Monday, 21 November 2016

QUEEN OF SHADOWS (Throne of Glass #4) - by Sarah J. Maas

Year Published: 2015 - by Blooomsbury UK 
Pages: 645.
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Young Adut/Fae/Magic/Romance
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Source: Library. 
Goodreads: Queen of Shadows

Blurb:
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.


My review:

I don't love this series. Maas does many things right, but now, having read up to the fourth book, I'm finding more faults with some of the things she's doing. I wish, wish, I could fangirl about how awesome I think this series is, but I can't. I just can't. 
This is a very hard book to review. My thoughts are scattered, torn, and confused. I'll try my best :) 

The writing is still gorgeously vivid, allowing me to see, taste, and touch every atmosphere Maas creates. However, the language is becoming repetitive. I'm almost tiring of some of the descriptions because those words have been used too many times before. Also, Maas's writing is dangerously close to becoming melodramatic. Some parts already are. 
The complexity and depth of everything is astounding. Granted, I'm still rather confused about the magic and the Fae and demons and all that stuff, but I admire Maas so much for knowing her world so well and creating such a strong one. The atmosphere is still as strong as ever, and Aelin's world crawls with tantalising foreboding and mystery; as tragic as it is magnificent. 
Maas's stories are unpredictable. That's another thing I love about her writing. 

Unfortunately, there're more cons. It's quotes like these that are seriously getting too ridiculous: 






*eye roll*

The characters are my main issue with this book. Aelin's still badass, but she's also become rather fluffy headed with Rowan around. She's feminine, which I have NO problem with, but she's losing her assassin's zeal. Rowan, with whom she has absolutely no chemistry, has softened her into someone I'm greatly disappointed with. Aelin has lost the power of her original character, and instead of softening realistically and movingly, she's done so at the expense of her original fire (pun intended for those who understand) and is acquiring the vulnerability and feisty-but-soft-ness of a damsel. 
The other characters are constantly in awe of her. Her friends love her and think she's amazing. She has a ton of flaws, but she's still amazing. I don't like that. It's getting silly and she's nearing a Mary Sue. The quotes above prove just how much Maas, and her characters, adore Aelin. And I can't stand her. 


As for the other characters, they're blurring into wishy-ashy flatness; with a few exceptions. 
Chaol and Dorian are still strong personalities with an epic bromance between them, but characters like Lysanda and Nesryn and Rowan have little to make them unique or three-dimensional. Don't get me wrong, I actually liked Lysandra; or rather, I liked the idea of her character. As it was, she wasn't fully dimensional or properly rounded. She and Nesryn could easily be the same person because it's almost impossible to see them clearly in my mind and define exactly what they're like. True, no one's black or white, but everyone in real life has a few definable qualities, and so should they. They're weak, half realised, and Nesryn was boring. 
Rowan, I admit I rather liked in Heir of Fire, but here he's almost unbearable. He's boring, flat, and likes to take his shirt off. He's obviously a hunk, and Maas never wastes an opportunity - or any other scene - to showcase his naked, muscled body. In addition, he and Aelin have no chemistry. He's this hunk of a sex symbol with literally zero personality, and an excuse for Aelin to get saved once in a while. 
I really like Manon. She's an epic heroine, much better than Aelin, and however disgusted her bloodthirsty-ness and violence makes me, she's a strong woman who's growth continues to be amazing and realistic. 
Aedion and Arobynn are both strong characters. I don't like either of them, but their personalities are strong; especially Arobynn's, who was the perfect villain (MUCH better than the King of Adarlan) and deserved to life longer so he could be the villain the story really needed. 
Chaol and Dorian are awesome. I loved the development of their friendship, and I really felt for them. I also loved the nods to Sorscha (whom I miss with all my heart), which I believe she totally deserved. 
But URGH, I hate how Chaol's been treated; all because of Rowan and Maas's determination to ship him with Aelin. I'm not Team Chaol (Dorian's my bae) but I can see Chaol and Aelin together. At least they have chemistry. And what about all the things she said to him in the previous books?






And now......



Ouch. Chaol does not deserve that. But the change between them could be understood and accepted, if only there'd been a proper excuse for it. As it is, Maas's focused on Rowan and Chaol's paying the price.

