REVIEW: Queen of Shadows

Book title: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)
Author: Sarah J Maas


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.

That was the official synopsis of the book. Now, here is an accurate summary of this book from a goodreads review. Okay, let’s begin. *deep breath*


The good

The new characters. If it’s wrong to love Manon Blackbeak, then I don’t wanna be right. Her and Asterin’s relationship is part of the reasons why I kept on reading even when I sometimes want to stop. It’s rare for an author to successfully introduced new characters that could be accepted by the fans, but I think Sarah J Maas managed to do just that. Fans already liking Rowan from the previous book will love him even more in here. I don’t really care about him, but many do ship him with Aelin so that’s a success in my book. Manon, Aedion, and the fabulous Lysandra are other major new characters introduced in book #3 (and #4) and their story continued here.

The writing. The book in this series got thicker and thicker. Queen of Shadows is about 650 pages long, significantly longer than the first Throne of Glass that has around 400 pages. The number of pages is not the only thing that has improved. Her writing is also getting better and better. If you need convincing, go ahead and re-read a few chapters from the first book.

The not so good

The old characters. Why oh why Sarah? She made Chaol almost unrecognizable in this book. This was Captain Westfall, the one who loved Celaena so deeply in Crown of Midnight? That was how he’s going to welcome her back? Beloved Dorian is barely in the book thanks to the thing happened at the end of Heir of Fire, which is to be expected, but can be frustrating to fans.

Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. This book made it seems that simply disliking Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, the rightful Queen of Terrasen, is a crime. I get that she’s beautiful and fierce and cunning and interesting, but how is it that every males in the series want to be with her and all the females want to be her BFFs?

Final Words

I had such high hopes on this book, but left sort of disappointed. It was tad a bit too slow and the characters from the first book have changed so much and/or shoved aside. On a positive note, Sarah introduced new interesting characters and her writing is even better with each book. Four books down, two to go!

Final Score

3 stars (out of 5 stars)


Below is my rambling about this book that contains spoilers regarding ALL the four books in the series, including Queen of Shadows. I try to avoid major spoilers, but there are some minor ones and my responses to major ones that you may wish to avoid. Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.

  • Oh wow, Chaol, amazing. You too, Aelin.
  • Me: I thought this book is going to be about Chaolaena reunited, but it seems that’s not happening anytime soon.
  • I know Rowan is going to be in this book, but I didn’t realize he’ll appear so early.
  • Lysandra is awesomesauce.
  • Ohmigosh how many times she’s going to mention the flimsy nightgowns.
  • Oh wow, is everyone in this series NOT human? *awaits Chaol to turn into werewolf*
  • Definitely not Chaolaena
  • Manon. Manon. MANON.
  • There are so many coincidences in this book.
  • Wow, I thought Aedion is going to get killed or something.
  • Dorian ):
  • Oh Celaena, Aelin, whoever, you cunning little warrior princess, you.
  • SO Many coincidences. Lysandra is still amazing, by the way.
  • Kaltain Rompier. ): My heart just break.
  • I’m just here for Dorian and Manon. Thank you. Bye.


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9 thoughts on “REVIEW: Queen of Shadows

  1. My feelings on Queen of Shadows are very mixed. At times I feel like giving the book anywhere from five stars to three stars. It’s a large part of why I haven’t written a review. I almost feel like the author talked to some fans, heard how much they seemed to like Rowan and decided to find someway to fit him into the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I like Rowan, but he and a few other characters (like Chaol) were acting out of character like you said.

    1. *gasp* I think you might be right. That will explain many things, like why Chaol acting weird and the reason of putting Nesryn in this book (I kind of like her, but her role in the overall plot is quite unclear). The thing about Rowan is not that he’s a bad character, it’s just that I didn’t detect romantic interest between Aelin and Rowan in HoF. To borrow Cassandra Clare’s term, I saw them more as parabatai instead of lovers.
      I hope she’s not going to change the plot to fullfil fan demands.

      1. Yes, even though Rowan was one of my favorite characters in Heir of Fire I saw him as more of Aelin’s friend than a love interest. Aelin already had so many love interests that part of me wished he would stay that way as we don’t seem to have a lot of characters who stay “just friends” in fiction.

        All the same, I wouldn’t have a problem if Aelin and Rowan had developed a relationship at a much slower pace than what happened in this book. Here it felt somewhat forced.

        I feel like sometimes I can tell when authors are including plot points just to please fans vs ones that they actually want to include. The ones “just for the fans” are the ones that feel unnatural to me. I think publishers might have something to do with it too. I talked to some fairly popular authors about publisher influence on their work, and it seems they have quite a lot.

        1. Very interesting. I agree that it might have worked much better if the relationship is allowed to develop more slowly. In QoS, it was somewhat thrown at us and built at the expense of not quite developing other characters.
          Still hoping the rest of the series will be good though, as I grow to enjoy her writing.

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