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Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Spoiler Free)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017



April 11, 2017

“She was a whirling cloud of death, a queen of shadows, and these men were already carrion.” ― Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows

Bow down to the queen.

It is going to be very hard to keep this spoiler free, but I am going to do it! I promise! Book four of the "Throne of Glass" series was INCREDIBLE. I thought book 3 was my favourite, but no, "Queen of Shadows" tops that and "Empire of Storms" may top book 4, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. There are many things I would like to say in this review, but most of them are non-human sounds and gestures...so we'll stick to words. I found book four to be the most thrilling so far and even have some of the happiest moments. 


This book is a whirlwind of emotions that not only touch on the overall fantasy aspect, but also the real world. Maas integrates real fears and issues that people deal with in our own society and I think that was brilliant. It allowed us to experience empathy to her characters and see them more than just fictional beasts. A particular story involving Asterin was somewhat difficult to read, but I think that is a good thing as it just adds more and more layers to an already complex story. In the end, we are meant to feel something for these characters and through their personal heartbreak, it pulls that cord just a bit tighter.

Strength is a major player in this book and it's not just physical strength either. Yes, there are moments that are full of magic and melee, but for me, seeing the endurance that lies beneath their skin and seeing their drive to protect their loved ones is so much more powerful. That is what I love so much about Sarah J. Maas. Not only does she create these beautiful characters, but they are never just black and white. There is always more layers to peel back in order to see their undeniable power. And within those layers, we can sometimes see bits of ourselves. 

Relationships are a major part of book four, but not just romantic ones. The loyalty shared between multiple characters and the family bond is what I loved the most. The camaraderie that is shared between the main characters is what makes the story. Characterization is always a big player in novels and Maas has hit the nail! I love all of the characters and the bonds they create. There are whispers of  relationships to come and I cannot wait to explore them more!

In some ways, this book reminded me of "Six of Crows" as with Bardugo's main character, Kaz, he was always three steps ahead of everyone and Aelin is very similar. I kept thinking that they were in peril, but three to four pages later and Aelin surprises us yet again. I just love books that keep you guessing the entire time. As for the villains of this book, there are several and are evil in their own ways. You don't realize the impact they have till the end and I was thoroughly surprised when I realized what was going on and what the ultimate goal of the series would end up being. Those last 150 pages or so were so stressful, I was shaking. HA, good luck.

There was definitely a more adult tone to book four and I thought that was very appropriate. As the main character changes and grows, so does the story and that is so important. It is darker and more mature and that adds to the build up for the main climax of the story. As for violence, well there is a good amount. A bit gory, but come on, that's the best part! Aside from that, the fantasy aspects such as magical creatures, demons, and magic itself are intensified in book four and I cannot wait to see how they are used further in book 5. Especially Aelin. 

Just like book 3, the points of view do switch, but this time I didn't mind. I started to enjoy the different perspectives a bit more. Especially since I saw how they were starting to intertwine with one another. I now see that it was smart choice and will no longer complain! I can see a battle raging on the horizon and I don't think anyone is going to come out unscathed.

I give this book 5 stars and hope that book 5 will be just as incredible! I am hoping for the best for my favourite characters, but who knows with authors these days! If you have enjoyed the other novels in this series then you are in for a treat when it comes to "Queen of Shadows". Book 4 is about: Reunion, Redemption, and Revenge and if that doesn't entice you then I don't know what will! Till next time!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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