Book Talk- Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows

Finished: 9/12/15

WARNING! SPOILERS FOR “QUEEN OF SHADOWS” AND THE “THRONE OF GLASS” SERIES BEYOND THIS POINT!

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 just to see her again. 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.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Hey everyone! I’m still alive! I am so sorry It  has literally taken months to post this. As I think I have said earlier, I have returned to the all-time consuming thing that is college, and I have honestly had no time for any non-school related writing. But I have read a lot of books in the past semester, and Winter break is soon, so hopefully I’ll be able to get more posted! Sorry about that again.

Oh my god. This book. This book is freaking amazing. This series is honestly getting better with each book, and this one is probably the best one yet. It’s certainly my favorite in the series so far, maybe even one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I literally have not been able to start my next book, just because I cannot get over how freaking amazing this one was.

Seeing as this is the fourth book in a series and so much important stuff happens, there’s really not a lot I can say before I get into the spoilery stuff. One quick thing though: I HIGHLY recommend reading “The Assassin’s Blade” novellas before reading this book. There’s some characters that show up in this one who are first introduced in the novellas, and you will get so much more backstory on everything, and I promise, reading it makes the series even better. Anyway, on with the ranting!

WARNING! SPOILERS FOR “QUEEN OF SHADOWS” AND THE “THRONE OF GLASS” SERIES BEYOND THIS POINT!

So I start reading the book and by just two pages in and MY SOUL IS ALREADY DYING. OH GOD, DORIAN! MY POOR PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL, YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS! I mean, I was glad that he hadn’t been completely taken over by the valg, but OH GOD, HE COULDN’T EVEN REMEMBER HIS OWN NAME, OR ANY OF HIS FRIENDS, BUT HE COULD STILL REMEMBER SOME STUFF ABOUT SCORCHA AND HE WAS JUST IN SO MUCH PAIN. OH GOD, I CAN’T.

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So anyway, after that wonderful trip into the land of emotional devastation, we get to see what’s going on with Aelin, and she’s going to find Arobynn to get the amulet, only to find out that Chaol is meeting with him. And my first thought is: “What. The. Crap. Get away from there Chaol. That man cannot be trusted in any way whatsoever. What are you doing?”

Then Chaol and Aelin had that fight, and it was so painful, because they both had valid points, but I don’t want to see them arguing, and they were talking about killing Dorian and oh god, I am way too attached to the characters in this series to see them already going through so much emotional pain.

And then meanwhile we have everything going on with Manon and the witches. I honestly love the witches so much. They’re crazy psychopaths who have absolutely no issues with murder but I love them. There’s just something really interesting about their whole society and the dynamics between the characters… I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually developed a huge attachment to Asterin in this one. Her whole backstory was just so heartbreaking, and I felt so much for her, and I really hope we get to see more of her in the rest of the series. And then there was Manon. Oh my god, Manon is just such an interesting character to me. We’re seeing her slowly becoming more human, especially with all the stuff with Elide (who I’m really looking forward to seeing more of in the next few books).

Sarah J. Maas is so good at introducing new characters, and we got so many awesome new female characters in this one. Like I said, there was Elide, who kind of became a moral anchor for Manon, and I can tell she’s going to have a really interesting arc in the next book. And there was Nesryn, who I really hope we get to learn more about, because she seems really cool, but we didn’t get to know her that well.

And then there’s Lysandra. I am honestly so glad Lysandra was reintroduced. We really haven’t seen Aelin with a close female friend since Nehemia (who I am STILL NOT OVER by the way), and it was so great to see this character who could have just been written off as such a strong character. Like it could have been so easy to write her as she was in “The Assassins Blade”, but instead we just get this character who’s been through so much horrible stuff through her whole life, but she’s still so strong and gives up her one chance at freedom for a child she didn’t even know, and we find out she’s a shape shifter and everything with her magic was so cool, and god I just love this character so much.

fangirling Giselle

So anyway, then we had the scene where they go to rescue Aedion, and oh my god, the whole thing was amazing. Like the whole time I was just waiting for something to go horribly wrong, like at this point I seriously thought there was no way that anything go right without someone getting horribly injured or dying or something else terrible would happen, but then everything actually went according to plan, and it was so awesome and epic, and they got Aedion back and oh my god I loved this part so much.

