Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 1, 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Also by this author: Empire of Storms
Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”
IT IS BOOK 4 IN MY MOST FAVORITE SERIES. DO NOT PASS THIS SECTION IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THIS SERIES AT ALL. Go here instead.
Queen of Shadows was everything I had hoped for. When I finished it (literally binged it from Friday night, went to bed, then woke up and finished it Saturday which was intense because that book is THICK) I was just like BRAIN. EXPLODING. BRILLIANT. OMG. I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. I LOVE EVERYTHING. CAN I HAZ BOOK 5?? I’m just so obsessed with this story and world and obviously the characters. I can’t really put into words, non-spoiler words, to explain what this book did to me and why I loved it so much…it was just everything and made my love for it expand all the way to the undiscovered parts of the universe and back. Sarah is just so brilliant in the way she truly makes me feel and understand these characters, why they do what they do, their struggles, what they are fighting for, etc. Everything was epic. I am so, so beyond invested and basically will sign a deal with the devil not to die before this series ends haha. Sooo I’m just going to talk in spoilers now because that’s the only way I can discuss it.
<< SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.>>
View Spoiler »We are just going to go straight up lists for this because it’s been over a week and my brain still is like HAHAH YEAH COHERENT THOUGHTS WHAT ARE THEY.
1. SHIPS AND THINGS: So it’s no secret that there has been lots of speculation about ships and where those would go in this series. I take my ships seriously. But I’ve realized some people take their ships EVEN MORE SERIOUSLY (ie. death threats to authors and crap). What I’m always more concerned about, especially with a fave series, is the integrity of the story that author is trying to tell rather than an author feeling pressured to give reader wish fulfillment. What I mean by that is I WANT CELAENA TO END UP WITH WHO SHE NEEDS TO BE WITH REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. If it happens to be the popular ship, cool. If it happens to be my ship, even better. But like…I need to BELIEVE that this is true to the character and their journey and this is what has to happen. Now, I rarely jump ships. I’m truly loyal. But QoS made me jump ships faster than a pirate looking for more booty. I was so team Chaol. And then I wasn’t. We saw his lack of acceptance for certain things about Celaena in HoF and (it should have raised red flags for me but I’m a hopeless romantic) and it struck me pretty early on in QoS that they couldn’t be together in my mind. At least not right now. Or ever. Maybe they will just be good friends. WHO KNOWS. You can’t be with someone who doesn’t get these essential parts of you. Who doesn’t accept them. Things that are you to the core. That are an important part of who you ARE and who you are going to be. Chaol can’t get past some of these things. I think he tried to believe she could be who he wanted but couldn’t altogether. She deserves to be with a person who gets her. Truly. She deserves to be understood to her core. Chaol loves her no doubt…but it might not be in the way she NEEDS or WANTS to be loved romantically. ALSO, we always knew early on that Chaol’s allegiances would always be to Dorian. That was evident from book 1. That was his King in his mind. And now he is the King. And he needs to be there while she is figuring shit out with her kingdom. They have dueling and conflicting journeys right now. I know lots of people are going to be upset about the turn in ships but I actually find it hella refreshing that a young female character doesn’t have to always be with their first or second love etc. That they can learn and grow and appreciate what that person brought to their life. Chaol did so much to help her to realize who she is and what she is fighting for. He is part of her journey to where she is now. I mean, this happens in life. Someone is right for you at a certain chapter in your life and then sometimes you both are still moving…but in different directions. Like hello my whole high school and college until I met Will. I thought I wanted vastly different things as I was coming of age. I don’t know what the rest of the series holds for them but I am SO OKAY WITH WHERE THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. And maybe they will be right for each other again….but they both of things to deal with in the remaining books…you never know where life is going to take you. But Sarah made me feel like THIS IS THE RIGHT THING. This is right for my girl. She is so complicated and still figuring her shit out and she deserves to be able to do that. She was a different person in some ways when she met Chaol. She deserves to keep figuring out who she is and what she wants –and decide who she wants to love. It’s an important decision when it comes to matters of the heart. I will defend this until the end of time. I HAVE SO MUCH PEACE ABOUT IT.
2. Manon continues to be one of my favorites EVER and I think her character is even more fleshed out here. She still feels like who she is but these shifts within her in this book are SO believable to me and I can’t wait to see what she does in next book with all the info/perspective she has now. I have been waiting for an epic showdown between them and IT WAS THE SHOWDOWN THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. I burst into tears at the two acts of kindness they showed toward each other. THE MESSAGE ABOUT DORIAN. OMG OMG. BAWLED. I can’t wait to see when they meet again.
3. Aedion: I’m just saying I want Aedion for MYSELF. He is a character who I loved getting to know better in QoS as I already loved him in HoF. “And Aedion grinned at his queen as the entire world went to hell” I DIED I DIED. The first eye contact between them after these years. DIED. And their first real conversation after they got to have after they rescued him….KILL ME NOW. EPIC REUNION IS SO BEYOND EPIC. The plan and execution was flawless.
4. Dorian’s POV: One of the most distressing, and I mean heart in the pit of my stomach distressing, was Dorian’s POV. Oh my heart I wanted to puke. It was breaking my heart to watch him not remember and try so hard to. To be aware and acknowledge the demon in him and trying so hard to fight it. I cried so hard when he remembered his name. I LOST MY SHIT when C says to him, “We get to come back from this loss — this darkness. I came back for you.” LOST IT. LIKE SOBBED. And I totally felt like as much as she was saying it to him…she was reminding herself of this.
5. THE BATTLE IN THE END. Her plan. Slipping the eye in Chaol’s pocket. How she saved Dorian. The banter with the king. THE FUCKING FIRE WALL. I was had to remind myself to breathe during this epicness.
6. FUCKING CANNOT WAIT FOR MY QUEEN TO RECLAIM HER KINGDOM AND SEE WHAT IS UP THERE.
7. HOT SEXY ROWAN. Please make that towel drop next time SARAH!!! “You make me want to live, Rowan. Not survive; not exist. Live.” HEART STOPPED. This is what I want for her. This is why I ship this.
8. HOLLA BADASS LADIES: I’m so all about all the amazing dudes that Sarah writes (no seriously how does she?) but I was soooo in love with the roles that the ladies played in this book. It’s magical what Nesryn and Lysandra brought to this book. SQUAD GOALS ALL THE WAY. Badass, unapologetic ladies in the house! And seriously Kaltain quite literally blowing shit up?? And obviously Manon being Manon and what she did. IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE LADIES SAVING THE DAY IN THIS BOOK. « Hide Spoiler
– Not a thing I would change. Honestly. I mean, I would change that I have to wait for so long for the next book?? Or that like it’s not a zillion more pages so I can be with them for forever.
Re-readability: UH YEAH. Will probably reread a whole lot of times.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? ALREADY HAVE.
Queen of Shadows is all I had hoped for and more. All the love I had for this world/characters/story before x 1000000000000. Sarah continues to deliver the perfect amounts of everything I need: amazing character development, complex romances/relationships, hella interesting plot and flawless writing. It’s just one BIG, and I mean big, book of badassery and perfection. GIRL SQUADS, HOT DUDES, HOLD-YOUR-BREATH MOMENTS. SCENES THAT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH AND CRY AND HAPPY CRY. It was all glorious and I am basically dead still after reading it.