Book Review – Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

We have arrived at the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series – Queen of Shadows. This book came at an interesting time for me – I waited four months to read it and only picked it up because it fit the criteria for Tome Topple, which is hosted several times each year by Sam over at Thoughts on Tomes. And then it turned out that I ended up in jury duty, so I had some extra time to read during a single week in April. In any case, this book was a doozy, but I read it pretty quickly. And it was a definite improvement on Heir of Fire, so that’s good!

Okay, let’s go.

Aelin returns to Adarlan, where the magic dampeners are still in place. She meets up with her cousin Aedion and Chaol, where they start to get a plan in place to bring down the king of Adarlan and free Dorian, who is being forced to wear a magic-dampening collar around his neck. Rowan also shows up in Adarlan to help/stomp around like a baby. Big battle at the end.

Meanwhile, a girl with an injured foot (Elide) befriends Manon and the rest of the thirteen, who are now in charge of the other witches. They start to realize that something sinister is afoot and that Manon’s grandmother is allowing the king’s people to experiment on witches in an attempt to breed demons. Elide is being kept in the dungeons to be experimented on as well, but Manon and her thirteen free her and take her to the forest. Elide was originally from Terrasen and never stopped hoping that her queen was alive, and Manon shares the news of Aelin’s survival with her.

I don’t even know if that actually explains the plot at all. These are getting way too hard to summarize.


3 Things I Loved

  1. Abraxos. He’s still just the best ever. So sweet. Such precious.
  2. Manon. This is the book where I joined team Witches and never looked back. Manon’s storyline was interesting to me, and I wanted more of her and her witches the whole time.
  3. Aelin. Okay, Aelin was pretty badass in this book. I only wish she wasn’t so wrapped up in effing Rowan all the time and that her cousin didn’t want to bang her. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dislikes/Problematic Content

So most of the problems that I talked about in my Heir of Fire review still apply here. Rowan is still the worst, and I swear, he just talks about wanting to find the perfect moment to bang Aelin, like, all the time. Just do it already or stop talking about it! (I prefer the latter.) And the gendering! Adding Aedion into the mix just made it worse because he and Rowan are both so protective of Aelin that it’s dumb. Ugh.

New dislikes and problems:

The Weird Incesty Vibes

I swear, the whole time, I was trying to figure out if Aedion was in love with Aelin. The situation was weird. He’s overprotective. I hated it.

The Ableism

Between Elide and her foot and Chaol’s plot at the end of the book… PROBLEMS.

Gosh, I’m sure there were more, but that’s what I can think of right now.


  • Red = DNF, I hated everything
  • Orange = Ugh, no thank you
  • Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
  • Green = This was good! 
  • Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
  • Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!

Despite the problems and my terrible attempt to explain the plot, I really enjoyed this installment of the series. I was into it the whole time, I thought the action was written well, and I fell in love with Manon and the witches in this book. But there were still some glaring issues. All of that taken into account, I’m going to give Queen of Shadows a YELLOW rating. Better, but still not great.

And don’t even get me started on Empire of Storms.

(Actually, I’ll get started on that tomorrow. And hopefully earlier in the day, too! Sorry for the delay on this post, y’all.)

Did anyone else feel like this one was an improvement on Heir of Fire, like I did? Tell me what you thought in the comments!

Happy reading!


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