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Throne of Glass #4

Queen of Shadows

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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.

648 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2015

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About the author

Sarah J. Maas

99 books308k followers
Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of the Crescent City, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and the Throne of Glass series. Her books have sold more than twelve million copies and are published in thirty-seven languages. A New York native, Sarah lives in Philadelphia with her husband, son, and dog. To find out more, visit sarahjmaas.com or follow @therealsjmaas on Instagram.

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Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
320 reviews2,132 followers
December 29, 2015
“Maybe the world should burn.”

Epicness. That's the only word I can think of to describe Queen of Shadows in order to encompass its complexity and awesomeness, because while I loved Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight blew my mind away and Heir of Fire broke my heart into teensy tiny pieces, neither of those installments felt as grand as this one -- worlds collided, debts were paid and a queen rose to her glory.

“Let’s go rattle the stars.”

I'm going to start by saying that I've read it twice in a matter of days -- once devouring it cover-to-cover, fueled by that insatiable need to find out what the hell happens next (pulling an all-nighter, if I might add), and then simply to savor its cleverness, awed yet again at Sarah's ingenuity. But as I finished it for the second time, I realized something extremely important: QoS is a tribute to strong, tough heroines, main and secondary alike.

“Please,” Lysandra said, waving a manicured hand, “you and I are nothing but wild beasts wearing human skins. Don’t even try to deny it.”

You will be completely astonished with the unraveling of Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, because in reality you haven't exactly met her until now. You see, she's the same heroine we've come to love during these past 3 (4) books and yet a different persona. Every trait of Celaena Sardothiens is magnified and combined in such a masterful way to create a unique character. She's still an arrogant, stubborn, brave and sassy young woman, but she undergoes a spectacular character-development into a cunning, determined and fierce queen. Aelin is completely in control and she makes a statement in bold capital letters that she doesn't buy any bullshit and that she's ready to reclaim back everything that was taken from her. And oh, boy, she does it in style.

“I went too long without demanding retribution. I have no interest in forgiveness.”

In addition to that, she has matured a long way and, for the first time, she shed her impulsiveness for being open-minded, calculating and often kind. Aelin managed (through those crushing sessions of healing from HoF) to lose some of her darkness and her real strength -- spiritual and physical alike -- finally shone in this installment, making me so proud of her at this point. And I'd bet a good deal that Sam and Nehemia are freaking proud of her too. *sobs*

“I miss you,” she said. “Every day, I miss you. And I wonder what you would have made of all this. Made of me. I think—I think you would have been a wonderful king. I think they would have liked you more than me, actually.” Her throat tightened. “I never told you—how I felt. But I loved you, and I think a part of me might always love you. Maybe you were my mate, and I never knew it. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering about that. Maybe I’ll see you again in the Afterworld, and then I’ll know for sure. But until then … until then I’ll miss you, and I’ll wish you were here.”

Now onto the next awesome woman and quite possibly my favorite character from this book: Manon Blackbeak. She was completely fabulous in a mind-boggling manner. I never would have expected her wonderful character-development: she is not all about discipline and obedience anymore. She starts wondering. She starts plotting. She starts taking a stand, slowly but surely, like Dorian did in CoM and later in HoF. She's gloriously wicked, but she's no evil and I utterly loved her. I cannot wait for when her defiance will leave the witches kneeling at her feet.

And damn, when those two met?! Shots fired. Fireworks exploded. And badassery was brought to a whole new level. It was by far my favorite scene out of the whole novel, managing to exceed my expectations thousand fold -- they were deadly and powerful and so goddamn magnificent I was literally fangirling. The encounter in its entirety was astounding by starting out surprisingly and unfolding in an incredible way that only increased my adoration for both kick-ass chicks.

“We are the masters of our own fates—we decide how to go forward.”

The attention falls equally on some other ladies. Prepare to fall helplessly in love with Asterin. She's so strong and loyal and her story will move you to tears. We finally get reacquainted with Kaltain and she's not in a place full of flying unicorns and pink rainbows -- she's basically in her own hellhole. There were a few fascinating developments that transformed her into a worthy, lethal player. Nonetheless, her inner strength was awe-inspiring and I ended up regretting that we didn't get to know her better before. She was hands down amazing and she has my unwavering respect and admiration.

“She did it for herself. To free herself. And she was entitled to. After what they did, she was entitled to rip the entire damn world to shreds.”

This book allowed us to meet new kick-ass females: Lysandra, who was nothing short of amazing and surprising; Elide Lochan, who was determined and immensely brave; and Nesryn Faliq, who was simply awesome in every way. I loved and cheered for them all.

And now let's fuss over the boys. Firstly, Chaol. His reunion with Aelin was all sorts of shit, no, this-can't-be-happening, and I was mad at him for his demeanor. With that being said, I can assure you he remained true to his character throughout the whole book, his loyal, selfless traits reminding me why I like him so much and his insecurities being in sync with his overall upbringing, legacy and priorities. With Dorian's safety being his ultimate goal, his desperation is just gut-wrenching.

“Oath-breaker. Liar. Traitor. Chaol was all of those things now, but not to Dorian. Never to his true king.”

Speaking of Dorian, my sweet, precious and innocent cinnamon roll. He killed me in this book. Killed me with his few and far between chapter POVs that had him in pure, unaltered agony and pain. Killed me with his loneliness, with his sense of being lost, with his acceptance that he'll drown in an ocean of misery and cold. And finally he killed me with his force to constantly fight back, with the desire to tear free of the monster inside him and with the protection he bestowed on his loved ones. He's done kneeling before others and he is forever changed, but wonderfully so. I loved loved loved him, even when he broke my heart.

“I am going to destroy everything you love.”

Aedion was undoubtedly a new favorite of mine. The fact that he's Aelin's male version is only a shade of his real personality -- he had me tearing up and smiling at the same time with his boundless love for his queen and his loyalty and sarcasm were a recipe for instant swooning. Oh, and his father? I went bazinga.

“Behind them, across the hall, the dancers shattered their roses on the floor, and Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell.”

We meet again with the King of Assassins, Arobynn Hamel, and he did not disappoint with his cruel, scheming, controlling self. He was a ruthless bastard but the satisfaction I felt when the pupil outwitted the master was priceless. Bon voyage, you shameless asshole.

“Tell me what I must do to atone; tell me to crawl over hot coals, to sleep on a bed of nails, to carve up my flesh. Say the word, and it is done. But let me care for you as I once did, before … before that madness poisoned my heart. Punish me, torture me, wreck me, but let me help you. Do this small thing for me—and let me lay the world at your feet.”

Rowan Whitethorn is yet again a main focus of the book and I enjoyed everything about him. His devotion, his wisdom, his alpha-male intensity and not to mention the rare moments when he let emotions overtake him. Aelin's effect on him really brings out sides we haven't met before and the fact that he was, at times, sweet (yes, I'm talking about the King of Stoicism) continues to blow me away.

But the best part about these characters is not even themselves. Their intricate relationships are the real deal. The BROMANCES ARE FLAWLESS -- Dorian and Chaol redefine friendship, Aedion and Rowan set the backbone of a brotherhood for ages, Aelin and Manon bring a delicious and unpredictable frenemy dynamic to the table and the queen regains female companionship through Lysandra. Aelin and Aedion are even more amazing then I ever would've imagined and their reunion was all kinds of splendid (I was crying, goddamit) and the Thirteen prove again just how much of a family they can be. Besides these, the original trio crawl their way to being once again a marvelous team -- Dorian and Aelin is possibly the best thing ever, maybe only topped by Dorian and Chaol. Banter and kinship and support and dedication are all etched deeply in every single relationship, giving them an almost magical quality.

“For her friends, for her family, she would gladly be a monster. For Rowan, for Dorian, for Nehemia, she would debase and degrade and ruin herself.”

Now -- expect romance. The wowza kind. The slow-burning kind. The tension off the charts kind. One ship is sailing fast, folks, and it is steamy and romantic and snarky and just asdfghjkl. I'm not saying who it is just in case you escaped the spoilers. There are new feelings on the horizon for a certain male and I hope it will come to fruition soon. And and and maybe I'm a fool to hope or even bring it into discussion, but do I sense Dorian and Manon?!? BECAUSE I'M DOWN FOR THAT, MAAS.

All my talk about characters shows how incredibly balanced QoS is, because this book is very much plot orientated. So many twists coming from Arobynn and the Valg world and the rebel cause and bitch queen Maeve and the King and the Duke (turns out he's a key player) and I can't even. The Valg plotline is an endless well of terrifying territory and it seems that we'll venture further into their scary world. It's thrilling, jaw-dropping and fabulously written. The last 200 pages or so were a masterpiece, keeping you glued to the pages and at the edge of your seat, but the entire book is darker and bloodier than any of its prequels.

“Elegant, feminine, and utterly wild. Warm, and steadfast—unbreakable, his queen.”

QoS is not necessarily flawless. I have slight complaints -- like Rowan being a bit too soft sometimes and Dorian and Chaol not getting enough page time -- but they don't irk me because I got so much more awesomeness instead (all of the above + Abraxos and Fleetfoot, of course) and I am fully aware we can't have it all; it was almost a 700 pages book! My favorite still remains Heir of Fire though, with QoS and CoM not far behind, because that book broke me into pieces and did not apologize for it. However, QoS did with that phenomenal ending that had me smiling ear-to-ear and teary-eyed at its sheer perfection. It was like SJM personally apologized for every time I cried and sobbed and went crazy over her devastating story and gave me a solace of utter joy. Happiness is not a good enough word to describe what I was feeling at the dinner scene.

Yet again, Sarah J. Maas pulled out the big guns and took over the fantasy genre with a gorgeous world, otherworldly characters and imaginative plot. She is my favorite author and, even though I'm aware of her storytelling skills, she continues to bewilder me with each book she creates. I got literally everything I asked for (seriously, my initial "demands" can be found here ), even the things I thought were impossible to come true. So thank you, SJM, for this outstanding book.

“She was the heir of fire.
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.”

Queen of Shadows is a breathtaking continuation to my favorite series -- a truly wild rollercoaster, brilliantly woven with plot twists and thrilling from beginning till end, and also an absolutely beautiful journey sprinkled with countless gut-wrenching moments. Enthralling, action-packed and heartwarming (yes, you read that right), this book deserves every praise known to humankind and I bow down to the queens in eternal awe -- Sarah and Aelin, you're both spectacular. Cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next.

“What do I do?”
She had to swallow before she said, “You light up the darkness.”


It pains me to see how a lot of people hate this book due to its main romance. I love Dorian to the moon and back and Doraelin is basically my OTP and for that I could've downright hated CoM, QoS and especially HoF (miss you, Sorscha). Obviously, I didn't, because what a lot of fans fail to acknowledge is that we shouldn't get blinded by the shipping-war. I NEED them to take a step back and appreciate the glorious world Mass created, the ingenious plot and the ever-wonderful characters. Romance was never the main focus of these books, even if it sweetened the installments and gave us butterflies. After all, a choice was bound to happen sooner or later seeing we have such swoon-worthy males around our beloved heroine and need I remind you there are still 2 more books? Anything could change! Maybe everyone will die in the end -- would you prefer that instead of watching your ship sink? (Sarah, please don't get any ideas). Regardless, I've said it times and times again -- as long as Aelin is happy, I'm happy, and if that means Doraelin isn't endgame I'm not going to bawl like a baby about it, because she deserves to have someone at her side and she deserves to choose whomever the hell she wants. Team Aelin forever.
Profile Image for ily .
455 reviews629 followers
October 4, 2015
When my sister told me about an early review that promised really bad things happening to our favorite characters in this installment, I didn't care. I didn't actually think that was true; I trusted SJMAAS. But oh, dear nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to face the moment I picked up this damn book. With this review I'm putting these book down and getting some needed rest. I think we all deserve it after dealing with Aelin and the author's bullshit, am I right?

