I have a grumbling that isn't really to do with the book and I just want to get out out there: Heaps of people have been saying that if you loved Heir of Fire you'll love Queen of Shadows/love the way Queen of Shadows goes BUT THAT IS NOT TRUE!! At least, for me. So I'm just warning you: if you loved Heir of Fire you might love this...but you also might not. And either way, that's okay!

This is the part where I start to feel REALLY pissy and want to punch something. You see: MY SHIP SANK. And for all the signs, for all the people wailing it was going to happen, I was so convinced that it wouldn't that when it did, it near broke me. What was almost worse besides Aelin just casually dumping Chaol and saying she didn't mean it when she said she loved him in CoF, was THE FACT THAT SHE THEN WENT AND DECIDED SHE REALLY, ACTUALLY, TRULY THIS TIME - HONESTLY! - LOVED ROWAN. Rowan the 300-something-year-old fae male. And of course...Rowan's suddenly decided that he *FEELS* something fro Aelin, and not the *FEELS* like in HoF where he didn't like Aelin for some reason had no problem mentally and physically abusing her but the "OMG I THINK I LUURRRRVE AELIN!!!" Please, someone, anyone, KILL ME. I can't stand this misery anymore!! I just cannot ship a relationship like that, especially with that age difference. Just...NO.

So I'm really pissed at my ship sinking but also the fact that Celaena/Aelin has moved onto yet ANOTHER guy. First it was Dorian, then she decided she really actually loved Chaol and he was her soul mate blah blah and and all that jazz, which was wonderful because Chaolaena is MY ship of ships but now she's moved onto ROWAN, a guy who I thought TO ME, Maas spent all of Heir of Fire trying to show that it was only going to be a platonic relationship but then in Queen of Shadows, BOOM! Rowan and Aelin are in love and I'm just sitting here going, "WTF IS GOING ON HERE? SOMEONE ANYONE HALP."


I also didn't like how Maas kind of paired just about everyone up, like Dorian with Manon (which, ok, could be awesome and I'm really interested to see where that goes but still, I can't really see it working out because it's MANON and I'm still in mourning for poor Sorscha), Lysandra and Aedion weren't a thing exactly, but it was kind of hinted that it could/might become a thing, and I'm not sure how I feel about that, but the ship I REALLY didn't like, was Chaol and Nesryn. I like Nesryn as a new character and think she's cool...but I don't see any chemistry between her and Chaol and think their ship feels really forced. I might be a little jaded, just because I ship Chaolaena and will forever, but STILL. Not happy.


Basically, Queen of Shadows didn't go the way I was expecting it, in good ways and bad ways. It's definitely not my favourite of the series (*lovingly pets Heir of Fire*) and it had SOOOOOOO many problems/things wrong with it/too much Rowan for my delicate system/ahem who said that BUTBUTBUT at the same time it was amazing and fantastic and OMGJUSTGIVEMEMOREALREADY!! I can't believe we have to wait till NEXT SEPTEMBER before book five comes out!! *curls up in ball and dies*

::Thank you times a thousand Allen & Unwin for the review copy!!!!!::

YOUR TURN! I want to know what YOU thought of Queen of Shadows if you've read it!! What did you love (Abraxos obvs)??!! What did you hate (*cough* ROWAN OBVS...)??!! Did you think it was too long?! Were you convinced like me that they shrunk the font to avoid mysterious bookworm deaths?! TELL ALLLL my little wonderlings, I wanna hear everything!!


  1. I finished this yesterday. And it's been a long time since I read the other books, so the chaol thing didn't really bother me. And Abraxos was fantabulous. I am not down with the ship. I read it on my kobo, so the font wasn't an issue. But it was slow. But the writing was also beautiful. One of the things that you didn't mention and I really really liked was the symbolism around darkness and light , and also blood (the blue, black and red kinds) Also Lysandra. thanks for the review, Ella!

  2. AHH. I'll have to admit that while I really liked Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire was a bit meh for me. But I am definitely going to have to still give this a try Ella since your enthusiasm makes me so excited! Thank you for sharing this wonderful review! ♥






  4. YES to everything in this review!! I feel so betrayed and led on about the ships from CoM. I think it's unique and realistic to have the MC date different people, but I don't have to like it. I just don't understand how they can get past everything that happened in CoM, you can't pretend everything they said never happened!! :0 I HATE how Rowan turned into a horny teenager guy in this book. And he's like 300 years old, it's gross. I loved the plot development overall though. Lovely review!! and yay for new characters. I love how squad assembled. I also didn't enjoy how everyone got paired off too -_-

  5. Oh no, sorry you were so bugged with elements. I have to say I didn't feel the same way AT ALL, really, so I guess overall my experience was a lot better- I'd say that this one was my least favourite in the series, or on tie with ToG, but I still loved it. (SPOILERS AHEAD) I guess for a lot of it, it's that I never could see Chaol and Celaena being together again, after what he did. It wasn't forgivable in any way, and I... I knew she wouldn't think it was, either. The way her words were played off did make me wonder if SJM had changed her mind as to what was going to happen? That did niggle me, I admit it, but I'm still really glad with the way things went. I didn't anticipate it, absolutely not (I enjoyed the platonic friendship), but I adore it. And I definitely don't think Aelin was worse to Chaol than he was to her- they weren't nice to each other, both ways. I actually thought he was worse, since she was mostly offhand and rude- didn't make much of a change.

    But... eh... I love Rowan. MORE THAN CHAOL. I'd love Chaol and Dorian to have a relationship, because there was definite moments where that was visible as a possibility. It might make me like Chaol a teeny bit, rather than not at all.

  6. OH MY GOD I FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE WHO ALSO DIDN'T LIKE QOS!!!! I gave it 2 stars tbh, I couldn't stand it. AT ALL. First time I've ever written a rant on Goodreads (you can read it here: anyway I'm so glad I found someone who didn't like qos :')

    Laura @ psilovethatbook


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