Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

QoSQueen of Shadows
(Throne of Glass, #4)
By: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: Sept. 1, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy


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.




Aelin/Celaena has returned to the place where it all went down. She’s meeting up with her old master—who not only killed her beloved but pretty much sentenced Aelin to death as well. She also crosses paths with her old flame Chaol who is now head of the rebels who try to save people from the kings demented ways. However, Aelin’s true purpose for being back is to kill the king, but nothing is as easy as it seems.

Hmmm… I don’t know what to say about this one. I was really interested to see what happened next for Aelin but Queen of Shadows just didn’t do it for me. It was entertaining and there were a lot of suspenseful parts but I just wasn’t feeling it as much as I was with the previous books. I was really bummed to see the relationship between Chaol and Aelin take the turn that it did. They were my favorite in the first book and I was holding out hope for them. However, that was squashed real fast with the way the author wrote these two characters in this book. :\ I’m not saying Rowan isn’t a good guy—because he more than proved his awesomeness in the last two installments—but I missed the old Chaol. He’s so jaded and just bleh now.  Come back to us Chaol!

Speaking of Rowan, we definitely get a much more softer side of him in this book. Before he was all discipline and hard. Now, he’s attentive and is always thinking with Aelin in mind. For instance, her old master sends her almond oil (his scent) to wear when they meet him for dinner that night. To refuse would be like giving the guy the middle finger, so Aelin rubs the oil in her skin. It takes a lot for her to do so since Fae are all about scents. So, what do you know, later that night at the dinner, Aelin realizes that Rowan also rubbed the oil into his skin as well. It was an adorable gesture he made and that was only one of many. There were a lot of things he did for Aelin and it definitely warmed your heart watching these two slowly come together.

We still got to go behind the scenes with the witches as their story progressed. Not only do you get the behind the scenes look of “team villains” but you got to see these witches evolve. They are supposed to be these ruthless beings who care about nothing but themselves, but over time you see a select few evolve and become a little more aware of their surroundings and they start to feel emotions that they hadn’t really experienced before. I know that they were supposed to be the bad guys but the author did a really good job with blurring the lines.

By far my favorite thing from this entire book was Lysandra. She’s a character who Aelin knew back in her assassin days. Lysandra is a courtesan, a prostitute if you will. She is owned by a master and must pay off her debts by providing her services to others. She has always been at odds with Aelin when they were under Aelin’s master’s thumb. Their animosity towards each other was so bad that Aelin would have killed her if she could. However, secrets are revealed and Lysandra becomes a very important ally to Aelin. Her character was just so interesting that anytime she popped up in the story, I immediately perked up. She wears many masks and you never truly know who she is until about halfway through the story. She was by far the best character from this story.

While this installment wasn’t my favorite of the series it was enjoyable. Maybe it was a bit too long for me—a whopping 645 pages primarily made up of recon work-I tend to like stories that pound out the scenes versus the slow build to a climatic ending. Either way, I’m invested in what happens for Aelin and her kingdom and will still be picking up the next book in the series.


1favequote“You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.”


Previous reviews from Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire





9 Thoughts on “Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

  1. I’m still behind on the series, I’ll be reading Heir of fire soonish enough, but I really love it so far. I’m bummed you didn’t like it as much as the others, but well, I’ll see when I get there 🙂

  2. I skimmed your review because I’m only in the middle of the first book of this series. I’m sad to hear it’s a slower longer book but I’m hoping I like the series as a whole.

  3. It is nice to read a review that isn’t all fan girl. I haven’t read beyond the second book in this series, I just haven’t had the time to work in a whopping read. I am disappointed that the romance isn’t going the way you hoped, or I hoped, but I will hold out hope. Hopefully the next book will work better for you.

    • LoL Yeah. I don’t tend to fan-girl. There are authors that I love but I don’t love all their books. 😉 If ya know what I’m saying. That’s why it took me a while to even start this series. I was worried about all the hype it was getting. The books that are loved on the most tend to be disappointments for me. I’m glad to say that so far this series is great.

  4. Sorry to hear that it wasn’t the best in the series, but glad to hear it was still enjoyable

  5. Sucks it wasn’t your fav. That is pretty long. I am getting this for Christmas. Yay.

  6. I know what you mean, it was a long book, and there were so many suspense filled moments. I miss the old Chaol too… he seems to be a bit of a jerk now, but I do love Rowan. Great review!

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