Except then there was the one part where AELIN ALMOST KILLED DORIAN. And like I know it would have been a mercy kill, but I have been through far too many books and TV shows where one character I loved had to mercy kill another, and I was NOT prepared to go through that again. Especially with Aelin and Dorian.

feels korra

But then on a happier note, I absolutely loved the reunion between Aelin and Aedion. It was just so sweet and it was so nice to finally see them meet again, and there were a few scenes where we got to take a break and see these characters interacting with each other. But of course, there was that part where Aedion was thinking about the blood oath and it’s just like oh honey… I just felt really bad for him in that particular moment.

Speaking of the blood oath though…I got so freaking excited when Rowan came back. Like I honestly did not expect to see him in this book, but then he showed up and I literally fangirl squeaked in the middle of a line at the National Book Festival. And oh my god, then there was Rowaelin. Oh my god, I loved their relationship so much in “Heir of Fire”, and I did kind of ship it a little, but I really didn’t think it was going to happen. But then Rowan came back, and there were all these scenes where you could tell they were in to each other but they wouldn’t admit it. But then they finally got together, and oh god, I ship it now. It is so freaking perfect. Like I loved them as TOG parabati, and I love them just as much as a couple. They just work off each other so well, and there’s all the scenes where Rowan is literally boyfriend goals, and between all these guys Sarah J. Maas is giving me unrealistic expectations about men. At first I was kind of worried since I really liked them as platonic all, but you know, I think I’m really on board with this ship. I really like their dynamic, and it’s kind of cool that we’ve ventured outside of the standard love triangle.

So anyway, my thoughts are probably going to become a little scattered from here on out, seeing as it’s been over a month since I finished the book and I haven’t finished this book talk due to school stealing literally all of my time. But honestly, I can’t say it enough, this book was so freaking good.

So let’s talk about Arobynn. Freaking Arobynn. Again, if you haven’t read “The Assassian’s Blade”, you need to go get on that so you know what a freaking emotionally manipulative piece of crap Arobynn is. Oh my god, I was always so on edge with this character. You never really know what he’s planning, or how much he knows, and he’s just so creepy and horrible to Aelin and oh god he’s such a fascinating character but I seriously wanted to see him pay for everything he did to my fictional characters.

Speaking of which, oh my GOD when Arobynn put the valg ring on Aelin I swear I panicked so hard. I literally gasped out loud in the middle of the night in my dorm room. Like roommate, I am really sorry if I woke you up, but OH GOD, I THOUGHT AELIN WAS GOING TO BE UNDER THAT CREEPER’S CONTROL AND THERE WERE GOING TO BE SO MANY PROBLEMS. AND NOTHING WAS GOING TO BE OKAY. AND I LITERALLY FREAKED OUT SO HARD.

And then there was nothing compared to the relief I felt when the ring was fake. Like oh god, that could have been so bad, but these characters are so smart, and they always have a plan, and I was just so happy that Aelin wasn’t mind controlled.

You know, this is really random, but I want a novella or something about this jeweler who keeps making fake magical items of great significance. Because they use fake magical jewelry of great significance quite a few times in this book, and I want to know what’s going through this person’s head.

Anyway, back to talking about Arobynn, I was so worried for Lysandra when she was going to kill him. Like I thought “this creeper knows everything that’s going on, there’s no way he doesn’t know about this”. But then she was actually able to kill him, and the manipulative piece of crap was actually dead, and I’m just sitting there with the book like

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So let’s skip forward a bit to that freaking amazing scene where Aelin and Manon meet, because oh my god, I absolutely loved that part. We finally got to see these characters from the different plots interact, and it was so intense and cool and oh god, I can’t, it was such a good scene.

