Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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Genre: Young adult | high fantasy
Series: Throne of Glass #4
Goodreads rating: 4.67
My rating: 3.5

 

 

 

SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST THREE BOOKS + THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE

summary

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 has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. 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.

review

While I’m typing this I still haven’t decided on a rating. I want to write down my thoughts first, because honestly? I don’t know how to rate this, which devastates me. It’s Throne of Glass, it should be an immediate 5-star rating! But nope, while I did enjoy QoS, I have a few problems with it.

Bye bye Celaena, hello Aelin? I know that bits and pieces of Celaena were fake; a mask to conceal her real identity, but Celaena and Aelin seem to be a completely different person? I love Celaena; she is one of the best female protagonists in YA fiction. She is badass yet girly, loves reading and puppies and appreciates weapons. She isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, though she did have a conscious. Aelin? I don’t even know who that is. I’m not saying I completely hated Aelin; she had her bad-ass moments, but I was actually mad at her and I don’t feel very attached to her either to be honest. Spoiler: it also felt very out of character to me how she decided to kill Dorian instead of trying to save him. Yes, she has already faced the Valg and even one of their Princes, but we’re talking about Dorian here. Dorian, who is one of her best friends, who she loves and cares about. Dorian, who is the only hope for Adarlan. Also, she didn’t want to Rowan to tattoo another friend’s name on her back? Then why kill one of your friends yourself, Aelin? And the way she treated Chaol (I’ll get to the way he treated her in a bit)… Okay, so when he attacked her first, obviously I was all: GO AELIN. But she was so heartless towards him regarding Dorian. Also, Chaol did have a point. 

Sarah where are you hiding the real Chaol?? Um, Chaol wasn’t mad at Aelin/Celaena when Heir of Fire ended? He didn’t blame her for everything? He wasn’t this vicious? Okay, so maybe he snapped a bit because of what happened to Dorian, but he can’t blame that on Aelin. The way he treated her just felt very out of character to me. Lot’s of things did (unless it came to Dorian. Bless Chaolian). I’m just mad, because I loved Chaol, but this just wasn’t him. Also, he used to be a main character? Dorian too? Okay, so Dorian’s possessed, but I don’t care. I expected more Chaol and Dorian, instead of more new characters I don’t care about (like that servant girl in the Manon chapters whose name I can’t even remember. I just didn’t care at all what happened to her).

Speaking of Manon! While in Heir of Fire I didn’t like her chapters that much (I did like Manon herself, just for some reason I found most of her chapters a bit boring?), I absolutely loved them this time. Manon and the witches were badass, things were interesting and I loved the new side we saw of them. While I didn’t like what’s-her-face herself nor her POV, I did like what she brought out in Manon. Also, her fight with a certain someone. THAT’S WHAT I’M HERE FOR GUYS.

Let’s keep things positive for a little bit longer: AEDION. I fell in love with Aedion in Heir of Fire (he’s precious and has to be protected at all costs) and my love for him remained through QoS. His fanboy moments were just so adorable and his love for Aelin is just perfect.

Lysandra is also reintroduced, and I’m so glad she’s not as shallow as she seemed to be in The Assassin’s Blade, but I won’t go into it too much, since it’s a pretty big spoiler.

I’m afraid I have to get a bit negative again. I know a lot of you love Rowan. Before you grab your wands and swords and other weapons, I don’t hate him. I did find his narrating voice annoying to read at times and I DO NOT approve of the way he threatens Aedion (he’s Aelin’s beloved cousin why are you threatening to rip his tongue out if he talks to her again like that. I actually want to cuss, which I don’t do on my blog), but I really don’t hate him. I just don’t really care about him? I mean, I don’t want him to die for Aelin’s sake, but when he and Aedion were in trouble, all I could think was: ‘NOT AEDION. NOT AEDION’. Sarah has two books left to make me fall in love with him though (and with Rowaelin. I just don’t ship it? It’s weird, I didn’t ship Chaol and Celaena at first either, but then Sarah made me fall in love with them in CoM, so I kind of expected that to happen this time as well. I seriously ship Aelin/Celaena with so many characters, just not with Rowan. I just really loved their friendship and I’m a bit annoyed that it couldn’t stay that way honestly. But that’s just how I feel! Besides who knows how I’ll feel in book 5). Though what does bother me is that he’s supposed to be the strongest Fae warrior in the world, but it didn’t feel that way?

Another new character is also introduced: Nesryn. She’s a soldier and Chaol’s second in command. She could’ve been one awesome character, but instead she’s reduced to a love interest. I hope she’ll be more 3D in book 5, because she has so much potential.

Spoiler: I need to rant about this a bit, because it bothers me, but it’s a spoiler and I don’t want angry fangirls going after me! (we’re a scary bunch after all). I found Arobynn’s murder a let down. It was clear that Aelin would go after him and take her revenge. I’m not saying I wanted her to torture him or anything, or that I’m even disappointed it was Lysandra who killed him. There was just such a build-up to it, and we didn’t even get to read the murder. 

