Thursday, 2 June 2016

Queen of Shadows- Sarah J. Maas BOOK TALK

I read Queen of Shadows last year when it first came out and hand-wrote a review. (It was 7 pages long in my handwriting). Since then, I've really wanted to type my scrambled thoughts up for you guys to read. So, this is what I'm doing.
Queen of Shadows is the 4th book in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I can't really say much without spoiling it but, if by some reason you haven't read it, I would definitely recommend it.
Before going into this, I'm going to warn you that this is a mammoth of a review- I had so many things to talk about!!!!

By the effing Wyrd! I don't even know where to start with this book!
This story made me laugh, cry and squeal in joy at the pure beauty of it.
Instead of organising my thoughts on each character, I'm going to chronologically talk about each event. (I'll try).
The book was very emotionally draining to start with as Aelin and Chaol's reunion broke my heart! It was not the reunion I wanted at all and I was so depressed with this development.
The first action sequence to happen was the rescue mission to save Aedion. Aedion was amazing as always and I always love reading scenes with him in. The rescue was genius and I cried at Aelin and Aedion's reunion- they hadn't seen each other in ten years! I loved their faith and loyalty together and their strong, unbroken bond.
One of my favourite aspects of the entire book was Aelin and Lysandra's friendship. Aelin hasn't had that female friendship since Nehemia died and so it was really heart-warming to see them grow close. Despite me detesting Lysandra in The Assassin's Blade, I really admired her in this book. We learnt about her past and how strong she actually is. I loved the shape-shifter twist to Lysandra's character as I thought it was intriguing and I can't wait to see how that plays out in future books.
Arobynn's plot was also really interesting and I really enjoyed that section of the book. He was a selfish bastard as usual but I am also fascinated by his character. When Arobynn put the Valg ring on Aelin and she did everything he said, my heart stopped! It was terrifying and I was on the edge of my seat. I felt the most relieved I have ever felt in my life when she casually took the ring off and said that she was disappointed with his attempt. I think there was a bit hysterical laughing too!
I didn't trust Arobynn the entire time he was 'helping' Aelin. I'm so happy that Lysandra was the one who got to kill him because I really feel like it was her right to avenge Sam, Wesley and herself. And, Gods, didn't she kill him well! Making him choke on his own blood in his sleep! Good for you, Lysandra! And the entire kafuffle with Arobynn's will! There is no limit to Aelin's intelligence, stealth and sass. I could not stop laughing.
I was a bit surprised that Arobynn was killed off so early in the book as I honestly thought it would take more to kill him but... I'm freaking glad he's dead.
Moving swiftly on...
Manon's journey throughout the book was just as gripping as Aelin's. I loved the fact that she's starting to grow a heart and finally not blindly obeying what she's ordered.
A definite highlight of the book has to be Aelin and Manon's meeting. I was highly anticipating this meet and was smiling wickedly through the whole ordeal. Both Aelin and Manon are such strong individuals and head-strong heroines. Even though they are enemies, they have a begrudging respect for each other and their action-fight sequence was equally sassy, thrilling and epic.
Another interesting development was the link between Manon and Dorian. I don't know how this plotline will progress through the series but I think we have much more to learn about this possible relationship. Manon was the only person that kept Dorian focused and grounded and I hope we find out what the deal is soon. They're an unlikely relationship- they're both so opposite- but, hey, with Sarah J. Maas, anything can happen.
Just imagine it though. Dorian is grateful that Manon is the only person who could get through to him and Dorian is the one that can melt Manon's stone heart (or help her grow a heart- whichever way you want to look at it). Cute, right?
Elide was a new character and I quickly figured out that she was the daughter of Lady Marion. I didn't care about Elide's storyline too much but I think that was mainly because I just wanted to get onto more exciting things. I really want Aelin and Elide to be reunited though as I think it would be good closure for the both of them.
Asterin was much more important in this than I would've thought. Asterin really grew on me in this book, that's for sure. She's headstrong (like a lot of other females in this book), passionate and I feel a lot of sympathy for what she's endured. I can't wait to see her and Manon grow a proper friendship as apposed to a business like tolerance.
I can tell that Mauve and Lorcan are going to show up quite a lot in the next books and will most likely be a pain in their (Aelin's court) butts. Lorcan was the character that I just wanted to strangle. However, I do think that they bring an interesting dimension to the story. I'm uncertain whether Lorcan will end up on our side or not.
I really liked and felt for Kaltain in this book. I sympathised so much for what she was going through and I think that she has truly redeemed herself for every bad thing she's done by the end.
The Perrington/Erawan plot twist is going to be the most significant plot line for the future books, I think and I'm excited to see how it plays out.
