Discussion | Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Stock images belong to FreePik, edit is mine. :)
Stock images belong to FreePik, edit is mine. 🙂

Hello, lovely ones. So, today, I thought I’d do something a little different on my blog. Sometimes, you just need to talk about a book without being careful about what you say, so I’m introducing a new feature that will let me do so. This feature will hopefully open up discussions with other people who have read the same books I have, and I thought I’d start this off with a book that I have a very unpopular opinion of.

Be warned, this discussion is full of spoilers, so if you don’t want to know what happens in this book, it’d be best if you leave. You can find my non-spoiler kinda-review (to be fair, it’s just rambling and profanities) here. Shoo.

Also, I don’t mean to offend anyone with this discussion. I totally respect everybody’s opinion when they say that they adored Queen of Shadows and I, by no means, am saying that your opinion is wrong.

Brace yourselves, because this is going to be long.


qosSo I loved Throne of Glass, and Crown of Midnight is perhaps one of my favorite books ever. I went into this series almost certain that it could never live up to the hype, but I was very impressed with it. The characters were flawed, well-developed, lovable, and I was fully invested in them from the get-go. The plot was fast-paced and exciting; the world-building was phenomenal, and the writing was beautifully rich without being over-the-top. Then Heir of Fire happened, and even though I didn’t dislike it too much, I was disappointed. It was a big book of nothing until the last fifty or hundred pages. It was very slow, I thought the pacing was off, and I frankly didn’t give a single ounce of shit about the new characters introduced, i.e. Rowan and Manon.

Characters:

But I was still excited for Queen of Shadows because I was so invested in the original trio. I hadn’t been this invested in characters since the Harry Potter series. Our Prince Dorian who is living in the shadow of a terrible father, who is battling his inner demons while trying so hard to keep them at bay. Celaena Sardothien, infinitely bad-ass and tragic, with a passion for revenge for the family she lost, the friends she would never see again. And of course, Chaol Westfall, who was by far the most well-developed, most flawed character in the series. Our captain of the guard who is so loyal that his loyalty becomes his greatest weakness – a person who left his family, his life behind to pledge his allegiance to his king and his country, only to find that everything he has ever stood for is built on evil, deception and murder. A guy who has to reconstruct everything he has learned, who has to turn around his loyalties and make his way into a world that he had been blind to ever since he was a boy. A guy whose existence was about destroying the one thing, the one woman who he now loves.

So imagine my disappointment when these characters are pushed to the back. Dorian is lost in this book; his storyline had so much potential, what with him being possessed. We could have seen so much interesting stuff from his perspective, but all we got were a couple of pages here and there of philosophical angst.

Celaena literally does not exist anymore. When you point that out to a fan, they say, “Aelin and Celaena are not the same person.” Excuse me. YES, THEY ARE. Aelin, as she is now, is because of Celaena. Celaena is a part of Aelin’s past that cannot be ignored. CELAENA is the assassin, the one who learned how to fight, the one who learned to use her skills, abilities and intelligence to thwart people who have far more resources than she does. Yet Aelin was hell-bent on denying Celaena’s existence, which baffled me. Every decision that Aelin made as Celaena was suddenly stupid and childish. Not only that, but Sarah J. Maas was hell-bent on overturning Celaena’s character. You see, Aelin is a horrible person– and Celaena was never that. Aelin is mean. She doesn’t care about anyone except herself and Rowan. And while Celaena was arrogant, she never thought that the ground she walked on needed to be kissed.

If a character undergoes character development, that’s fabulous. And yes, Aelin went through character development, but she IS NOT A DIFFERENT PERSON FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK. SHE’S THE SAME PERSON. SHE SHOULD HAVE SOME SIMILARITIES WITH CELAENA, BUT IT’S LITERALLY LIKE I’M READING FROM A DIFFERENT POV.

