Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
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.
Awesomesauce!!! Despite so many things that felt wrong and off in this book, I still enjoyed it because it is fast-paced and action-packed. It was so easy to fly through the pages and forget the world. I felt my brain being shred to pieces- both from anxiety and excitement. And I’m here to warn you that there is a LOT in this book. Endings and beginnings. Debts that were paid. In full, and then some. And a lot of CRAP too.
I was actually convinced that Aelin is the best heroine ever if not for ONE and most important thing- her ruined friendship with Chaol and Dorian. She came back from Wendlyn more badass than ever with her skillful moves and cunning schemes and witty sass and sarcasm. She’s an amazing fighter even without her fae magic. A wildfire- burning, willful and cannot be tamed. BUT no, Aelin, I’m gonna cross you out of my favorites because you treat Chaol and Dorian like crap. So eager to kill Dorian and dear God, she was awful to Chaol when she pointed out that he fled and left Dorian to be possessed by the Valg demon- as if he KNEW that will happen! It’s really frustrating that Chaol is always misunderstood and his misery in this whole book affected me so greatly. Maas, please, just stop messing up Chaol. I get it. The ship has sunk down the Pacific. No need to make him look so bad because no matter how perfect you make Rowan, he wouldn’t match to what I felt for Chaolena in CoM. I actually sighed in relief when they finally ended things up, because Chaol honey, you deserve better. That was just one of the crappy things that happened in the book.
Second is the revenge. Two of the people that deserved an epic ending from AELIN- Arobyn and the king- did not get the death that they deserved. It’s lame, I had to admit. I expected chaos and destruction. Destruction of the glass castle, sure. But that was all Dorian’s doing. And Arobyn?! I screamed murder!!! Like, what, that’s it?! Murdered in his SLEEP. By LYSANDRA. Oh, puhleease…
The third is the characterization. Most of the characters that I came to love, really felt off. Aelin most of all. What happened to her? She valued friendship so much during the first 2 books. Remember how she went berserk when Chaol was kidnapped and how she avenged Nehemia’s death and how she supported Dorian when he found out that he has powers. Now, she’s just indifferent. Then, Chaol. He wasn’t his usual confident and strong self. Like what I’ve pointed out earlier, Maas destroyed him real good. To give way to a friggin’ ship. Then, Aedion. Why, I liked him in HoF. He was cocky and domineering with a great sense of loyalty. In this book, he either fangirls Rowan or has a pissing contest with him. I did NOT take him for someone who’s insecure. It’s a letdown.
Fourth, the random plots/subplots/twists that don’t make sense. The king of Adarlan being a semi-villain who is also a victim of the Valg possession and Perrington being the boss villain. Guess what, it did not surprise me, it annoyed me. I was so invested in hating the king, I do not care about PERRINGTON!!! He’s just a minion. Sounds familiar? Well, it’s like how I’ve invested so much on my Chaolena ship, then surprise! He isn’t the one, sorry. It’s Rowan-i-don’t-give-a-f*ck-Whitethorn. The ship that is FORCED to sail! Ok, then we have Lysandra as a shape-shifter. I do not hate her, in fact, she made this book really interesting but it is so OUT OF THE BLUE. The ending, gaahhhhhh!!! Just when I thought, that finally, Dorian-Chaol-Aelin reunited again. Off they go on their different ways. It will make the story wider again, but I am almost sure that it will compromise the heart and root of the series. Stretched and thinned all the way out. With MORE new characters that are not worth giving a rat’s arse. I truly hope to be wrong.
But not all’s lost. Here are my favorite hell-to-the-YESSS moments:
The great escape- when Aelin rescued Aedion from execution. I’ve been dying to see the cousins reunited. And it was as breathtaking as I expected.
Lysandra and Aelin- as cliched as it is to have a best friend to confide in and share juicy secrets and gossips, I will not get tired of female friendships. It brings warmth and emotional attachment.
Aelin and Manon’s fight- yes, ladies. Give us some action because the guys can’t be bothered. And Rowan going down after an arrow in the shoulder and almost died? Really, what are you doing here Rowan?
Aelin’s schemes and plans- her adventures and secret midnight sneaking. Scheming against Lorcan and Arobynn and bringing down the tower.
Kaltain Rompier- one hell of a woman! I was so wrong about her. She used to be the mean girl who hates the “new girl” in the first book. Then turned into a demon-controlled weapon. Then she caught me unaware when she brought hell to Morath with a BANG! And sneaked the Wyrdkey out of Morath.