So this is going to be very hard not to spoil and I’m going to do my best not to but this goes off of the knowledge that you know what’s happened in the first 3 books. If not then it’s not going to make much sense and will spoil this series that is definitely worth reading. Also if you want to read this book then I highly suggest avoiding anything and just reading it because I had seen a few things and it distracted me a bit and would have been nice to go in blind but that’s because I decided to space these books out a bit more.
This is gonna take a while… I’m only mentioning the characters that I think are necessary to talk about.
Aelin – I think it is appropriate that Celaena is now called Aelin due to the events in this story in particular. She really grows into a Queen in the book but battles with her past self, pre-kings champion, and the woman/ruler she wants to be. We get to see glimpses of her more brutal and bloodthirsty side and it can be a little unsettling but at the same time you see the shift of calculation and planning that should hopefully be the building blocks of her court. I also really enjoy this due to being the same age and developing while reading the series and that the writing grows and keeps getting better.
Chaol – His character was pretty much demolished for me and I really did not enjoy anything to do with him which is an awful shame because I really enjoyed him in the first two if not three books. I knew that this was going to happen but I think it was just a bit heavy handed.
Manon – I think a major change has happened in Manon throughout this book and it was really compelling to see what was happening with her and her coven and the decisions she had to make and the leadership she had to follow. I like that the character has more substance now and that she’s beginning to think for herself and I can’t wait to see what else will happen. I know she’s meant to be the enemy or at least working for the enemy but I think it’s ok to like reading about her and her life and history so that there’s more to the lore and world building.
Dorian – If you read this book you will understand why we don’t get a lot of Dorian and I’m glad because he wasn’t my most favourite of characters and I’m glad that his parts were limited and acted as a reminder of what was happening and it really benefited from beign used sparingly.
Rowan – I’m in love with Rowan so this is very very biased, however, we see him trying to live a mortal life and how he copes with magic and as you can expect it’s not too well but it is nice that we get to see that more down to earth perspective and him gaining a respect for the determination of humans.
Aedion – I’m really mixed on how I feel about him, on the one had I like him and his loyalty and on the other it pains me and how childish and just blatantly annoying he is. We do get to learn more about his backstory which is very interesting so that’s a positive that came out of it. I might grow some more warmth toward him in later books but right now he’s like ice cream in winter. You like ice-cream but you can’t wait for it to get better when the sun comes out.
Elide – Again this is exactly how I felt in Heir of Fire with Manon. I assume she’s going to grow but I don’t really like reading her story line but can understand why it’s there.
Lysandra – I like this girl, I like the twist we get with her and I like that Aelin has a female companion. That’s the one thing I don’t read enough of is having a badass chick with a kickass female friend and it really works and it’s so good to see Aelin and Lysandra build trust and become friends. She’s really slipped into the place of Nehemia without destroying the previous friendship.
Arobynn – I haven’t read The Assassin’s Blade so it may change my opinion but I’m glad that in the main series we get some involvement and it was a really good stimulus for Aelin’s character. He was extremely necessary for the plot of this book to push it forward. But he is so unpleasant to read with and that’s the point.
So the romantic element of this book is not a key area even though it is brought up steadily through the book. Personally I am a fan of where it’s heading but it is a change and evolution which is interesting because in a lot of young adult books the romance doesn’t evolve. The pairings tend to be pretty much the same and I’m more than happy for this story to take a different direction and have a different dynamic compared to the other books I’ve read. I won’t know how I feel about it until the end of the series and when I can reflect upon it as a whole.
There isn’t much setting to this and I don’t think I realised that till just now. It’s not a bad thing because we’ve had a lot of it trickled through the whole series that on book four you should kinda have a grip by now.
This book is a lot of revenge and picking away the pieces that have built up in the first half of the series. A lot changed and it takes a while to sink in. The pacing was a bit uncomfortable and it took me over a week to read it and I really struggled at points because I was halfway in and it was a lot of necessary set-up and it felt like nothing had happened but it all started to come together and by that point I really started to fly through it.
Words cannot describe how good it is and how good it is getting. My world collapsed three times reading this book I think? And each time I wasn’t sure if I could go on but I did each time and I’m glad I did. You won’t see where it’s going because I didn’t and usually I see what will happen and it was so nice to be surprised.
My favourite part about the writing is that there are so many perspectives and they feel like completely different characters, I never felt like I wasn’t sure about what I was reading and that’s the best part.
So I’m at 5/6 villians?
- King of Adarlan
- Mother Blackbeak
- And another that is revealed at the end.
That’s a lot to keep track of, but Queen of Shadows is really important for the confrontation aspect and is a big turning point and that’s all I can say.
I can’t tell you without spoiling it but we are on a good track and some solid progress has been made.