Aelin constantly blamed Chaol for shit that Chaol barely had any control over. The book started off with Aelin blaming Chaol, yet again, for Nehemia’s death and all I could think was, “I thought we were over that in Heir of Fire,” but apparently not guys. Because SJM needed to bring Nehemia’s death up ALL OVER AGAIN just so we could see how terrible Chaol is. Then she blamed him for leaving Dorian in the castle? Like, what was he supposed to do? If he hadn’t left, Chaol would be dead. And let’s see what would have happened if Chaol had died:

  • Dorian would be fucking dead since Aelin would have killed him, since Nesryn and Chaol wouldn’t have been around to stop her.
  • The city would be a mess because Chaol, despite being emotionally broken over the loss of his best friend, was the only one keeping even a semblance of order by rallying the rebels etc.
  • It would’ve been next to impossible to get Aedion out of the castle

Also, Aelin spends half her time blaming Chaol for being loyal to the king and not killing him? But bitch you were the King’s champion for almost a year- YOU could have killed him, but you didn’t, because that would’ve been a suicide mission, and you’re expecting Chaol – a mere human with 0 superhuman strength – to kill the most powerful man in the world? This is how I imagined Aelin throughout the book:

Aelin: OW shit, I poked myself in the eye. CHAOL HOW FUCKING DARE YOU, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT BECAUSE NEHEMIA DIED AND NOW MY EYE HURTS (smh)

It’s funny because the reasons Aelin is so bitter about Chaol for ARE THE EXACT REASONS SHE LOVES ROWAN? I’m so confused. Rowan did terrible things under Maeve’s rule; he was completely loyal to Maeve just like Chaol was loyal to the king? But no, Rowan is bae, Chaol’s trash. Of course.

And can we talk about how Aelin walks up to Dorian in the end and says, “I came back for you.” Are ya fucking kidding me? If it hadn’t been for Chaol/Nesryn, Dorian would be dead, so how does Aelin have the nerve to tell Dorian that she came back for him? I may vomit.

Plot:

Now, let me talk about the plot cop-outs, because yes, there were cop-outs.

  • First of all, this book was supposed to be focused on Aelin BURYING Arobynn and the King for what they had done to her. Imagine my surprise when both of these things were horribly handled. Arobynn, the king of the assassins, the most cunning person Aelin knows, was killed in his sleep by an untrained prostitute. Excuse me if I don’t buy it. Cop-out.
  • And Sarah J. Maas made the king, in a ridiculous effort to redeem him at the last moment and prolong the series unnecessarily, possessed. She pulled a fucking Sebastian Morgenstern and made the king POSSESSED. Horrible.
  • I thought Damaris was with Chaol. How did Aelin even get it, I’m so confused.
  • And while Arobynn’s death lasted for barely half a page, I was subjected to two pages of Rowan getting his luscious hair washed?!?!?!? Also, while we’re at the subject of irrelevant, bad details… while they’re there to assassinate Arobynn, Rowan and Aelin are having a telepathic horny conversation about how she’s not wearing any underwear? To an assassination? That is BAD erotica material *le sigh.*
  • Speaking of Rowan – an immortal Fae warrior with centuries of fighting experience almost dying from a shoulder wound. Excuse me while I go LMFAO.

Romance:

  • I’m sorry. You can call me whatever you want (I would prefer you call me Chaolena trash, because isn’t that the truth), but Rowan x Aelin made no sense. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Remember in Heir of Fire when Aelin considered getting with Rowan and then she backtracked because they were better off friends? Yeah, I remember that really well. Remember in Heir of Fire when Rowan was 200% distraught over his mate’s death and we were given the impression that he would never get over her? Apparently, Sarah J. Maas doesn’t remember the stuff she wrote herself because two seconds apart and they’re both in love with each other. There was NO BUILD-UP. It just happened. One second they were completely platonic and bffs and the next second, all they want to do is bang what with their NO UNDERWEAR TO AN ASSASSINATION and COLD SHOWERS.
  • Also, what the fuck. How old is Rowan? Am I the only one creeped out by this centuries-old Fae warrior smirking at a seventeen year old’s body? *shudders*
  • Don’t get me started on Sarah J. Maas’s obsession with abusive boys? First Rhysand (from A Court of Thorns and Roses) and now Rowan, who if you don’t remember, beat the everliving shit out of Aelin even when they were not training and constantly told her that the world would be a better place if she was dead. WooOoOoW that’s so romantic. I’m done.

