I have finally read Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas after it has been sat on my TBR shelf for almost a year and it was purely because Empire of Storms has been released (even though it still hasn’t been delivered!). Not going to lie, this book was intimidating and not just because of the size. The first part of this review is going to briefly look at why I have been putting it off, followed by my review.
So how have I managed to put off this book for so long?
Okay, firstly when considering that this book is just shy of 700 pages it is a bit of a chunky book and since each of the books are getting progressively larger (thankfully!) throughout this series I knew that it was going to take a good few days to get through. So it has been sat on the corner of my desk for about three months (I keep my upcoming TBR on the side of my desk where I can procrastinate from all my work by staring at them) even though I only just picked it up (or even intended to pick it up).
Other than the size (okay, well this has a little to do with the size) the reason I didn’t read it the moment it came out was because I knew that by the time Empire of Storms was going to be coming out I wasn’t going to be able to re-read. This was mainly because of the size but also because I am constantly upping my reading aims for this year and haven’t really re-read anything (even if I wanted to) so the chance that I would be re-reading this was unlikely.
However I have struggled, I did pick it up and read the first few chapters a few months ago because it was staring at me and reader’s guilt hit hard. But reading those few chapters dragged me out of a reading slump and back into a huge reading high. It also encouraged me to read The Assassin’s Blade, the collection of novella’s for this series (which I think is best read before Queen of Shadows because there are several references throughout the entire book and explains a lot of the plot points).
Okay, that’s enough reasoning; on to what I thought!
Guys, go get this book and read it! It wasn’t the best book of the series but it was still a solid five star read. I thought it would take a few days to read, it took me a few hours one evening and then I got up super early the next morning (think 4a.m.) to finish it because I just couldn’t stay asleep not knowing what happened next.
It is extremely fast paced, pulling together so many previous plot lines and making sense of some of the previously more confusing plot points; with seeing some of the characters that were not my favourite (Mannon… hello) and really falling for them because things happen.
So many things happen.
The execution of these were excellent, the writing really draws you in and hold you there.
Let’s rattle the stars
There are countless lines of beautiful writing throughout the novel that makes you stop reading and awe at Maas’ excellency. I know that there has been some controversy over Maas writing two high fantasy series and unfortunately I could ‘feel’ some of A Court of Thorns and Roses/ A Court of Mist and Fury leaking into the writing of Queen of Shadows. With an increase of sexual content, however, I would like to add that this wasn’t just out of the blue and although the sexual elements were subtly done and not outrageous, they did read more like Feyre than Aelin. But I loved it so this is not a complaint.
The characters developed further in this, the complexities and confusing elements of the characters are explained and you see some of the characters you really didn’t think you would. There are good sides to characters I previously didn’t like, and there are dark sides to characters I previously thought flawless- it was such a relief!
Another thing I didn’t think Maas would be able to do was build the world more, guys I was wrong. I loved the world building in this and I just loved the separation and unity of it. That sounded contradictory but it was political and adventurous!
Overall guys, we all know I am going to recommend this series; I love the entire series but I definitely think that it gets better after the first instalment. Now to read Empire of Storms!
Pick it up today!