Now, let's get down to business.

How to ruin a book series by adding absurd romantic subplots and destroying some characters for the sake of a ship: A novel by Sarah J. Maas.

Prepare yourself for QUEEN OF BULLSHIT. This one was definitely my most anticipated book of 2015, and reading it was an absolute torture. I'm outraged and sad and deeply disappointed that one of my favorites series is now such a piece of crap, but I'm certain that I am done with SJM's work. What she did to this series--to its characters--is an insult to the readers. This is not a book--this is poorly written fanfiction of the Throne of Glass series.

(If you listen closely you can hear Sam and Nehimia yelling that they didn't die for this shit.)

I'm gonna miss you, Celaena Sardothien. The assassin we all loved was murdered. She was sassy, smart, badass and arrogant, but in this book the author turned her into a fucking fangirl, Aelin Galathynius. She did not only act out of character--she became dependant on a hot fae dude who's centuries older than her. SJMAAS failed at creating an empowering female character. Aelin Galathynius was a self inserted version of the author, a poor caricature of Celaena Sardothien. If you think that the way Aelin acts in this book is how a queen should be like, Wyrd help y'all. Celaena would never hurt Dorian, yet Aelin was so eager about killing the Crown Prince who was posessed by a demon. She never stopped to think for a damn minute of what her actions would cause to the friends she loved. No--she was so obsessed with Rowan that everything else what pure background. While Chaol and Nesryn worked to free Dorian from his father, Aelin showed the city to her fae companion. She socialized with Lysandra, she wore dresses for Rowan, and she had dinner with her cousin and her new friends. And when they finally managed to rescue Dorian, Aelin had the audacity to tell him she had come back for him. BULLSHIT.

She’d kill whoever was needed, whore herself, wreck herself, if it meant getting Aedion to safety.

Remember when Celaena said to Dorian "I'll come back for you"? Yeah, me neither.

Chaol Westfall deserved better than to be destroyed so I ship could happen. The author kept using the Nehemia card to make him look bad. Aelin blamed him for everything--leaving Dorian, having a part in Nehemia's death, working for the King of Adarlan and never killing him. But when he replied,

“You do not get to blame me for that. For his actions.”

But you do get to blame him for things that were out of his control, Aelin? Where's the damn logic.

Chaol had run. He’d run, and Dorian had been left to been slaved by the collar.

If he had stayed he would have been killed by now, and who would be trying to save Dorian? You? YOU, Aelin?! I thought so.

And just to make it even more clear,

You should have gotten Dorian and Sorscha out the day the king butchered those slaves. Did you learn nothing from Nehemia’s death? Did you somehow think you could win with your honor intact, without sacrificing something? You shouldn’t have left him; how could you let him face the king alone? How could you, how could you, how could you?

Chaol had to endured this throughout the entire book. Damn, the entire series!

He got the worst part. If I recall, Celaena never tried to kill the King, and she worked for him too. So, she's a freaking hypocrite for throwing those accusations to Chaol. SJM made Chaol feel sorry for himself, she made him see himself as a fool for trusting an assassing when HE GOT OVER IT A LONG TIME AGO!!

No, Celaena Sardothien certainly did not exist anymore. That woman—the woman he had loved... Perhaps she’d drowned in the vast, ruthless sea between here and Wendlyn. Perhaps she’d died at the hands of the Valg princes. Or maybe he’d been a fool all this time, a fool to look at the lives she’d taken and blood she’d so irreverently spilled, and not be disgusted.

I see what you're trying to do, SJMAAS. But I'm no fool. I SEE U, VILLAIN.

Chaol Westfall deserves better 2k15 #CHAOLWESTFALLDEFENSESQUAD

I WILL ALWAYS SHIP CHAOLAENA. It's over. They're not endgame according to this damn book. But I still have my copy of Crown of Midnight that proves otherwise. SJMAAS changed her mind. She wrote Crown of Midnight with an idea, and she changed it the moment Rowan showed up. Nesryn Falig was obviously used as a plot device. It seems like SJMAAS didn't want Chaol to end up alone. I can't buy anything written in this book. Chaol Westfall would blush whenever he saw the girls who used to wait for him at his morning runs. He was dedicated to his Prince and King, and yet the author created this poor excuse of him having a relationship with Nesryn Faliq even before Throne of Glass so he wouldn't mind seeing Aelin and Rowan together. THAT WAS PATHETIC.

A faint sort of amusement shone in her dark eyes. The same sort of amusement that had been there last year whenever they would meet, at inns or in rooms above taverns or sometimes even up against the wall of an alley.

Ok that sounds fake but ok.

I think what bothers me most about QoS is that the sort of closure Celaena and Chaol had in Heir of Fire was thrown to the trash can. I was fine with them not being together anymore, but what they both did in this book felt completely out of place. They acted like kids--SJMAAS pitted them against each other. Reading it was like watching a dummy relationships reality show. And they not having feelings for each other?? I get it, they are over. But when Chaol got hurt Aelin didn't even look at him! And Chaol never cared about Rowan, either. (Actually, Chaol seemed startled by Rowan's beauty, just like everyone else who came across him.) Their past was was erased. Like it never happened.

“It meant something to me. What you and I had. More than that, your friendship meant something to me. I never told you the truth about who I was because I couldn’t face that truth. I’m sorry if what I said to you on the docks that day—that I’d pick you—made you think I’d come back, and it would all be fixed. Things changed. I changed.”


There was so little left of the guard she’d come to care for....

You changed, not him.

You remind me of what the world ought to be; what the world can be, she’d once said to Chaol. Her face burned. A girl had said those things; a girl so desperate to survive, to make it through each day, that she hadn’t questioned why he served the true monster of their world.


Yes, she’d loved Sam—more than she’d ever loved anyone. Even Chaol.


This part, though.

Do you understand what it was like for us here? While you were off playing with magic, off gallivanting with your faerie prince, do you understand what happened to me—to Dorian?

WHERE'S THE LIE. #Chaolspeaksthetruth

Rowan/Aelin should have stayed platonic. In Heir of Fire they repeatedly told us that there was absolutely nothing romantic in their relationship, but in this book they acted like lovers in a erotic novel. It was pathetic. Rowan treated Celaena like hell in the previous book: he told her she was useless, that she would be better off dead; but now they're so suddenly in love with each other and it's all over their heads. And I wonder how they went from friends to lovers in such a small amount of time. Aelin would wear a dress with nothing underneath, and Rowan would take it as a huge turn on. She would freak out thinking too much about her incredibly handsome male partner that I wanted to punch my head against a wall. Several times. Their relationship is not healthy at all, SHE LITERALLY OWNS HIM. And every five seconds Aelin would come up with things like this:

A chill fog had blanketed the world the night before, seeping in through every nook and cranny. Nestled under layers of quilts and down blankets, Aelin rolled over in bed and stretched a hand across the mattress, reaching lazily for the warm male body beside hers.

I just hope it's a dead body. #sorrynotsorry

After all that she had endured, after what she had overcome in Wendlyn, to return to this... She wished Rowan were beside her, wished she could smell his pine-and-snow scent and know that no matter what news Arobynn bore, no matter how it shattered her, the Fae warrior would be there to help put the pieces back together.

That sounds like the typical "fix me, I'm broken" plot we find in every NA book.

I know Rowan is hot and has amazing fighting skills and his body's been formed by centuries of war and blah blah blah, but he acted like he was a member of Jersey Shore. Everything was an excuse for him to be shirtless. And the way he and Aedion acted around Aelin WAS THE MOST PATHETIC THING I'VE EVER SEEN. It was like watching a pissing contest. Guys, Celaena made it through three damn books without you. I'm pretty sure Aelin can take care of herself.


Everybody loved Aelin Galathynius. She was beautiful, she was sexy, she was lethal. Rowan and Aedion would fight over her. Arobynn would send her expensive gowns and perfumes. And she was definitely enjoying the attention. Celaena was arrogant, but Aelin reached a whole new level.

She did not need the extra strength, speed, and agility of her Fae form to bring down her enemies.

Whatever helps you sleep at night, honey.

One of the few good things about this book was Dorian and Chaol's friendship (BrOTP af). At this point they're all I care about. I wouldn't mind if they get together and get married and have babies. They're the only two characters I dare save from this mess. Don't fight me on this.

Everything—everything was for Dorian, for his friend. For himself, he had nothing left to lose. He was nothing more than a nameless oath-breaker, a liar, a traitor.

I love how loyal to Dorian Chaol is. I love how he fought Aelin just to save his Prince. His King. I love how he always believed there was a chance to save him. But I wish they had had a moment at the end of the book, because that is what they deserved. Chaol left with Nesryn, and now Dorian is unprotected again. It just feels off.

I would like to talk about Arobynn Hamel, because I thought of him as such a rich and interesting character. I hate that he was lowered to the point of being just another crazy fan of Aelin. In the short novels we got to see a bit about his creepy obsession with Celaena and how far he would go to have her. I believe his character had more things to offer than just that. I was looking forward to reading the epic battle between the Greatest Assassin in Adarlan and the man who trained her, but that didn't happen. Arobynn was a huge threat, and killing him off so soon--without getting his potential to its fullest--was a pretty ugly decision, if you ask me. And what a way to kill the Assassin's King: while he's asleep, by Lysandra.

Really, Sarah?! REALLY?!

The King was another disappointment. The biggest villain, a monster, the man who had erased magic from the Kingdom.... asking for mercy. The whole being-possessed-by-a-demon plot would have worked out pretty well if only had been thought throught. Why? Because we barely got the King's pov. If you want me to believe he had been struggling with a dark force within him, you must let me know him first--dude, we didn't even know his freaking name!--otherwise I don't care about what happens to him at all. Having Lysandra, The King and Arobynn's POV's in the previous books would have made things a lot interesting and added more depth to the plot. But the author just included them in this book, and honestly they felt more like mere excuses and subplots.

And can we talk about these ridiculously long speeches?

Manon Blackbeak, heir of the Blackbeak Witch-Clan, bearer of the blade Wind-Cleaver, rider of the wyvern Abraxos, and Wing Leader of the King of Adarlan’s aerial host, stared at the portly man sitting across the black glass table and kept her temper on a tight leash.

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.

Stop acting like you're both Daenerys Targaryen.

If you go into my profile, you'll see that Sarah J. Maas has been removed from my list of favorite authors. I cannot believe in the poor excuses she made. Arobynn Hamel getting killed so easily even though No one—not even the King of Adarlan—would be stupid enough to go after him (actual quote); The King of Adarlan being posessed by a demon all this time; Lysandra and Aelin suddenly being BFFs and sharing everything; Lysandra being a shape-shifter (how fucking convenient)... And Manon, I couldn't bring myself to care about this precious character. At All. I got some serious Manon/Dorian vibes, so I guess in the next book there'll be another romantic subplot. The King and his son had such an interesting plot, but sadly Aelin and Rowan's adventures were more important for the sake of the plot. SJMAAS lost me when she decided that Aelin would be ok with killing Dorian.