Chaol Westfall:

(because this actual cinnamon roll deserves an entire subsection to himself)

Oh dear bby, Chaol, what has the bad writer done to you. SO MANY INCONSISTENCIES. CHAOL WAS ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX, FLAWED CHARACTERS IN THE SERIES, WHO HAD THE MOST POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH, AND SJM TOOK HIS CHARACTER 5 STEPS BACK! Why? To make way for Rowan and Aelin? I hate saying this, but it’s no secret that Sarah J. Maas loves Rowan – she has said multiple times that he is her favorite. To make way for Rowan, she shoved Chaol and his storyline aside. She made him seem like the bad guy so Chaol fans wouldn’t have a hard time getting over it. Didn’t work because his character was OOC and terribly inconsistent with the Chaol Westfall I know.

  • Chaol in Throne of Glass: TRIPS (HE LITERALLY STUMBLED ON HIS OWN FEET) when Celaena talks about her period. Chaol in Crown of Midnight: baffled by the fact that girls find him attractive. Chaol in Queen of Shadows: had a casual fuck buddy before ToG even happened. HAHA, WHAT? Is SJM writing about the same character or is this some random person she thought of halfway through the series???????????? And it’s so funny because if SJM had planned this out prior to writing ToG, we would have at least known who Nesryn was. We would have seen her at least once or twice, but we didn’t. She just sprang up in QoS out of nowhere, a part of Chaol’s sexual past. If that doesn’t tell you that SJM changed her mind about Chaol halfway through the series, Idk what will.
  • SJM made him out to be the asshole when he was the only one telling it to Aelin like it actually was. To make way for Rowaelin, she shoved Chaol aside disgustingly so that it would be easier for Chaolena fans to move on. Well, it didn’t work, because it was horribly done and it made zero sense. As for Nesryn, she was just put in there so Chaolena shippers could be distracted by another bad-ass female character. These are characters, not consolation prizes.
  • AND THAT END? SHE FUCKING PARALYZED HIM? That’s the most dishonorable thing she could do to him, dear God. If Chaol had died, I would be happier with it, and that’s saying something because I am literally Chaol Westfall trash. What SJM did to him? Butchered his character, gave him a disinteresting, disgusting storyline, threw his character development out the window FOR THE SAKE OF A SHIP? HA.

It’s so funny that Chaol gets so much flack. Why? Because he’s the only person in the entire universe who cares for Dorian? (their bromance is everything I live for, by the way.) Because he was the only one who had the balls to tell Aelin that she couldn’t just deny her existence as Celaena? Because he’s the only one who’s actually doing everything in his mere average human body to keep his country and its people safe? Like, why do you hate Chaol? Please, enlighten me.

Chaolena:

And yes, I’m not going to pretend like Chaolena DIDN’T PLAY A PART IN MY HATRED BECAUSE THEY DID. But not because I wanted them together, no. BUT BECAUSE THERE WAS SO MUCH FORESHADOWING THAT THEY WERE ENDGAME. AND IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT THEY WERE THE INTENDED ENDGAME. WHEN YOU WRITE A SERIES, THE BOOKS HAVE TO BE CONSISTENT. YOU CAN’T JUST BE LIKE “whoops, i take that back.”

  • They had NO CLOSURE?!??! I’m so confused. In Heir of Fire, Chaol and Aelin had both come to terms with their mistakes. Chaol mic-dropped the shit out of the King, pledged his allegiance to Dorian, and became a-okay with Aelin and Dorian’s magic. He even said that he was proud of them both, and he even called Aelin the queen. And then in Queen of Shadows, he hates her again? I can’t even, Sarah. Do you even remember the shit you wrote in the previous books? Literal quote from Crown of Midnight, ‘Fae, assassin, I don’t care what you are.” Oh, Sarah, read your own books would you.
  • Chaolena just stopped existing all of a sudden? They still felt something for each other, and then in two seconds, it’s all gone? Because Rowan’s hot? (Can we please talk about how all Chaol could think of when he first saw Rowan was how handsome Rowan is? Like yeah, he’s hot, can we move on?)

