BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSIONS : Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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Yes ladies and gentlemen! It took me too long to review this book but finally and with all Mala Fire Bringer’s glory, Queen of Shadows review is on!

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TITLE: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass # 4)
AUTHOR:  Sarah J. Maas
GENRE: High Fantasy, Young Adult
FORMAT: Paperback
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury UK
DATE READ: June 3, 2016




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 her world.

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non spoilery review

This book was massively long and eventfullouisseandbooks


One of the major appeals of this book aside from its bad ass plot, is the ships. And I have to agree that many ships had already sank or maybe some still sailing. I’m not going to focus on that more because there were so much thing that happened that I wanted to tackle here BTW I’m #Rowaelin shipper.

It was really hard for me to review this book because this book was really long. And after it’s done, there were lots of unanswered question still bugging my mind and I’m still trying to look for answers about what’s gonna happen next. I theorized a lot but I don’t know if any of them were right. And that’s what I really like about this book. It really makes you think. It’s not as easy as reading it. It felt engaging.  This wasn’t the conclusion to everything because we still have two more books to go. The old world ends. The new world begins. I wish my questions will be answered through the next installments. The writing style of Sarah remains sophisticated as ever and the story is like watching my favorite tv series. I don’t want it to end.

I really enjoyed Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight and had a little bit doubt with Heir of Fire. But I’m glad that Queen of Shadows took me back to Aelin’s little complicated world.

Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series and the story picks up right where it ends. Here we find Celaena Sardothien fighting her way to free magic and to take down the evil King of Adarlan and all the bad elements. This book was such a roller coaster ride with a strong plot. I love how versatile it was and as I read, it didn’t ceased to amaze me.

All I could say for the non-spoilery part is that this book was really long but all worth it. It raises questions but that’s a good thing because the book wants to engage us inside the world. Though there were some parts that I felt bored, and I got some complains with the fate of some characters, but it all falls in its place in the end. Even though Sarah introduced us to new characters, I think the heart of this novel is Celaena, Chaol and Dorian. They are the magic trio that I really miss. You should really hang on and believe that Sarah has surprises for the readers. You will see how Celaena struggles to survive the battle with strong forces without her magic, only her assassin skills, wits and also with the help of her friends. I like where Sarah is leading the story and I think if you really enjoyed the last three books, you’ll be a fan of this one too.


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After  Wendlyn, Celaena Sardothien, who now calls herself Aelin Galanythius went back to Rifthold to first take back what belongs to her; her necklace which was in Arobynn’s possession. It contains the wyrdkey she exactly needed to win the war. Her next plan was to kill Arobynn but things get a little bit out of hand when she found out that her cousin Aedion is alive. This was a dramatic reunion for Aelin and Aedion because they were separated since they were little and they have spent their lives wondering whether one day they’ll be reunited in their court. She then set a bargain with Arobynn in order to save Aedion and found herself teaming up with her former nemesis, Lysandra who then exposed Arobynn’s vicious acts and how he conspired to kill Sam which lead to Celaena’s capture in Endovier.

Unexpectedly, Rowan showed up and warns Celaena’s about Lorcan’s plan to get the key from her and give it to Maeve. Of course,  Celaena wouldn’t allow that insolence and decides to trick him and have his scent on one of the wyrdhounds she found.

Meanwhile, they have discovered that king of Adarlan is planning to release the evil Valg King from its world using the wydkeys. That’s really scary because he was the Valg King who had once caused destruction to the world until he was though not entirely beaten, but finally sent back to his world by Brannon. To prevent that, Chaol had finally told Aelin a way on how to free magic and it is by taking down the clock tower which was the source of the king’s magic. Aaelin together with Aedion, Rowan, Lysandra Chaol and Nesryn and some of the unexpected “allies”, they set out into fighting the life and death war that could either lead into victory or their ruination.

  • Arobynn Hamel’s Death

I was a little bit disgusted with Arobynn. I’ve kept on picturing him as a pedo though he wasn’t that old. He had special affection for Celaena which is a huge nay nay!