So this is it. The most difficult part is that I now should see Crown of Midnight as an standalone, because that book is a contradiction to everything I just read from Queen of Shadows. A fanfic of her own series is what SJM wrote, and it pains me to see how my favorite characters were sacrificed over stupid subplots. It all ended in the second book, I'm afraid. Well--it was good while it lasted, because I already gave up on these books.


Queen of Shadows, a summary:

Aelin: Celaena Sardothien is dead, I'm in charge now, and I'll burn everyone who dare say otherwise.
Aelin: You left him!! You poor human with no powers couldn't save Dorian nor destroy the King and I hate you!!
Chaol: I feel so sorry for myself.
Rowan: How you doin'? *takes shirt off*
Dorian: ♪I was as pure as a river, but now I think I'm possessed♫
Aelin: *contemplates killing them all while also saying she's changed*
Nesryn: This is too messy, I'm out.
Rowan: *breathes*
Aelin: omg did you see that? HE. JUST. BREATHED.
Manon: *staring at nothing* I...wanna...learn...what...love...is
Arobynn: Aelin Galathynius is perfect.
Lysandra: Aelin Galathynius is perfect.
Rowan: Aelin Galathynius is perfect.
Aedion: Aelin Galathynius is perfect.
Erilea: Aelin Galathynius is perfect.
THE WORLD: Aelin Galathynius is perfect.
Chaol: She is not my queen.
Aelin: OMG how dare you you! I am Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir of fire, beloved of Mala Light-Bringer, and rightful Queen of Terrasen, and I have Rowan now.
Me: I thought Chaolaena was endgame.
SJMAAS: I don't know, suddenly I can't read.

*If you listen closely you can hear me cry* This was one of my favorite series and now it's ruined.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
September 4, 2015
Many people know how I have felt about the books of this series. That I enjoyed the light, fluffy Throne of Glass. That I absolutely loved Crown of Midnight. That Heir of Fire was a slow, plodding disappointment.

Did I like Queen of Shadows more than its predecessor? Yes.
Do I think it's a fantastic book? No.
Do I think you should read it? Well, it depends. It depends on whether you are committed enough to this series and these characters to read 650 pages of just okay.

This book is loooonnnng. I think - objectively - Maas has grown as a writer with every book, developing a complexity and density to her plot that wasn't there in the beginning. But I also think that a lot of the delicious goodness that made me sprint through pages in the first two books has been sucked out.

Like other much-loved fantasy greats, her books have become more layered, with other characters, perspectives and side stories existing alongside Aelin/Celaena's story. Though, I personally don't care for many of these characters and I have to force myself not to skim-read through their chapters to get back to the main story.

And, to be honest, a whole lot of this huge book (about two thirds) feels like set-up for what is going to happen. Which might be fine until you consider that it is 650 pages long (and really didn't need to be), which means there are about 400 pages of planning, angsting, conversation and obsessing over Aelin.

Because that is really starting to get to me. We're about 2000 pages into this series and I honestly don't think I can take any more about how amazing Aelin/Celaena is. Everyone is in love with her. Everyone is in awe of her and her endless ability to do no wrong. Rowan sees her again and has to spend half a page going on about how stunning she is.

And the badass speeches that are getting kind of old:
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.

The first one or two times this happened, I thought "Hell yeah!" but now I'm just like "Yeah, okay, I get it. She's freaking amazing."

My favourite thing about this book is Lysandra. Both what Maas has done with her characterization and the way she has developed the complex female friendship between her and Aelin. That was fantastic. But the romantic relationships have also turned sour, for me. My Chaol ship appears to have sunk and I find beautiful Rowan so boring - I have no interest in his relationship with Celaena or how good he is with his tongue.

I will read on because I'm too invested in this series to not know what happens, but I am resigned to the very likely probability that this series peaked at Crown of Midnight.

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Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
September 17, 2015

Hey! I made a set of 10 QUEEN OF SHADOWS DIY tattoos you can download for free here: http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2015...

There is a giveaway for 2 QOS tote bags + books as well.

Kim and I will also be doing a joint review discussion on the blog soon. I'm refraining from responding to further comments on this review space for the time being while I collect my thoughts, but I thank you guys so much for the discussion and passion for these books, and look forward to continuing later. See you back here in a bit, I'll post the link when it's up!

Initial reaction:

I stayed up all night reading this, and these are the only coherent things I can say at this point:

1. The women in this series are PHENOMENAL. Holy hell, I swear fealty to them until the end of my days.

2. The new characters are fantastic! There is such complexity and poignancy in each of their stories, and I loved every single one of them, as well as what Aelin's interactions with them showed about her character.

3. More descriptions of sleeping under a wyvern's wing, please. <3

4. I have issues with the way a couple of things are handled--most strongly and specifically, how poor Chaol is almost unrecognizable for most of this book. Even though I can accept misunderstandings, mistakes, differences of opinion, cross-purposes, and so on, it makes me so sad that his story arc seemed to be so diminished and dishonored.

5. But the thing I didn't think I could be talked into, I'm actually totally on board with. I get why people might be upset by , but I'm pretty happy with the way the way the big change develops and is described in and of itself.

6. This book also made me cry. Like gasping sobs in the middle of the night that I had to stifle so I wouldn't wake my husband. I teared up at several points, but the graveyard scene was the one where I just lost it. *bawls all over again*

7. Honestly,

Also, the badass action scenes! Aelin! Her suit and weapons! The magic! MANON. And bathtub scenes, heeeey. More at some point when I'm not half-dead with lack of sleep.

I went into this with a certain amount of dread, but much to my surprise, this is the book that has the happiest ending out of all of them. This just means more torture is in store in future books, obviously, but for now...bliss.

** PLEASE. Use spoiler tags in the comments below if you want to talk about anything that could even remotely spoil the reading experience for someone else. Thank you!
Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.8k followers
October 23, 2015

I read Queen of Shadows back in June but could not say anything about it (not even that I had it!). But now I can and let me tell you, Sarah has done it again! I LOVED QoS, so beautiful, bloody and outstanding. OH and...ROWAN...SWOON!!!

5/5 stars of course!
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
September 14, 2015
BRB CRYING FOREVER. This book was a wild ride! While I loved this book, I did feel like the characterization within this book was a bit off. That's the main reason I didn't give this 5 stars. Other than that I was thoroughly happy with what went down in this story, even if certain things didn't go the way I wanted them to. GIVE ME BOOK 5 NOW. K THANKS.
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,199 followers
June 1, 2020
you freaking perfect piece of literature
Profile Image for  Teodora .
303 reviews1,632 followers
March 22, 2023
6/5 ⭐ (even though I know I can't)

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

me: *knows this book is going to ruin every emotion is there to ruin*

also me: *gets the popcorn bowl and opens the book* Oh my, this will be fun!

Well, it wasn’t fun so I should stop lying like that.

Truth be said, this was the best one of the books I’ve read so far. And I mean it. Now, because I liked this one more than the rest of the other three I’ve read, I have to give it six stars, right? Problem: I don’t have six stars so it is going to get the five and deal with it.

This book is a whole journey. And I would love to take you to that journey with me, but I am not even sure that I will be able to hit all the best touristic attractions of it. I’ll try though because it is worth it. Really.

„(…) forgive a girl who had needed a captain to be her champion. But she was her own champion now.”

I just love this powerful mind-set Aelin has in this book. She’s more focused, more determined and more mature than she’s ever been. She empowers herself and others. She knows that. And she knows that she has to be confident in order to make others believe in her. To make them confident.

There is also a wave of strength and empowerment among all the characters. This, in my opinion, shows a positive character change, a growth that is wanted, needed and achievable.

„I will keep getting back up, no matter how many times those butchers shove me down.”


Also, apart from all this beautiful feeling of empowerment, there is a deep feeling of love and loyalty in this book. And don’t tell me this type of feeling is not comforting and reassuring because I don’t believe you. Love is not only a singular thing; it can come in so many beautiful other ways and forms. And you know when you come across them. You sense them. And this book is full of them.

„She looked at them, at the three males who meant everything – more than everything. 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” ” .

Aelin’s relationship with the other characters has developed a lot too. Giving the fact that she’s more mature and has a grown-up thinking now, her interactions with the other characters are changed in a remarkable way – her old friends are still her old friends and she’s ready to give them her friendship in exchange for their loyalty. Her new acquaintances though are caught off guard by the way this young queen feels appropriate to act around them.

All I’d really like everyone to notice in this book (and then I leave y’all alone) is the character growth I was talking about earlier (yeah, I know I’ve repeated myself already but that is a very important track to follow throughout the book in order to notice its essence). And, I don’t know if this is coming from me or it is the whole idea of the book, but I think this character development is based on this level of love SJM has inserted in a fair amount. And the idea behind this is that everything that is made with love is becoming beautiful – it is growing and it is blooming. And even the darkest souls might have a secret desire of love somewhere hidden, even though it is hard to reach.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
May 6, 2020
reading this book feels like an ascension to some higher sphere.

this installment is the key turning point in this series and it has absolutely sent me. the foresight, the cleverness, the complexity, the reach, the drive, the cunningness - all of it amounts to a story that transcends all other stories.

it is, quite simply, a masterpiece.

5 stars
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
530 reviews34.5k followers
July 24, 2019
”When you shatter the chains of this world and forge the next, remember that art is as vital as food to a kingdom. Without it, a kingdom is nothing, and will be forgotten by time.”

If you read any of my updates I’m sure you’ll already know how I feel about this book. To say it was better than its predecessors would probably be the understatement of the century so all I’ll say is that Sarah once again surpassed herself. <3

There were so many new characters that got introduced during the book and I’m not lying when I say that I loved them all. XD I think one of the most amazing things about Sarah’s books is that she has so many awesome and strong heroines! They do what they want to do, they are brave, they dare to dream, they dare to hope and they always make their way! It’s just so amazing to read! =)))

Of course not everything in “Queen of Shadows” is sunshine though and boy did it hit me with the feels sometimes! There were actually moments I was so frustrated that I felt like tearing the book apart (Don’t worry I did no such thing, I love my books too much to harm them. *lol*) and there were some chapters that killed me over and over again. I guess by now you all know which chapters I’m talking about. ;-)

Well anyway, let’s not talk about the epic fights or the hopeful ending. WHAT a hopeful ending? YES!!! Jeez, I think this must be the first time I’m not destroyed after one of Sarah’s books. I’m actually h- … hopeful! I’m not licking my wounds or trying to deal with my emotions so knowing Sarah I have absolutely no doubt that she’s going to destroy me with “Empire of Storms”.

Ladies and Gentleman, this is the quiet before the storm and I’m so not ready for it! XD Which is probably the main reason I’m writing this review. I’m trying to stall for time. *lol* #SorryNotSorry

The characters:

Spoiler warning! My character section is so full of spoilers you won’t even have to read the book anymore. ;-P So if you still want to read this series and want to experience it all by yourself you better stop reading now! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! XD


”How can I take away somebody who means the world to someone else? Even if she’s my enemy.”

Boy, did I have mixed feelings about Aelin in this book! On the one hand I really loved her and could understand her decisions, but on the other hand all I wanted to do was to yell at her! *lol* I mean she sometimes really didn’t make it easy to like her in this book, knowing about her past and everything she’s been through I could see through her façade though. I mean it’s obvious she struggled with her new role as Queen and because of her insecurities and fears she sometimes made mistakes that got her into trouble. A crown is a heavy weight; I don’t blame her for not being perfect. Hell, I’m pretty sure I would have made plenty of mistakes as well. XD

”But now that she was here … everything was an effort not to say she was sorry. Sorry not for what she’d done to his face, but for the fact that her heart was healed – still fractured in spots, but healed – and he … he was not in it. Not as he’d once been.”


