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Review: Queen of Shadows


Title:Queen of Shadows

Author:Sarah J. Maas

Series: Book 4

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

*Note:Review for Book 1, Book 2, Book 3



From Goodreads

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.

divider-51Favorite Characters

Definitely Celaena. That’s a given, haha. She’s great at coming up with these complex plans and thinking ahead, she’s a fighter, but she’s also more caring and sensitive than people think. She blames herself for so much and worries about whether she’s good enough. I think that’s what I love about her, that she’s so considerate of others.

Rowan is another favorite because he’s just… perfect. He’s always got Celaena’s back, and he’s willing to do whatever to protect her (even putting up some emotional walls). He recognizes her pain and knows when to push and when to give her space.

Manon <3! She’s badass in all the best ways. Actually, I love her and her Thirteen in general.

And, I can’t skip Lysandra because she becomes Celaena’s new friend and I’m just so happy for her that she can have that female bonding time with someone again ❤

divider-51Favorite Scenes

► I think Celaena really embraces her title with pride. She’s badass and she wants everyone to know it.

“One can’t put too much faith in gossip, but word arrived about a month ago from Wendlyn. It claimed that a certain lost queen put on a rather spectacular show for an invading legion from Adarlan. Actually, I believe the title our esteemed friends in the empire now like to use is ‘fire-breathing bitch-queen’.”

► Like I said, I’m really glad that Celaena could find another female friend that could deal with her and match her humor.

“We’re such refined genteel ladies.”

“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.”

► Don’t mess with Celaena. Especially not when it comes to people she cares about in this book. She’s not willing to lose anyone else.

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

► I love their relationship so much

“Hush, your hair was so pretty. I was hoping you’d let me braid it one day. I suppose I’ll have to buy a pony instead.”

► But I can also really appreciate the romance *waggles eyebrows*

He growled, and she grinned into her pillow. “Yes, I have more, don’t worry. If Lorcan is going to murder me in my sleep, I might as well look good.”

► Again, I love the banter between them ❤

Rowan shook his head. “I don’t know whether to throttle you or clap you on the back.”

“I think there’s a long line of people who feel the same way.”


It took me way too long to get to this book. Part of it was that I was busy with school, but the other part was that I was so overwhelmed with Heir of Fire that I needed a break to appreciate all its awesomeness and just kinda step back–if that makes sense. Like that energy drain when you read a really awesome book. Yeah, I get that with this series a lot. At the same time, it gave me the drive to read other books because I just needed something else to help me come off that good book high.

So yeah, just wanted to explain that. But, back to the review!

Queen of Shadows takes the series forward once again as we watch Celaena coming to terms with her new status as Queen. She’s no longer just an assassin trying to look out for herself and others. She’s starting to think of things in terms of what it means for her and her people, her court. This is definitely great for fans of Celaena because you get to see her more vulnerable side as she carefully considers what her decisions mean.

She also shows a great deal of doubt in herself and guilt when she finds out what happened to her friends while she was gone. The fact that her rise as Queen meant hardship on her friends and family weighs heavily on her and makes you sympathetic to her turmoil.

Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of Chaol, you’ll be disappointed if you were looking forward to seeing the usual charming, likable Captain of the Guard. After everything that Dorian goes through, Chaol is left feeling guilty for running instead of fighting–even though he really could do nothing to help. When Celaena comes back he finds in her the perfect target for his pent-up rage and self-hatred.

Although he eventually comes around, it’s difficult to really forgive him for all that he puts Celaena through considering their history. He knows that she’s not heartless, that she worries and cares deeply about things despite the tough, nothing-bothers-me attitude. It’s hard to believe that he doesn’t know what effect his jabs and bitter words will have on her.

However, another good part of the story is that we see Manon and her Thirteen again. More importantly, they continue to evolve as a group, moving towards independence from the Blackbeak Matron. They start to really come together and define themselves independently from everything they’ve been taught, and it’s amazing.

Aaaaaand, let’s not forget Kaltain’s comeback. For all of those wondering what became of this stuck-up mean girl you finally get to find out. In this book, Kaltain’s true purpose is revealed and it’s dark. And when things get tough she decides to take control of her life. Her big moment came to really define her and make me see her in a new light. I think it was redeeming and gave her back the power that she felt she’d lost while under someone else’s thumb.

As for the plot (especially the ending) I could not have been happier. Big players are unveiled and shown as they truly are. We also find out about the storm that’s on the horizon for Celanea, what’s really at stake for their world. It took everything from the last book and just piled more on. I have to say I’m really pleased with where the series is going and I’m excited to see where Maas takes it in the next book.




8 thoughts on “Review: Queen of Shadows

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