Monday, January 11, 2016

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
Release Date - September 1, 2015
Publisher Website - Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  648 pages
My Rating - 5/5


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
As a series progresses, particularly those with more than 3 books in them, it would seem natural to have less and less to say about it. The things that make the series great continue to do so. The characters you love are still engaging. The plot you fell in love with is still present. The mark of a good author is making you still want to talk about it and still making that excitement feel as fresh as book one. Sarah J Maas has mastered this as the Throne of Glass series continues to leave me spellbound.

The biggest strength of this series is character progression. Aelin is no longer Celaena and that shows in every aspect of Queen of Shadows. She embraced her birthright and is on the path to reclaiming her throne. Queen of Shadows offers both us and her the chance to say goodbye to Celaena. It shows Aelin putting her past behind her and embracing her future. There is a particular scene that reflects this beautifully and really showcases this novel as one of transition. Actions and events have consequences and those consequences have a lasting impact on the story narration and characters.

The most delightful surprise of Queen of Shadows was, for me, Manon. A character to whom I had lukewarm feelings toward after meeting her in Heir of Fire has evolved into an integral, nuanced part of the plot. I've come to love her fiercely and cannot wait to see how she develops over the last two books in this series. She is one of many impressive female characters who lead this series, and the events that transpire.

Romance is something Sarah excels at. She writes multiple possible ships with ease and makes each of them seem plausible. She also manages to create a delicious sexual tension in surprising places and I am excited to see where she takes a few of the possible romances next. I enjoy that there is something for everyone in terms of the romance, even if you don't particularly ship one couple there is always another that will ignite some kind of response.

This series really does have an 'epic' feeling to it, and it's expanding world only ensures that feeling remains. This novel surprises you by revealing another layer to the world, characters and plot as the story continues. It's scope is larger than the first book hints at and that has turned this series from a potentially good one to a phenomenal one.

A series that only continues to expand, and deepen not only it's world but it's characters. Sarah's strength is in the tiny details and the meticulous plotting that is evident as the series continues. It's not surprise that readers, including myself, are obsessed with this series and I cannot wait to follow Aelin on the last parts of her journey.

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