It’s TIME, peoples. TIME TO TALK OF MY MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE YEAR! Awk, I’ve been nervous about Queen of Shadows for ages. Every time I mention it I’m basically yelping with feels and nerves and awful anticipation. I adored the first 2 books of the series. But Heir of Fire had me gnashing my teeth in annoyance. And Queen of Shadows? I accidentally didn’t like it.
Now this review will have *** NO SPOILERS *** Though there will be small spoilers about the first 3 books, duh. And you can check out my reviews for The Assassin’s Blade (#0.5), Throne of Glass (#1), Crown of Midnight (#2) and Heir of Fire (#3).
AGH. HOW DO I REVIEW THIS?!?! HOW. JUST. HOW. But the real reason I’m gnashing and flopping like an electric eel is because I’m not happy with this book. After being such a wild fan (WILD! FAN!) of the first two books and novellas, Queen of Shadows has just made me lose my affection for this series.
But let me explain!
The REASONS I fell in love with the series are all gone. I loved the concise language, the excitement, the danger, the blood and guts and glory. I LOVED CELENEA AND CHAOL AND DORIAN. Ever since Heir of Fire, Chaol/Dorian have been rather lopped out. Instead we get new point-of-view characters (like Rowan and Manon ugh and Aedion couldn’t even remember who he was and Elide don’t care) that I am exactly 0% interested in. I want Chaol and Dorian. I WANT THEM. They (and Celaena) are the reason I fell for this series.
Also…I WANT CELEANA. THE OLD CELAENA. Sure she’s been through a lot of character development, which is great, but she’s NOT acting like the character I came to love.
…but I’m being awful. So let me tell you some positives too!
THINGS I LIKED ABOUT QUEEN OF
- There’s lots of fighting and blood and stabbing things, which is awesome.
- There’s a lot about Abroynn in this book! Who I hate and loathe and despise, obviously. But he’s still King of the Assassin’s and interesting.
- We also get to know Lysandra really well! YAY. She’s a courtesan (basically a sex slave) and she has such personality and backstory. Celaena and Lysandra used to hate each other’s guts, but I love how their relationship develops. And Lysandra is just so sassy.
- We also get introduced to Nesryn. Who is a solider and is awesome and kicks serious butt. She’s Chaol’s second-in-command.
- Celaena is snarky and deadly and collects new pretty dresses and has so many scars.
- The ending is intense and emotional and I nearly bawled. (Although it was mostly an angry bawl…but still! Emotion! Yay!)
- ALSO FLEETFOOT IS STILL ALIVE. YAAAAAY.
BUT HERE ARE THINGS THAT REALLY CATASTROPHICALLY BOTHERED ME:
- Now I know Rowan and Aedion want the best for their queen and love her and are loyal to her — but I HATED how often they tried to stop her doing things. Tried to protect her. Tried to coddle her. Like, stahp, dudes. She’s survived 4 books without you. Get lives.
- Too much Manon. Even one chapter is too much Manon. I don’t like Manon.
- It’s WAY TOO LONG. I mean, hello, it’s 600+ pages and they only had 2 big plot points to complete, so there was a LOT of fluffing around. I like concise fantasy which is why I read YA fantasy…so #awkward
- It’s more plot orientated then character driven. It’s just such a change from how the series started. Boo.
- I really hate Celeana’s attitude towards Chaol and Dorian. It’s like they have no history. It’s like she just walks over people she has no use for now. Excuse me I want to cry.
All in all? Look, I love YA fantasy because it’s concise and character driven…and I feel like the Throne of Glass series is merging into adult fantasy (long needless details and plot focus instead of characters). I will always adore the first books an astronomical amount. I’m not happy with Queen of Shadows, but if you loved Heir of Fire, you’ll be 100% okay with the direction the series going. I don’t love what Celaena has become. I miss the part of her that was loyal to her friends.
TIME FOR SOME SPOILERY STUFF! YAY!
So don’t click on these unless you want the spoilers (duh).
Also Chaol and Nesryn are indicated to have “a thing” . This makes me angry too, because I feel like everyone has been matched “acceptably” now. So lowly Chaol + solider girl. Queen Aelin + Prince Rowan. I am sad.
Also Chaol’s dedication to saving Dorian makes me LOVE LIFE. And oh oh! Oh! CHAOL GETS HIS BACK BROKEN IN THE FINALE! HE ENDS THE BOOK PARALYSED!!!! AND SWEARS NEVER TO LEAVE DORIAN!!! :’) EVEN IF THERE’S HOPE OF HEALING. Chaol never once gave up on Dorian and their friendship is so incredible.
I still ain’t happy. I’d be fine with the ship change and the focus on magic and fey — IF the book gave equal focus to Dorian and Chaol who I actually care about because I’ve read 2 books about them and love them. I have history with Chaol and Dorian! I don’t care about Rowan and Aedion! But it’s like Chaol and Dorian get about 50-pages out of 600. Equal rights, dangit.
THANK YOU TO BLOOMSBURY FOR THE REVIEW-COPY! Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J Maas is published September 1st, 2015.
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.