QUEEN OF SHADOWS is the fourth book in the magnificent fantasy series Throne of Glass, written by the 'Queen of Fantasy YA', Sarah J. Maas.
You all know that when I bought these books I wasn't expecting a great story I would devote my time to time and time again. But this series stole my heart away and left me addicted for more. And now, every year I am left counting down the days till the next book is published.
QUEEN OF SHADOWS has finally arrived on September 1st and I made it my priority to read it as the first book from my September TBR. And what I read literally blew my mind away.
NO MASTERS. NO LIMITS. NO REGRETS.
Celaena Sardothien is cloaked in her assassin's hood once more. She is back in Rifthold, but this time she is no one's slave. She must delve into her most painful memories and fight for her survival, while resisting a smouldering passion that might very well consume her heart. And she will face her former master, the King of Assassins, again - to wreak revenge for a decade of pain...
Let me just tell you straight away, the blur doesn't give a justice to the story inside the book.
But let's start with the edition first. I own the UK paperback edition. UK has their own editions and they are absolutely stunning. White background. A picture of Aelin (Celaena) on the front cloaked in her assassin's gear. The graphic team behind these editions have been sticking to the same design which I greatly appreciate. Each cover is beautiful and slightly different. The fourth instalment is the biggest of the books by far. 656 pages divided into 89 craft-fully written chapters. Beautiful.
The story picks up straight where Heir of Fire left off and continues with actioned-packed development. We are meeting the characters we have grown to love, but new faces are popping in. And the story gets more thrilling with every chapter passing.
There are so many new dangerous challenges ahead Aelin and her return to Rifthold. New friendship are made. New unexpected alliances are formed. Relationships' dynamics are changing. New ship are sailing.
I just cannot even describe how much joy this book brings me. The writing is so imaginative and thought through that I can see the world Ms Maas created in her head clearly. There are so many twists and turns I have not seen coming that I am surprised that I am not laying on hospital bed suffering for a heart attack. The story just keeps on giving.
Aelin needs to free her cousin Aedion, avenge the death of Sam by killing the King of Assassins himself, help out Dorian, free the magic and stop the horrible King Of Adarlan. She has her hands full. But luckily she isn't on her own. Even though her and Chaol are no longer an item, they manage to work together and she actually shows him what a great queen she is. Aedion is at her side. Finally reunited with his beloved cousin he thought dead. She finds new friends in Lyssandra and Nesryn. And Rowan is there too. Yes, he comes to be with his Queen..
This instalment finally starts to point a little more clearly where Ms Maas is heading with the story. Finally, I can understand why certain characters has been introduce to the story in the last book. And I am liking what I am reading. I have develop several theories and hypothesis about the potential development but I am sure that Ms Maas has great things in store for us.
But what I enjoy about the story the most is the constant development of the story itself and the characters. There is so much passion. So much love and loyalty. And Aelin is becoming one of the greatest female leads in the Fantasy YA.
I just can't... I cannot even beginning to describe my love for this book. It's my favourite in the series. It opens my mind to new possibilities and my ship preferences have change too. I can now see why Dorian and Chaol aren't the ones of Aelin. I understand the hype about her and Rowan. Oh, wonderful Rowan. They have a connection like no other. They aren't only friends, but (soul)mates. But that doesn't mean that Aelin is leaving her old fiends behind. The opposite is true. And I will be honest I absolutely loved Chaol's character development. Even though I am sad that him and Celaena (yes, because Celaena loved Chaol and Chaol loved Celaena - not Aelin) are not the ship of the year, he lost everything and managed to come out on the right end. He became courageous and finally saw the truth. Absolutely mesmerising. And of course, Aelin will continue to support and help out Dorian.
But I hope we will also see more action and more relationship and character development from the other characters. My predictions, well my ships - after reading this book, are :
Aelin & Rowan, Aedion & Lyssandra, Chaol & Nesryn, Dorian & Manon.
Yes, I said it. Manon is another wonderfully written character and her development continues on surprising in the good way. I cannot wait to read more.
I actually don't have anything negative to say about it fourth instalment. It was an absolute perfection. Every single chapter was masterfully written. It was a joyous ride. And I am not left with a book hangover greater than ever before, and a sad heart as I have to wait a year for the next book to come out.
A literary masterpiece. A torture for fans as they now have to wait for the next book to be published. But amazing story which just keeps on giving.
Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU MS MAAS. You have done it yet again. I am ever surprised and appraising follower. I cannot wait to read the next book. I cannot wait to find out what more you have prepared for us.