Queen of Shadows
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: September 1st 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.
Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.
Actually, the more I think about it, the angrier I'm getting. Plot wise, I fucking loved it. It was sly, and sneaky and conniving and just SO DAMN GOOD. And most of the side characters, WERE SO DAMN GOOD. And, I, personally, LOVE Manon, yeah, the first lot of her chapters were rather boring, but they did add up to something, and that was just perfect.
Everything else? Nope.
So, here's a game for you.
Step one: Drink every time you feel the need to cry.
Which, let’s be honest, I wanted to cry all. the. way. through it.
No, honestly. I didn’t know how the hell Sarah J Maas does it, but even the non-sad scenes made me cry, one minute I’d be laughing, and the next I’d be don’tcrydon’tcrydon’tcry. And considering there are multiple perspectives, and in third person, that is all down to writing and characters.
Step two: Drink every time you feel the feels
All the damn feels. All the damn time. In all the damn places. ON EVERY MOTHERRUTTINGPAGE. Aelin. Rowan. Chaol. Dorian. Lysandra. Sam. Manon. FUCKING ASTERIN. I’m okay. I’m okay. I AM NOT OKAY. Part of that is to do with the good, but most of that was to do with the issues.
Step three: Drink every time you feel angry.
To those saying about the OOC and defending the series about Sarah knowing her characters better than anyone, of course she does. Of course she fucking does. But what I didn’t like with Queen of Shadows was the manipulation. And guess what I don’t like? Being manipulated into hating a character with no other reasoning behind it other than it suits a certain ship. I get it. Things do change, and feelings change, and Chaol is flawed, he always has been, I hated him as much in here as I did in HoF, because he needed to sort his shit out, but it also gave me hope, because he was sorting his shit out and coming to terms with Celaena being Aelin. And remember all those good angsty stuff? All those thoughts, all those lines. All that supposed love? Gone. In, uh, how many pages was it? I call bullshit. I mean, I got Aelin’s hate, she had some things to hate him for. But there was no reasoning behind Chaol. None. Celaena/Aelin isn’t to blame for EVERYTHING. For EVERYTHING that’s been in motion since Aelin was dead, before Celaena was Celaena. Yeah. ‘Kay. The “official” break-up blow was a page, at best, a page that was drawn out through a whole lot of hate that just didn’t make sense. Feelings don’t just disappear from the second you see that person FOR THE FIRST TIME AGAIN. Yes, there is a lot of blood between them, and you know, she tried to kill him and all, and things weren’t nowhere near perfect with them at the end of CoM, but they were getting somewhere. SHE SAID SHE WOULD ALWAYS CHOOSE HIM, DAMNIT. And yeah, that’s before she became Aelin, and met Rowan and all that shit, but remember the platonic relationship Rowan and Celaena/Aelin had? That disappeared within seconds of them meeting again. And it didn't feel natural at all, if that relationship started to turn into something more, it would have progressed, which it didn't. It jut completely flipped a switch. And then we come to Aelin. You can argue she didn’t feel out of character because she’s not Celaena anymore, and I totally agree with that, she’s changed, so it’s only realistic that she’s different from who Celaena was, and Aelin, she may be badass and she is the fire-breathing bitch-queen, but she’s also just…dare I say it? A bitch. And no, not because of the hate on Chaol, but because of the hate on Celaena, herself. She may have hated how she hid behind Celaena, and there are other reasons and things in play for that, but at the end of the day, no matter how cruel and bitter and how awful Celaena’s life was, and the things she did and the choices she made, SHE MADE THAT CHOICE. Aelin chose to hide, I know she was young, and she herself, was manipulated, but she did that. She wasn’t ready to be herself, not Celaena. Celaena had the best traits of Aelin, and Celaena may have not been living, and only surviving, but keyword, SURVIVING. There is no way, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, would be able to take back her throne, to LIVE, if it wasn’t for Celaena. Rant over.
Step four: Drink until you can’t remember Queen of Shadows if you're a
Chaolaena shipper, because this ship has sunk, my friend.
It's not even about the ship sinking, because honestly? The way the characters totally changed, I don't ship them anymore. I don't ship anything. It's the fact that all of that was gone and shoved aside like it was nothing. Like they felt nothing. She was Celaena for a long time, you can't just, again, flip a feelings switch on or off.
Step five: Find hope at the end of the bottle. Or just grab another one.
I have a love-hate relationship with Queen of Shadows, because I loved every minute of it because of all the feels but I also hated it for all the feels. But in all honesty? I love this series, I have, and I'll always love those first three books, but I have no idea right now if I'm going to continue the series if I'm still going to be manipulated. I probably will, because I do want to see want happens next, but I've lost my enthusiasm for it.
Let me make it clear, I am not bad mouthing Sarah J Maas, I am not against Queen of Shadows because of the ship, and I am not bad mouthing Queen of Shadows because honestly, despite my issues, the plot was brilliant, but for me, the characters aren't the characters I fell in love with, and I couldn't ignore how things didn't add up, how things in ToG, CoM and HoF have been completely wiped out, and that is my opinion, and we are all entitled to that, and in my opinion, I feel like my favourite characters have been fucked over.