Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Queen of Shadows 
Series: Throne of Glass Series #4
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA 
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Format: Paperback 

Page Count: 565


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. (taken from

Okay, so I'm pretty sure that everyone is getting tired of me working my way through this series. I've only been reviewing the Throne of Glass books recently, and I have to admit, it's getting more and more difficult to review each book simply because they are all quite similar. However, I can happily admit that I found Queen of Shadows to be the best book in the series yet. 

For some reason, I was struck by the immense similarities between this fourth installment and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The epic struggle against a supernatural evil, the need to destroy powerful items of jewelry, and of course, the lovable cast of underdogs fighting against a far superior enemy.... It all struck me as very Tolkien. In my eyes, this isn't a bad thing, mostly because I adore the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It's as though Maas took the overall feel of Lord of the Rings and transferred it to a new, more modern YA adaptation. 

The characters truly make the story, as is the case with most of Maas' novels. Aelin, Rowan, Chaol, Aedion, and the other fierce personalities bring the plot to life and have earned Maas a loyal fandom over the past few years. There's a reason so much fan art and merchandise for the series exists: everyone loves the characters. They've grown since the first book or two, and I'm impressed by the character development Maas has interweaved with the thickening plot. 

Personally, I have noticed a big leap in Maas' writing style. Over the past few years and the publication of her most recent novels, her skills have definitely improved. Her recent books impressed me far more than her earlier ones, and if this trend continues, Maas is on track to become one of the next huge names in YA literature. I mean, she already is a huge name, but I mean HUGE. Like, Suzanne Collins or Cassandra Clare huge. I wonder when someone will suggest a movie or TV show adaption... It can't be long now...

So, why not give Queen of Shadows five stars if I love Maas' writing and I thought this was the best installment yet? I don't know. I'm sorry, but that's the truth. I feel like Maas is still holding back a little, like there's some untapped potential that I think she can find. Perhaps Empire of Storms will finally coax me into awarding this series a five star rating. What do you guys think? Which book in the series is your favorite? 

Aelin bears a striking resemblance to Daenerys in Game of Thrones... 
I can't be the only one who thinks that, right? Either way, they are both total badasses.