Read: 15 December, 2018
I’ve passed the series halfway mark and the books just keep getting longer! But while Heir of Fire felt unearned – the characters staying in a holding pattern through much of the book’s length – Queen of Shadows justifies its pages.
Things I liked:
-Manon’s discovery of her inner humanity was interesting and heartfelt. While her interactions with Abraxos were the saving grace of HoF, it was her relationship with Elide that really made her narrative in QoS.
-Speaking of Elide, she’s just great. She’s a complex character, and her journey is an interesting one.
-Aelin gets some really badass moments in this book. Like, reallybadass.
-Aelin’s scheming. We get to hear a lot about how she’s such a great assassin in the previous books, but her rescue of Aedion was the first time I actually bought into the hype. Especially later on, when we find out the additional layers of that plan.
-I’ve been a huge fan of Chaol’s devotion to Dorian. Intimate male friendships do not get enough love. In fact, I’d throw in friendships in general, because Aelin and Lysandra is a great relationship, too.
-Lysandra. Just, Lysandra. Even without powers, she’s badass and amazing. With powers, she’s magnificent.
-The twist ending.
Things I didn’t like:
-Nesryn seems like she has potential as a character, but also feels like she was only added as a consolation prize for Chaol. I hope more gets done with her as the series continues, but this book certainly lets her down.
-The way Chaol acts toward Aelin is annoying. I get what Maas was going for, and his reaction does make sense – especially when he questions the wisdom of a mageocracy. However, because we spend so little time with him, and spend so much time with Aelin, he just comes off as unreasonable and whiny. I’m not surprised that so many people were really angry with how this book treated him.
-The number of endings. QoS totally pulls a Lord of the Rings by giving us a fantastic ending, a nice fade-to-black, and then kicking right up again with another chapter. And another. And another. Each of these endings was great, but there were just too many of them, and my body just can’t process that many climatic tension releases in a row. It’s overwhelming, and it ends up lessening the impact of what should have been excellent triumphant moments.
I’d put Rowan in a medium category. I’m really not a fan of that feral, aggressive, possessive masculinity. I do like the way Aelin keeps it in check, but not that she has to.
Overall, I’d say this is my favourite entry in the series so far. It had the most plot, as well as the most interesting plot, and I’m getting pretty invested in how this will all turn out.
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