Having mastered her Fae powers, Celaena heads back to Rifthold to liberate her people and free magic. But there seems to be no end to the enemies lined up in her way – from the King of Adarlan’s Valg soldiers to the ferocious Ironteeth witches, and Arobynn Hamel, the King of Assassins. Forced to navigate a treacherous web woven by her foes, Celaena will stop at nothing to see this battle through.
It still surprises me to no end how increasingly interested I am in the series. 1900+ pages and I see no reason I’d want to stop reading these books any time soon. In fact, give me 10 more books; each detailing the lives of Dorian, Chaol, Nesryn, Lysandra, Rowan, Celaena, and Aedion!
After all the claims of Celaena being a kickass assassin, it is in Queen of Shadows that we finally see her ultimate savagery. Her blood lust knows no bounds, as she brazenly eliminates those who prove to be a thorn in her path. While a lot of her character growth stems from her foresight, ambition, and leadership, it was heartening to watch her grow closer to her companion.
There were twists in the plot execution that had me squealing with joy; because while I’d wished for such a development, I did not anticipate Sarah J. Maas delivering it to us, readers.
I love books where a bunch of characters come together to complete a mission, and this trope has been executed well in Queen of Shadows. Further, the author had even more surprises in store. There were quite a few instances where characters’ decisions would be unlike anything I had in mind. That refreshing quality is hard to come by in fantasy fiction.
The one, prominent factor that made me cringe is the amount of machismo and bravado wafting off scenes involving Rowan and Aedion. While they both feel a sense of bond with Celaena, they’re immediately on guard around each other (just picture warrior men staring each other down, trying to assert their superiority). Of course, on the whole, this was just a speck, nothing that bothered me for too long.
The ending revealed quite a bit about the threat that the group would face in the coming books. Needless to say, this one is my favourite title from the series, so far!