EXAMPLE 1: EVEN DORIAN THOUGHT CHAOLENA WERE ENDGAME: “He would move on. Because he would not be like the ancient kings in the song and keep her for himself. She deserved a loyal, brave knight who saw her for what she was and did not fear her. And he deserved someone who would look at him like that, even if the love wouldn’t be the same, even if the girl wouldn’t be her. So Dorian closed his eyes, and took another long breath. And when he opened his eyes, he let her go.

EXAMPLE 2: “The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realised she was home.” HE MADE YOU FEEL LIKE HOME AFTER TEN FUCKING YEARS, and now you hate each other WOOooOoOW. AND NOW SHE THINKS ROWAN MAKES HER FEEL LIKE HOME. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, YOU INCONSISTENT FUCK OF A CHARACTER.

EXAMPLE 3: She smiled sadly. “You’ll figure it out. And when you do…” She shook her head, knowing she shouldn’t say it, but doing it anyway. “When you do, I want you to remember that it wouldn’t have made any difference to me. It’s never made any difference to me when it came to you. I’d still pick you. I’ll always pick you.” BITCH WHAT WAS THAT? Now, in Queen of Shadows, she’s just like “oh wait, i was lying. i’m queen, i have rowan see ya BYE”. Sarah J. Maas didn’t even try to twist that. She didn’t even try. Aelin just outright admitted that things changed, and that she didn’t mean what she said. Which amazes me because Sarah’s a talented writer, and you can’t just do take-backs in literature? You write something, it’s on paper, not to mention it’s one of the most important parts of the story. You can’t just be like, “oops, take-back.” Geeeeez.

Absolutely ridiculous.

I cannot believe this. I read the first two books VERY recently, so everything – all the symbolism and the foreshadowing and the intentions – were clear in my head when I read QoS. And to think that SJM went back on most of what she wrote just because Rowan’s her favorite character makes me mad. It makes me angry.

And that, folks, is what I think about this book. You tell me. What did you think? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? I would love to discuss some more. 🙂

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  • Cool. And also, that girl up there has an awesome sword! I want it, the sudden.

  • I haven’t read this book yet, but from the looks of things, I’m going to enjoy your post more than the book. I totally agree with you about of Heir of Fire. It was, oh, I don’t know, around 500 pages of per filler! Like, don’t even write the stupid book then, lady! I was so disappointed. This post was very funny; You remind me of myself when I wrote The Heir review… All I could see was red! Like all she cared about was stupid clothes (Trust me, I have a point.) and was totally unlike her mother! I know they aren’t the same person, but gosh lady! America doesn’t raise brats! Oh, wait! I guess she does. Anyway, it sounds like what happened to Calaena. I really think I’m going to hate this book, so when I read it, I’m coming to you! Great review, by the way!
    -Nikki

  • By the way, I laughed so hard when you described the oh-so-important washing of Rowan’s luscious hair!
    -Nikki

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  • Haha this made me laugh so much- I didn’t agree at all (which I can sum up in a fairly simple way) but at least I found it entertaining. One of your main reasons for disliking this is because of not liking what she did to Chaol- and your reason for liking Chaol is the exact same reason why I hate him. I don’t disagree that he’s a well-developed character- but the fact that he is loyal to the point of being blind is the reason why I hated him so much *from book 1*. So I’m not sorry that Celaena kicked him to the curb. I also like that Celaena changes her mind about people in different books- because that’s how people behave in real life. I think her relationship with Rowan was quite shallow in book 3 (mostly built on attraction) but by the end of the book it had developed into something more- because they had got to know each other, They built up trust, understanding and a genuine friendship- which is the best foundation for a relationship. I also think it was clear she was never going to be with Dorian in the long run, because they didn’t match each other well, and their romantic relationship was fairly superficial. I also like what Maas did with Dorian’s character in book 4- because it was sooo horrible and it really showed the nature of the evil they were fighting. It was totally gripping and a great twist. And I thought that, while I wasn’t initially sold on Manon, I saw eventually that the witches added new dimensions to the story. I also thought it was clever that their story was hinted at in book 2 with Celaena killing the Yellowlegs (I think that was her name)- and it was nice to see how a seemingly insignificant incident was actually detrimental to the plot. Also I think it gives depths to the story- it really gets into the nature of monstrosity and good and evil- you know nature over nurture, are people born evil? That kind of thing.
    I actually had the complete opposite feeling about these books- I wasn’t initially sold on it, but now I think it’s fantastic.

