Sarah J Maas, much like our beloved Aelin, is on fire! Following the spectacular debut of her new series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, the fourth instalment of her Throne of Glass series, Queen of Shadows, was a thrilling read from cover to cover.
Over the summer I probably re-read if not the whole book at least my favourite scenes from Heir of Fire more than three times in anticipation of continuing on Aelin and her friend’s journey. For me, I really appreciated that Heir of Fire slowed down the overall story arch enough that we were able to experience Celaena’s acceptance and transition back to herself, back to Aelin, the rightful Queen of Terrasen (as well as the new characters, friendships, and relationships we were introduced to – I’m looking at you, Rowan!). As I’m reading, I always have to remind myself that she is only 19. In the third book alone, Aelin’s character developed an extraordinary amount, and I loved seeing her go from assassin extraordinaire to a true queen. It set the stage perfectly for Queen of Shadows, that brought all of our favourite characters together and back into the main story arches of the series.
As I’ve mentioned before, I love it when a character has a masterplan, and has to go through a bunch of underhanded and sneaky plots and plans to try to accomplish that plan. As the title of the book suggests, Aelin kept to the shadows for much of the novel, as she put her chess pieces into place in order to accomplish the goals she set for herself while she sailed from Wendlyn back to Adarlan and landed back in Rifthold. (I don’t want to spoil too much so I won’t go into a lot of detail). However, not every problem our characters encountered were easily solved with a I-expected-this-the-whole-time-and-have-a-plan, which I think made the story more balanced and allowed us to feel genuine worry and fear for the fate of these characters.
The relationships that formed (or just started to form) made me really happy. Two of the pairings in particular I was very surprised at, but as the book went on and I thought about it more, I’m actually quite excited about them and what impact those relationships will have on the events yet to unfold. I love that we finally get to see all these different characters from different storylines finally start to interact, and for all of the separate subplots with what was happening in Rifthold, and then with Manon, come together. Needless to say, I cannot wait for the next book!
Queen of Shadows was a fantastic read and provided a lot more development plot and action wise than the previous instalment. We’re heading full speed to what is sure to be Aelin and company’s most challenging mission yet, and it’s going to be hard to wait another year to find out what’s next!