”Magic has saved your life a few times now, if I recall correctly.”
“Yes,” he breathed, “you and Dorian both – and I’m grateful, I am. But where are the checks against your kind? Iron? Not much of a deterrent, is it? Once magic is free, who is to stop the monsters from coming out again? Who is to stop you?”

And here is my second problem child! Chaol! Jeez, he said quite some nasty stuff! I mean I know where he’s coming from and I understand that he worries for his people and kingdom; I’m not okay with what he said about magic though. Before you go all like: “Oh don’t you dare to say anything against my baby!” now *raises eyebrow and looks at Gem and J.* I’ll tell you that despite all this I actually still love him. *lol* He did the best he could do and he’s just human. Of course he is afraid of magic and what it might do to his kingdom. I mean in spite of being the former captain of the king’s guard he’s still young. I’m sure he can’t even remember the world with magic and it’s no surprise he’s afraid of it. If he proved anything over those last 4 books then it is that he’s able to learn and to change though. So yes, I have faith in him and I’m sure as long as he follows his heart, he’ll always do the right thing. Plus: WHY DID YOU HAVE TO HURT HIM LIKE THAT, SARAH?! I think Chaol suffered enough over those last few books and now this too?! Not fair. T_T


”He deserved this darkness, and once the invisible boundary shattered and the waiting thing pounced, infiltrating and filling him … he’d have earned it.”

MY PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL!!! *sobs* Gosh, how much did I suffer with him, how much did I weep for his shattered and broken soul. The pain he went through, the torture he had to endure. T_T Every chapter was another stab into my heart and by the end of the book I almost lost hope that he’d be free again. I thought he was going to die, that nothing would be left of him, but then, then he broke his chains and OMG did I cry when he finally escaped!!! Still, he’s so broken and lonely and I’m not sure how he’s going to deal with everything that happened to him. I’m so worried about Dorian and I really hope he’ll be able to find happiness! #TeamDorian forever and for always!!! <333

”There were tears running down Aelin’s face as Dorian gripped the black stone encircling his throat. And bellowing his grief, his rage, his pain, he snapped the collar from his neck.”

”The sun would still rise and fall, the seasons would still change, heedless of whether he was free or enslaved, prince or king, heedless of who was alive and who was gone. The world would keep moving on. It didn’t seem right, somehow.”


”I’m not in the habit of forcing my servants.”
“Only slaughtering men like pigs, correct?”
“Their deaths equate to their behavior in life,” Manon replied with a kind of calm that made Elide wonder whether she should start running.

Ahh Manon! My sexy relentless, fierce and ruthless witch! I love her! She’s one of those characters I can’t help but adore! I know she isn’t really a heroine, but she certainly is no villain either. In fact she’s such a complex character that I just can’t get enough of her! I FREAKIN LOVE THIS WITCH! And I’m so damn glad she finally decided to do what SHE thinks is right! YESH!!! Screw that old hag of a matron and do your thing Manon! Because you’re amazing and you could be so much more than just the monster others see in you! It’s time to disobey orders and to kick asses! Show them your iron fangs, baby! XD #GuessImTeamManonNowToo

Asterin let out another joyless laugh. “You would not have disobeyed even if it had been Blackbeaks down there, would you? Loyalty, obedience, brutality – that is what you are.”

”Do you believe monsters are born, or made?”


”You will make mistakes. You will make decisions, and sometimes you will regret those choices. Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options. I don’t need to tell you that you can do this – you know you can. I wouldn’t have sworn the oath to you if I didn’t think you could.”

I like Rowan but despite him becoming the main love interest for Aelin I still don’t love him as much as I love Dorian or Aedion. Hmm.. I dunno what it is but I think I’m kind of unhappy with his development. I mean in “Heir of Fire” he was this kickass, broody and fierce warrior that took no shit and now he’s almost become a purring kitty in Aelin’s arms. I mean I do get that he loves Aelin and would do everything for her, but I think his love for her made him less interesting somehow? Idk. It’s like he lost some part of himself now that he fell in love with his Queen and I really hope we’ll see the fierce warrior in “Empire of Storms” again. Please?


”Whatever you had to do to survive, whatever you did from spite or rage or selfishness … I don’t give a damn. You’re here – and you’re perfect. You always were, and you always will be.”

AEDION IS MY CUPCAKE! Seriously I think he’s one of the cutest guys ever and he definitely deserves the world! I love how fiercely loyal he is and that he always tries to see the good in people. He never wavered and he always did the right thing, even if it hurt him and was at his own expense. Like for instance accepting that Aelin let Rowan take the oath and didn’t even mention it! Gosh darn it! Aedion deserved better than that! I’ll personally pull Aelin’s long fae ears if she ever hurts him like that again!! Also is Aedion bi? I mean he commented on Rowan being handsome so I think that actually might be a possibility! Just one more reason to love him! <333


“No. And what kills me is that I can’t remember what my real face was. That was the danger of shifting – that you would forget your real form, because it’s the memory of it that guides the shifting. I remember being plain as a dormouse, but … I don’t remember if my eyes were blue or gray or green; I can’t remember the shape of my nose or my chin. And it was a child’s body, too. I don’t know what I would look like now, as a woman.”

I’m in love with Lysandra too! *lol* Yes, I can’t help it! She’s such an awesome woman as well and she’s a hell of a fighter! Gosh did I love her comments! That girl brought so much life into Aelin’s court and I lived for her remarks. She always tried to appear nonchalant and bitchy but deep down within her there’s a heart of gold and by the end of the book even Aelin was able to see it. To think they were enemies and rivals once... I’m so glad they finally became friends. Plus: How cool is it that Lysandra is a shape shifter?!! I mean OMG!!! I didn’t expect that and I was so surprised when I found out. XD

”The soldiers in the sewer were screaming as she tore into them – a death for every day in hell, a death for the childhood taken from her and from Evangeline. She was fury, she was wrath, she was vengeance.”

Elide & Nesryn:

”You told me Dorian would fix the world, make it better. Buf if he’s gone, if we made the mistake today in keeping him alive, then I will find another way to attain that future. And another one after that, if I have to. I will keep getting back up, no matter how many times those butchers shove me down.” - Nesryn

Those two were both strong women in their own way, but I feel like we didn’t get to see all too much of them. I just wish there would have been more scenes with Elide & Nesryn. I mean they both intrigued me and their characters sounded very interesting, in the end I don’t feel like I really got to know them though. *sigh* Well, there are so many characters in Sarah’s books, it’s no wonder some of them fall by the wayside. Let’s hope there will be more of them in Eos! ;-)


”Sam had been tortured in ways she hadn’t even known until she read Wesley’s letter. The worst of it had been requested by Arobynn. Requested, as punishment for Sam’s loving her – punishment for tampering with Arobynn’s belongings.”

That manipulative jerk eventually got what he deserved! But damn I wish it wouldn’t have happened the way it did in the end. To die in his sleep was a death too merciful for him. For all the horrible and atrocious things Arobynn did he should have at least been awake and aware of the fact that he died. I understand why Lysandra could only kill him in his sleep though. *sigh* My poor brave girl!

The friendships & ships:

Aelin & Chaol:

For a heartbeat, she pitied him, and part of her wished she could say it more kindly, more compassionately. “There’s no getting Dorian out. There’s no saving him.”
“Like hell there isn’t.”

THOSE TWO! Gosh, they constantly seemed to be at each other’s throat and they frustrated me immensely! I hated that Aelin thought she couldn’t save Dorian and loved Chaol for never giving up on him, yet at the same time I disliked Chaol for calling Aelin a monster! I swear their anger and the way they treated each other had me all like: No, NO, NO! You’re supposed to help each other!! You’re supposed to save Dorian! Pull yourself together and work it out! GODDAMMIT!!! Thankfully by the end of the book both of them finally realized that they need each other and they eventually made amends. Jeez! It was about time! *sighs deeply* Urgh they were so stressful.

”We do not look back, Chaol. It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on.”
There she was, that queen looking out at him, a hint of the ruler she was becoming. And it knocked the breath out of him, because it made him feel so strangely young – when she now seemed so old.

Rowan & Aelin:

”I could still probably braid this,” she mused. “Very teensy-tiny braids, so – “ He growled, but leaned back against the tub, his eyes closed. “You’re no better than a house cat,” she said, massaging his head. He let out a low noise in his throat that might very well have been a purr.

Haha! I loved it when Rowan lost all common sense at seeing Aelin in a flimsy nightgown! *LOL* Such a mighty fae warrior and then he sees her like that and isn’t even capable to utter a single word. XD Fun times. ;-P Still, I really like their connection and that they are so close to each other, I kind of dislike the notion of Rowan disappearing as an individual though. I just hope that he’ll give her hell in “EoS” again. *lol* Because I lived for their easy banter and the fact that they always gave each other a run for their money! XD It would be boring if Rowan would end up as nothing more than the man at Aelin’s side.

”I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, never settling, never stopping – not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.”

Manon & Dorian:

He cocked his head. “I’ve never been with a witch.”
Let her rip out his throat for that. End it.
A row of iron fangs snapped down over her teeth as her smile grew. “I’ve been with plenty of men. You’re all the same. Taste the same.” She looked him over as if he were her next meal.
“I dare you,” he managed to say.
Her eyes narrowed, the gold like living embers. He’d never seen anyone so beautiful. This witch had been crafted from the darkness between the stars.

I SHIP THEM SO HARD I CAN’T EVEN!!!! ADKFADSFASDJFKSDFJA! I love it that Manon was the only one who got that Dorian is still alive and I love that she was so drawn to him! And boy those two short conversations they had! THEY GAVE ME LIFE!!! I WANT MORE OF THEM!! Just more!! I want my fierce, ruthless witch and my precious cinnamon roll to be together!!! PLEASEEEEE!!!! *dies out of sheer excitement*

”And through the darkness of his memories, through the pain and despair and terror he’d tried to forget, a name echoed in his head.”

Manon & Asterin:

”That wildness, that untamed fierceness … They weren’t born of a free heart, but of one that had known despair so complete that living brightly, living violently, was the only way to outrun it.”

Asterin’s story broke my heart and I want her to be happy again!!! I hated it so much that they both were at odds with each other and that Asterin had to suffer so much even though she only wanted to help Manon. She loves her. It’s more than just obvious! As it seems Manon had to come a long way until she realized what truly matters, but I think now that she did, she’s finally ready to oppose her matron! I really can’t wait to see THAT fight! XD

”Things are changing,” Manon said.
“Good,” Asterin said. “We’re immortals. Things should change, and often, or they’ll get boring.”
Manon lifted her brows, and her Second grinnend. Manon shook her head and grinned back.

Lysandra & Aedion:

A strange, ever-changing female scent hit him, and Aedion found Lysandra leaning against the hallway door. Tears gleamed in her eyes even as she smiled.
She gazed at the closed bedroom door, as if she could still see the prince and queen inside. “That,” she said, more to herself than to him. “That is what I am going to find one day.”
“A gorgeous Fae warrior?” Aedion said, shifting a bit.
Lysandra chuckled, wiping away her tears, and gave him a knowing look before walking away.

Another ship I want to sail! I think Aedion and Lysandra would make such a great couple! *lol* Besides I’m sure Lysandra might actually be the only one who would be able to keep up with Aedion. Haha! I mean they tease each other so nicely and Aedion is even slightly unsettled when she’s turning into a ghost leopard which means he has a lot of respect for her and this is always important in a relationship! =) Let’s see if Aedion will be Lysandra’s gorgeous Fae warrior in ‘”Eos”! ;-P

Aelin & Dorian:

”It is going to take a while. And it might never be right again. Buy you …” She gripped his hand, as if he hadn’t used those hands to hurt and maim, to stab her. “You will learn to face it, and to endure it. What happened, Dorian, was not your fault.”

