Sunday, 13 September 2015

review: queen of shadows (spoilers ahoy)

From Goodreads:

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.

Question: How is it possible that every book in this series is so much better than the rest?

Answer: Because Sarah J. Maas is a fucking queen, that's why.

Just a warning in advance, this whole post is probably going to contain quite a bit of profanity. So if you're not into that, this is your cue to move along. I just finished this beast about two hours ago and am still catching my breath, so you'll have to excuse my overly-excited sailor talk. Okay? Great.

Queen of Shadows was 100%, absolutely perfect. Honestly, I can't say a bad thing about it.

That's it for non-spoilery stuff. Proceed with caution.

I quite honestly don't even know how I'm going to proceed with this review because there's so much to talk about. So, for the sake of this review I'm just going to go through it in a lovely little list.

This bitch. THIS BITCH. Manon is seriously one of my favourite characters in this series. She's SUCH a complex character, and every single part of her storyline was just fantastic. As the novel progressed, you could honestly feel her turning from the total heartless literal man-eater to the Grinch after he sees all the Whos singing and his heart grows three sizes. GUYS. SHE CARES! Not that we didn't know this, because her relationship with Abraxos is just such a foreshadow to this, but still. A+ for character development. A FUCKING PLUS. We see her being all awesome with Abraxos, and then we see her with Elide, and then ASTERIN. Her story, guys. Literal tears. And HER MESSAGE ABOUT DORIAN AFTER AELIN SAVES HER. And the end when she helps Elide escape and KALTAIN FUCKING BLOWS THE PLACE UP WITH HER SHADOWFIRE LIKE DAMN THESE ARE SOME STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN UP IN HERE. DAMN.

I'm not even going to lie, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people had this same thought: I was totally certain that Dorian was going to die. Did not have a doubt in my mind. I literally opened the book when I got it, read that first chapter, closed the book, and cried. His chapters were so hard to read, I'm getting teary just thinking about it. POOR BABY. But then he COMES BACK and he's all "fuck you dad" and him and Aelin go all magic teamwork and I DID NOT STOP SMILING. I'm so happy he's back, guys. SO HAPPY. The part where he remembered Celaena's name and his name... BAWLED. But I'm honestly really fucking nervous for the next book because he never got the chance to mourn Sorscha and now that he's king he's going to have to deal with all this grief while still maintaining a position of power during a war and I JUST DON'T WANT HIM TO DIE OR BE SAD HE'S BEEN THROUGH TOO MUCH OKAY? Also: Dorian and Chaol have the cutest friendship in all the land.

I audibly "WOO"-ed at two points during this book, and both of them were about deaths. I'm not sure what that says about me as a person. But that's not important. What's important is, AROBYNN AND THE KING OF ADARLAN ARE BOTH DEAD!! How did we manage to get rid of both of them in one book?!! The only death that's ever made me happier than Arobynn's is Voldemort. Which is saying a whole damn lot, I tell ya. AND CHAOL DIDN'T DIE, GUYS. At that end confrontation part between Chaol and the king, I was just sitting here with my tea in one hand, book in the other, whispering "no no no no no". It's true. But don't worry, we came out on top because we can't possibly lose with the fire-breathing bitch queen herself on our side.

Seriously. Aelin, Lysandra, Nesryn, Manon, even fucking ELEVEN YEAR OLD Evangeline. Two words: SQUAD. GOALS. I looooved how Lysandra came into play in this book and actually turned out being one of the most awesome characters. Especially since in The Assassin's Blade, Celaena was all bitchy about her being a courtesan. Like damn bitch don't judge. AND THEN SHE FUCKING SLITS AROBYNN'S THROAT AND LETS HIM CHOKE ON HIS OWN BLOOD. WOAH. I really really really x10000 can't wait for the next books because HOPEFULLY Manon and the Thirteen will team up with Aelin and bring forth all the chaos. Can this happen? Please?

5. ROWAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See all those exclamation marks? Those are totally unprecedented. Seriously, before I started QoS I was completely on the side of "Aelin doesn't need a man she's a strong independent woman and all she needs is platonic relationships with the men in her life because Sam was her mate and fuck all y'all." But guys. I'm totally a Rowaelin shipper now. I don't think I ever smiled as wide reading this book as I did at the grand Rowan return scene. AND THAT SEXUAL TENSION HOLY SHIT. Needless to say, I am very happy with how this progressed. And Sarah, if you ruin this relationship you owe me $6.99 for the tub of Ben & Jerry's I'll be needing to cope.

I fucking love Aedion's loyalty to Aelin. Seriously. And how worried she was that he was going to hate her for basically being MIA for ten years, but then he's like "NAH GURL BLOOD OATH?" AND THEN GETS ALL PISSY THAT SHE MADE ONE WITH ROWAN. The Rowan/Aedion rivalry cracked me up, if we're being completely honest here. Speaking of Aedion, I NEED something to happen between him and Lysandra. NEED. They can have little shapeshifter Faebies. (Please don't hate my pun) (I also want Rowaelin Faebies) (ok I'm done with this now)

I probably spent 90% of my time reading this book holding my breath. It's a fucking beast of a book, but honestly it did not drag ONCE. Constant action. Constant suspense. Constant excitement. SO MANY TWISTS AND TURNS I PROBABLY HAD A MINOR HEART ATTACK AT SOME POINT BUT IT'S SO WORTH IT.

I'm having trouble thinking about other things but I'm just going to say that I loved this book. It is my favourite book of 2015 so far, and probably will stay that way since I don't see myself reading for fun a lot in the next few months. THIS. BOOK. IS. FLAWLESS. And now I'm sad because it's going to be at least a year until the next book and I'm fully invested now and I don't LIKE WAITING. On to ACOTAR while I wait, I suppose.

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