Queen of Shadows is the fourth book in the smash hit high fantasy series for young adults and adults by author Sarah J. Maas. After just finishing the fourth novel in the set, I learned that the Throne of Glass series was optioned for a television miniseries, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m guessing Maas is even more ecstatic.
At the end of Heir of Fire, we were left with a major cliffhanger after a gut-wrenching scene. To recap, the Throne of Glass series is about an ass-kicking female assassin (Aelin / Calaena) who has been biding her time until she can avenge the death of her royal family. She was hired as the King’s official assassin, not realizing she was actually the lost of heir of a rival throne. Crown Prince Dorian and Chaol, captain of the guard, work to protect her, even when she doesn’t really need it. While off to recover her lost gifts of fire magic in a land where magic is not suppressed, the King calls forward the Crown Prince, Chaol, and the General (Aelin’s cousin). He charges the General with treason, beheads his son’s lover, imprisons his son with a demon collar, and Chaol barely escapes.
In Queen of Shadows, Aelin returns from Wendlyn stronger and more determined, but her old friends are in a state of chaos. Aelin had made a spectacle of herself by destroying three demon princes in Wendlyn and the whole world is buzzing with the news that Aelin is back and she’s come to claim her throne and destroy the King of Ardalan. When she finds Chaol working with the resistance, he isn’t as pleased to see her as she hoped he would be. It’s all out in the open now – who she is and where she came from.
As far as the King knows, Caleana is still gone to Wendlyn to assassinate a royal family. Aelin is supposedly back, but he has no idea that Calaena IS Aelin. Or does he?
Chaol has discovered that the King has been suppressing magic with three strategically placed towers. Bring down one, and magic will once again be free. This become Aelin’s goal. If her powers are restored, she will have a better chance of killing the king. But another goal is problematic. With the demon collar on Dorian, Aelin thinks that killing him is the best option – a gift of peace. But Chaol doesn’t want that. And before anything can be done, she has to save her cousin from the staged execution, which everyone knows is a trap just for Aelin.
There’s a whole bunch of everything going on in this fourth book. And don’t worry, ladies – our Fae Prince Rowan comes back into the picture because he just can’t stand to be without her. That romance blossoms beautifully with our two inseparable, head-butting, pointy-eared royal warriors. Chaol has a new possible romance and Dorian – he’s in hell for the moment.
The side story that was begun in Heir of Fire with the witch Manon finally intersects with that of Aelin, and it’s every bit of awesome you could imagine. The brutal and strong witch heiress comes face-to-face with Aelin, and it’s a raging battle of alpha dominance that ends with a slice of respect and a life debt. Manon and her ‘thirteen’ begin to realize that they’re on the wrong side.
And remember Kaltain from the first book? The insufferable courtier who tried to poison Caleana? We see bits and pieces of Kaltain in her new life as she withers under the stone collar. But she’s stronger than she lets on, and her magical abilities can summon a brutal death. This time, she finds herself on the right side. I don’t mean to divulge spoilers, but her lines gave me goosebumps:
“You find Calaena Sardothien. Give her this. No one else. No one else. … And tell her to remember her promise to me – to punish them all. When she asks why, tell her I said that they would not let me bring the cloak she gave me, but I kept a piece of it. To remember the promise she made. To remember to repay her for a warm cloak in a cold dungeon.”
Lots of debts are paid in this explosive novel. An absolutely, unbelievable thrilling fourth book. Romance, spice, intrigue, redemption, moments to scream, moments to cheer. Can’t get enough. I can’t wait to continue the journey in book five due out this year.
Queen of Shadows
by Sarah J. Maas