    • Haha! xD Yes, I think a lot of my negativity towards these books is driven by my feelings for Chaol’s character. I know a ton of people who really like Chaol who also hated this book. Since Chaol is probably my favorite male character in young-adult fantasy, I was really disappointed with some of the decisions Maas made because they seemed VERY inconsistent with his characterization in the first two books. So I’m definitely in the minority here with this book.

      As for Aelin/Rowan, I’d have to disagree. I think HoF did a great job of building up their friendship – they worked so well together as partners! If I recall correctly, I think Aelin considered getting with him in HoF but she decided it wasn’t a good idea. There were no indications of a future romance whatsoever. It was a purely platonic relationship, and then in QoS, they were suddenly all over each other. I don’t mind love interests changing – I just think it was done in a sloppy, rushed way. Not to mention that I find Rowan incredibly boring. He’s the typical ultra-macho, brooding YA hero whose testosterone levels kick in every time the girl’s in trouble. Eh.

      I like what Maas did with Dorian’s character too! It was definitely a risk, but I think she didn’t do the arc justice. Dorian’s characterization and plot-arc was overshadowed by other unimportant things going on in the book. Apart from the couple of tiny chapters here and there, we didn’t really get to see much of him at all.

      After QoS, I started to see a divide between the fandom. There are those who prefer the first two books, and then there are those who prefer the ones after. I’m definitely the minority here when I say that I prefer the first two books. I don’t know if I’ll read the rest of the series, but I might give it a shot because I’m completely invested in Dorian and Chaol, and I also really love the dynamic between them. 🙂

      Putting aside our disagreements, I really appreciate that you took the time to read this even though it was ranty and angry, haha. <3

      • Yeah, I can see what you mean a bit- it was a bit of a surprise when they were suddenly together. But it made sense to me, because there was attraction between them, and as I said, I liked their friendship and thought it was a good foundation for a relationship. I agree with you to some extent though about him being all testosterone-y and ultra-macho. Although I don’t mind it so much cos a) Celaena can defend herself anyway and b) let’s face it, I find it sexy. But in terms of characterisation, he’s not my favourite. Even though I hate Chaol I have to say he has better characterisation. As does Aedion and Dorian (ahh my babies!)
        Hmm I also would have liked more space for the whole thing with Dorian, cos I loved him, but I could see how it was a sub plot and would have dragged if she’d extended it too much. Also, it kind of made sense to not see much of him, cos there wasn’t much of him left inside the Valg, so he only had a tiny voice in the plot. Also I liked how it led to him having to make that terrible decision at the end of the book- it was so dark.
        Yeah definitely, I wasn’t as crazy about book 1, but have grown to love the series. Oh you should, just for them alone- I desperately want to see what happens to everyone in it, not just the main characters. Haha, you’re welcome, I really enjoyed reading it. And thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment- I kind of got carried away and didn’t realise until I posted it!

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  • I’m a little bit alarmed at your vehemence (I don’t swear much), and I didn’t feel quite so strongly about everything, but I agree with much of what you’ve said here. A lot of stuff in QOS didn’t sit well with me.

