September 7, 2015

Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

September 7, 2015

Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 656

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.
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 will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again.  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.

Celaena's epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe.  This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena's story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter the world.

Queen of Shadows summed up in one word:


Sarah J. Maas continually impresses readers with exciting book after book.  This year we've been fortunate enough to receive two new Maas releases.  And although I felt A Court of Thorns and Roses started off a bit slow, the action monumentally picked up, and by the end of the book, I was in complete bookish love.

Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in Sarah J. Maas's bestselling Throne of Glass series, was no exception.  I was and still am in awe of Sarah's captivating storytelling.  Like A Court of Thorns and Roses, Queen of Shadows, is action-packed, bewitching, and unputdownable.

On September 1, I immediately headed off to the bookstore after school to pick up my own copy.  This book was worth every penny spent; I blazed through the pages in only a matter of days.

Why was Queen of Shadows so riveting?

Here's why:

1. Aelin Galathynius

Our beloved heroine is back in QoS and somehow even more kick-ass and wonderful than she was in Heir of Fire.  From book one until now, I've loved Celaena (now Aelin) for her spirit, her resilience, and her nerve.  She has been such a refreshing character to the YA genre.  Yes, she's a queen and likes to dress up in lavish clothing, but she can also tough it out in the slums and wreak havoc upon her enemies.  In this fourth book, the Queen of Terrasen, Aelin Galathynius, is back and ready to fight for her title, her people, and her empire.  Readers, be prepared for even more pages (656!) of Aelin's usual "kick-assery" and verve.

2. Strong female characters

Sarah J. Maas knows how to write characters, but she's an absolute expert at writing strong female characters.  Over the past few books we've been introduced to a handful of them, but in Queen of Shadows, I especially feel the women of the series really take on the starring roles.  Besides old favorites and our main character, Aelin, readers are also introduced (and reintroduced) to a multitude of characters.  There's Nesryn, a fierce rebel fighting alongside Chaol, there's Elide, more witches, more Manon, an enemy-turned-friend, Lysandra, and a reappearance of Kaltain.  You'll love each and every one of these strong ladies and the role they play.

3. The intricate plot line

If someone handed me book one and asked me to predict what was to come in the following books, there would be absolutely no way to guess how Celaena's story would evolve into the intricate, sensational treasure it has become.  And that's exactly what I love about the Throne of Glass series - it's so well-thought out and so well-written that readers are always kept rapt!  I went from petrified to nervous to relieved in only a matter of pages.  Queen of Shadows is filled with those "oh no!" moments, those "ahhh!" moments, and then those "yes!" moments we love.   Honestly, there was never a dull moment.  (Even Manon's chapters that I felt was a bit boring in Heir of Fire, intrigued in Queen of Shadows.)

4. All the action

Come on, it's a Sarah J. Maas book.
Aelin Galathynius knows how to bring the action.
Look forward to loads of epic battles and mind-blowing brawls.

5. The relationships!

No spoilers here, but there's some romance, some heartwarming friendships forged, and some beginnings, too!  If anything, read this book for the complex interactions between characters.  There's funny scenes, sad scenes, cute scenes, and of course, those touching scenes that make our hearts burst in happiness.

I can positively say Queen of Shadows is one of my favorite Throne of Glass books yet.

author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.


  1. I just finished Throne of Glass and I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!

  2. Awesome review! I kind of avoided most of the review in case of spoilers but I have 50 pages left I've been just too lazy to read since school starts tomorrow for me and I'm kind of bummed out!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  3. Oh man, everyone seems to be enjoying this book so much! I need to catch up!

    Lipstick and Mocha

  4. you go juliakimia <3 !!

  5. Awesome review!! I'm really close to finishing QoS, and I'd be lying if I said that the romance didn't tear me apart. There is actually so much going on in QoS plotwise in comparison to the other ToG books, and I loved it. Manon played a much larger role in this too, and it was so much more enjoyable than the Manon parts in HoF.

    Olivia @ Fictionally Obsessed

  6. So glad to see you enjoyed this Julia Anne, I'm only on Crown of Midnight at the moment but I've heard such great things about Queen of Shadows, I can't wait to read it!

  7. Hmmm, I could easily predict the plots of the first 2 books but Heir of Fire surprised me a bit and now it's good to hear that it's getting more developed :D Really looking forward to all the friendships that form too!

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  9. AHH. I'll have to admit that while I really liked Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire was a bit meh for me. But I am definitely going to have to still give this a try Julia Anne since your enthusiasm makes me so excited! Thank you for sharing this wonderful review! ♥

  10. I agree this one is better! Aelin was so badass and I love how she has developed throughout the series. I have to admit, though, that Crown of Midnight was the series' peak for me, and I didn't like Heir of Fire. Gratefully, this one made up for what was missing in book 3! Great review, Julia!

    Vane at Books With Chemistry

  11. It seems like the more reviews I see of this book the more I need to read it. I know everyone was fangirling over this book in the series! And it sounds like it was completely worth it as well :D I am going to admit after reading the title of the first reason... she does give the characters names that are quite a mouthful and difficult for me to spell xD But everything sounds well worth reading a slightly longer book than the rest of the series!

  12. I wasn't even sure if I would start this series but I only see amazing things about all the books!! I love strong female characters so I guess I need to add all of them to my TBR - Great review!

  13. I'm glad you liked it so much!! :D I have to admit...I preferred the first two books. Like, Crown of Midnight is EVERYTHING TO ME OMG. *hugs that book so fiercely* It's started to go downhill for me, but luckily I'm the minority right?!?! :P I do love Lysandra in this book though. Omg, I did NOT expect her to be just so downright awesome.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!


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