Saturday, December 26, 2015

Queen of Shadows | Sarah J. Mass


The queen has returned.

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.

I want to preface this review by saying that I just finished this book and I'm absolutely reeling. There will be major spoilers ahead so if you haven't read this book definitely go pick it up because you will not be disappointed. If you haven't read the series yet, I honestly don't know why. All of my reviews for the first three books are below if you want to check any of those out. But there's no way I can talk about this book without spoiling anything. 

+5 Cover Design

The Throne of Glass covers are incredible. Every single design is amazing and I love all of them. 

+5 Writing Style

Sarah J. Maas is a goddess when it comes to writing. Every part of the story somehow weaves itself together and it's insane how cohesive every part of this novel is and how well the complexities of the characters and plots came together. I cannot wait for the rest of this series because every book gets better and better. 

+5 Plot Development

The plot was absolutely insane. Usually if a group of characters are planning some type of raid/ attack and the plan is intricately laid out for us, things rarely go the way we want them to. Almost always something goes wrong. However, Sarah J. Maas keeps the reader in the dark, so we don't actually know the specifics, making everything all the more surprising, which was fantastic to read. 

+5 Character Relations

Let's talk about the initial love triangle, Chaol, Dorian and Aelin. We've been swinging between Chaol and Dorian throughout the first three books, but let's be completely honest: both are kind of out the window. I've always been a Dorian fan. Live, love Dorian. Chaol was just mediocre to me, and, if I'm being totally honest, when he "died" in Queen of Shadows I just shrugged and moved on. He's no longer crucial to the storyline and his death wouldn't be the worst thing that happened. Either way, there's no way him and Aelin are getting together at this point. Dorian and Aelin are probably not going to end up together either but it's a minor possibility.

Let's talk about Rowan. At first Rowan and Aelin was just a really great best friend situation, the parabatai who are completely open with each other. But of course, that type of intimacy doesn't last without romantic feelings getting involved. I absolutely love their chemistry together. They're both arrogant and completely independent but still care for each other and I think that type of relationship works really well.

I also really love Lysandra and Aelin's relationship. Aelin hasn't had too many female friends over the span of this series and the one she's had was killed. But I loved seeing her and Lysandra go from being enemies to best friends, especially when Aelin paid off Lysandra's debt.

In the last book there was a flashback to her childhood when all the characters were eating dinner together as children, and I loved how Maas juxtaposed a current version of that scenario after Aelin and Dorian have taken the throne. 

+5 Character Development

I will admit, the name change from Celaena Sardothien to Aelin Ashryver Galathynius really messed me up throughout most of the book. I understand the point is to show how she's essentially changed personas, but it was really hard to picture the same person in my mind. Nonetheless, there were several times within the book where Aelin had to pretend to be Celaena and that's where we begin to see the stark contrast between Aelin and Celaena. I love her character development and I can't wait to see her officially take her position as queen. 

+5 Likability of Protagonist

Aelin is such a complex character. From the outside she seems like a heartless bitch who can mercilessly kill people. But her random acts of kindness really showcase the real Aelin, the queen to her people. The pairing of her independence and her vulnerability makes for such an interesting complex and I love reading about her and I completely love her as a character. If I could be any book character it's a toss up between her and Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series. 

+5 Necessity of Minor Characters

Sarah J. Maas doesn't waste characters and everyone has had a specific role in the storyline. Even those that died in previous books still come back to haunt present characters and continue to guide their actions, making them necessary for the plot even though they're no longer present.

+5 Setting Description

The setting was presented beautiful. It was so easy to mentally visualize the location of all the characters and it made it so much easier just to get lost in the book and story.

+5 Interesting Storyline

Of course the storyline is interesting. From book one I've been on the edge of my seats watching as the dictatorship of the king comes tumbling down and if the storyline hadn't been interesting there would have been no way I could have made it through hundreds of pages of the plot.

+5  Predictability

Like I mentioned before, Sarah J. Maas has this way of writing that gives the reader the bare minimum amount of information. Everything comes as a surprise and that adds to the joy of reading.

+50 Finished

Final Total: 100/100 ; A+

There's really not much more I can say about this book or this series. It is absolutely phenomenal. If you haven't read it, go read it! And if you have let's discuss down below why you loved it or hated it!