    a) Chaol was quite right to point out to Aelin that she didn’t seem to care about the death of innocents – because what the hell, Your Majesticness? You want to be a queen, you have to care about other people.
    b) Chaol x Nesryn WAS a consolation prize. Agree 100% on this one. We’ve never met this girl before, and we’re supposed to assume that they trust each other *so much*, and oh, yeah, she just happened to be his sex friend??? *makes a face* That doesn’t line up with Chaol’s character. I felt like I didn’t know him anymore.
    c) I didn’t feel like Aelin was a different POV entirely, but I just … didn’t much recognize the character I knew from the other books. It wasn’t her.
    d) Aelin thinking Celaena’s decisions are childish and silly? No. Just. No. Celaena wasn’t a little girl, and “the queen” isn’t as grown-up as she thinks she is.
    e) Rowan and Aelin? *bleeeaarrrhghhaeeeeueugh*
    Their friendship was kind of heartwarming in HOF. Rowan was not over his mate and Celaena decided to stay on platonic terms with him. But noooo, they are both overpoweringly attractive to each other and cannot stay away. >:-(

    *sigh*

    I’ve decided that the best tactic is to *not* try to reconcile all of this with the Throne of Glass series I know – ignore it, actually – and to read the next book anyway in the hopes that this is somehow a massive plot diversion that Maas has cooked up. There are still two more volumes, right? Anything could happen. (QOS has proved that.)

  • I totally agree with you!
    It was pretty obvious that Chaol loved Celaena a lot, he even stepped out of his boundaries to be with her, which is a great deal for someone like Chaol to do. And as for Nehemia’s death, he hid the threats from her because he was scared about her safety and that she might do something stupid and get herself into trouble. I was a hardcore Chaolena shipper honestly like what the hell even happened? It was wrong on SJM’s part to put them out of character, I honestly don’t think that Chaol being the Chaol BEFORE the mess up would actually take someone to bed so soon. It seems so un-chaol like. It broke my heart. And I get that Celaena turning into Aeilin was SJM’s way on showing how she was learning to accept her past but she just changed in a way that she didn’t feel like the Celaena everybody fell in love with in the first two books. The Rowan and Aeilin romance doesn’t even make sense. Their friendship was pretty well built up and I’m pretty sure that Rowan cant even be considered her love interest, SHE.JUST.WANTS.TO.GET.IN.HIS.PANTS. And of course, the other way around.
    Between chaol and celaena, there was something, he made her feel like she was home, make her heart ache for him and vice versa. And between Rowan and Celaena, theres just a lot of horniness in the air.
    I think out of her two books series, a court of thrones and roses was WAAAAAYYYY better. The plot was interesting and the romance was played so well. There wasn’t any unnecessary out of character moments and the second book was just PERFECT.

  • GlistenBlue

    Oh My Word! This is perfect. I started re-reading the books again in preparation for the 5th one coming out soon and I actually went looking for a thread or discussion where I could vent about ALL of this stuff. This is EX-AC-TLY how I feel about everything. I HATE the way the author/Aelin treats Chaol. I think he was a fantastic character and the author literally shoves him aside. Aelin’s motives for hating him are so stupid and so weak that I can’t even stand to finish my run through the books. It is so frustrating. Very obvious that the author FORCED the relationship between Aelin and Rowan because she just really wanted it to happen. It feels forced. It feels fake. It’s not believable. It’s ridiculous.
    Thank you for the review. I’m so glad I’m not the only one so disappointed in the direction this series took. I loved the first two books (in spite of the hatred Celaena felt for Chaol in the end…). Because I liked the first ones so much it makes me even more frustrated at the third and fourth. I can only home that SJM somehow redeems SOMETHING in the 5th…but for some reason I kinda doubt it…

    • I really loved the first two books, too! They were both 4.5-5 star reads; Crown of Midnight made it into my top books last year, it was just THAT good. See, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I really don’t CARE that Celaena won’t end up with Chaol – even with all the foreshadowing and what not. What I care about is how SJM has this tendency to completely do 180s with her characters; villainizing them to make way for a new male. 🙁 She did such injustices with Chaol. He was such a great character, and she flushed his development down the toilet. He had matured so much in HoF, but a lot of that was thrown out of the window because she decided Rowan was better.
      Hahaha, it’s been almost a YEAR since I read QoS- I’m still so bitter about it. Perhaps because I’ve never felt so passionate about a character as I did about Chaol. If there’s anything I give SJM credit for, it’s that she brought him into my life. XD

