Book Review: Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows Throne of Glass Sarah J Maas


Title: Queen of Shadows

Author: Sarah J Maas

Rating: 5/5 stars

Series? Yes, 4 of 6!


Book Depository

This is my last book review to cap off the Throne of Glass Week on the blog! I still have to read The Assassin’s Blade at some point – but my heart can’t take it at the moment — SAM!!

There will be SPOILERS in this review for the previous three books, but I will try keep it free from QoS spoilers – even though all I want to do is shout randomly in capslock *wails*



“She was fire, and light, and ash, and embers. She was Aelin Fireheart, and she bowed for no one and nothing, save the crown that was hers by blood and survival and triumph.”

Aelin returns to Erilea newly born after her experiences and growth in Heir of Fire. She’s no longer the Celaena we knew from Book 1 and 2 – while I am thankful for that as I thought those were the weakest books of the series, I can understand how the alteration would alienate older fans of the series. I love Aelin because she was confident, as oppose to arrogant. She calculated, instead of being impulsive or hot headed. She also fully embraced and understood the value of comradeship – while she had a beautiful relationship with Dorian and Chaol in Book 1 & 2, I felt she had always held a part of herself back subconsciously due to her hidden identity.  In Queen of Shadows, she is surrounded by both new friends and old who are ready to love and support her while knowing her for her true self. It makes me seal clap with joy!


“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.”

I was so sad when Nehemia passed away, her relationship with Celaena was one of my favourite aspect of the older books. However, there are numerous female relationships and friendships being highlighted in this book, they fill the hole in my cold heart:

  • Lysandra and Aelin: Now, I’ve read a couple of the Throne of Glass novellas way back before the first book was released, and I never thought Lysandra could be someone I would come to love. However, this book completely turned me around as we are able to glimpse into more of her motivations and her ultimately compassionate core. I love her initially tenuous friendship with Aelin. The two knows exactly what makes one another tick, and watching them overcome the demon of their past- Arobynn – was wonderful!
  • Manon and Asterin: We didn’t get to see too much of Manon’s Second in Heir of Fire, thankfully Asterin got a lot more page time in Queen of Shadows. Readers get to see her as a woman with her own minds and morals, despite the homogenous preaching of the coven that dictates they should all be bloodthirsty, human-hating monsters. Asterin acts as a catalyst to Manon’s own questioning of her moral compass and ideals. I love their relationship so much.

There are also two new characters in Nesryn and Elide. Unfortunately, I couldn’t connect to either of them, and found myself wanting to skim Elide’s pages desperately. I think with time she will grow on me in subsequent book, I HOPE? I felt that Nesryn was more or less a consolation prize for Chaol, sadly. I didn’t get to see much of what makes her tick, but since she is the only WoC in the series at the moment, I hope to be seeing more of her and her development in future chapters.


“If you’re a monster, I’m a monster.”

I can’t say much more without risking absolute spoilery zone, but suffice to say, I NEED THIS BOOK TO TURN FROM YA INTO NA FOR THE SAKE OF THESE TWO IN THE NEXT BOOK *sighs wistfully*  I was ready for Queen of Shadows to turn into a bodice ripper in all honesty. The tone felt a bit jarring considering what was going on in the book at the time, but I did not even care. Shipping makes you shameless like that.  Though in all honestly, I felt that they are a very good match, as they wholly understand and are so deeply connected, you could feel all the other characters in the book either smirk in comprehension or look away in embarrassment from sheer chemistry.


“Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options.”

What I loved most about Queen of Shadows is how it upped the ante on everything we’ve learned in the series.  Villains that I previously thought to be the ultimate bosses now looks like child’s play compared to what Aelin & co. has to face in the future. I loved the constant twist and turns the series brought, and I really felt that this book was the final chapter on Aelin’s old life and the beginning of a grander battle. All throughout the book there was incredibly high suspense, emotions, and I loved seeing Aelin reconciliate her past with her future.


“Ten years of shadows, but no longer. Light up the darkness, Majesty.”

Queen of Shadows was the perfect middle book to the series as it tied up old plot threads and brought all the major players to the board.

The old characters are given new purpose and life. We have Dorian, who’s in a pickle since the beginning of the book as he grapples with darkness and all the different types of demons. We have Chaol, who’s finally picked his King and will go to any length to save the man he calls brother – their relationship is beautiful and the bromance begs to be acknowledged despite the fact that I am running out of space.  Although Chaol remains frustratingly knuckle-headed for the majority of this book – he lacked direction in the previous novels, and it seems now that he’s found his cause (at great costs), it’s hard for him to let it go.

There’s also a whole lots of new meetings in this novel, most are spoilers, so I won’t elaborate – but they are all suitably epic. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. WHERE IS BOOK FIVE? *rolls on floor on despair*

I know this book was quite polarising amongst fans, but I personally loved it!  If you’ve read it, what did you think?

If you haven’t read it, join in this Goodreads Readalong hosted by the lovely Anjie, Josie, Erika and Miedjel!

Tomorrow I will conclude the Throne of Glass week with a graphics post :D! It’s a bit different from my usual style but I hope you will all enjoy it regardless!

