Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Synopsis: 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.
Would I Recommend? No. Stop reading at Heir of Fire.
Check out the book’s Goodreads page.
Disclaimer: This review is going to be full of caps, expletives and angry feels.
In a nutshell, Queen of Shadows is:
– 10%; Aelin being a hypocrite and hating on Chaol for NO FUCKING REASON
– 10%; Aelin treating everybody except Rowan like shit for NO FUCKING REASON
– 30%; Everybody, except Chaol, worshipping Aelin for NO FUCKING REASON
– 35%; Celaena freaking out because Rowan’s bod is hot
– 15%; other, important stuff
When looked at objectively, this book is okay. Slow, but okay. Sarah J. Maas has grown as a writer, that much is obvious. She’s made her writing denser, more detailed. Her world-building has improved. Her writing expression has improved, although the metaphors have unnecessarily increased in number. She could do better when it comes to pacing, since HoF and QoS both lack in action during the first 60% of their ginormousness. But when the action exists, it’s exciting and balanced. The new characters introduced in HoF were more interesting, especially Manon, who I now like better than Aelin.
But this book, despite being a better literary piece than its predecessor, was everything I can ever hate about a series. The characters- ruined. And if you ruin the characters, as far as I am concerned, the fucking series is ruined, full stop.
What the FUCK was this book? It’s like Sarah J. Maas decided halfway through the fucking series that she wanted something else, and so she ignored everything else she wrote in the first two books. Like, “Oh, wait, I wrote Crown of Midnight? I published it? I thought that was Chaolena smut on my laptop, oops.”
Maas fucking butchered the characters. I don’t even know who Aelin is. I get where SJM is going- Aelin and Celaena are different people, yes I get that. But there’s only so much you can get away with without the book seeming like a joke. Celaena was hot-headed, but she was never arrogant. She knew she was good, but she didn’t think she was better than everybody else. She was brash, but she was never MEAN. Aelin is selfish. She doesn’t care about ANYBODY except herself. As Chaol Westfall wisely gave it to her like it actually was, “You’re still the same assassin who walked away. You came back only when it was useful for you.”
Speaking of Chaol, what the actual fuck, Maas? You ruined him. You have dishonored his storyline like no other. It’s like you decided that you don’t care about him after all, and you gave him the shittiest storyline possible. He’s barely a main character anymore; whereas, he was arguably one of the protagonists in the first two books. But I still love Chaol, because he was the ONLY one who had the guts to tell Aelin that she was, yes, a monster. For example when he says, “Don’t talk down to me like you’re my queen.”
Aelin jumped on every opportunity to blame him for stuff she herself was doing. She found every reason to hate him for the very reasons she was drooling over Rowan. What a hypocrite. Chaol was the ONLY one who gave a shit about Dorian, who didn’t give up on his best friend, and tried to do everything in his power to bring him- paying a price that Aelin never could by the end.
And that ending?
Does Maas hate Chaol THAT much? Un-fucking-believeable. I think Maas did her best to make her readers hate Chaol so they’d be okay with Celaena and Rowan’s joke of a relationship. Well, you do you, Sarah. You do you.
My Chaolena heart has broken into a million different pieces. SJM disregarded and dishonored everything she had written in the second book to make way for a SHIP. Like she decided that she likes Rowan better than she liked Chaol, and edged him out of the picture, DISGUSTINGLY I MIGHT ADD, just so Rowan could replace him. Never has a book made me this mad.
I cried. Yes, I shed tears, because of how angry and frustrated this book made me. Oh, Chaol, dear bby, you deserved SO, SO much better. Leave me alone.
P.S: You hate Chaol? Come fight me. I dare you.