I still love their strong friendship, despite Aelin being willing to kill him of course. XD But I guess after meeting those Valg Princes at Wendlyn she was allowed to doubt his survival. Still, they both can change the world together and they are both so strong! I have faith in them and I’m sure if they help each other and stick together they can really shatter the chains of their world and make it right! =)

Dorian & Chaol:

”I didn’t realize I looked that bad,” Dorian said, his voice raw.
He knew then – that the demon inside the prince was gone. Chaol wept.
Dorian surged from the chair and dropped to his knees beside the bed. He grabbed Chaol’s hand, squeezing it as he pressed his brow against his. “You were dead,” the prince said, his voice breaking. “I thought you were dead.”

Those two had me in tears at the end. T_T I was so happy they both found each other again!!! Their friendship went through so much in those last four books and now they are finally together! I love them and I admit it, I even kinda ship them. XD I mean hello, Chaol told Dorian that he loves him! XD Can’t blame me for shipping them, can you?! ;-P Besides, it’s obvious they love each other. At least as friends they do. XD

All told I really loved “Queen of Shadows” and I can’t wait to get to book five! I’m sure Sarah will have a lot in store for us and I’m kinda scared to start it. As long as my precious Gem continues this journey with me I shall be fine though! ;-P Thanks for reading this series with me! XD We just have to read two more books!!! Two more books Gem and we’ll be ready to read “Kingdom of Ash”. =)
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
May 27, 2021
I am so impressed with this series.
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.
I honestly cannot remember the last time when a series was so consistently good. It's the fourth book and yet the story and the characters feel as fresh as the first.

Aelin Galathynius has returned and her life as Celaena Sardothien is a part of the past - or so she thought. Aelin must spend a few more weeks as Celaena the Assassin before she can take up the mantle as the Queen of Terrasen - or as others call her:
“Fire-breathing bitch-queen.”
She has quite a few people to save - her cousin is on death row, the prince is trapped within his own mind and every day more people are being executed. With tensions mounting on every side - will she be able to save anyone in time?
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.
I absolutely adored this book - the personal growth from Aelin and the other characters really cinched this novel for me. Aelin's changed so much from the half-dead assassin in book 1 and every book she continues to grow more than I thought possible.

I'm also a huge fan of Manon and the Blackbeak witch-clan. I still don't know fully how much they will play a part in the series but every time I read their side, I'm completely enraptured.

Gah. This series needs to be roughly 10 books later.
Dorian said, "So here we are."
"The end of the road," Admin said with a half smile.
"No," Chaol said, his own smile faint, tentative. "The beginning of the next."

The 2018 ABC Reading Challenge - Q

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Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,192 followers
January 23, 2016
Post-reading: WOW. No words for this book. 95% love for this book, but the first 300 pages had issues I can't deny. But overall I just love love love how the plot developed!

Full review:

Check out my review @ A Perfection Called Books

**Spoilers from previous books. Slight QoS spoilers about romance.

Throne of Glass has been one of my favorite series for a few years now, so I've been impatiently waiting for Queen of Shadows and building the expectations to the highest degree. The fourth installment wowed me yet had some flaws I can't ignore.

As much as I'd like to blindly give myself over to the epicness of this series and say "It was perfect, and everything was amazing" I can't do that as a reviewer. Nor can I do that as a reader/person in general. I refuse to trick myself! Overall though, I have so many positive things to say about this book,and a few negative things to discuss.

The Plot

First let's start with the plot development. I bow down to Sarah J Maas and her brilliant plotting. I am astounded by all the ties and connections reaching so far back to The Assassin's Blade. There are lots of ah-ha and mind-blowing moments. Everything connects in some way, and Maas is a magnificent plotter. The pacing was a bit slow for the first 300 pages, but there's so much plot build-up and development that keeps us engaged. Maas' writing has progressively matured into a beautiful story-telling talent. There's an ominous edge to it that perfectly matches the tone of the series. I feel this series is getting darker and darker; it's often pitched as a less promiscuous YA Game of Thrones. There are some bloody scenes, lots of death, and quite a bit of pain. Action is interspersed throughout the story too.

The Characters

Let's talk about the characters! In Heir of Fire, I had a few issues with the various POV switches, but I thought the transitions were smoother in Queen of Shadows, and I actually like Manon and her story a bit more in this book. Elide is also introduced, and while her POV was my least favorite, her character is pretty tenacious and smart, so I can't wait to see where she goes next. Lysandra is re-introduced, and I love her sassy and snarky character. Nesyrn is a rebel who is part of the city guard. She's pretty stoic and strong-willed, and I like her! Aedion will always be a bright star with his unending devotion and loyalty to Aelin. Dorian's character and POVs were painful and sad to read. I love him and thought his tenacity and decisiveness were admirable.

Squad assembled in this book, and I was so happy about that!! I love Aelin's court/group and seeing them all come together was definitely one of my favorite parts. Light banter and strong female friendships prevail, and I approve! Arobynn comes back into this novel and oh geez I forgot how cynical and ruthless he is. Sam has such a presence in this novel which was equal parts surprising, somber, and up-lifting.

Let's talk about Rowan, Chaol, and Aelin. Such fun. While I loved all the other characters mentioned above, I had so much trouble with these three. Please don't stone me, but I'm going to call BS and say these people were SO out of character for the first 300 pages. I liked Rowan a bit better in this book, but whoa has he changed. No longer is he the tight***, brutal and unemotional warrior. He's now reduced to a horny teenager who pines over Aelin. I failed to see many similarities between this Rowan and the one from HoF. Chaol, oh my sweet Chaol. Honorable Captain of the Guard, now disgraced and rebel-turned. His bitterness has reached his peak just as his character and his POV has been diminished. I still hold on to the hope he'll achieve redemption. Chaol has grown so much throughout this series, yet he still needs time to grow. He's used to his beliefs and blindly and honorably follows his king. Now that everything he knows and loves is being threatened and challenged, he's had to change, and not everyone reacts the same way to change. He's made progress!

Aelin has turned malicious and bitter. I love how bad*** she is and how she fights for what she believes in, but I missed her sarcastic nature. I missed the girl who loved reading and dresses yet also loved to show people her girl power and how awesome she is. She lacked the confidence and humor I associate with her. Just because she and Celaena have different goals, I don't think that should mean her character takes a 180 turn. Most of all Aelin is highly hypocritical, especially towards Chaol. Aelin and Chaol are both mad at each other for both reasonable and unreasonable things. Personally I think they were both being hypocritical as they slung insults and accusations at each other at their first meeting in QoS. I see faults on both sides, but I think they'll work through it eventually.

The Romance

Speaking of Aelin and Chaol, you've probably heard about the romance news. I'll be honest, this ship is sunk and blasted to smithereens. They want and need different things, and it would never work out. It twinges my heart and makes me wonder about the so-called significance of the words exchanged on Crown of Midnight. Some things literally do NOT make sense. Aelin even says something to the effect of "Even though I said I'd always pick you, I didn't mean I'd actually always pick you." I feel like books 1 and 2 were so insignificance and fake now in regards to the romance. I think it's fresh and unique to see how realistic the portrayal of falling into and out of love is, but it still hurts. I feel like we were led on in Crown of Midnight, and you can't deny all the words they said to each other.

Jumping to the romance, I do not understand it nor will I get on board with it. I'm not being a stubborn Chaolaena shipper (okay maybe a little bit), but I fail to see Rowaelin in the long run. Rowan is the type of guy Aelin needs right now. I just don't understand how things progressed from Heir of Fire as a platonic friendship to a lusty and yearning attachment in Queen of Shadows. I feel like I missed an extra novella or something. Rowan had his one true mate AND is three hundred years old. This romance does not compute. That being said, there actually isn't much romance in this book, it's more promises to come in the next book.

As Cait from Paper Fury pointed out, there are so many conveniences in the romance department. Nesryn will take Celaena's place in Chaol's heart, so Aelin and Rowan can be happy together, and everything is all sparkly rainbows and wonderful now. I feel like this is such an easy way out. The Chaolin breakup was brutal, and I'm sad to see how it wrecked their friendship too.The last 150 pages of the book are insanely epic and wonderful. The characters grow into their own a bit more as well.

Overall the amazing plot, squad assemblage, and writing make this book wonderful while the romance and earlier portrayal of the characters sorely disappointed and confused me.

Update 5/22/15

Queen of Shadows is 672 pages long. *sinks in*


Update 3/10/14


Ahhh, she's so badass!! AND SHE'S GOT THE SWORD!! She's ready to take back her crown, all hail Queen Aelin!!!! Bwhaha a red cover means action and blood to come, right? Preferably the King of Adarlan's?

Update 1/27/15 A TITLE: Queen of Shadows

Eeeek! I love it.

AND Sarah J Maas stated that Queen of Shadows is longer than Heir of Fire

Update 1/5/15 Apparently there will be no arcs for book #4. *cries*

Words can not convey my excitement for this book!! It's going to be EPIC.



-Save Dorian
-Save Aedion
-Chaolaena get back together
-Rowan come backkkkk
-Find the wyrdkey
-Kick Arobynn's ***
-Kill King of Adarlan Jerk-Face
-Form alliance with Wendlyn
-Build this rebellion!!!!!

I also need....




Until Book #4 comes out....

Me attempting to wait for book #4:

Profile Image for Maggi.
219 reviews1 follower
January 28, 2016
01/28/16 Everyone is lowering their 2-stars rating to one star, and tbh I completely agree, this is not worth two stars.


times I broke down and cried: 5
times I screamed and cussed at the book: 38
fucks I give about this series right now: 0

Let’s start this review a bit different. Let’s think of an alternative title for it… how about… I don’t know… "HOW TO RUIN A CHARACTER AND HIS DEVELOPMENT THROUGH 3 MOTHERFUCKING BOOKS IN ONE BOOK". Yep, that fits perfectly!

This is not a proper review, it’s more of an incomprehensible rant with a lot of cursing.

Those who saw my updates already know how torn I am about this book. It’s still so difficult for me to form an opinion, because this book was such a mix of an amazing plot-line and ass-kicking and just real bullshit.

About the amazing plot-line, well, Sarah J. Maas comes up with the most mind-blowing plot-twists. The ass-kicking: well-choreographed fights and Aelin’s plans were just brilliant. And I love Sarah’s writing style, it kicks me right in the feels every damn time.

Now, so far it sounds pretty good, right? You may ask, why the 2-stars-rating then?

There’s one thing that ruined everything. The Chaol thing.

First you have to know that I love Chaol with all my heart. #chaoldefensesquad
From book one he was my favourite character and his development through the first three books just blew me away. He is definitely flawed, but who is not.

So the way Sarah handled his character in QOS just broke my heart. She destroyed all his development in 60 pages. That’s right, she threw away all the work she put into him in less than 9% of the book.

This just felt like such a slap in the face. The way she wrote Chaol in the first 70% was so out of character. It wasn’t even Chaol anymore, the Chaol I know and read about would never act the way he did.

You may say that he’s Sarah’s character, she wrote him and probably knows him the best. Do I have any right to say he was out of characters? Maybe not. But I was madly obsessed with him from the start, over-analysed every word he said and action he made. I dare to say that I know him enough to say that QOS Chaol was just bullshit.

