Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #4
Published September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury

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 will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. 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.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Queen of Shadows. Queen of motherfucking Shadows. There is literally nothing in the world that I could say that could even remotely do the thing justice. I have no words. To say that this book is a turning point in the series would be an understatement.  This is where everything in the Throne of Glass Series changes. All bets are off. Characters are transformed. New terrors are revealed. Ships are sunk and new ships are built in their wake. This book is just more of everything. More intense. More violent. More addictive. More terrifying. More swoony. More gut-wrenching. More epic. More.More.More. Strap yourselves in people, you're in for one hell of a ride!

Queen of Shadows picks up right on the heels of Heir of Fire, which ended with all of our beloved characters being transformed, in one way or another. I suppose that it was only natural that, after all of the ordeals they'd been through, all of the trials they suffered and all of the trauma they endured to expect it all to have had a profound effect on everyone involved. But I think it's fair to say that none of us were ready for how much everything had actually changed.  I'll admit that it was jarring at first, even for me, to witness how roles had been flipped on their heads, friendships thrown out of whack, ships crumbling and new ships taking shape slowly amidst the wreckage.  I was scared, yes, but I also have a ridiculous amount of faith in Miss Sarah J. Maas, so I tried to let go of my worries and enjoy the ride...and before I knew it, I didn't need to try anymore. Sure, I mourned some things that were lost in the fire, but at the same time, I grew excited for what rose from the ashes.

My beloved Celaena/Aelin - henceforth known as Aelin - has fully accepted her destiny and made peace with her past, but that doesn't mean she's not still struggling to  make peace with who she is, who she was and who she will be.  She is transformed but she is nevertheless the same person on the inside, where it counts.  People have been harsh on my beloved heroine in the past because of her cocky swagger and ruthlessness but how many male heroes have we rallied behind that were exactly like her, if not worse?! Aelin is a BAMF and she is and forever will be my queen! *fangirls* Ok so, moving on. There is very little that I can say about the other main characters here without delving into spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that there are surprises a plenty!  It's true that our beloved characters have been altered, many of them in fiercely drastic ways, but to me, their evolutions made sense. I mean, the things they've all been through as a group since the beginning are staggering.  No one would have made it out of the wreckage without some collateral damage.  I will say this about the characters though: just like in Heir of Fire, new ones are introduced and some lesser known faces are brought to the forefront, and they've all quickly earned a place in my heart.  Beyond that though, my love for Celaena, Chaol, Dorian, Rowan, Manon and her Thirteen has grown tenfold! My heart is full to the brim for all of these characters ♥

In terms of plot, Queen of Shadows hits the ground running and doesn't let up for a second.  Things have always been dark in the Throne of Glass Series, but this installment definitely steps it up a notch. Or ten notches. New terrors emerged that chilled me to the bone. Seriously guys.  Maas has taken her world to a whole.other.level. Her writing style has matured and she's grown bolder and fearless with her story, her characters.  She's not afraid of taking risks and it was exhilarating to behold.  I was enthralled from start to finish, and considering how many surprises blew me away here, I can safely say that I have no idea what to expect for the rest of the series, other than more EPICness, more horrors and more feels. SO MANY MORE FEELS.

The bottom line? While I know this was a polarizing chapter in the Throne of Glass Series for many of you, for me, Queen of Shadows was just as addictive, compelling and satisfying as anything I've come to expect from Sarah J. Maas.  This book consumed me, heart and soul and spit me out on the other side, a ragged, harrowed lump of feels who now has no idea what to do with herself. Just another version of how I've felt at the end of EVERY DAMN BOOK IN THE SERIES.  Is it too soon to start begging/pining/counting down for Throne of Glass #5?!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars !!

20 comments:

  1. I hate yet to read Heir of fire, so I didn't read all of your review, just enough to confirm that this is truly an awesome series. I have to catch up as soon as I have finished all my ARCs !

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    1. Eeeep, I can not wait to read your thoughts on both Heir of Fire AND Queen of Shadows :D I hope that you'll LOVE them both as much as I did ♥

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  2. Can you believe I haven't started this series yet, Micheline? I think I should, though - when you rate the fourth book five stars, it means the series is very strong!
    Have a fantastic Friday and happy reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I can't Lexxie!!! But then again, we all have gaps in our reading lives that still need to be filled XD I seriously hope that you will get into the series soon and that you'll have as much fun with the roller-coaster ride to come as I did!! Thanks sweetie xxxx

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  3. I'm glad you actually discuss the plot a bit in your review haha. So many reviews only seem to point out the different romantic pairings. It'll probably be a while until I start the series, cause if I like it, I'd rather just read them quickly after each other instead of waiting a year in between books :D

    Have a great weekend <3

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    1. LOL, thanks Celine^^ Yeah, I enjoy a good ship but I don't pick out books just for ships either. Plot, character development and world-building are too important for that XD Marathoning this series would be EPIC but also probably hazardous to your feels hahaha! I hope you will pick it up someday and that you'll adore it too ♥ Enjoy your weekend too!

