Eeeek, am I glad that I reread this book! I mean, I knew I would love it going in, but there are certainly some things I missed. Goodness me, how could I forgot that all these characters were introduced? I read so many books each year that I suppose it’s easy to forget.
(Also, bonus fact: One year ago yesterday, I met Sarah J. Maas on the Empire of Storms book tour. You can check out that post here. 🙂 )
This review will contain spoilers. You can read my original review over on Goodreads.
Title: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Length: 648 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “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 original rating:
My new rating:
Yes, so I have willingly and gloriously upped this book to 4.5 stars. It’s near perfect to me, which is really saying a lot. And I can easily say, once again, that this is one of my favorite books of the series.
I absolutely love the world-building. I love the little glimpses we get of each new thing in the previous book, and then for us to dive deep into the story and the characters. Is there anything better? Maas is a great writer, and as she writes more books, she matures. Her characters are incredibly multi-faceted. Those who you thought were enemies (Lysandra! Manon!) can sometimes turn out to be some of your favorite characters, too. (Or is that just me?)
I will say that I struggled again with Dorian’s chapters. They were just so short, and I know the main purpose was most likely to give the readers knowledge that the characters didn’t (i.e. that Dorian was still conscious despite the collar around his neck), but I still don’t know if I wouldn’t want these small chapters, and just prefer to be as clueless as the rest of the characters (except that one scene with Manon since she seemed to figure it out).
One thing that I did notice in my re-read is that Maas is prone to using a handful of phrases quite often. And I came across that dreaded “velvet-wrapped steel” phrase which made me cringe in Empire of Storms, especially since it was referring to a particular body part on Rowan while in QoS, it just referenced his soft skin and muscular shoulders, lol.
There are a handful of chapters that made me cry that didn’t the first time around. When Asterin told Manon about her pregnancy and the witchling baby. Chaol and Dorian toward in end and how lovingly Chaol kept referring to Dorian as his king. (One of my top bromances right there!) Chaol’s transformation, his questioning about the king, and how he blindly followed the previous king, really endears me to his character. Celaena and Chaol are similiar in that they both beat themselves up over events that they had no control over, but their desire to help in order to better the world–that’s an agenda I can get behind always. This makes me even more excited to read Tower of Dawn!
The little banter between Aelin and Rowan were cute, but they kind of got tiring, especially since they were often veiled sexual things. I could do with less of that. *shrugs* But I know Maas does that often though. But I will say that I’ve grown to like Rowan a lot more, lol. I disliked him first because I was so in love with the idea of Chaol and Celaena, but I like how they both admitted they could never be, especially since they’ve become different people.
What I did like is how Aelin spoke about Sam and showed him to Rowan. I love how she says Sam would have made a great king, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have been if Sam were still alive. I understand that the catalyst for some major events, but still. I can dream, right? lol
If you missed it, I’m giving away a copy of Tower of Dawn. It’s open to those in the United States and in Puerto Rico and ends on 9/22. I’ll try to remember to post the link in the blog posts throughout the week in case. It’s really easy to enter, and you can get up to 4 entries. 🙂