There's one more thing I have to mention (briefly): The epic finale. I loved it. It was gloriously action-packed, irresistibly exciting, and frighteningly vivid. Loved it.  

Hope this review makes sense.


I give Queen of Shadows: 3 and a half flowers











10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you don't love the series (I'm a huge fan myself) but I love that you said you love Manon. She is also my favorite character. I loved her role in this book, her story line, and how it felt so much more mature than the story of Aelin. It was like reading a completely different book. Great review!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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    1. I'm really sorry too :(
      But yay, another Manon fan! And I totally agree with your points there; she's much more of a heroine than Aelin is.
      Thank you! Have a great week :)

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  2. My computer and I are having issues. I want to throw it at the wall... It doesn't want me to comment on your post.. I'm not sure who's winning!

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  3. ANYWAYS!I'm sorry you didn't love this one. Being a huge fan myself I want everyone to love all the books in this series. But! If I try reallllly hard and take a few steps back to try to view things objectively I can see where you are coming from here. Although obviously none of these points bothered me at all.

    I think you will enjoy EoS more than this one and I think the novellas will also help your enjoyment along a lot.

    Manon is an excellent character isn't she??? I just love her. And I kind of agree with you on Nesryn, but I have to say I don't agree with you on Lysandra. I'm not sure if it's because I've read the novellas or if I just connected to her well but I didn't find her one dimensional at all. Maybe the next book will turn you around on her?

    I hope that you manage to get the other books soon and keep me posted on how you go with them?

    Even if I don't agree with all the things this is a great review and I really like how you've managed to put across your negative points and yet still conveyed a basic enjoyment of the book.

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    1. Hello again! Lol ;)
      I can totally understand what you're saying; heck, I'm like that with books I love and that other people don't. But I'm SO glad you love this series! I want to love it, but I don't, and yet I'm so happy you do :) It just isn't for me, I guess.

      I'm definitely going to read EoS and the novellas. And I'm sure you're right; I might enjoy them.

      Ah yay you love her too! Yes, she's just so terrific :)
      Sorry you don't agree with me on Lysandra.......Maybe I'll see more of her growth in EoS? I hope I'll get to like her more :)

      I'll definitely keep you posted. And thank you for your lovely comments about this review; it means a lot that even though we don't agree on everything, you still comment beautifully and share your thoughts :) Have a lovely day.

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  4. Okay Sorry! but I kinda skimmed over your review cause I'm reading Throne of glass now and don't want any spoilers!! :P But I see you didn't like the book.. I'm currently reading so it makes me kinda apprehensive but hey, it differs from person to person right? I'm loving Throne of glass so far :) I hope you like the next book in the series and even if you don't I hope you find a new series that you absolutely love!! We all need those books we so love !! <3

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    1. Oh shame, sorry if you saw any spoilers? I try to keep my reviews spoiler free but if I do mention one or two big ones, I try to prepare the reader with capital letters or something ;) Lol.

      YAY YAY I’m so glad you’re loving Throne of Glass! And I’m sure you’ll love the rest of the series; to be fair, Maas has definitely improved (in most areas – world building, mystery, etc) since Throne of Glass, so I’m sure you’ll like the rest of the series.

      I can’t wait to read your review of ToG :) Enjoy it!

      And thank you! I hope so too, it's been a while since I obsessed over a series :)

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  5. As a dedicated fan of the ToG series, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy QoS :( This was actually one of my favorite books in the series, tied with HoF. I love the new person Celaena is becoming and I actually started shipping her with Rowan halfway through HoF. I was never a huge Dorian or Chaol shipper and I like that Celaena has loved more than once.
    I'm also sorry you didn't enjoy the writing! I personally really enjoyed the melodramatic writing-it made everything so epic. I actually love some of the quotes you put up as examples XD
    I noticed you haven't read EoS yet and while I still love the book, it's definitely not as good as HoF or QoS. I think there are some things you mentioned hating in the 4th book that are emphasized in the 5th book :P

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    1. I'm sorry, too :( But I'm SO glad you loved it, though!

      That's really interesting to know, thanks for sharing :) I will read EoS sometime, but I'm not dying to. When I get to it I get to it, if you know what I mean.
      Oooh ok! Now I'm really curious....

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