37 thoughts on “Book Review: Queen of Shadows

  1. So I’m not going to read your review yet because I just finished Crown of Midnight and I don’t want any accidental spoilers, but I wanted to tell you that your graphics are so pretty. Like the edit with Celaena/Aelin that you have is gorgeous and I wish I had any real talent in Photoshop to do things like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the second half of QoS was a lot stronger than the first half… but I did end up liking HoF better, looking back on it! Still super happy with the direction the series is heading 😀


  2. Bodice ripping was the only thing missing from this book!! I agree that Aelin is less impulsive and more calculating now, but a part of me felt like everything was proceeding too smoothly. Whenever I thought there was a twist, it turned out that she had expected it or had instigated it. So, I don’t know. I don’t want our babies to be hurt but there were parts that I thought went too well (you know the obvious one I’m talking about).

    If there’s no bodice or gold nightgown ripping in Book 5… I will combust from unresolved sexual tension.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She basically had no major troubles in this book, eh? I guess it’s nice to see after 3 books of pure pain – this book is almost like the calm before the storm because I know it can’t last. OMG I hope she didn’t return that gold nightgown to Lysandra.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read the third book yet but I’m caught up on most spoilers so I can appreciate this review. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it I know there have been a lot of mixed reviews about the newest book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think most people who were fans of the first two books didn’t like this one? Admittedly the characters are very different to what they were originally.


  4. I’ve been holding off on reading this one until the hype has died down – I didn’t want to be influenced by the epic love and/or epic vitriol for this book – but I’m really excited for most of the developments that take place in QoS. Awesome review, really enjoyed seeing what you thought of it, and so glad you enjoyed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been completely sucked in by the love and ardour haha, the fandom is really amazing as well 😀 Experiencing it with everryone else is part of the fun, you should consider picking it up while it’s still running! Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes yes yes yes! You are the first person I have decided to willingly read the review for Queen Of Shadows. That’s how much I adore and trust you! And I was almost crying and totally fangirling all the way through your review! I am going to finish Heir of Fire this weekend and then fly through Queen of Shadows! And I know who you he talking about in terms of romance, I know and I ship it!!! (It’s a certain fae warrior am I correct?!)
    And YES finally Chaol babe, you finally picked a side! Cheers to him!
    I am so excited to see the new side of Aelin. I down I will be disappointed. I am going to love it so much that I’ll probably cry.
    Fantastic review 💟

    Liked by 2 people

    1. EEEP THANK YOU JOSIE 😀 I saw on twitter that you just started QoS and I am SOOO EXCITED. YES YES YES FAE PRINCE ALL THE WAY. I hope you’ll end up loving the book as much as I did. I will be there to hold you NO MATTER WHAT 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m currently reading this! I dropped everything wanted to stop life to just sit and read it, im only on page 200 sth so far! I’m so frustrated with Chaol, he was being so mean to Aelin for no reason. And I can’t connect with Elide too! I find her chapters so boring! Rowan haven’t made any appearance so fa and my heart is breaking. I’ve heard that in QOS, alot of references from the Assassin’s Blade were made but I still have yet to read it :///. Again, love your artwork! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the book is faring better for you, I have read some of Assassin’s Blade but not all of it – I’m a bit scared to read it because SAM! Keep me updated on how you’re going 😀 looking forward to your own review of the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was completely frustrated with Queen of Shadows. I still gave it 5 stars, but I felt like she was getting lazy on writing about our existing characters and focusing more on introducing all of the new ones. I was also really confused about how Chaol and Aelin were acting towards one another because that is not how it was at all in the other books. My ship has sunk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh yes so many new characters, while I didn’t mind Lysandra, I was so bored by Elide… and Nesryn felt like a consolation prize for Chaol? Which is a pity cos I want to like her, hope she will be given more stuff to do in the next book.


      1. I think I am of the unpopular opinion when it comes to Elide. I was extremely interested by her! I was never into the Manon chapters in Heir of Fire and carrying on to Queen of Shadows. Elide made that part of the story way more interesting to me! That is also how I felt about Nesryn! I was a Chaol shipper with Aelin so obviously I wasn’t going to be pleased with anyone they paired him up with.


  8. Despite the fact that I wasn’t such a fan of this one, I’m now really excited for the next book. Now that all the storylines have come together, maybe it won’t seem as…piecemeal? Because i do love how intense it’s become, and the new relationships 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry the book didn’t quite end up working for you but I hope we will both be able to love Book 5 together 😀 The plot does seem a wee bit choppy at the moment but I have high hopes now that almost everyone has met each other.


  9. I haven’t read Crown of Midnight and though I’m already sure I’m spoiled, I’m trying to avoid QOS reviews. However, the picture you posted is gorgeous. Did you make that? You are incredibly talented!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love that you love this series! Even though the magic for me is not as strong as it is for you, I still love it. ❤ And yes to the amazing ladies!! 😀 Ikr?! I would REALLY love if this was an ADULT fantasy. There's more room for se… – er, I mean, badassery and gruesome scenes, lol. I can't wait for your graphics and lovely review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW RIGHT. I really want it to jump a rating, let me have the magic of ACOTAR in TOG PLEASE. Haha. I hope we will both love the next book so that we can fangirl together ❤


  11. Bodice ripper? Sign me up!! Hahaha. If you want you can come caps lock and fangirl unabashedly at my blog. Haha.
    It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Ms Maas’ writing/world = awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not sure if you remember me. You follow my book blog and you commented on one of my posts. It was a book review of Lumiere. I decided to follow you’re blog because I like you’re reviews and I’m also going to add you on Goodreads.
    I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed this! I will get to reading it eventually but right now I want to read other books. Great review 🙂


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