Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Queen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows book cover
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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.


There is just no way in hell that I will ever be able to do Queen of Shadows justice with the words I'm typing in this review. I'm going to try, because this book deserves to be shouted about all over the place for its sheer brilliance. But I figured it would be fair to warn you beforehand that there is a very strong possibility that this will dissolve into a complimentary set of ramblings. I will promise, however, that there aren't going to be any spoilers whatsoever, because I prefer to go into my books without being spoiled for them and I'm sure many of you do too.

Queen of Shadows is, quite simply, an incredible feat of storytelling from Sarah. I have always been blown away by the novels (and novellas) of this series, but this one, well, it's something extra special. Just thinking about how much this book has emotionally and mentally (and hey, even physically) affected me leaves me speechless. It is a rare novel that can elicit such a strong reaction, but I can't think of one that is more deserving than this.

It is impressive in scope, capturing even more nuances in the story and parts of the world than ever before. Readers return to Rifthold, to the place where this story started, to the place where everything has now changed in so short a time. We're not only invited to revisit places we're familiar with; we're dragged into discovering new parts, new people, new things with every single chapter. It's a world that we're both welcomed back into, and a world where we get to learn more about everything. And the amount of detail and thought that went into it is really cool!

It shows off excellent character growth, with players old and new showing up to grace the pages of this novel. I love how Sarah stays true to who a character really is, even when that doesn't necessarily paint them in a favorable light. Because they are both admirable and flawed, because we get such a complex, rich, full understanding of who they are at the core, each one of these people (old and new alike) is so incredibly alive to me. I feel like they pop off of the page so much that they could be my gang in real life (and I would totally want them to be). (And can we please just take a moment here to pay tribute to how much female empowerment this book includes? It's definitely a big part of this story!)

It has a plot filled with build-up to pay-offs that are so worth every single second of time you invest in this series. I mean, as an individual novel, it's already awesome to have such a fast-paced, thoughtful set of story arcs being followed from start to finish. And those crazy climax scenes are intense and perfect and mind-blowing! But what really gets to me is how Sarah manages to tie things from all the previous books up with what's currently happening in this world. The sheer cleverness of it all takes my breath away, and I found myself connecting all these little things together with a sense of pure wonder. Sarah's really managed to blow the top off of her series with this one, and I can't wait to read about what happens next.

Sarah has also accomplished an even bigger feat with how emotional I was while I was reading this one. It wasn't only because of the glorious anticipation that had been building since last year, nor did it really have anything to do with getting to read it around release day. No, it was, in fact, primarily because of this story. I cried no less than six times (both happy tears and sad tears). I wanted to scream with anger. I giggled with giddiness. I swooned without warning. Honestly, it's very rare for me to react so strongly in such an emotional way when I'm reading a book but it came easy with this one. And in the end, that really speaks to how Sarah has managed to make her world, her characters, her story come alive to me. It is a truly powerful connection that I've forged with her novels, and one that rivals my love for Harry Potter. (Yes, I said it.)

Basically, Queen of Shadows is utter perfection. It is undeniably the best novel of the series to date! It's certainly ground-breaking in terms of the story and characters, and it also manages to pack quite the emotional punch. I've said it previously, but I'll state it again: no matter where Sarah takes this story, no matter where these characters lead her, to whatever end, I'll be loyally following along. Stories like this one only come along every once in a blue moon, and I'll happily hold steadfast in my love and appreciation for their existence in the world.


2 comments:

  1. Let me start off by telling you how much I love the new look! It's so clean and easy to navigate (I know I'm probably super late to tell you this but you know better late than never eh).

    When I finish a book I usually read the acknowledgements (I'm probably the only one but whatever) and I was so excited to see you pop up in there! I think you managed to get your feelings about this book across pretty well in this review. I know how hard it can be to express what you feel when you don't even know how you feel in the first place.

    This book is my new favorite of the series and the next one will probably be my new favorite and so on because it just keeps getting better! I loved how there was so much girlpower in this one and how the great the plot was. Sarah J. Maas is my queen honestly.

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  2. I haven’t read this series yet. I know, I know (hides in shame). It’s just I prefer to binge read series after all installments are released. Your review is wonderful and it’s obvious how you feel about the book. You definitely made me rethink my usual routine with unfinished series.

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