I never really trusted the King of Assassins even he vows a deal with Aelin in exchange for killing some of the Valg demons for him. Aelin, together with Rowan and Aedion, came here in the Assassin’s Keep to retrieve her necklace which is in Arobynn’s possession. The wyrdkey was crafted into a necklace that was given to Aelin by her mother and it is the thing that kept Terrasen indestructible for decades. Aelin knew she needed to have it since it’s her only ticket for beating her enemies. I don’t know if Arobynn noticed Aelin’s real intentions but he never really trusted Aelin and even tried to control her. I really thought Aelin was now under the control of Arobynn when he put the black ring (which he had gotten into one of the humans with valg prince inside them) on her finger.

And by history, we know that those who possessed any black rings or necklaces turn into a puppet. But later we found out that she was acting it all out. The ring was fake and yay! How did that happened? Well, you can never mess up with Aelin Galathynius. She had manipulated everything and managed to exchanged it into a fake black ring right before Arobynn met that Valg human. After thinking he had finally controlled Aelin, he revealed to her all his plans thus leading to his own demise.

Arobynn Hamel was murdered by Lysandra few days later with Aelin’s blessing. Thus giving justice to the people he had killed. Celaena has managed to switch Arobynn’s will into a fake one thus making her the sole heir of the Assassin’s Keep.

  • The Growing Army of the King in Morath

This was scary. This ain’t any regular army! This is an army of beasts that could take down an empire. So this has been going on for a long time, it is orchestrated by the King of Adarlan himself and is led by Duke Perrington. What really scared me is that they’ve been breeding Valg and witches together and imagine what that would result for! A freakin witch- valg baby! That could possibly be twice stronger than a Fae or the witches themselves. Manon, together with her thirteen was sent here on a mission to help perform this task. Being the Wing Leader, Manon is in charge to see to it that all the requests of the Duke are being granted. And that includes sacrificing covens to breed with the Valg. Manon was then faced with a tough decision because she is torn between sacrificing her kind and also performing the duties given to her by her grandmother (evil matron!!!!)

  • The Witches Ain’t B*tches

Here we have discovered that the first witches were created by the union of Valg and Faes. But I still wonder how are the current witches conceived? Why all the witches are female?  We have seen that Asterin’s once eloped with a human hundred years ago which cost her baby’s life (and it’s the revelation that changed Manon’s view), but what about the full blooded witches? How are they formed and multiply now that Valg and Faes don’t breed anymore?

To be honest when I was reading Heir of Fire, I hated the portion of the witches. They’re boring and I do not know if it would play a significant role into the development of the story. But reading Queen of Shadows proved me wrong. They play a vital role in this story and I found myself rooting for Manon. We know she’s arrogant but we also know that she’s not a bad witch. She’s just doing her duty to prove herself worthy of the title Wing Leader. I knew that a major turning table would happen. I knew that Manon would finally break the evil laws and choose to the right thing. She is slowly having a heart which was first seen when she had chosen an underdog mount Abraxos over the mighty ones. Also when she accepted a human with witch blood, Elide in their Blackbeak clan, when she finally have chosen to protect her Thirteen after hearing Asterin’s revelation about her grandmother, and also her decision to pay her life debt for Aelin Galathynius, those were her moments that made me like her.

I mean she could have just ignored all those and be evil right? But she did not.

  • Aelin Galathynius and Manon Blackbeak Grand Face-off/Showdown

This is made possible all thanks to Chaol Westfall. If he wasn’t acting like an idiot by going straight to kill Dorian even though he had known that Dorian was surrounded by the King’s men and freakin’ Witches, dayum, Aelin and Manon wouldn’t have had met. We have been reading Manon since Heir of Fire and we know how much big this face off is. We also know how b*tchy type she is and how hot-blooded she could get. Aelin on the other hand was the same. Manon was about to let them go but Aelin has to be a smart mouth by revealing her “Oh I killed Baba Yellowlegs.” Mort had warned her once that if the witches knew, they would be on killing spree mood. It was an intense and scary fight because since Magic is banished, Aelin has no ability to access her fae abilities. She’ll just rely on her human skills and wits against Manon , an Iron Teeth Witch.

