Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Mass
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing Info: September 2015 by Bloomsbury
Star Rating: 5/5
Back Cover Summary:
Celaena Sardothien is cloaked in her assassin’s hood once more. She is back in Rifthold, but this time she is no one’s slave. She must delve into her most painful memories and fight for her survival, while resisting a smouldering passion that might very well consume her heart. And she will face her former master, the King of Assassins, again – to wreak revenge for a decade of pain…
*This review will be spoiler-free for Queen of Shadows but may include spoilers for the previous books in the series*
Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and the best instalment I’ve read so far. It brought together all the threads that Maas has been weaving for the previous three books and, well, it was pretty epic.
In Heir of Fire, Celaena was away in Wenlyn learning to use her magic. While I enjoyed the training sequences, I so loved seeing her in Rifthold in Queen of Shadows, back where everything started. This book brings the story full circle, as she finally confronts her past with Arobynn. Our protagonist grew a lot in Heir of Fire, and now she finally seems to have transformed into Aelin. Her character hasn’t changed completely, but I could see she was a different person to the Celaena we saw in Throne of Glass, and we get to see her become the queen she is.
Manon was introduced as a new character in Heir of Fire. I loved her story in the third book, but her storyline didn’t intersect with any of the other characters’ stories, so I was wondering where Maas was going with this one. In Queen of Shadows, however, we get to see more clearly how her storyline relates to the wider plot. This is another character who we see slowly shift over the course of the series. I really appreciate how Maas slowly develops her characters.
Maas manages to juggle a lot of different characters and POVs in this book. We get to see through the eyes of the characters we already know and love, but also some new ones. Lysandra was a real surprise for me. She hardly featured in the previous books in the series, but had a much bigger role in Queen of Shadows. We learn more about her past and her personality, and I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed reading her character. What’s also great about this book is not just the individual characters, but their relationships with each other – the romantic, the platonic, the bromances and the frenemies. I couldn’t get enough of them.
Even though this is the longest book in the series so far, it didn’t feel long. I sped through the pages because I just didn’t want to put it down – Maas kept me hooked all the way through.
Queen of Shadows wraps up a lot of the plot points from the previous books and has an epic finale. In some ways, it felt like the final book in the series. But some new twists and revelations means the story isn’t quite finished yet, and I’m excited to see what direction Maas propels the characters in for the rest of the series.