  • Talia Brookuna

    So, although I do still absolutely love the the whole series and am invested in each and every one of the characters in it, I appreciate and understand your anger about it. Hell, I’ll even agree with you on quite a lot of what you’ve said, and considering how big of a Throne of Glass fan I am, that’s saying something. First of all, can I just say how hilarious I found this- even if I don’t agree 100%, it definitely was extremely entertaining and funny to read and I admire the way in which you’ve written this rant.
    Chaol is a smol cinnamon roll and I have to say, especially after rereading the books, I do not appreciate the way he was portrayed in Queen of Shadows. Chaol is totally one of the best characters in the entire series and I did really hate the way he was pushed into the corner and turned into the most almighty villain for daring to have some sense of self-preservation. I can get that Aelin would blame him for some things, but I really thought her being mad about the whole ‘not fighting with Dorian against the king in HoF’ thing was just annoying. He would be dead as shit if he’d stayed and probably so would Dorian. And Nehemia’s death, which she apparently still holds a massive grudge about, is still a valid reason to be a bitch , even though Aelin is all queenly and regal and superior now. No. Oh yeah, and when Chaol blames her for things that were completely her fault, she flips her shit. But
    And Arobynn being killed in like, a sentence, yeah right! He could best Aelin at some points, and I’m supposed to believe that he got killed with ease by Lysandra? Ummmmm, how about no. And Rowan being near death over a stupid shoulder wound. Maas goes to such lengths to portray how powerful her characters are, only to disregard it later on. UGH!
    I do, however, disagree with your hate for Rowan. Not in terms of his character as such, (in fact, I can totally see why people would hate him even though I love him), but I don’t feel their relationship was rushed. This is mainly because I think it was never really just platonic, as in that even their friendship was an important part in them being able to progress into a more romantic relationship. But that’s just my view, not hate on yours at all.
    Anyway, sorry that was so long, if you actually took the time to read this, I commend you. I just want to say THANK YOU for writing this and I really enjoyed it, even if I don’t agree for the most part. Tbh, there are quite a few books I would write a rant for, and I would imagine it would go something a lot like yours, so I could never really be offended by it. Have fun reading Empire of Storms, if you are going to- I hope it redeems the series for you! x

  • Marissa

    I’m reading the series now and cannot make it through the queen of shadows because of your listed reasons. I found myself skipping ahead to read about Dorian or the Witches. I literally cringe while reading the “romance” between Aelin and Rowan. I have half a mind to stop reading the book, but I spent money and time in it so…. We’ll see

    • Darthbean

      I absolutely hate Rowan. I can’t stand how the two of them can’t even do mundane shit without some cringe worthy flirtatious BS going on.

      Aelin: “Rowan, hand me that glass of water.”
      Rowan’s sinful mouth just snarled at her, baring his teeth and he just nipped at her ear, grinding his junk against her instead.” It’s like WTF man this guy is such a total douche nozzle.

      I am about halfway through Empire of Storms, and I am thinking about putting it down. Because as much as I LOVED Celaena Sardothian, I am beginning to dislike Aelin. The only storylines that are currently interesting to me are Manon’s and Elide’s.
      I want Rowan to die a slow horrible death. It’s very disappointing, I loved the first few books so much. These last couple have been taxing at times to get through because of the awful interplay between these 2 increasingly unlikable characters. As a matter of fact, I pretty much hate ALL of the fae…..the story was SO much more interesting before all of them showed up. I just want to know what’s happening with the witches at this point. Every time I struggle to get through another chapter about Aelin and Rowan I am disappointed if the next one isn’t about Manon or Elide.

  • Kargack

    Personally I must admit;the more I look at the combination of events and aspects of how Chaol and Celaena / Aelin’s relationship went to pieces; the more I find myself not only disappointed in them as a Chaolena shipper, but, because things actually do at times come across as little too convenient (and in so doing take me out of the book, reminding me that I am in fact reading a book and that kinda sucks), here is a brief (though not complete) list;

    Nehima sets up her own murder, (more like suicide) that due to her own machinations would have eventually succeeded one way or another (and despite this knowledge coming to light Chaol is still to blame for it!)

