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

qosTitle: Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4)

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.

Final Rating2 red

Check out the book’s Goodreads page.


Aimal's Review maroon


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?

are you kidding me

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.

angry 2

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.

leave me alone

P.S: You hate Chaol? Come fight me. I dare you.


  1. I agree with every words. The first two books should be considered as stand-alone. QoS felt like a fanfiction and most characters were OCC. And Chaolaena, my precious ship suddenly disappeared (not sunk), as if it never happened. I would throw my copy of Crown of Midnight to Maas’ face if I ever got an opportunity to do so. Why the hell did she need to ruin Chaol so people would like Rowan? I liked Chaol since the beginning of ToG and never a bit liked that old stinking guy despite that many pages of QoS spent describing how perfect he is. I could barely tolerate with that old man that I skipped many pages of QoS when I saw his name.

    Chaol having a fuck buddy is a complete bullshit. It was obvious that Nesryn is added so she could take Celaena’s place in Chaol’s heart. Remember when he came to her house for distraction and would’ve say yes if she offered it? I don’t believe for a second that Chaol is the kind that would use women if he is having a hard time or something. I still have my copy of ToG and CoM to prove it and to shove to Maas’s face.

    Now that Celaena had been murdered, I will continue this series for Elide, Dorian, Chaol (Team Chaol to whatever end, people. No matter how badly he is treated by Aelin, the fans and Maas), Lysandra, Manon, Asterin and Abraxos. And if .. if Chaol dies, I would likely to explode. I hope Rowan dies (never cared about him anyway) though. And if Aelin is still mentally unstable (or whatever illness she is having) she can rot in hell along with Rowan. Save more pages for the more interesting characters.

  2. I am still at the beginning of the 4th book and I had it the opposite way, my issue is with Chaol. What the fuck is up, about Chaols arrogant attitude towards Aelin when they encounter eachother for the first time in Queen of Shadows. He is all high and mighty about what he had endured, when he had been the biggest pussy of all. Even Dorian thought that. And now he is suddenly fighting instead of passively looking by and he has the guts to play all high and mighty. Furthermore his character doesn’t make sense, there is too much of a shift in attitute towards celena/aelin from book 3 to 4. If he still believes she is just celena, as he says in book 4, then that change in attitude doesn’t make any sense. It would make more sense if he felt she had changed a lot, but even then due to their history, a more pleasant attitude would be expected unless she shows she wants an ill future for the kingdom of Adarlan, after they beat the king.

    Also in book 3 it felt like he had come to terms with magic, admitting to Dorian that he was in the wrong, when he was disgusted about Celenas true nature and Dorians magic and you got the feeling that he would try and break those towers to undo the kings hold on magic, however he was uncertain how to go about do it. And now all of a sudden we are back to an even more fiercely magic hating Chaol who would never in his life destroy those towers.

    • See that’s the thing. He is so unlike Chaol and that’s Sarah J. Maas’s fault. He’s completely out of character and it makes no sense. In HoF, he came to terms with Dorian and Aelin’s magic. Remember when he goes into the throne room and says to the King’s face that Chaol only serves Dorian? And that there’s a queen who’s rising up? Remember when he said he was proud of them both? Sarah J. Maas took that ALL back and took his development 4 steps back. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s how a series works. It was inconsistent and fucked up of her to do that. Also, what’s with Chaol having a casual fuck buddy before the events of ToG?? Remember the Chaol who literally tripped when Celaena mentioned her period? Who couldn’t fathom that girls were even the slightest bit interested him? Does Maas HONESTLY expect me to believe, as a devourer of the first two books, as a huge fan of the flawed but amazing Chaol, that he had a fuck buddy when that goes against EVERYTHING his character was previously?

      As for your statement that Chaol was acting high and mighty and was being a coward, I respectfully disagree. Aelin was being high and mighty. The entire book is everyone kissing the ground she walks on and she believes she deserves it. She acts superior to everyone. She gives 0 shits about anyone except Aedion and Rowan. And frankly, the fact that she threw accusations at Chaol when HE was the one in the palace with the king when shit went down, when HE was the one who organized the rebels, when HE was the one who tried to keep his city intact. As for the fact that he left Dorian behind? I don’t expect what people wanted him to do. Fight the king? Lol. Even Celaena didn’t fight the king when she was his champion because it would’ve been suicide. So excuse Chaol, a mere human with absolutely 0 powers, to fight the most powerful man in the world. How would that have accomplished anything? He would be dead. And if he was dead, Celaena would have succeeded in killing Dorian.

      I appreciate your comment, I really do! Please don’t think I’m undermining you or your opinion in any way. I’m very passionate about this series since the second book is one of my all-time favorites and I never say that lightly. And Chaol is perhaps my favorite male character of all time because of his strong but extremely flawed and complex personality. I just think QoS did him several injustices and took his character back a few steps just for the sake of a new ship that SJM prefers!

  3. I completely agree with this. The whole relationship with Rowan came out of nowhere and felt completely forced. Also kind of creepy when you consider his age, I have never been a fan of relationships between immortal beings who are hundreds of years old and teenagers. The whole relationship came off like badly written fan fiction. Everything from the nightdress bit to the ‘I have been alive for hundreds of years but I have not been living till I met you’ bit was cliched and badly written.

    • Yaaaas *virtual high five* I don’t really understand all the gushing reviews for this book. It was very inconsistent with the r st of the series, and the romance came out of nowhere.

  4. Oh lord. I can literally feel the vibes of anger and frustration rolling off the screen! Im scared. However, because I’m undecided on who I ship, and because I have a slight love (okay more than slight) for Rowan, I might not be as bothered with this as you, but gosh darn! I think I’ll have to avoid reading any other Queen of Shadows reviews until I read it myself 😅
    I’m so sad for all those who shipped Chaolaena. I shipped them so hard in Crown of Midnight and was still aching their break up during Heir of Fire.
    I’d love to say great review, but it honestly made me squirm with nervousness! I’m so sorry that this wrecked your entire Throne of Glass experience!
    xoxo 💋

    • I’m a Chaolena shipper through and through, but here’s the thing: if Chaolena just fell out of love gradually, I would be fine with it. But everything for them ended so abruptly and Chaol was dragged through the mud, and that was what made me angry. I hate to say it, but it was a cheap shot. 🙁

      I sincerely hope you like this better than I did. <3 Thanks for reading; sorry it made you nervous. D:


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