In the end, by the wyrd! Using Aelin’s skills about the wyrdmarks, she was able to outsmart Manon but also at the same time ended up saving Manon’s life. Thus, resulting Manon’s life debt to the Queen of Terrassen.

I really like what Aelin said to Rowan about the reason why she spared Manon’s life. It was a shame to have a mighty warrior such as Manon, be killed through falling into that abyss. And the way Asterin shouted Manon’s name, it was the same way Aelin had once shouted for Rowan’s name. She didn’t had the heart to kill someone who is so important to someone. I just wish that Aelin, wouldn’t regret this decision. Because I really liked Manon too now but scared at her at the same time.

  • Manon Can Suspend the Valg Inside Dorian

Am I the only who was secretly being a Manon and Dorian shipper? I do not know what’s with Manon but when she faced Dorian, the valg inside him went silent and suddenly Dorian was himself again. He didn’t do any effort to fight it, it just happened right when Manon was in front of him. Manon knew that though Dorian’s body was controlled by a Valg, Dorian was still in there. But the question is why? Is it because witches are born from Valg and Fae combined and Dorian has a Fae heritage plus a Valg inside him? Or are they simply soulmates?

  • The Wyrdkeys and Kaltain

Aelin has the one Wyrdkey which is in the amulet of Orynth. Towards the end, before Kaltain burn down the whole Morath using her shadowfire, she tucked in one into Elide’s shirt and told her to give it to no one other than Celaena Sardothein.

“You find Celaena Sardothien. Give her this. No one else. ~No one else.~ Tell her that you can open any door, if you have the key. And tell her to remember her promise me—to punish them all. When she asks why, tell her I said that they would not let me bring the cloak she gave me, but I kept a piece of it. To remember that promise she made. To remember to repay her for a warm cloak in a cold dungeon.”

I really That could turn out so good. But Elide didn’t know who Celaena Sardothien was. Kaltain sacrificed her life in order to protect them. Her power was kind of scary and though she wasn’t able to kill Erawan and Vernon, her shadowfire had taken down a whole lot of people including the breeding yellowlegs and the armies. I am not sure how she got the wyrdkey and I’m also not sure where the third key is hidden. I’m suspecting it’s with Erawan which leads us to the final epic battle. The death of the King of Adarlan.

  • The King of Adarlan’s Ruination a.k.a the Epic Battle 

It wasn’t really a bloody battle but so much revelation has been revealed on this part. For the record, for the past three books, I hated him. But toward the end, I do not know what to feel. He wasn’t the bad guy.  When he was young, the king found the Key and brought it to Morath. Perrington showed him the crypt in the Keep and he had opened it using the key even though it was forbidden. When he opened it, Erawan, the Valg king took Perrington’s body while his minion, took the young king’s body. I DID NOT EXPECT THIS ONE. NOT EVEN AN EYELASH! His curiosity has lead to a grand chaos. So he wasn’t the REAL bad guy. It was the Valg King inside Duke Perrington but cloaked his presence so no one would notice thus his ability to scent others like Aelin stifled.


The king has managed to wrested the control away of the lesser Valg inside him and managed to order the towers built and use that spell to banish magic. But the Valg king didn’t know how the king had done it or why the towers were built and thought that magic vanished as punishment from the gods. He gave all his strength to keep that knowledge away from the Valg king that’s why he could not fight the demon inside him and stop him when he did all those awful things because he was trying to keep the knowledge safe.

And that frightful night in Terrasen, he came to find Aelin to end it all, to kill him. But it ended up in chaos. The valg inside him did everything to wipe out Aelin’s whole line so no oneand no fire could ever remove him from the king’s body.