The final, climactic, bad-ass scene was stunning!!! I loved the Hellfire part with Aedion and Rowan. It warms my heart to see them call each other 'brother'! It's so sweet. Bromance Alert!
I thought that the glass castle explosion was brilliantly put together and was tense and action-packed at all the right moments. I cried at various points throughout.
So, here's the million dollar question: Was the king telling the truth or not? I hadn't even considered the King being controlled by a Valg- I feel stupid for not. I, honestly, don't know whether to believe it or not. I want to... but I'm not sure!! I'm surprised that the King actually died in this book. Aelin's two biggest enemies were Arobynn and the King so I kind of assumed that as Arobynn had died, the King would live. But, I guess Aelin has an even bigger enemy now, so she's still got her hands full.
Dorian's storyline was so gripping! My heart truly bled for him and I was overjoyed to see him back. Seeing Dorian as the King of Adarlan and Aelin as Queen of Terrasen brought tears in my eyes as they've both been through so much and have grown impeccably. It felt like such an accomplishment and I'm so proud of them!
Chaol is paralysed!!! I was crying when I found out. This is going to kill him- he's such an active person and always fights to help but now he can't. It's soul destroying for him. I loved Chaol just as much in this book even though his character feels like it changed at the beginning- he wasn't acting like himself.
Even though Aelin and Chaol were constantly fighting at the beginning of the book, I loved their growing friendship. I appreciate how far they've come together. The talk they had really helped both of them and the reader get closure over their relationship. Obviously, I still ship them but I'll settle for a nice friendship.
I feel like Nesryn is a better match for Chaol as they both have the same values. There weren't many Nesryn and Chaol cutsie moments but I think their relationship will definitely bubble up in the next books. I kinda ship them but my heart is still hoping for a Chaolaena reunion. Nesryn is a likeable character and I think she is just as strong and loyal as Chaol- which suits them well.
Their final scene was so cute and really gives me hope for the future.
Lets talk more about Chaolaena!! I still ship them and forever will- but here's how and why I've made my peace with them being just friends.
In my mind, Celaena and Aelin are two different people. They both have separate responsibilities  and outlooks on the world- even if they are, in reality, the same person.
I feel like Chaol suits Celaena's personality- he's her rock- but I don't necessarily think that him and Aelin fit romantically- she has too much responsibility and royalty importance for him to pair with.
Chaol and Aelin have an amazing friendship, though, that I absolutely adore!
So, I kinda ship Nesryn and Chaol and Aelin and Rowan.
Talking of Rowan....
Oh, my Gods, I love him! In Heir of Fire, I liked their totally platonic relationship and didn't want it going any further. Now, however, is a completely different story... They were so freaking hot!! It was so hot and steamy and I'm in love with their relationship. Rowan is so loyal and dedicated to Aelin and vice versa. I, honestly, think that Rowaelin (is that their ship name?) could be endgame. But you never know with Sarah J. Maas...
Rowan is such a good and protective guy and they both deserve each other. I can't wait to follow their relationship and treasure every moment! I couldn't stop laughing at the table scene where Aelin and Rowan are telepathically talking to each other and Rowan's leg banged against the table! Sarah J. Maas has a stunning ability to balance humour, action and romance together, blending them perfectly.
One last ship I hope sails is Lysandra and Aedion. There hasn't been any solid proof of a relationship but there are subtle hints of there being an attraction. And, Gods, do I hope they together- they'd be an adorable and kick-ass couple.
One tiny part of the book that really affected me more than it should've was Ress' death. Ress was my favourite guard- excluding Chaol- and I was so upset when he died. R.I.P Ress.
Something I love about this series is that every character- side or main- has such a significance in the story. Even if they're really small characters, they all have their own entirely in-depth background and importance in the plot.
The book ended perfectly and I desperately need the next book. One of the last scenes were my favourite- when Aelin, Chaol and Dorian were all sat down and were simply talking. I was crying through the whole thing as I was so proud of them all. It was sort of nostalgic to have all three of them back together like old times from book one. It was a perfectly beautiful ending.
This entire series has been too good for words. It's completely unpredictable and keeps you on your toes. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these characters. It was so emotionally draining and I've grown so close to these characters that they feel like a part of me.
All I have to do now is wait for the next book!!!!
If you've read this far....thank you. You have incredible patience. Comment your thoughts. Thanks for reading. See you soon,

Ps, this was one of my favourite scenes- it made me cry!!!
Aelin: It helps no one and nothing to look back. We can only go on.
Chaol: What if we go on, only to more pain and despair? What if we go on, only to find a horrible end waiting for us?
Aelin: Then it is not the end.

(I thought that was just beautiful).

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