Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series—if you have not read the first three books this review will include spoilers. You can read my review of Throne of Glass here, Crown of Midnight here, and Heir of Fire here.
I just have so many thoughts on this book so it’s a little long, but I’m going to try to keep it spoiler free.
So, Queen of Shadows I’ve noticed is where a lot of Throne of Glass fans start to get annoyed and pissed off with the series—mainly because Chaol’s personality changes a bit as well as the ship switching. Honestly, I really enjoyed it. I think it might be my favorite so far.
Like always, Mass’ writing is captivating and beautiful. Plot-wise we know a bit more and like real action steps are being made. I liked that. In Queen of Shadows we can kind of see the boundary lines being drawn and war plans being formed—by both sides. The full picture is becoming apparent, where in the first two-ish books it was just a story of Celaena fighting to be champion.
But also, in Crown of Midnight I liked Chaol and Celaena because it made her happy and not necessarily because of him. He was fine, but I’m rooting for her. And he just didn’t handle finding out her identity all that we. He sent her away, they changed, and grew apart. I think it felt realistic. And he wasn’t what made her happy any more.
Anyway, Celaena is romantically unattached and back in Rifthold, which is really good because the king has her cousin hostage and we know she won’t let anything happen to him.
I liked that we finally get her as Aelin. She is using her name and has accepted her true identity. She isn’t letting her fears or selfishness guide her, this is all for her people and others the king has hurt.
Aelin—because that is what we are also calling her now—is super witty and sarcastic in this book. She also plots and schemes a lot—with her own dramatic reveals. More so maybe than even in the other books. I think it is mainly because she finds herself surrounded by more characters. And these character know how to throw the sass just as well, or at least take it from her.
One of these characters is obviously Rowan—who I love, if you already didn’t know (an unpopular opinion). Their back and forth is absolutely the best, it is beyond amusing. Rowan is still the brooding alpha-male, but he has softened a bit to Aelin. They have developed this amazing friendship, part bond and I feel like part something more. I love how despite the oath he made he still like doesn’t fully listen, because he just wants to protect her. But he also lets her do her own thing and knows she can handle herself despite that protectiveness. Like its sweet. They’re cute. And funny. And gahh. I’m gushing.
And Aedion is in this book! In Heir of Fire, we were just kind of trying to figure him out and see if he was good or bad. Now we know he is good but in trouble. Like I said, perfect timing because his cousin the queen is coming back to the city. Seeing them together was really sweet and emotional and he is just so loyal to her. And he gets a point-of-view.
But like Aelin, and two alpha-males in the same room. Yikes. Rowan, Aelin, and Aedion all have tempers and are bound to clash at least a little once they meet up.
Chaol is still present as well, getting his own point-of-view sections. Like I said, he just doesn’t handle Aelin’s true identity well. Things between them are tense, and he can act like a jerk at sometimes. I just think he has a lot going on. Leaving behind Dorian and being cast out of the guard really challenge his whole thinking of who he was.
Speaking of Dorian, our precious prince is taken over by a Vlag. Very upsetting, especially because none of our characters know if there is a way to reverse it.
And then there’s Manon. I had trouble with her in the last book, mainly because she was new and I wanted to read about the characters I already cared about. But she really grew on me here. We get a change of local as she and her fighters go to live with the Duke. Questionable things are happening there, and it’s actually where she meets Elide, the Lady of Perranth—being kept as a servant by her uncle. I like how she starts to really question things when tested, the witches are bread to obey but circumstances here really push her.
This was a thrilling fourth novel that I literally could not put down. Despite its behemoth size, I think I read it in one sitting. These characters have my heart, and I want nothing bad to happen to them. This is a long series—both in the amount of books and the size of each book. Things are going to change. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones in that way—not with all the killing, but you can’t get attached to things being one way. If you can do that, I think you’ll like this book. If not, you’ll be in the camp with a lot of other fans who find themselves getting frustrated with Queen of Shadows.