Friday 25 September 2015

Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last 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 just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

In the fourth instalment of this incredible series, just about everything I wanted to happen did - the bad guys got beat (kind of), Aelin once again proved her superior strategic mind powers, the good guys were freed and new allies were made.

Once back in Rifthold, Aelin has a lot of stuff to do and not a lot of time to do it in before she gets killed. A couple of deaths are on her to-do list and as we deal with the Arobynn thing and its aftermath, the tension and the anticipation start to build for the big finale start. It isn't really revealed until near the end - or at least most of it isn't - but it becomes clear that Aelin has been planning things down to the last detail for her court's future. She used a certain death to raise funds for an army, she uses an enemy to kill the Wyrdhounds for her, it's all so very clever, I'm annoyed I didn't think of it!

Ok, so a few random thoughts while I was reading: Chaol is so old news! As much as I still adore him, it's clear - in fact it was clear in the last book - that they've both moved on. What I did especially love was that he finally forgave her for lying, for hurting, for everything that occurs in this book and before. And on from that: Rowan returned! What a great relationship he and Aelin has; still the banter and the flirting but now with some real heart behind it. Next up is Dorian. Can I mention Dorian? As it's clear quite early in the book what has happened to him in terms of his magic and the collar, I immediately wanted to rescue him. What he has to go through is more than anyone that cute should bear and it made my heart ache knowing he was stuck inside while all these horrible things were happening to him and his kingdom.

We've still got alternate chapters from Manon and her Thirteen but things have escalated quite a bit since we last saw them and things really progressed during this book. With everything going on and the introduction of a new character, I started to really like hearing from their side. Not only did it give us balance and insight into the enemy camp, Manon and the witches had some serious stuff to deal with! And then Manon and Aelin finally meet and fight and it was bad-ass! Everything seems to be coming together - Manon and Aelin meeting and fighting, Elide the daughter of the woman who gave her life to free Aelin all those years ago, freeing Aedion and getting to know each other as adults. 

The finale was Made. Of. Awesome! I'm really glad we saw these things happen, I wasn't sure if Aelin was going to manage it or if we'd see it in this book, but finally bringing down the last barrier was epic and nicely set things up for the future of the kingdom, although it's clear there is still a ways to go.

Published 1st September 2015 by Bloomsbury.

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