[ Edit (12/2020): This review was first published years ago. My thoughts on this series have changed since then. I still enjoy the series, but the problems in it can’t be ignored and must be discussed. I can’t reread it right now and completely rewrite this review (although I did adjust my star ratings to better reflect my thoughts on it now), but I think it’s important to point out the lack of diversity and harmful representation in this series as a whole. One day I will reread this and change this review to reflect all of these issues. Until then, I wanted to add this disclaimer. ]
Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 2/5
Review In A Nutshell: Queen of Shadows brings the Throne of Glass series to the next level, keeping you on the edge of your seat for the entire book.
“Then she smiled with every last shred of courage, of desperation, of hope for the glimmer of that glorious future. ‘Let’s go rattle the stars.'”
// Queen of Shadows Content Warning: Violence, death, sexual assault mentioned //
“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”
– Premise –
The fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows takes place after the events of Heir of Fire. That’s all I can really say without spoiling anything, so let’s just talk about everything else!
“But perhaps the monsters needed to look out for each other every now and then.”
– Setting –
We delve even further into the world of Throne of Glass in this installment. Sarah J. Maas combines the different aspects of the world she introduced in Heir of Fire and shows how it works together. With each new book in this series this world becomes more and more tangible.
“You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”
– Writing –
Sarah J. Maas’ writing probably begins its decline with this book. It’s good, better than most, however, some phrases start to become repetitive, and some words are used just a little too frequently. However, this doesn’t make the writing bad. It’s still great, but in this book (and later ones), it does feel a little overdone.
“She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows, and these men were already carrion.”
The plot of this book is what really makes it stand out for me. There is so much built up throughout the past few books, and this is the culmination of all of it. This book includes so many amazing scenes and character interactions, so many epic battles and fights, and so many adorable and swoon-worthy moments that you will never want to put it down. The way the plot has been weaved to lead to some of the scenes in this book is nothing short of amazing.
– Characters –
I adore these characters so much. Aelin has developed into a fearsome protagonist that I would be terrified to ever meet in real life but love to read about. Dorian continues to break my heart every time he’s on the page. I honestly had trouble just getting through his first chapter because of how much I wanted to cry. Chaol probably has the worst development, going from someone I thought was okay to someone who really just annoyed me, but it made sense for his character and felt believable. The rest of the group are all so amazing. Lysandra captured my heart the moment she arrived. There were also some revelations about some characters that I was not expecting and made me immediately want to reread the series.
“Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.”
– Conclusion –
Pros- Fantastic plot, characters I would die for, and an epic setting
Cons- The writing starts to feel a little repetitive
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Queen of Shadows is an epic adventure full of political intrigue that will leave you dying for the next book.