Do I sound like a child throwing a tantrum? Maybe. But you know what? I. Don’t. Care.

How could someone put so much effort into developing a character, and then just destroy him and waste all the potential? It makes no fucking sense. It’s stupid. So stupid.

But there is an explanation, well, my explanation. Rowan.

I already knew about Sarah’s obsession with Rowan; every interview I watched she ended up speaking about him and how hot he is. So often she didn’t even mention the other characters.

I’m not complaining, he definitely is an interesting character and I like him.
But when an author rewrites a character (Chaol) just to benefit another one (Rowan), I can’t help but feel betrayed.

It was like the first two books didn’t even happen to Chaol, we started from zero again. And I’m just so angry.

When the conversation at page 60 happened I just broke down and cried. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. This was not Chaol, not the guy who was ready to give up everything he worked for and ever believed in to send the girl he loves away to keep her safe.
This was just a twisted version of him and honestly, I can’t believe Sarah actually came up with this. I FUCKING TRUSTED YOU.

Chaol deserves so much better.

And the worst thing is, there is no way back from this. No way to fix it. While Sarah did kind of tried to in the end, I still can’t forget this whole bullshit she put me, us Chaol fan, through. She just stabbed us and let us bleeding for some hours, then came back and gave us a band-aid for the wound. THAT WON’T FUCKING WORK.

I’m also a Chaol/Aelin shipper. I’ve been since the first couple of chapters of TOG, still am after QOS and will probably always be.

But I knew since HOF that they will not be endgame. And I came to terms with it. I was ready for them to end romantically, but I wasn’t expecting this shit.

Here then comes the second problem, Rowan and Nesryn.

Don’t hit me, but I shipped Aelin/Rowan after HOF. They made sense to me. But the way Sarah handled their relationship in QOS just weirded me out.

Rowan’s POVs were sometimes… dumb. I can’t find the right word for it, but they made me roll my eyes so often. I still like him, but not as much as I did in HOF.
I also didn’t like how fast their relationship progressed. Because in HOF they were just friends, it was one of my favourite platonic relationships, and then in QOS they went from 0 to 100. It was just too fast and kind of weird.

Then Nesryn. Oh, how much I actually love her. She’s such a strong and amazing character. But the way she was introduced ruined it all. It was as if she was just there so Chaol would have someone to talk to. She didn't seem like a character who was planned from the start, but just thrown in when Sarah's started ruining rewriting Chaol.

There's something really wrong about how Sarah just cast him aside for Rowan. It's rude as fuck. It ruined the whole book for me, I couldn't enjoy the first 60% because of it. I mean, how could I, he was is my favourite character.

But there were definitely some parts I still loved about the book.

a) Manon. Oh my god guys, her chapters were pure awesomeness. Sometimes they were way more interesting than Aelin's. Her plot-line in this book is just so captivating and I fell in love with her.

b) Elide. Damn, her chapters kind of broke my heart but I admire her so much. I don't know about you but I love her so much.

c) Dorian. My baby. I'm so scared for you. His chapters were so twisted and dark, but I couldn't help but enjoy them.

d) Lysandra. Such a cutie. I loved her relationship with Aelin. BROTP FOREVER.

Here's the end of my rant. There are probably more things I wanted to talk about but can't think of right now.
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 11 books75.2k followers
January 15, 2019
2.5 stars...

Okay okay okay so... THIS BOOK. I'm so conflicted, I hated half of the things that happened but loved the other half! I was going to let myself give it 5 stars just for the AWESOME ending (overall the whole second part of the book was AMAZING), but the first part was unbearable! I believe it took me one week to finish it, while the second part I read it only in one day because OMGITWASSOAMAZING and I couldn't stop. BUT YES, the first part: BORING and ANNOYING. There are so many pages in this book and I don't feel they were necessary, also, I wanted to punch everyone.

Another thing that I hated was what SJM did to my babies: CHAOL AND DORIAN. Especially to Chaol, he was so OoC most of the time! AND YES, I was a Chaolena shipper, (WAS, because that ship SUNK in this book and I'm so mad and sad and torn), but I wouldn't be as mad if SJM hadn't RUINED the character. She also ruined Chaolena's dynamics, she made them almost hate each other! At the end of the book everything is kinda better between them, but it will never be the same. So goodbye to my beautiful ship. Chaol didn't deserve what SJM did to him. And about Dorian... he wasn't in enough pages of this book. He was barely there (OH BUT AT THE END HE WAS SO AWESOME, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH).

I'm not really fond of the whole Rowan/Aelin thing. I MEAN, I love Rowan, I really do! But what I liked about them was their friendship! It's really hard to find something like that in a YA book and I loved it, BUT THEN in this book they are suddenly all in love with each other, it doesn't make any sense! I can accept them together, I know I can, but SJM could have done a better job in making them fall in love with each other slowly, so WE the readers could notice the change! It was so abrupt! And I was so tired of hearing them saying how stunning and perfect the other was. Bleh. And tbh, they mostly wanted to undress each other in every scene they had together.

- Rowan/Aelin: I think they can convince me, but right now I'm a little icky towards them.
- Chaol/Nesryn: I like Nesryn as a character, but SJM just put her in the book so Chaol could have a new couple, and it felt forced.

- Dorian/Manon: OOPS, am I the only one who ships them!? I mean, they surely can become a thing! The few encounters they had were some of the best parts of the book! And Dorian remembers her and FKDKDKGKGA. I don't wanna say much because SPOILERS, but yes, Dorian and Manon would be a powerful and really interesting couple.
- Dorian/Chaol: YES I SHIP THEM. Can they get married, like, right now?

And yeah... that's basically it. I just want to say that I absolutely LOVED the second part of the book. I couldn't stop reading! Dorian, Manon and Aelin are my heroes! GO, them!
EDIT: Just to add the thing I hate the most about this series! I absolutely HATE that EVERYONE IS SO IN LOVE WITH AELIN. Not just in this book, but in the WHOLE SERIES! Since book one! Sam, Chaol, Dorian, Arobynn, Aedeon, Rowan, even Lysandra... at some point of the series they have marveled at how stunning and beautiful and amazing Celaena/Aelin is, and I can't stand it! I mean, yeah she's awesome, I get it, but it's so unrealistic. Every male she befriends has to fall in love with her :/.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
September 9, 2016
“But she was her own champion now.”

Brutal and magnificent. A force of nature. How else can I describe a book about witches, demons and dark lords, fae queens and warriors, possessed princes, rebels and whores?
Queen of Shadows deserves more than 5 stars. Queen of Shadows rattles the stars.

“She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows, and these men were already carrion.”

The fire-breathing bitch-queen is back. Ready to gather her court, claim her throne and wreck havoc to those who hurt her and the people she loves. The world is changing, trust is tested, enemies turn to friends, friends to lovers, villains to allies and the real evil is darker and more cunning than anyone thought. The real fight starts now.
“They joined hands.
So the world ended.
And the next one began.”

By the Wyrd, Sarah J Maas's storytelling is spectacular! I lost two nights' sleep and I forgot to eat because I was sucked in Erilea, sucked in battles and plots and plans that went wrong and sacrifices and general badassery. An emotional roller coaster, a wild ride, an incredibly vivid and captivating book. That's what we call high fantasy people.

The characters
I can't help but admire Sarah's characters. It's true, Celaena is not someone I can relate to nor agree with, and I found myself scolding her for her decisions and cringing at her cruelty, but at the same time I felt a wave of pride for what she's achieved and the way she has grown up. And the rest of the women oh.my.god!! I freaking love Manon, my brilliant bloodthirsty witch, and Lysandra and Nesryn, they're the embodiment of strength and courage! And they kick ass!

As for the men in this book? Dorian is and always will be my favorite, my number one, my precious prince, my baby, my sun and stars, my chocolate cupcake, but Aedion and Rowan and Chaol are also perfect. And edible. I'm a big fat slut.

Every time Dorian was in pain, my heart broke. Every time Sam was mentioned, my heart broke. Every time a story full of pain was revealed, my heart broke.

But then Aedion would say something funny and I would be like

The romance
Let me make something clear. The new ship? Ahoy mates, I'm on board!BUT, I didn't like the way Sarah handled the Chaol/Celaena relationship. I actually felt bad for Chaol and thought that he was right most of the times he and Celaena argued. They all have changed, him and Celaena (and Dorian for that matter), they're not the people we met in the first book, and that's expected. I just wish some changes were smoother.

However, this book was epic. Period. The different storylines were knit together perfectly, and the last 100 pages gave me goosebumps. Like I said, epic.
You haven't read it yet? Shame on you!(just kidding, but please go read it!)
Profile Image for Warda.
1,152 reviews18.3k followers
June 29, 2022
I see Goodreads had the nerve to get rid of my original review.

I don’t even know what to say really. I’ve read and reread this series to death and will continue to do so till I’m greying.

It’s a series that’s brought me a lot of comfort, it’s been a safe space for me for a while.

I can’t say much without spoiling everything. This 4th instalment was epic The world and the characters get bigger and bigger and better. More expansive, richer. That ending bordered on poetic. It was so hopeful but also highlighting that it’s very much the start of a new road for our characters and there’ll be many more challenges that they’ll have to face.

I’m just excited to re-experience the rest of the books. Especially Kingdom of Ash.
Profile Image for Tharindu Dissanayake.
281 reviews504 followers
July 11, 2021
"Welcome to the Blackbeaks."

This series keeps surprising me. I loved how improved the third books was, but this fourth books was well beyond my wildest expectations. Plot, world building, character development, adventure, humor, politics, and anything else you could think of, each reaches a near perfect level in Queen of Shadows. As always, the first half build-up leads to a thrilling second half, that felt more like the final book of a series, than one of the middle installments. I'm having a hard time imagining remaining ones surpassing this book: Maas does everything correctly here. If you're one of many who gave up on this series because of the first two books, you are missing out on an amazing journey.

"Celaena Sardothien doesn't exist anymore."

While we still have most of the original gang, the author keeps on introducing new, interesting characters with each book. And the best thing is, all these new characters are turning out to be even better than the main ones. Manon and Rowan quickly replaced everyone else as my favorites by the end of this book, and I'm really hoping Maas would not kill them off in near future. When she must have chaos -which would be inevitable in next three books- I'm willing to loose one of the older main characters instead of those two. But I might be getting ahead of myself.

Plot-wise, there's a lot happening here. Pretty much all the loose threads are tied up by the end of this book. If it wasn't for a couple of major bad guys remaining, it's easier to imagine this book turning out to be the end of the series. The last quarter was so eventful, and unpredictable, leading up to probably the best ending I've encountered in this series so far. I'm also finding those adventure elements to be quite enjoyable, adding a nice bit of variety to the usual flow with politics, scheming and romance.

"Backs straight, shoulders back, necks uplifted. You are light you are air, you are grace."

It's not easy to give a 'right' ending to a book like this. If everything goes perfectly, you end up making the ending unrealistic, or make things go very badly by killing some of the good guys, you end up depressing and disappointing a lot of readers. Even though the ending here was a little towards the former, I liked how things turned out at the end. It's really nice of Maas to maintain a perfect balance between victory and defeat without major causalities to the good guys. Though, it's possible that this might be the only happy ending we'll have for a while. 4.5 stars. I'm loving this series!

"And at long last, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius was home."
Profile Image for gio.
1,019 reviews386 followers
April 30, 2016
Edit: I've been wondering about these two stars. So...changing it to 1. Maas just sticks to her pattern of making characters OOC and Manon isn't enough to redeem this...thing. I can't even call it a book anymore.

