Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas // Expectations VS Reality

SPARKLING LETTERS BOOK BLOG- REVIEW QUEEN OF SHADOWS BY SARAH J MAAS

RATINGS : 4 Stars

Throne of Glass is quite a controversial series for me. I kept changing my mind between liking and disliking and feeling indifferent. Queen of Shadows has been deemed as the best book in the series by many reviewers and if you can’t tell, I’m easily swayed by good reviews. Especially from the reviewers I look up to. So naturally, I started this book with some SERIOUSLY HIGH EXPECTATIONS. That’s why I’m gonna change my review format from the usual so we can see if the reality lived up to my expectations ♦

P.S. NO SPOILERS. 

Actually, there will be spoilers but they’re between spoilers tag and the writing is in white, which you won’t be able to see unless you block them. There are also spoilers from the previous 3 books. Considered yourself warned 😉

pace plot

Expectation

The book will be ALL tension from the first page until the very last one and every separated pieces from the previous books would finally come together.

Reality

Honestly, the first 200 pages felt a liiiittle bit slow for me. It’s action packed from page one but it’s pretty mediocre, not the kind that grips and makes you on edge all the time. I was a bit bored and I kept putting it down due to my lack of interest. At that point, I started to think that this book probably wouldn’t live up to my soaring expectations, despite all the praises that I’ve heard from others. But then around page 400, it went uphill. BAM! Things progressed rapidly and it was like plot twist after plot twist after plot twist. Completely mind blowing! The plot is smart and EVERYTHING. I couldn’t put it down anymore no matter how hard I tried.

I wished every little pieces from the previous books would finally come together. It is and it’s not. All the characters finally meet and some things are finally explained BUT there are also more revelations. Sarah J Maas decided to drop more stories and more characters into the story. It honestly felt like too much information. Forgive me and my silly brain but I JUST COULDN’T KEEP UP with it. I kept forgetting who is who and what it was about. I was tempted to go through the previous books but it’s just too much work and I was feeling a bit (or a lot) lazy.

The ending was a bit weird for me. Turned out, <spoiler>the King of Adarlan was not totally evil and he was controlled by another demon who is PERRINGTON aka King Erawan but Dorian still ruined him. He’s now King Dorian Havilliard ♥♥♥</spoiler> What??? I was left feeling confused and unsatisfied <about the whole Erawan thing>. Also, <spoiler>by the end of the book Chaol was PARALYZED and I totally freaked out! Spinal injury is horrible and what if he’s like Will Traynor? Completely paralyzed for the rest of his life?? But nope, I assume from what Dorian was saying, it can be healed. Fingers crossed.</spoiler>

characters

Expectation

Everyone will kick ass and blow my mind.

Reality

Well guess what, Aelin was totally being a BRAT for the first 15 chapters or so. I totally get that after everything she’s been through, after everyting she had to endure, she probably had every right to be mean. I would prefer her being mean over her being absolutely annoying! But after several more pages, she became tolerable and waaayyy more reasonable. She’s as witty, quick, and seriously clever as she’s always been, if not more. She’s the evil mastermind of all the wickedness in this book and she kept her plans away from the others. I kinda hope everyone else got more chance to come up with some equally clever ideas though.

Rowan, on the other hand, was a bit out of character for me. The Rowan I knew was cold and ruthless and didn’t do small talk while this Rowan sometimes did cute, silly, and sweet things. HE MADE JOKES! It’s not like he had no sense of humor at all, it just seemed very unlikely for the old him to do such things. I understand that love makes people change and there’s character development and all, but still.

To my delight, the other characters stick to their characters and equally kick ass. Aedion is as cocky, arrogant, and and confidence as ever while Chaol is as thoughtful, calculating, and caring as he’s always been. I wish we could see more Dorian, but even through his very little appearance, I could tell he’s still himself (despite everything that happened).

We have a couple of new ladies in the book, Elide, Nesryn, and Lysandra. I love both Nesryn and Lysandra, especially Lysandra. I always love a wicked pretty girl who looks innocent but has so many tricks up her sleeves. Although, I felt like she came out of nowhere. It was said that Lysandra and Aelin were a long time nemesis but as far as I remember, Aelin never mentioned her before. Or was I wrong? Nevertheless, I think she’s a great addition to the story.

And my most favorite, most kick ass character from this book is definitely Manon Blackbeak. I know, I know, I remember saying that all the chapters about witches from Heir of Fire were dull and pointless but I finally understand why it was necessary. I actually realllyy enjoy the chapters about witches this time.

romance

Expectation

I honestly don’t know what I expected since Aelin seemed to change partner every single book but it’s definitely NOT this.

Reality

I DID NOT SHIP ROWAN AND AELIN. Not even a little bit. I just don’t care about them, thank you sir. Though it didn’t bother me since this book focused on so much more than just romance. 

I did not ship her with Dorian either but it was at least enjoyable while this one is weird! So unnatural. I totally call BS on this. It just feels off and kinda creepy… I mean, the guy is immortal and have been around for God knows how many centuries??

It saddened me to see things are finally, completely over between Celaena and Chaol. They are the only couple with real chemistry in this book and to see it’s over is sad. I was especially annoyed to see Celaena’s super pissy attitude toward him for the first several chapters of the book. At least they finally had ‘the talk’ and it was a good enough closure. The good thing is, I totally ship Chaol and Nesryn. Nesryn is awesome! I hope Dorian will get his happy ending too ♥

writing

Expectation

After reading the mighty master piece that is A Court of Mist and Fury, I expect something equally spectacular and stunning.

Reality

The writing was definitely neat and meticulous. It wasn’t as fantastic as ACoMaF but nonetheless enjoyable. I love how the chapters alternate between telling stories of each characters. Sarah J Maas is one of the authors who could pull of third POV successfully.

final thought

Considering everything I feel and think of this book, it was a 4 stars at best. Crown of Midnight is still and probably will always be my favorite of all the books but I have (another) high expectation for Empire of Storms. Now that the king, queen, and witches are in the right path, I hope everything will tie together in another epicness that is the fifth book. The wait, though only a month, would still be insufferable! </3

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Have you read Queen of Shadows? What do you think about it? What about the whole series? Drop some comments and share your thoughts! Thank you for reading ♥

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5 thoughts on “Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas // Expectations VS Reality

  1. Ohh this was such a great way to do the review! I’m sadly really anti-this series now. *sad noises* I think everyone was super out of character and Chaol/Dorian are my FAVOURITES but I feel like they’ve just been basically cut out of the story??? In favour of Rown and Aedion? AND BTW I 10000% AGREE THAT ROWAN/AELIEN IS CREEPY AND I DO NOT LIKE. *cries* I love Chaol and Celanea but yeah. Nope anymore I guess? I don’t think I’m even going to read the next book ahhahha. Gah. There were some great plot twists though!

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I know it’sad, I’ve heard so many good reviews but it was disappointing 😦 Yes exactly! I want more Chaol and definitely more Dorian!!! Ah I’d still read Empire of Storms but I really wish it’s gonna be a lot better! You’re welcome, thank you for visiting back 😀

      Like

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