But they did it. Rowan and Aedion was able to take down the clock tower hence releasing the magic. Aelin did it, with all Mala Fire-Bringer’s fire, she had finally killed the king. His death was a big event but I’m not sure if I would be so happy because the real enemy was out there alive. Dorian was now the King and Aelin, was finally home in Terrasen. 


AELIN:  I expect this to be long because there is so much to say about her. And Aelin will always be Celaena Sardothien to me and it would always be a part of who she was. I really like how Aelin grew in the story and how Queen-like she is becoming. I like how brave she was and doesn’t show fear in front of her enemies (even Manon made a remark on that.) If I have one thing I complained about Aelin is her relationship with boys. She had relationship with 3 boys of this book (though Rowan is not yet official but we’ll get to that soon) Other than that, I like how she exhibit resourcefulness throughout this book. Take note that she didn’t had an army yet. But she was able to take down an Empire with the help of her few friends. And this shows that; you don’t need a handful of people around you, just a few, skilled and loyal ones will do. And by team work and putting faith in one another, is more than enough to win any war.

MANON: She easily climbed up as one of my favorite characters in this series. She’s ruthless, wicked but I loved her character. In those small moments where she showed mercy, we had a glimpse of her true heart. She is not a bad witch. She is proud of her heritage and will do everything to protect it.

ROWAN: My sweet Rowan Whitehorn. Faes are Baes. I love how loyal he is with Aelin and tried to restraint himself with her seducing charm because there is so much going on, there’s a war ahead them and he doesn’t want to be a distraction. He is brave and immortal and handsome. He is the perfect example of knight in shinning armor who could really protect you from anything. He is quite funny without even trying. Remember when he tried to reveal Aedion’s heritage randomly as if it wasn’t a revelation, “He’s the son of Gavriel,” and when he revealed that Lysandra was a shapeshifter. Like no one knows those and he blurt them out as if it weren’t big deal and it was really funny.

DORIAN: Poor Dorian. I feel like he was a total outcast on this book. I felt bad about him when he was ditched by Celaena. And then Sorscha died and he spent the whole of this book being under the control of a valg prince. Like he didn’t do much in this whole series. He had small moments. For a power so strong, I really wish on the next book he’ll have more exposure. He is an important character and also I think he’ll be a great king.

CHAOL: I didn’t know what happened to Chaol but half of the book I was annoyed with him. He just went from 10 to 0. He became annoying, bitter and whinny. He was blaming Celaena for everything that had happened. And he did lots of stupidity that almost cost their lives. And then in the grand scheme of things, Chaol, became paralyzed after that fight with the King. If there’s one thing I’m glad about is, he found a way to heal himself, his heart, and accept the truth. And in the end they both forgive each other.

NESRYN and LYSANDRA: Women rule this book! Nesryn reminds me of Katniss Everdeen. She’s quite good with arrows and I think she can really take care of Chaol. Meanwhile, Lysandra is an awesome shapeshifter and one of her best moments is when she shifted into ghost leopard to save Aelin. Aelin granted her a land (?) and she’s now a lady. She told Aelin that she didn’t know how to be a lady and run a property but Aelin replied that she doesn’t know how to be a Queen and run a kingdom but they’ll figure this out too together. Bad ass female unite on this book.

AEDION: Son of Gavriel. I didn’t like Aedion much. He was just a passive character but he is important to Aelin because he’s the only family left that she had known. But if there’s one thing I admire about Aedion is that he’s smart and calculative. Maybe it runs in the Ashryver blood. Will Galan Ashryver, (the prince of Wendlyn) will be like them too?

KALTAIN: Kaltain left the story with a bang. We will miss her and how genuine she was in hopes that she will escape her dark shadowfire. And in her last moments, she thought about Aelin and kept her promise.


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So here’s my ship. I wanted to explain more of them but I’ll just leave it like this.

  • MAEVE AND ERAWAN (lol) this one’s a joke and should never happen. But I’m scared that at one point, they might team up against Aelin. I just wish they wont.


Queen of Shadows is highly recommended. Don’t give up on this book because it gets better I promise you.

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW + DISCUSSIONS : Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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