ily 's Reviews > Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2015, ya

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*
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.
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Reading Progress

September 12, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
September 12, 2013 – Shelved
August 31, 2015 – Started Reading
August 31, 2015 –
page 3
0.46% "Am I excited? Hell yeah.
Am I ready? Fuck no."
September 2, 2015 –
page 46
7.1% "“Aedion comes first,” she said. “We rescue Aedion, and then I’ll risk my neck getting one of the
demons for you.”

September 2, 2015 –
page 112
17.28% "She slipped in, smooth as a cat. In the three years he’d known her, she’d always had that quiet, sleek way of moving. A year ago, a bit shattered and reckless from Lithaen’s betrayal, it had intrigued him enough that he’d spent the summer sharing her bed.

Nesryn and Chaol?? Fuck buddies?? It makes no sense. She is clearly a plot device.

September 2, 2015 –
page 120
18.52% ""Dorian is my king."


*Drowning in feelings*"
September 2, 2015 –
page 150
23.15% "A summary of the first fifty pages.




September 2, 2015 –
page 170

September 3, 2015 –
page 200
30.86% "Now Aelin and Lysandra are BFF. Fucking Joke.

September 3, 2015 –
page 210
32.41% "sjmaas: I love all my children equally! aelin galathynius, rowan whitethorn, aedion ashryver *looks at smudged writing on hand* chalk westfly and dorito hairline.

September 3, 2015 –
page 300
46.3% "Aelin be like "Rowan is perfect, Rowan is flawless, I miss my hot Fae Prince."

Your fave is problematic, Aelin. Let's go back to HoF for a minute:

September 3, 2015 –
page 307
47.38% "@ God please delete this book"
September 3, 2015 –
page 320
49.38% "I'm here for Dorian and Chaol.

September 3, 2015 –
page 400
61.73% ""Don't talk down to me like you're my queen," he snapped.

September 4, 2015 –
page 656
September 4, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015
September 4, 2015 – Shelved as: ya
September 4, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 468 (468 new)



Jill Same!

Amber-simone Ingram Cant wait till Celaena deals with Arobynn!!!!!! It'll be worth the wait.

Nikki Thank goodness i'm not the only one who still loves Chaol! THEY MUST BE TOGETHER!

message 6: by meg (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 7: by meg (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 8: by meg (new) - rated it 5 stars


message 9: by Juls (new)


message 10: by Mimi (new) - rated it 1 star


message 11: by Mimi (new) - rated it 1 star

Mimi Girls I have hope! So obivously the fourth book will begin with Chaol and Celaena! Because Rowan Is in Wendlyn and Aideon is in jail and Dorian is slaved to the king so Caol is the only one left and him and Celaena will free them and have more interaction together and they will solve their problems and repare their relationship because they have to be together

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Finally others who still want it to be Chaol! I have hope for them!

Vivian Chen (Vivian's Book Pavilion) Always ChaolaenA❤️




message 17: by Jake (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jake Victrum finally someone who agrees with me about Aedion! He's so creepily obsessive

message 18: by Ain (new)

Ain This is superbly random, do you know from which movie/tv show does the first gif came from?

message 19: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Ain wrote: "This is superbly random, do you know from which movie/tv show does the first gif came from?"

Yes! Vampire Academy.

Estefani Chaol is too real for her to handle..

georgia IM FEELING YOU SO MUCH LIKE THIS REVIEW IS TOO TRUE *slow clap to SJM for ruining three books of character development and the whole entire series

message 22: by Sky (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sky I don't know you but you are now officially my best friend

message 23: by H (new)

H Ugh from what I've been hearing my bby Dorian doesn't fare too well in this.

Michelle I Loved your review!!

message 25: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Michelle wrote: "I Loved your review!!"


message 26: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily @ Hiba Dorian has a very interesting plot but they don't give him credit for it.

message 27: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Skyscraper wrote: "I don't know you but you are now officially my best friend"

This made my day.

Estefani No entiendo porque SJM insiste en que todos le jalen mecate a Aelin...

message 29: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Aelin seguro es la fantasía de SJM.

message 30: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Munirah wrote: "Girls I have hope! So obivously the fourth book will begin with Chaol and Celaena! Because Rowan Is in Wendlyn and Aideon is in jail and Dorian is slaved to the king so Caol is the only one left an..."

That in an different universe, maybe.

message 31: by Cam (new) - rated it 1 star

Cam same

Sónia couldn't have found a better summary of the book.

message 33: by Em (new) - rated it 1 star

Em This is perfect

Regina I'm currently reading the book and the last three lines are SO accurate. We were told many times Chaolaena was endgame but now Aelin hates him just for being a simple human and blames him for everything!! It's getting on my nerves

message 35: by Maggi (new) - rated it 1 star

Maggi "Dorian: ♪I was as pure as a river, but now I think I'm possessed♫" OMG this review is so perfect

Lalla regina wrote: "I'm currently reading the book and the last three lines are SO accurate. We were told many times Chaolaena was endgame but now Aelin hates him just for being a simple human and blames him for ever..."
I cannot stand Aelin, she sounds like a crazy-with-power-bitch-queen.
And she turned her back to her friends (Dorian & Chaol...what the hell? how can you erase such things??

message 37: by Mercy (new) - added it

Mercy OMG! I love your review. But I'm afraid because I've not read this book yet. How Sarah dared to write this crap? I'm so sad now.
Chaol <3

message 38: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Karou! wrote: "OMG! I love your review. But I'm afraid because I've not read this book yet. How Sarah dared to write this crap? I'm so sad now.
Chaol <3"

Y leí en una entrevista que ella se sentía muy orgullosa, ugh.

Kelli Spear This review is perfect! Thank god I'm not alone!

Emily Scott I'm reading it now and my Chaolena heart is hurting

Aimal (The Devils We Find) yep. Its like SJM changed her mind halfway through the series and decided to ignore the first two books. >.>

message 42: by ily (new) - rated it 1 star

ily Aimal wrote: "yep. Its like SJM changed her mind halfway through the series and decided to ignore the first two books. >.>"

This one is so different from the previous books that it's insane.

message 43: by Purly (new)

Purly omg yes best summary ever but i ship rowan and aelin

Craig Baynton Probably the most solid review out there.

message 45: by Mo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mo Murph Hahaha absolutely love this review

message 46: by Jenny (new)

Jenny the best review ever

message 47: by Azrah (new) - rated it 1 star

Azrah I was laughing reading through this at first but not i'm just sobbing

Kawther I liked your review more than the book , i cant believe what she has done to chaol she just ruined my favorite series

Irmarie Rodriguez I love this review and I completely agree with you.

message 50: by Jordan (new) - added it

Jordan I could rant for days on this. I'm so glad I read your review first too, so that it wasn't a surprise. But seriously, from freaking page 40-on I'm supposed to believe 'Aelin' is some different person because one of her friends died??? Ummm, when her boyfriend was murdered and she was sent to the slave mines, I'd suspect that would change a person. BUT NOOO, apparently, having one female friend die for her cause, and blaming it on your new man [for little to no reason] and then messing with magic and shit and NOW you're a woman. And everything before Rowan was you just being a little girl??? Give me a fu__ing break, okay? WTF Maas? What is this crock of shit? And if that isn't enough, what happens to Chaol at the end happens?!? WHYY?! WHAT IS GOING ONNNN... what a waste of two books, since, apparently, nothing that happened in those 600+pages even matters anymore.

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