*if you comment please be civil. I've already had enough bad discussions about this and my patience has a limit. I've already seen enough of "why are they complaining, QoS is perfect." Everyone can have their own opinion, please respect it. If you liked the book and you want to discuss it feel free to comment, but please respect my opinion.

The bad:

- It seemed like book 1-3 never happened. The character development is all over the place, there's no coherence in what they do and how they act and it's like everything that happened before QoS is gone.

- I can't stand Celaena/Aelin/She-who-must-not-be-named anymore. She seriously has some issues about taking responsibility for her actions. I mean, nothing is her fault, not ever. Girl, get your act together, please. She actually says that Dorian's situation is Chaol's fault, that Nehemia's death was all his fault (again??? It was her decision to make, she sacrificed herlsef for you!) and that even Endovier was his fault (how's that possible I don't know.) What the heck.
Also, I kind of hate how everybody is in love with her, because not only this is all Mary-Sue-like, but it also ruined most of the characters. Let's stop and think, just a moment: she went through four different guys, in like, four books (five if you count the short stories). Yes, she knows how to kick some ass, but in this book she was bitchy, arrogant and insufferable. You don't take for granted that people should risk their lives for you. Not to mention that she spends half the book saying that she doesn't need anyone or anything because she is this powerful person now and then melts two seconds after seeing Rowan. Coherent much.

- Can I say that the thing about Aelin and Celaena being two separate persons feels like a joke? At the end of HoF I had the impression that she had accepted that she was both Aelin and Celaena. mean...just because you change your name doesn't mean that you're a completely different person. If it means that...well, let me tell you, it is called "personality disorder" and there are people you can talk to about that. She wouldn't be who she is if she hadn't trained and became an assassin, so don't give me all this bullsh*t about being a completely different person, because you don't change completely by changing your freaking name. It's also quite funny that Rowan thought that Celaena was a vicious, cold creature. I mean, Celaena was shallow, vain, funny, it's Aelin that is quite a bitch...

- In CoM I was a huge Chaolaena shipper. Now, to be honest, I don't think Celaena is even worth the ground Chaol walks on. *mama bear comes out, you better hide*
I mean, if she had just moved on, without all this bullsh*t, I wouldn't have been this angry. Guys, I loved them together, I still remember CoM and bawl like a baby, but sometimes stuff happens and people aren't okay for each anymore right? Now, if that had happened I would have been okay with it. But I feel like Maas just made Chaol act out of character, threw Rowan in the mix and suddenly Celaena (or whatever you want to call her) decided to treat Chaol like sh*t. I'm not even that mad at the change of ship but at HOW this change happened.

- I know lots of people hate Chaol. I love him. He's the most realistic, complex character there is in the series, and yes, he has flaws, and I love him for that. I remember after reading HoF seeing so many people say that Chaol was behaving like a terrible person and that he couldn't accept Celaena because he didn't love her and things like that. I, personally, understood his behaviour. He's human. She had lied to him about everything and left and he had all the rights in the world to doubt her. He's been taught to see magic as a terrible thing for all his life, it's normal that he can't accept that in a blink of an eye. In QoS his behaviour doesn't make sense and he acts out of character most of the time. He spends all the time drowning in self-pity.


Why, Sarah, why ruin a character like him? Oh yeah, you had to, so it would be easy for other characters to shine. So, yes, I don't like how his storyline progressed, he didn't even had a role for most of the book. That was terrible and a horrible narrative device. In my opinion throwing away and completely destroying a character just because you fell in love with another is not only a poor job for an author but also unfair to your readers.
Also, let's say this: he made mistakes, true, but the things he said? Most of them were true. No one questions Aelin, but how can he trust her when all she said was that she had to kill Dorian? How can you trust someone that cares about no one but herself and her fae puppies?

- Let's talk about Rowan. I liked him and Aelin as friends. I'm not into this ship because I don't feel anything for him and Aelin as a couple, but this wasn't a problem for me. However if there's one thing I'm bitter about it is how this happened. The thing is, I don't think that it was coherent. Half of HoF was about Aelin repeating that they were friends and before people started shipping them I actually thought that their friendship was platonic. Yes, I just didn't see the chemistry and I still don't, but I think that if this had happened in book five, if their friendship had slowly turned into something more and not in like 2.5 pages I wouldn't have been this angry. All of this didn't seem coherent to me, which is the biggest problem I've had with lots of elements of this book. Not to mention that Rowan is like 300 years old and suddenly becomes like a teenager ruled by his hormones. I mean, he has never seen a nightgown. Unrealistic. Congrats, three characters already ruined!
What kind of writer are you? You threw away two (three) great characters just so you could make this happen? Can we just, can we just look at the situation for a moment: hell no. You fell in love with Rowan? Fine. Just don't destroy another character because of this.

Also ---> it was a damn good thing Rowan had no interest in her, either, because she knew she was stupid and reckless enough to consider whether moving on in the physical sense might solve the problem of Chaol.

- Can we just laugh at the fact that even Aedion started fangirling about Rowan? I mean, even Chaol thinks he's handsome. My eyes, my poor eyes.

- Why every single female character has to be paired up with someone? Why can't we have an indipendent badass lady who doesn't need a love story? Please. It's so freaking ridiculous. I mean, even Manon? Not to mention Nesryn, who is just a mean to give Chaol his own new love story. I want to see an indipendent badass lady that needs no man.

- I felt like lots of characters lacked depth. I mean, Lysandra is funny and all but I found her character to be forced, like...too much. She seemed...fake. Same goes for Nesryn, who's there just to be Chaol's new love interest, but had much more potential.

- The writing was so redundant. Aelin was always "fire breathing something", "death, bringer of sorrows and blah blah", "destroyer of all that breathes and whatever". Stop it. PLEASE STOP.
I call her "Aelin devourer of the many love interests".

- Aedion was totally useless in this book. He isn't the same Aedion I saw in HoF, he's just Aelin's puppy.

- The king's plotline...I'm laughing. Everyone's good, let's have some tea. Why can't anyone be truly evil? Ugh.

The good (a much shorter list):

- I liked the bromance. Chaol and Dorian's friendship, that's pretty much what kept me from throwing the book away. Chaol was the only one who cared about saving Dorian, and refused to believe that he was truly lost.
I wanted that kind of friendship for Celaena too, but everything turns into romance when she's involved. *deep breaths*
Anyway, as I said, I love Chaol and Dorian's friendship. It's complex, it had to go through some though things in HoF, but it truly is a beautiful bond. It should have been there in QoS too, but Maas didn't even bother with giving them a role in this book.

- I love Manon, she's amazing. She's one of my favourite characters ever, one of the few reasons I might finish this series and probably the only reason why QoS doesn't get just one star. Thank the stars for Manon and her badassery. Great character development, badassery and bloodshed. I loved Asterin and her story was truly heartbreaking. I liked Elide too, she has a quite heartbreaking past, but she's such a strong and interesting character that I couldn't help but like her. She can't fight, but that doesn't mean that she isn't strong. Kaltain was a good surprise too, the last pages are the only one I truly enjoyed.

- Manon? Manon. MANON. And the precious Abraxos.

Overall this gets 2 stars, just because of Manon and the female secondary characters. Manon saves the day, but it isn't enough. There are a lot of things I despise here, and I'm talking about things like being coherent and being able to write a realistic character development. In my opinion Maas made quite horrible choices as a writer. I don't care if you love Rowan, if you want him to end with Aelin, if you write it in a good, realistic way, I'll be fine with it, but you just don't destroy all the characters because you feel like it. I'm so pissed off. This just takes back everything that happened in book 1-3. Everything.

Really such a poor excuse of a book you are, Queen of Shadows. I hope that I will be able to at least enjoy book five, but at this point I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't.
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,454 followers
October 10, 2018
I'm removing my review and writing a new one, because since I've started this reread, BOY have my feelings changed!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,590 reviews6,644 followers
November 6, 2022
I loved this book. The books in this series just seem to get bigger and better. This book is 600 + pages but every page is good and well done. My only complaint is that I would have like more details about the fights more blow for blow account not that "they were already carrion, when she drew her blades". True this would probably take the page count well into the 1000s but I would not mind if it was a well written as the rest of the book. I have always been a fan of Sarah J Maas' "chunking" writing style, where she make some chapters longer as events dictate in some cases half a page for a side event constitutes a chapter.

The last book Celaena's true name and heritage was revealed in this book to reflect this she is referred to as Aelin rather than Celaena, the book also introduced a new character and Manon of the Iron Teeth witches. She and her coven are continued to be developed in this book. For this development and even by the end of the book we are not sure which way she will turn. Many of the characters of the novellas or the collected counterpart Assassin's Blade paperback. The fallout from there is death with in the first half of this book. The body count is higher in this book but there are not as many fights described. What this book does display is Celaena/Aelin's tactical and planning precision yes she can be a hellcat and a hot head, but as wild as she get she is a disciplined and dangerous fighter always thinking a couple of moves ahead. There is a great cat and mouse game between Aelin and her former master.

Aelin returns to Adarlan she finds it an even more brutal place than before. Along with her own vengeance, she must deal with the fallout from the months she has been missing, one disadvantage is all the training she did to hone her powers in the last book, is lost as magic does not work in Adarlan. However her physical training is still useful, and has made her even more formidable. She has embraced her heritage of the Queen (I have to say I love the title of the "Fire breathing bitch Queen"), now she must assemble her court. This is big book with big time ramifications and revelations. All in all great.
Profile Image for Angela.
629 reviews1,326 followers
April 18, 2023
"Do you think monsters are born or made?"

I just... I just... I can't... I just don't know what to say. Celaena is coming for everything they said she couldn't have. Game of Thrones meets Batman. That's what the Throne of Glass series is... and yes it's as epic as that sounds. Sarah J. does it again. Another stunning build of a book. This review is going to be so hard to write. I want to gush. I want to scream. I want to rage about this book, but can't because *sigh* spoilers. As much as I want to spoil this for you I wont. I will still write my feelings about it and highlight a few moments I loved, but I just wanted to give warning this review WONT have spoilers in it... I will say that if you haven't taken the time to read this series you're a fool and I have no idea what you're doing with your life, besides living it wrong!

Queen of Shadows picks up right where Heir of Fire left off; pulling us behind a car by our heartstrings. There are a lot of characters introduced and finally produced in this book that I unfortunately wont be able to touch base on in this review. Just understand that the smallest player can end up playing the biggest part. Anyways, I'll just jump right into our main players. First off lets talk about Dorian. God, I love him in this book (If you've read QOS you probably read that sentence and thought I was insane but I don't care). I absolutely loved reading from his point of view. The complete change from light to dark had me drawn in. He became such a stellar character in this novel. He is a true wild card at this point in time. Then there's Choal. I know people love Choal. That in the previous books everyone has been "team Choal this" "team Choal that", however if you know or have read any of my review for this series then you know I have not been team Choal---or even team Dorian. Choal does give us a ton of character development and growth in this book, and I love his character but he's still not one of my favorites in this series. Then we have a "newer" player, Aedion ... Love him. His sass, his loyalty, his personality shine so bright in this book. I just couldn't get enough of him. And the growing bromance between him and Rowan had me dying. This leads me too the two people I've been dying ta get ta....

