Book Review: Queen of Shadows

Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series written by Sarah J Maas. The assassin Celaena Sardothien returns to Rifthold seeking vengeance against her former master the King of Assassin Arobynn. She soon discovers that the Rifthold she has left is not the same Rifthold she has returned to. Manon Blackbeak is sent to Morath and struggles against the authority of Duke Perrington and has an interesting girl as her servant.

It’s interesting to see authors being writing buddies (or in a writing group) with other authors. I think it’s a pretty common thing within the industry. And from some of the acknowledgement and dedication in the Throne of Glass series, we can see that Maas is not exempt to this too. There’s Susan Dennard, author of the Witchland series, who is seen many times in the series (EDIT: Looking through Empire of Storms, she’s not in there. Not the point though). And guess what, they have written something together. Let me introduce to you the Starkillers Cycle! It’s an adult, sci fi webseries in the lines of Star Wars. Enjoy! Though I have to warn you that it’s not been updated for over a year.

The Good

It was good to see all the characters we’ve met thus far interacting with one another. Manon’s storyline finally intersected Aelin’s, though it wasn’t as awesome as I thought it might have been, but it was still good to see it. I’m really starting to warm up to Manon, Elide’s part in her story also helps it a lot. Really interested to see how the witch storyline develops, glad to see I was wrong about worrying.

Some of the new characters introduced were great too. Elide and Lysandra in particular were very interesting characters and I hope to see more of them soon. The overall story is really progressing, the formation of Aelin’s court has begun and the true villain has been exposed.

The Bad

It took me a while to get into the book. And I think there’s a few reasons for this. The first reason is the change in the main character’s name. It threw me off for a second and the fact that she’s interacting with a lot of new characters, and her relationship has changed with the older characters, it made it feel like an entirely different story. It doesn’t help that she’s basically hasn’t interacted with them for the entirety of the third book. It also doesn’t help that Chaol himself has also changed, which felt like it came out of nowhere.

Secondly, this is the last book in the Throne of Glass series that’s currently out now (when I was reading it). And I fear the ending might have a cliffhanger and I’ll have to wait for the next book to be satisfied. It wasn’t. However, it still took me around three weeks to finish this book. I wasn’t in a slump though, I manage to read Mistborn Prime for three days in between and finished the Raven Boys just a few days after finishing Queen of Shadows. I still can’t quite pinpoint what issues I had with the book though.


Chinese Cover. There aren’t that many foreign covers, guess the translation hasn’t caught up yet.


I loved the moment when Rowan came back, and then he went and sort of locked figurative horns with Aedion to prove his alphaness. I mean… It felt a little cringy for me. I don’t know why. I had no issue in Scarlet, when Wolf sort of did the same thing. Faes are very animalistic too, so it should have been expected. Still… And was it just me or did Rowan and Aelin’s relationship sort of evolve between books? Did absence make their hearts grow fonder or something? I was kind of hoping their relationship dynamic remained the way it was in the previous book.


Queen of Shadows is a decent entry into the Throne of Glass series, but does at times feel like a soft reboot.


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Queen of Shadows

  1. Rowan’s attitude toward Aelin in QoS bothers me too. Not because it was problematic, but because he’s taking this whole territorial fae male thing too seriously. I did hope that they remain friends too because Aelin had too many love interests already, but apparently not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, he was just taking it way too seriously for my liking too. There really are too many love interests but at least it’s seems that Rowan is endgame. Barring another new character introduction.


  2. This was my favourite in the series but everything changes in Empire of Storms (spoiler, I hated it but I’m the only one I’ve found that feels that way); if you haven’t read the Assassin’s blade before Empire of Storms I would strongly recommend it because for some reason it becomes the most important book in the series even though it’s meant to be novellas.

    However, if you’re like em then you schedule your posts so if this is the case have you picked up Empire of Storms yet and how are you finding it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have read Empire of Storms and I’m the exact opposite of you. Queen of Shadows was my least favorite so far, and I found Empire of Storms spiked my interest in the series again, especially in the second half. The first half was bad for me, I find myself disliking Aelin more and more. It’s the side characters like Lysandra, Elide and Manon that I kept reading for. I think the ending kind of justified Aelin and it does make me pumped up for the final book.
      I still haven’t read Assassin’s Blade yet, though I’ve read that several major incidents referenced in Empire of Storms are from there. I’ll have to get to it soon.
      Have you read a Court of Mist and Fury? I haven’t but I find a lot of people who have read that hated Empire of Storms.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have but I also don’t think it lived up to the hype? I think I’m just falling away from YA fantasy and looking to move into more adult fantasy.

        For me it’s just so far removed from everything I loved about the series and what I like of fantasy in general. It’s made me not want to read books so I tried to pick up a contemporary but all I want to read is fantasy so I’ve fell back into comic where my heart really lies.

        I think when I feel like reading novels again I’m going to move to some Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfess, and Brent Weeks, and Robin Hobb. There’s so much fantasy that I haven’t picked up due to my favour of YA fantasy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, that’s understandable.
        It’s true that the Throne of Glass series has change a lot. I think it has a lot to do with the gap between Maas writing the first draft and publishing Empire of Storms. It’s like fourteen years.
        Comics are great! I just I could afford to follow them. Sanderson and Rothfuss are awesome authors, and I plan on tackling Weeks and Hobb one day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Queen of Shadows – Yes! Yes! Yes! | Writer Writ – Wrote?

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