So first off we get our first hints about a relationship forming between Dorian and Manon. Oh yeah, speaking of Dorian, did I mention that every once in a while we’d just get these short Dorian POV chapters that pretty much served as a reminder of HEY! DORIAN IS SUFFERING! HE’S ALMOST NEARLY BEEN TAKEN OVER BY A DEMON! HAHA HOPE YOU LIKE FEELING YOUR HEART SLOWLY DIE OVER THE PAIN THIS LITERAL PUPPY OF A CHARACTER IS EXPERIENCING! HAHA.

olaf

Anyway, we get this really interesting interaction between Manon and Valg-Dorian, and you know I can kind of see it as a paring. It’s at least something that I’m curious about. I don’t really have much I can say about it now since it’s been so darn long since I read the book, but I definitely want to see where it goes.

So then Chaol goes after the King to kill Dorian because…I guess I just need more emotional pain in my life, and he accidently ends up in front of the entire Thirteen, and I’m just thinking “Oh god, Chaol is effed.” But then Aelin and everyone shows up and they talk things out and everything looks like it’s going well. But then Aelin has to mention killing Baba Yellowlegs and oh god, the fight scene afterwards was one of the greatest things ever. Aelin and Manon worked so great off each other and the whole fight was super intense, and again I can’t give too many details since it’s been so long but just know it was one of my favorite parts of the book.

Skipping ahead again , let’s talk about that whole ending, because holy crap, I will never be over this, it was so amazing. Seriously. the whole climax was probably one of the best things I ever read.

First off, at the beginning there I actually thought that Chaol died. Like I legit thought he had done the whole self-sacrificing thing and that he was dead. And I freaked out so bad. Like I was so not prepared for any of these characters to die, and I nearly started crying over the book while my roommate was in the room, I was so darn invested in this thing. So yeah, let’s just say I’m super glad he didn’t actually die, even if he is paralyzed now. I guess he and Nesryn going to the healers will be one of the story arcs in the next book (hopefully we’ll see Yrene from “The Assassin’s Blade”, that would be cool.)

Then meanwhile there’s everything that goes on between Rowan and Aedion, and Lorcan, and again, I was so worried that something was going to go horribly wrong, and that someone was going to die, but again we got this really well written action scene, and it’s been so long that I can’t explain everything in detail, but just know that it was amazing.

And then there was the scene between Aelin and Dorian…Oh my god, there are no words for how emotional I got during this part. We get this scene where the king is making Dorian fight Aelin, and she’s trying to talk him out of being processed, and there’s the whole fight scene on the bridge that was honestly one of the most intense things I ever read, and she gets the anti-valg ring on him and he’s finally de-valgified, and completely brings down the glass castle, and oh god, it was so freaking good, I will never be over it, it was honestly one of the best scenes I’ve ever read!!!!!!

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Also THE FREAKING KING IS DEAD!!! And we’re supposed to believe that he was processed by this secondary demon or something and that Duke Perrington is really the main evil person behind everything, but you know, I find that kind of hard to believe. I mean, Perrington is like a really effed up version of the villain’s henchman character. Like it’s really hard for me to believe he’s behind everything, and really, can we trust anything the king says? But I guess anything’s possible, we’ll just have to see what happens in the next book.

We also have the ending of the plot with the witches, and like everything else, it was so ridiculously epic. We have Manon and the Thirteen turning against the king, and Manon saving Elide so she can go find Aelin now, and they fly off on the wyverns while Kaltain destroys all of the horrible stuff the King and Parrington were doing with the Shadowfire. I really do feel so bad for Kaltain though, everything she went through was so terrible and then she freaking dies. But she was also such an interesting and powerful character in this book, and her dying act was so well written and important, and god, everything about this ending was perfect.

I am a little concerned though, because everything ended perfectly. I mean the king is dead, and Dorian is de-possessed and he’s the king now, and Aein reclaimed her title, and now their going back to Terrasen, and everything ended so well. But there’s two more books Left.. So something is going to have to happen. Oh well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Until then, I’m going to keep fangirling over this book, because it is honestly one of my favorite books I’ve read this year, if not one of my favorite books ever.

Well that’s about it for my long-overdue book talk on “Queen of Shadows”! Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll have my next book talk up a lot sooner!

Oh, by the way, I dressed as Manon for Halloween this year! Check it out!

Thanks for reading!

[AJ1]

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