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QUEEN OF SHADOWS (THRONE OF GLASS #4) – SARAH J. MAAS

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's 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 to see her again. For her friend, a man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king.
Celaena’s journey will hold readers rapt as it builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Spoiler Warning! This review contains spoilers relating to earlier books in the series. 

It made me laugh, it made me cry.  The more I read of this series the more I love it! Expertly written, Queen of Shadows throws so many unexpected curveballs and creates so many adorable moments and I just don’t know how to react. This book was good enough to crush my soul into itty-bitty pieces!

Starting off where Heir of Fire left off, Aelin returns to Rifthold where she hears news that her beloved cousin, Aedion, has been captured. The King has laid a trap, holding Aedion’s execution publicly as entertainment for Dorian’s birthday. But our girl is always prepared and never misses the chance to be a total badass. Chaol is working with a rebellion to save innocent people with traces of magic from the King’s grasp and Dorian has been captured, his body used as a host for a Valg Prince (a demon from another world, brought and bound by the King). Meanwhile, Manon struggles to sort out the conflict amongst the witches, dealing with insubordination, bossy humans and the fact that Abraxos is quite possibly the sweetest demon-made creature in the world!

Aelin – fire-breathing bitch queen doesn’t even being to cover it! She really steps up to becoming the Queen that she has always been; giving out orders, formulating plans and just owning her role as a leader. This kickass lady is kind, caring and loyal, brave and determined yet her moral dillemas and interesting quirks stop this from turning her into some unfeeling, intangible entity. I don’t know how many times I can say this but I adore her love of shopping and finery and the fact that she isn’t portrayed as meek, useless or vain because of it. It is so nice to finally have a female lead with brains, strength AND a wicked sense of style! I mean, you’d be lying if you said you don’t love those days when you know you look fantastic.

And then there is Rowan. In this book he basically turns into an awkward teenager unsure of what to make of his feelings towards Aelin, let alone deal with them. Let’s not bring up the fact that he is bloody gorgeous, a fact often noted by other characters. Lysandra commented on his beauty, Chaol was more than a little jealous and I think Arobyn even secretly wished to have him as his own. But, aside from all that, he is the greatest guy to ever bless this world, honestly! He is completely loyal to and supportive of Aelin not just because of his blood oath but because he trusts that, whatever it is she does, she does it with him, her court and her people in mind. This doesn’t mean however, that he doesn’t get pissed off about it because she really does have a tendency to do the most stupid things.

These two are the most amazing pairing, they complement each other so well but still have their disagreements. They work fantastically as a team and trust in each other without question. Aelin acts like an idiot and comes out alive, Rowan is grumpy about every dumb decision she makes, both of them are stubborn and feiry, facing each other head on with a refusal to back down – it is perfect!  Their constant bickering provides so much humorous entertainment and their love is enough to lift the hear.
His pupils flared. “Is there a reason you do that, Princess?” 
“Is there any reason not to?”

As for Aedion, underneath all the swagger, charm and carelessness, he is a character that understands the need to make tough decisions. He understands everything Aelin had to sacrifice for the future of her court, every little piece of her that was chipped away after years of brutality and heartlessness. He understood because he’d lived it himself. But the best part about him is that he accepted her for all that she is.  He loves her with all he is and is like the proud big brother she never had.

Finally we have it, a book where girls actually stand up for each other, see past the petty disagreements and support their fellow ladies. Lysandra and Aelin’s competition disappears as soon as they don't need to please Arobyn and get his attention.  I have to say that I am so glad that they have each other, not just as a way to move beyond the past, but also as just someone to be a girl with. In most books, girls are pitted against each other endlessly, fighting for some petty prize.  To see these two stand together without hidden agendas or secrets is such a breath of fresh air. It helps that Lysandra is also one of the most giving and beautiful characters around.

And finally, Manon.  For someone who is meant to be heartless and cruel, Manon is quite possibly the most selfless stone-cold bitch around! Her loyalty to her Thirteen makes her such a real, admirable character and I found that, even when she was acting against her morals, I couldn’t keep myself from rooting for her. And of course, Abraxos! He is the sweetest flesh-eating beasty around. He’s like a little puppy, easily distracted and loving but fiercely protective of it’s human. Asterin was also an amazing character from the Manon chapters, she fights for what she believes in no matter what. Unlike most, Asterin can clearly see the line between right and wrong and is acutely aware every time someone crosses it.

What a ride this book was! I feel like my life meant nothing before this series and now it suddenly has purpose. With an amazing world and plot, extraordinary writing and tangible characters, this book took my breath away.

Rating: 5/5


Grab the forth installment of this fantastic series from Amazon or Book Depository, you know you want to...

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