Queen of Shadows
By: Sarah J. Maas
Book #4 in Throne of Glass Series
Content Warnings: Violence, blood, gore, death, alcohol consumption, language
I’ve actually read the whole Throne of Glass series by now, but Queen of Shadows easily reigns as my favorite. A number of plotlines progress at once but they’re all equally gripping. There’s action, suspense, terrifying reveals, and heartbreaking tragedy (Ah, Dorian!). Often friends and allies are forced to debate difficult decisions, which in themselves broke my heart even without the resulting friction. The things an author can do to their faithful readers and get away with is just not fair. And yet it’s all so good!
I appreciate Maas focusing on the lore in this installment. It felt satisfied learning more about the parasitic Valg demons that have actually had a huge impact on this world’s current political climate. The way Maas described them and what they do to others gave me goosebumps – definitely the creepiest beings in the series so far. In addition, Maas also clarifies what has been going on in the background to other characters. For instance, now the schemes involving Kaltain, which date as far back as the first novel, have been explained. It made me stop and think of how certain characters have been suffering alone for a long time. And no one even knew.
Speaking of which, I liked how Maas turns the rivalry between Celaena and the courtesan Lysandra into a blossoming alliance/friendship. It turns out Arobynn, the King of the Assassins, groomed and pitted the two against each other so he could enjoy control. Not anymore though! It was refreshing to see yet another example of women supporting each other. All of the platonic relationships in this series tugged at my heart. They’re a light countering the despair.
Queen of Shadows is a deliciously dark addition to the series that sucked my time away without me even realizing it. That last third of the novel in particular was like a chain of explosions going off. Just scene after scene of gasp-worthy battles, escapes, and all-around memorable moments. In my humble opinion, Queen of Shadows is the climax of the series to which nothing can compare.
More Musings & Magic
Celaena has finally embraced her heritage, but as difficult a venture that proved to be, her struggles have only just begun. She’s up against a lot of cunning masterminds. I like how Maas portrayed this as not an end-all to her problems, but as a first step to achieve something more.
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