Yes, Rowan and Celaena. I know that Celaena officially goes by Aelin in this book, but I'm going to warn you now that I will probably always call her Celaena or "C". These two... OMG. THESE TWO KILL ME!!!!!! I haven't shipped a ship this hard in the longest and it has me all sorts of giddy. Again if you've read my review in the past then you know whose team I've always been on... Team Rowan. From the moment this man was introduced it was signed, sealed, delivered. I LOVE HIM!!!! Good gods I love him. Though we got a good deal of him in HOF it isn't even half of what we get out of him in this book. We get to see into his brain. We get to see how he is feeling, he's stages of thinking, and his feeling towards Celaena in a way we haven't been able to in the past. It has be swooning all over the place. Everything he does and says will win you over. He was already on my favorite fictional guys list but lets just say after reading this he has defeintely moved up on the list. I can't wait to see where their bond takes them.It's refreshing to have a character in this series that generally understands her struggles and the weight that has been put on her shoulders. Lastly we have Celaena. I have said it on many many occasions that Celaena is my all time favorite female character. Queen of Shadows just further justified this for me. She is one cunning, whip smart, silver tongued, bad-ass bitch. QOS by far gives the best description I've ever heard of her...

"A storm given flesh."

That sentence is so spot on it isn't even real. In QOS ya girl is taking no prisoners. No seriously, If Celaena was in a GOT house she would be a freaking Lannister... and yall know why... Because a Sardothien always pays her debts.

I can't even count how many times I screamed "OH MY GOD" over something she did. At one point in time this was my goodreads status update... "Seriously????!!? Did C just drop the mic??? UH YEAH SHE DID!! Seriously
just screamed "oooooooooooh damn" and scared the crap out of my dog.
She just such a badass"
... Everything she does is so calculated that when you finally see all the pieces come together you'll be exploding. Your brain will have to take several cold showers to get over the mind rape she will do to you. If there was something you wanted from C that you didn't get in the past you'll get it in this one. She gives you a side of her we haven't seen. This raw real emotion that takes her character to a whole new level. Celaena's character in this novel had me bowing down to the real Queen that is Sarah J Maas. *Insert slow clap*. Bravo! Thank you for making a character that is the epitome of strong leading female. Yes Celanea might go a little stray cray here and there, but God... She might want a man but she doesn't need one. She can do bad all by herself. Sarah continued to show that you can be tough but still love the things you want. You can wield a sword but still love dresses. That you can be all these strong willed tough as nails things, but still love deep. There's no other word to describe Celanea's character besides amazing. As for the characters I couldn't mention, they truly hold their own in this book. One surprise after another. There is one certain witch in particular that I can't wait to see in the next book.

I know I talked a lot about the characters and not so much about the plot. Again that is only because we are now four books deep people. QOS is the perfect balance of action packed scenes, romance, fighting, plotting, and build up. This is basically me the whole time... Page 1-170 I thank Maas for giving me everything back. Page 181 I die. Page 295 I freak the f out! Page 319 I cry my eyes out. Paged 320 I curl up in a ball and die again. 370 I realize that if my heart wasn't stolen by C before it's was officially taken. Page 400-656 I don't breathe and can't feel my body. I cry. I swoon. I die again and didn't even know that was physically possible. Swoon some more. Then do my final freak out. This is all without even mentioning the crazy plot twists that happen. They sneak up on you and tear your heart and eyes both out. Sometimes at the same time. And that ending, though a lot of lose ends are taken care of it still has me so conflicted. I just don't know where this story is headed. My heart is telling me it going to go one place while my head tells me to expect another.

The whole ending plays out just like a movie. So vivid you can see and feel the whole thing. Just phenomenal. Queen of Shadows was well worth the wait and hanging around till the next book comes out might just do me in. Don't even get me start on how we still get at least two more books! Sarah J. Maas continues to surprise me with a series I never even thought I would like, but has turned out to be one of my favorites.

All in all Queen of Shadows is about finding your place in the world. Consuming what you must and then fighting for what you love. That you yourself can be your best friend or your worst enemy. That it isn't about how heavy the weight is but about how long you hold it. That you get to choose your future. That your past might have built you but that it doesn't have to define you. That one person can truly rattle the stars.

originally read September 2015.
Re-read August 2016

Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,826 reviews29k followers
October 31, 2018
4.5 Stars

Definitely my favorite in the series so far...which surprised me what with how long it was and how long it took me to read it. I usually finish books I am loving within a day or two and this one took me almost a week. But, life happens and I haven't had as much time to dedicate to reading these days.

Anyway, that's besides the point and interesting to, well, no one.

Moving on.

I really loved all the character interactions and dynamics going on in this installment. I just love epic fantasies involving loyalty and character development/surprises and this book was rife with examples of both.

The last 200 pages or so were especially awesome as the larger plot lines unfolded. I can't wait to start the next book. And even more exciting? Knowing this series is fully complete now...and and that I already have all the remaining books on my shelves ready to go.

Small life victories, my friends!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,613 followers
July 19, 2017
Re-read on audio. Still awesome and still loving the narrator of the books ❤️



Sooooooooooooo, I loved this book! I was a little iffy there because I wasn't sure if Rowan was going to be in it but it's all good :-)

Celaena/Aelin has returned to Rifthold. She's trying to sneak in undercover. She has a little bit of a different look for a bit.


A little bit of hair dye goes a long way, but most people knows who she is. She is back to save her cousin and do what she needs to do to get rid of the evil in the land.

I fell in love with Lysandra in this book, I love what she truly is and when Aelin does what she does to change a few things, it is on with all of the "special" people :) That's all I can say...you know, the spoiler thing!

Anyhoo, I love that Aelin is more of a bad arse than she was before, but then again she found her true self while she was gone. I love her cousin Aedion and what we find out about him. It's just all so awesome!

I wasn't pleased with Chaol in the first of the book, but it all came together in the end.

The whole group, even some of the evil ones, got together and fought the good fight. TOGETHER! Well, ya know, there is a little bit more evil in their world so it's best if some of them hook up and get it done.


And finally we have a kiss that I was waiting for the whole book :)


I thought the chemistry with all of the characters in the book was wonderful! This was the best book by far, although, I did love Heir of Fire a lot as well. So many people came together and with so many plots and schemes that were just brilliant. It's certainly not over, you just know there is going to be more to do with the way the book ended! I can't wait for more!!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Alana.
662 reviews1,267 followers
February 7, 2017

Oh right, it was nothing.
My life was trash before this book.
Actual trash.


“Let's go rattle the stars”

Hands down this was my favorite book from the series so far, none of the other books even came close to this one. I HAVE NOT KNOWN LOVE UNTIL I MET THIS BOOK. I don't even know how to form a coherent review on this. So sorry in advance because this is mainly just going to be a jumbled mess of me trying to put into words how much I loved this.


You've been warned.

Let's just dive into the list of things I love.

1. Lysandra. HOLY SHIT. This bitch came out of nowhere and went from being one of my least favorite characters to one of my favorite. I LOVED that we got to learn more about her backstory and the fact that she even had a back story. She was everything I could have hoped for and more. Her friendship with Aelin was so fucking epic, and everything Aelin did for her seriously made me want to cry. She deserves it all. LYSANDRA IS ONE BADASS BITCH. Not only did we learn why she hasn't paid off her debts BUT she's also a shapeshifter. When she saved Rowan and Aedion by shifting into a ghost leopard I flipped, like actually flipped and loved her EVEN MORE.

Word to the wise, don't mess with Lysandra.

2. Asterin's heart to heart with Manon. I knew that there was going to be SOMETHING going on with Asterin from the way she reacted to the witch covens being forced to produce demon babies. However, I was not quite expecting a backstory that deep. Manon's reaction to her story was even better, meaning that EoS is probably going to have some intense scenes with Manon and good ol' granny. SIGN ME THE F UP.


3. When Aedion realized Aelin was in the castle and was in fact about to save him. My heart skipped a few beats.

4. When Aelin visited Sam's grave. My heart did not skip a few beats and I'm pretty sure it almost stopped because of how hard I ugly cried. I actually woke my husband up that's how hard I cried.
Shoot me.


5. Chaol. Soooooooo, here's the thing, Alana 100 pages deep in this book would have told Chaol to jump off a cliff. But, Alana 400,500, and 600 pages deep just wanted to hug him and tell him she still loves him and that it's all going to be okay. He grew on me so much throughout this book because of his character growth. And I loved that there was zero awkwardness between him and Aelin.

Which leads us to #6.



Need I say more?
Probably not, but I will.

My heart beats for Rowan and Aelin. They are it for me. First of all, the tension between the two of them left me fanning myself off. Or dumping a pitcher of cold water over my head like Rowan did ;). These two are EVERYTHING because they heal each other. They have both suffered insurmountable loss that most people would never recover from but together they are better.

Rowan is ruthless, loyal, massive, brutal, and extremely aggressive. Above all though, he is a gentlemen. A GENTLEMEN. Who cannot handle a nightgown in the slightest, but still a gentleman.

7. Manon vs. Aelin. EPICNESS to say the least. I CANNOT wait for more scenes between the two of them, because holy tempers, they are wild.

8. Kaltain tricking the duke and burning down Morath. Another moment of pure epicness that left my mouth gaping for a good few hours. Just another badass woman in this story. Annnnd, let's not forget the little quest she sent Elide on. SO pumped for that.

9. Chaol and Dorian reuniting. Queue the tears. When Chaol cried realizing Dorian was saved I'm pretty sure a piece of me died inside because I was so happy. The bromance is real my friends.


10. The clock tower blowing up and ruining the castle.
I imagine it looking a lil like this.


And last but not least 11. Aelin setting foot back on Terrasen soil. THE BITCH DID IT. She really did it. I cannot wait for her reclaim her throne and bring hell to those who deserve it.

“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.”

YAAAAAAS, my queen!!!!! I cannot wait to see what EoS brings to the table.
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 18 books13.3k followers
August 18, 2016
can i give this one million stars.


the ending


Profile Image for Serena (The Book Comedian).
124 reviews167 followers
Want to read
August 26, 2015
FIRST YOU MAKE CELAENA LEAVE CHAOL AND NOW YOU MAKE HER LEAVE ROWAN?! Why don't you just take my first born baby.

When Rowan was first introduced in the book I was like uh NONONO, I DON'T THINK SO, THIS FRIENDSHIP BETTER STAY PLATONIC

-but by the end of the book I was like YESYESYES SHE MUST HAVE ROWAN

and THEN the author kept emphasizing how they were JUST FRIENDS.

SARAH WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, YOU SET ME UP- Making me slowly like Rowan and then just TAKING IT ALL AWAY T_T

I hope this situation will be remedied- preferably through a hunger game type of setting where Chaol, Dorian, Aedion, and Rowan fight to the death for Celaena.

My rank of who I would want to win that game:
1. Rowan
2. Aedion
3. Dorian
4. Chaol (sorry Chaol, you were just not meant to be)

What's your rank?

Heir of Fire Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for SK.
247 reviews1,270 followers
March 8, 2023
"You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live." 🧎‍♀️

Enjoyed reading this one. Idk why it took me so long, but it was an experience 😌
The only issue I had was the pacing and I felt something was lacking in the first 40% of the book- it was Rowan. As soon as he came into picture, things started picking up and so did my interest. Ahh I love Aelin and him so much 😩😩

I did not sadly particularly care for Manon much in this one but it seems to be a more of "me issue" not the story issue. Chaol's personality...I did not mind it that much, he has been through a fair bit, so looking forward to seeing what lies ahead of him. Also looking forward to Dorian and how he heals.

Aelin is obviously such a badass. There's no competition.

Cannot wait to read the next book in the series 😍😍
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