Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas: Review

Synopsis:

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 contrinues Celaena's epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

***

"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."

If there's one thing Queen of Shadows taught me, it's that never, ever, EVER try to jump to conclusions. Queen of Shadows is such an incredibly complex book, the plot in this book alone can be fit into two books. This is one of those books that I have to take a break from time to time, so that I can digest it and get over the shock and emotional thrill. Sarah never fails to deliver the best content. It's easily my favorite in the series.

Why did I say not to jump to conclusions? A lot of things have changed since well before QoS begins. A lot of things change in this book. Aelin is back, making alliances with enemies, trying to defeat the two things that threatens her life, her rightful throne and her friend(s). No longer the uncertain assassin trying to discover her true destiny and her underlying powers, she's a force to be reckoned with. The "fire-breathing bitch queen" that will restore magic in the timeless gorgeous magical world (by the way, I am really fond of that title). She has to come to terms with past relationships and her own dark side. Let me assure you, this is no easy journey. Misunderstood and antagonized against, she emerges from the shadows and eventually tread into light. The details are too complicated to be described here. But know this: you will never get bored of it.

A better example to illustrate my point is Chaol. I have such mixed feelings about Chaol in the beginning of Queen of Shadows. His loyalty and fierceness towards Dorian is palpable. And yet he's stubborn to the point that I itch to slap some sense into him. His reunion with Aelin is... rocky, to put it mildly. It wasn't pretty. However, just when I thought my opinions about him were solidified, Sarah surprises me with a series of intricately written plots. I came to respect that guy. Not love, but pure respect. The amazing thing is that she did it in one single book. It's mind-blowing.

Despite my love for Aelin and possibly all the characters in the book, my fondness lies in Rowan and Manon. Manon plays a much bigger role in Queen of Shadows then she did in Heir of Fire. As the Wingleader, she's involved in a sinister plot that can potentially bring Aelin and her gang, and possibly the whole world down. Her fate is uniquely entwined with Aelin's, in the most unexpected way possible. She also meets someone that I would never dream of. That got me excited. Her thoughts also aren't as cold and cruel as it should be (because, well, she's an Ironteeth witch). It will be infinitely more interesting to read about her in the upcoming books.

Rowan is a sort of relief in this thrilling course of events. And boy, don't I love it. After Heir of Fire, I just want to see him again in this book. His passion and loyalty is even more obvious in this book. It makes me smile to read about the conversations between Aelin and him. Their relationship in the book has, well, evolved. A lot. They are the best partners. It's safe to say that the ship has sailed. Happily. 

Okay, there's just no way that I can cover every good bit in this book. I'm thoroughly impressed. It's possibly one of my favorite books of all time.

Rating: 10/10 (because 9.5 is too low of a score)

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