    Chaol gets Aelin sent to Wendyln (Ultimately, to keep her alive. Bad, Chaol!; How dare you keep the woman you love from being killed!; the most likely outcome had she stayed)

    Yet as shes’s leaving Aelin promises she’d always choose Chaol, claiming she still loves him (yet then she meets Rowan;and all feelings for Chaol are magically and immediately gone, perhaps due to the mating bond; which as much as I can be a bit of a sook / sap and would like to believe in soul mates, in this case has always come off as a bit too convenient and a deliberate cheat on the part of the author; see takes me out of the book.)

    Then she returns to Ardalan and treats Chaol, no longer even as friend (you would think they’d still be friends at least) and more like something she stepped in, and pretty much blames him for everything bad that happened while she was away ( which if that was the case, gods, he must have been busy. lol )

    Chaol sees her with Rowan and never has even the slightest pang of jealousy (I’m sorry but human emotions don’t work like that or is this another convenient trick of the, ‘mating bond’. *sigh* Out of the book again)

    The whole ‘Chaol Serves The King!’ thing. (Something that bothers me) This is something that seems to be used an awful lot as an excuse to hate on him (never really could quite get / understand when he sacrifices and gives so much of himself to help her).
    I think as others have said, that it is a sense of duty and loyalty to Dorian that Chaol feels, and is ultimately the main reason, that he stays at all, or else he would have run off with Celaena in COM. ( At times I kinda wish he and she had to be honest. I will never quite get over Chaolaeana, they were just so good together; such chemistry, that I never really felt / bought with Rowan; no matter how the author tried.)

    Nesryn; while I do like her character, is pretty much, as you can tell from the way she just suddenly appeared in Chaol’s backstory; created primarily as a consolation prize for Chaol and the Chaolaena shippers; heck, in the sample first chapter of the Chaol Westfall novella SJM even has him talking to Nesryn and telling her that she is ‘not a consolation prize’, I believe the correct literary term here is ‘Lampshade hanging’ or ‘Lampshading’ for when you deliberately draw attention to something that you know is obvious, so that you can just call it out yourself as the author and just move on with the story.

    Now another thing that bothers me is how some people bring up the name change from Celeane to Aelin, this does not completely work for me, because right there in book 1 she talks about how her parents died, climbing into bed with them etc; i.e as Celaena, she is talking about something that happened to, and let’s face it, only happened to Aelin. There also additional little bits and pieces that talk about, hint at her memories of her life before Celaena; at one stage not sure where she is at the time, it’s been a while since I read it; she remembers being taught something about the proper way to stand walk etc as a lady by her parents ( or tutors hired by her parents) and not Arobbyn, I know there is similar bit in there with him so don’t get the two mixed up.
    There is also mention of how she has locked parts of her memories away from herself so as not to be bothered or saddened by them; but, and here is the tricky and important part, it speaks of them as though Celaena knows that they are there and is at least somewhat aware, on some level of what; or at of least what emotions, they will bring / contain. Which does not quit fit the change from Celaena to Aelin later on, and instead rather suggests that name Celaena was more an alias all along rather than a truly separate identity / personality.
    So when she says “I’m Aeiln now, Celaena is dead!” to people, or someone says “yeah,but, she’s Aelin now” it can be hard for me to not tend to scoff a little, I mean if I said my name was Dave Longcaster and robbed multiple banks over ten years using that name it’s still just an alias.
    This though is a lesser problem, in that I still like the character whatever she calls herself, it did I now admit; take her down a few notches / pegs in how much.

    Though at times when she is being bratty and less of a badass like Celaena I want to tell her “Take your head out of your arse idiot!.”

    • Kargack

      Oops, that 2nd to last part should have read; ‘though, it did I now admit; take her down a few…etc’
      Sorry for the long rant.

  • Annie

    EVERYTHING YOU SAID IS SO ACCURATE

    I literally feel like the only person who thinks this, so I’m so grateful for you making this blog post!

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