Bloodthirsty for revenge on the two men responsible for destroying her life, and desperate to find out if the prince and his captain are safe, Celaena returns to Rifthold, the seat of so much evil. She has accepted her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, there are dark truths to learn and debts to be paid. Aelin must stay hidden beneath her assassin’s hood and draw on her mortal strength as Celaena to prevent the King of Adarlan from tearing her world apart. Only then can she fight for her people.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you should have a sliver of idea that I’ve become a huge fanboy for Sarah J. Maas’s books. Ever since I read A Court of Thorns and Roses earlier this year, I fell in love with Sarah J. Maas’s incredible writing and ability to write such enchanting tales. If you’re not too comfortable from living under a rock, maybe you should step out and head to your nearest bookstore to check Sarah J. Maas’s books out. But before you scroll down, please know that my review my include spoilers and if you haven’t read the previous books, tread carefully. I really hope I don’t spoil it for you! No one deserves such fate.
All right, let’s get on with my review (fanboy gushing) of Sarah J. Maas’s Queen of Shadows, the latest addition in the Throne of Glass series. Aelin, formerly known as Celaena Sardothien, is no longer the same girl she was in Throne of Glass. In the end of Heir of Fire, she has accepted and embraced her role as Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. In Queen of Shadows, Aelin returns with a plan – to overthrow the vicious King of Adarlan and free magic from his grasp. Demons from her past are back to haunt her as she arrives in Rifthold and in order to claim what is rightfully hers – the kingdom of Terrasen – Aelin must settle the scores with those who made her life a living hell when they sent her to the Salt Mines of Endovier, starting with her beloved master, Arobynn.
I have literally no words to describe my love for Sarah J. Maas’s books and Queen of Shadows was such an absolute thrill to read, I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved every bit of it and I felt that Sarah J. Maas has once again stepped up her game and raised the bar. The stakes are higher, with more intricate little twists embedded into the plot, the book was a roller coaster of a ride from the start to finish. So much has happened since the events of Throne of Glass and the characters have really grown and developed by a tenfold. Aelin/Celaena is no longer the teenage, brute and snarky (OK, maybe she still is) Adarlan’s Assassin. She’s now the heir of the Terrasen kingdom and queen to the throne. And until recently, she’s been referred as the “fire-breathing bitch queen”. The plot doesn’t only centre around Aelin as she executes her plans on taking down the King of Adarlan in Rifthold. It expands to the perilous mountains of Morath, where wicked and otherworldly things are happening.
Once again, my love for Manon Blackbeak, heir of the Blackbeak Clan, leader of the Thirteen and the Wing Leader of the witches under the command of the King of Adarlan, continues to burn like the brightest star in the sky. Sarah J. Maas has created a character that is so flawed and vicious, that I couldn’t help but like her! She’s ruthless and brutal but throughout the progress of the book, she begins to realise that she’s not just any slave to the King and she shall not bow down to him. And come on, Abraxos is such an adorable little worm. Another highlight of the book for me was the epic fight between Aelin and Manon. Gods above, I was so enraptured by the scene, I couldn’t stop reading it. With every word, the scene became more vivid in my head. And Sarah J. Maas’s pace set by her writing was totally on-point, flowing well with what was happening in the book. Yassss!
Although Queen of Shadows is 645 pages long, I couldn’t get enough of it. I could feel the love and passion dedicated into this epic episode of the series by Sarah J. Maas. It was well-plotted and every end of a chapter only tantalised me to read on, to follow Aelin or Manon or Rowan or Chaol or Dorian’s side of the story until the plot slowly unfolded and revealed the bigger picture. Slowly and enticingly, leading us to the grand, epic finale of the book. I read The Assassin’s Blade, the novellas that told the tales of Celaena Sardothien prior to the events of Throne of Glass, right before her sentence to Endovier and I came across Lysandra, a spoilt, snobbish courtesan who absolutely loathed Celaena. Surprisingly, she became one of the closest and most trusted allies. And when she pranced into battle in the epic fight scenes, my heart stopped.
Don’t get me started on Aelin and Rowan’s relationship. Oh, my beating heart. Please be still. I couldn’t help but fanboy over how much I wanted Aelin to end up with Rowan, her partner, her other half, her carranam and dear friend. There was so much tension building up and I almost combusted when they finally, read: finally, kissed. About rutting time, if you ask me, Sarah J. Maas. It took you two books to write the kissing scene. Shit. Spoiler alert, guys.
Christ on a bike. This is probably the longest review I’ve written in a while. Wait. It certainly doesn’t sound like a review. Heh. So, what are my thoughts on Queen of Shadows? It is perfection. It’s a magnificent gift to fans of YA fantasy and it didn’t fail to keep me utterly spellbound to the story. With Sarah J. Maas’s powerful storytelling abilities and her knack for plot twists, I adored Queen of Shadows and I can’t rutting wait for the next one! Only two (TWO!) more books left in this amazing series and I’m close to tears just thinking about its end. Until then, I’ll be daydreaming about the magical world of Sarah J. Maas. Oh, why can’t the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses be out already? Next May seems too long of a wait.