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  4. Yes. I agree with everything you said. I adored this book so much. Also this line "People have been harsh on my beloved heroine in the past because of her cocky swagger and ruthlessness but how many male heroes have we rallied behind that were exactly like her, if not worse?!" JUST YES! Such a great point. Awesome review!

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    1. I'm so glad that you loved it too Teresa^^ :D Yeah, it's always bugged me that people can rally behind a confident and vicious man but if a woman does it, for some reason it's unacceptable. Those are some of the reasons that I fell in love with Aelin so hard, right from the start ♥ Thanks you!! xx

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  5. Haha, I just finished this one and I feel like I'm the only one who wasn't blown away with it! My favorite book was Heir of Fire, and I guess it will remain so. I do admit the end was pretty awesome, though it was a long time to get there! Can we ask, what's left for the next book? How can she top the epicness of the ending to Queen of Shadows? :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Oh you're totally not Mogsy, so far a lot of hardcore fans of the series seem to have taken issue with this installment! I WAS WONDERING THE SAME THING THOUGH: WHAT is left for the next books?! I think it's cause we all thought the series was leading up to a certain showdown, and now that that's...changed...we all have no clue what's in store for us now XD

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  6. GAHHHH- reading your epic review gave me the chills! With every installment of ToG, I've felt like SJM has topped the previous one, even though that seems impossible because every book has been so damn amazing. Although I've been trying to avoid reading too much about QoS on social media, I'm aware that there's been some kind of fuss over it, but knowing how much you adore this series, I think I'll be OK with wherever QoS goes, lol. At any rate, you'll be hearing my thoughts on it soon- hoping to start tonight if I can finally get my Shiver review written. :D

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    1. Eeeep, that's SO awesome, thank you Lee^^ ♥ I'm hoping with all my heart that you'll feel the same about QoS as I have! I'm not saying I'm not worried haha, I'm just crossing my fingers that the experience will be as amazing for you as it was for me :) I CAN NOT WAIT TO HEAR ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS ON IT :D

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  7. I really need to start this series soon. Everyone is just raving about QoS. I need this kind of feeling!

    ~ Dre @ Sporadic Reads

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    1. Oh you really do Dre, it's one of my all-time favorite series! You definitely need this kind of feeling in your life :D Thanks for stopping by! xx

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  8. Your whole first paragraph-YESSSSSSS. The development! The action! The romance! The twists! The emotional turmoil! GAH. I feel like that is why so many people disliked this one, when they saw the change and sinking ships and instead of rolling with it they were like ICK CHANGE WHAT NO THIS SUCKS. Which is why I made such a point of this is a JOURNEY. What fun would it be if the characters never evolved and just remained stagnant? /rant. Anyways! Great review :)

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    1. Great minds Alise! GREAT.MINDS. I really believe that that's the reason a lot of people are upset about this one, the change threw them off and well the sinking ships were upsetting to me too, but I mourned, I got over it and now I have NEW SHIPS ♥♥ This IS a journey^^ and like you, I LOVE how EVERYONE evolved. Thank you! xxxx

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  9. YAY! I LOVE your review. It's so true. It's just MORE. Really we both mention that we can't do a review for it justice, but that word does pretty much sum it all up. I'll admit that I was never on another ship, so where things went in this one with romance was perfect to me. I'm so happy with how it turned out. She better not kill him off!! I LOVE Lysandra and laughed my ass off at her throughout the read. Showing up like she did in the middle of the battle! I about cried I was laughing so hard. I thought they were done for until that happened. I really like how Manon's story came out...I admit she bored the fire out of me in the other ones so seeing that evolution was great. And what's coming...those new terrors you mentioned. AH! I can't wait! I'll be getting that one the second it comes out. Fantastic review :D

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    1. WooHoo! Thank you so much Jaclyn^^ As much as I did have another ship before, I've shed my tears, made my peace with it and now I'm 100% behind this new one! SHE BETTER NOT KILL HIM OFF is right! Oh I adored Lysandra and I'm so glad that Maas decided to take such a fresh and fun direction with her character :D Manon made a fan out of me in HoF but she multiplied my love a hundredfold in this installment! Gah, the next two books are totally going to kill us XD

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  10. Wow, hard to believe that you say THIS is the game changer for the series. I mean, I honestly felt that way for CoM when I read it, and then for HoF when I read that - those two totally flipped the series on its head for me, so for that to happen AGAIN and for the story to be taken up even more notches?! Incredible. Only Sarah could manage it. Sarah is just QUEEN. I hope to get to read this soon <3

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    1. LOL! You're right though: CoM and HoF were BOTH game-changers in their own respect...but this one takes the cake XD It's kind of amazing when you think about it though, how SJM can keep on blowing us away with her surprises! I can NOT wait for you to read this one Aylee^^ xx

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