Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Monday, September 07, 2015

Series: Throne of Glass
Genre: YA | Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
My rating: 
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.

Believe me, this rating is pretty generous. It’s actually more of a 1-star book for me, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. 

times I broke down and cried: 5 
times I screamed and cussed at the book: 38 
fucks I give about this series right now: 0 

Let’s start this review a bit different. Let’s think of an alternative title for it… how about… I don’t know… "HOW TO RUIN A CHARACTER AND HIS DEVELOPMENT THROUGH 3 MOTHERFUCKING BOOKS IN ONE BOOK". Yep, that fits perfectly! 

*This is not a proper review, it’s more of an incomprehensible rant with a lot of cursing.

Those who saw my updates already know how torn I am about this book. It’s still so difficult for me to form an opinion, because this book was such a mix of an amazing plot-line and ass-kicking and just real bullshit. 

About the amazing plot-line, well, Sarah J. Maas comes up with the most mind-blowing plot-twists. The ass-kicking: well-choreographed fights and Aelin’s plans were just brilliant. And I love Sarah’s writing style, it kicks me right in the feels every damn time. 
Now, so far it sounds pretty good, right? You may ask, why the 2-stars-rating then?

There’s one thing that ruined everything. The Chaol thing. 

First you have to know that I love Chaol with all my heart. #chaoldefensesquad 
From book one he was my favourite character and his development through the first three books just blew me away. He is definitely flawed, but who is not. 
So the way Sarah handled his character in QOS just broke my heart. She destroyed all his development in 60 pages. That’s right, she threw away all the work she put into him in less than 10% of the book. 
This just felt like such a slap in the face. The way she wrote Chaol in the first 70% was so out of character. It wasn’t even Chaol anymore, the Chaol I know and read about would never act the way he did.
You may say that he’s Sarah’s character, she wrote him and probably knows him the best. Do I have any right to say he was out of characters? Maybe not. But I was madly obsessed with him from the start, over-analysed every word he said and action he made. I dare to say that I know him enough to say that QOS Chaol was just bullshit. 
Do I sound like a child throwing a tantrum? Maybe. But you know what? I. Don’t. Care. 

How could someone put so much effort into developing a character, and then just destroy him and waste all the potential? It makes no fucking sense. It’s stupid. So stupid. 

But there is an explanation, well, my explanation. Rowan

I already knew about Sarah’s obsession with Rowan; every interview I watched she ended up speaking about him and how hot he is. So often she didn’t even mention the other characters.
I’m not complaining, he definitely is an interesting character and I like him. But when an author rewrites a character (Chaol) just to benefit another one (Rowan), I can’t help but feel betrayed. It was like the first two books didn’t even happen to Chaol, we started from zero again. And I’m just so angry. 

When the conversation at page 60 happened I just broke down and cried. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. This was not Chaol, not the guy who was ready to give up everything he worked for and ever believed in to send the girl he loves away to keep her safe. This was just a twisted version of him and honestly, I can’t believe Sarah actually came up with this. I FUCKING TRUSTED YOU SARAH

Chaol deserves so much better.
And the worst thing is, there is no way back from this. No way to fix it. While Sarah did kind of tried to in the end, I still can’t forget this whole bullshit she put me, us Chaol fan, through. She just stabbed us and let us bleeding for some hours, then came back and gave us a band-aid for the wound. THAT WON’T FUCKING WORK. 

I’m also a Chaol/Aelin shipper. I’ve been since the first couple of chapters of TOG, still am after QOS and will probably always be. But I knew since HOF that they will not be endgame. And I came to terms with it. I was ready for them to end romantically, but I wasn’t expecting this shit. 

Here then comes the second problem, Rowan and Nesryn. 
 Don’t hit me, but I shipped Aelin/Rowan after HOF. They made sense to me. But the way Sarah handled their relationship in QOS just weirded me out. 

 Rowan’s POVs were sometimes… dumb. I can’t find the right word for it, but they made me roll my eyes so often. I still like him, but not as much as I did in HOF. 
I also didn’t like how fast their relationship progressed. Because in HOF they were just friends, it was one of my favourite platonic relationships, and then in QOS they went from 0 to 100. It seemed forced and was just too fast and kind of weird. 

Then Nesryn. Oh, how much I actually love her. She’s such a strong and amazing character. But the way she was introduced ruined it all. It was as if she was just there so Chaol would have someone beside Aelin to talk to. She didn't seem like a character who was planned from the start, but just thrown in when Sarah's started ruining rewriting Chaol. Just a plot-device, and this is wrong on so many levels.

There's something really wrong about how Sarah just cast him aside for Rowan. It's rude as fuck. It ruined the whole book for me, I couldn't enjoy the first 60% because of it. I mean, how could I, he was is my favourite character. 

But there were definitely some parts I still loved about the book. 

a) Manon. Oh my god guys, her chapters were pure awesomeness. Sometimes they were way more interesting than Aelin's. Her plot-line in this book is just so captivating and I fell in love with her. 

b) Elide. Damn, her chapters kind of broke my heart but I admire her so much. I can't wait to read more about her.

c) Dorian. My baby. I'm so scared for you. His chapters were so twisted and dark, but I couldn't help but still enjoy them. 

d) Lysandra. Such a cutie. I loved her relationship with Aelin. BROTP FOREVER. 

In the end the secondary characters saved this book from failing totally, but I still can't understand how an author can actually just ruin a character and all the foreshadowing for another one.

So, Here's the end of my rant. There are probably more things I wanted to talk about but can't think of right now, I have an awful memory.

Wondering about how to unread a book. If anyone has an idea please help her. She needs it. Currently she has to read two books for school and only one of them really interest her. School reading sucks.
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