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I felt it was too long. I feel like a lot of stuff could’ve been left out; I was actually bored at some points. Great, I still don’t know how to rate this after such a long post haha. Thing is, I did enjoy it. There was action and blood, there were some feels, but I’m just not blown away. And when I look at my rants above, I don’t even think I should rate it 4 stars.

I wanted to be part of the people who loved this book. I wanted to be blown away. IT’S THRONE OF GLASS GUYS. WHY AM I NOT IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK *looks at above rants* Oh right. That’s why. So 3.5 stars it is then *sigh*. I just hope the next book will be better.

Thankfully I know I’m not the only one who is disappointed, which does make me feel slightly better. SO! How do you feel towards Queen of Shadows? 

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The Weekly Hufflepuff #6

the weekly hufflepuff

Remember when in my last weekly wrap up I said I had thought of a schedule to combine school, blogging, reading and writing? Also remember how I said I thought I was developing a cold? Yep, I really was! This was not a good week health-wise, which meant I already broke the schedule. On Monday I went to the station to catch the train, but I just felt worse with every second and went back home. I had a huge migraine and felt like I was going to throw up. After sleeping for a few hours I woke up with my throat hurting more than ever – talking actually hurt! (Mom: ‘It’s rather peaceful this way’ thanks Mom).
On Tuesday I went back to school as I couldn’t miss too much, and I no longer had a migraine. Also I could talk again! Until Thursday when everything came out as a whisper- yay. My throat still hurts, but at least I can talk. I’m coughing a lot, and I definitely have a cold, but it could be worse. Anyway, long story short, I would’ve blogged more (and scheduled posts for next week) even though school is busy, but I just felt awful and decided against it. I hope I can get back to blogging regularly (both writing and reading; I’ve barely read any posts this week!) soon.

whatiread

  • I read some more fairy tales. I especially liked Jorinda and Jorindel
  • I FINALLY GOT QUEEN OF SHADOWS!! So naturally I started reading it yesterday

personal

As I mentioned I’m sick, but hopefully not for much longer!

I went to my old school on Wednesday to keep my friend company during her free period. It was so strange to take that old route to the school and then walk inside of it! It hasn’t changed much, which would be weird of course since the last time I was there was in July but still haha. I also saw my old Spanish teacher and talked to her a bit.

I’m busy with schoolwork! I have to hold an elevator pitch tomorrow (which I’m not looking forward to since not only do I hate to stand in front of a group and talk, but also because of my throat and my coughing) and finish a big article for our magazine (I don’t think I’ve mentioned it to you guys yet, but one of my subjects this term is ‘first issue’ in which you make your own magazine!). Oh and I need to interview someone and then analyse it. Of course there’s also the reading to keep up with.. Especially the article will take up a lot of time though.

Last Friday me and two classmates were terrified we were going to miss our trains (me and another girl had to take the same train). We ran out of the bus with less than two minutes to spare, up the stairs,  and then we sort of separated. I had to check in (in The Netherlands we have these machines that you have to hold your transport chipcard against so you’re ‘checked in’) and of course I had to double-check if I had really checked in because I didn’t want to get a fine. That’s when I lost sight of my classmate who had to take the same train, so I just ran like crazy towards the escalator that would take me to the platform, except when I was running down the escalator, I noticed that it wasn’t the platform I was supposed to be at at all (it’s always the same one), so I quickly ran up the other escalator again and then towards the right platform. I was 99% sure the train would have left already, but when I got to the platform there was still a train there. I almost missed it because I wasn’t sure if it was my train, until I heard my classmate yell my name. Mere seconds after I had run into it, the train left! I still can’t believe I was that lucky haha!

what I posted-2

elsewhere

Like I said, I haven’t read that many posts this week. Instead I’d like to point out some other things!

And that’s a wrap! I only have one post scheduled this week (another tag) and I’m not sure I’ll have the time to post this week. I think I’m going to take a sort of hiatus: I’ll blog when I can, but I might not blog at all! At least not until I’m all better and pretty much caught up on homework. BUT! How was your week? I hope I’ll be able to catch up on blogs and comment more this week, but if I don’t, know that it’s not you but me (lol I just had to use it haha. But in this case it’s really me. I love all of your blogs and I hate that I barely have the time to read them).

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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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Genre: New adult/Young adult (not sure?), fantasy, fairytale retelling
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Goodreads rating: 4.34
My rating: ★★

summary

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever (Goodreads).

review

I feel like I’m alone in saying this: but I was really disappointed in this book. Please don’t chase me with hay forks and torches, it’s just how I felt! Throne of Glass is one of my favourite series and I love Sarah, but ACOTAR just didn’t blow me away at all. I was expecting an epic fantasy with lots of action and great world building, but the focus was mostly on the characters. Maybe I would’ve felt different if I had known that beforehand, but I would still have a lot of problems.

I disliked most of the characters. I only liked Lucien, but he didn’t appear enough for me to love this book to pieces. Feyre is one of the most annoying protagonists I’ve read in a while. I might not have felt this way if it hadn’t been written in first person, but oh my god Feyre just shut up about how you want to paint everything but you can’t because it will never be as beautiful I GET IT. Her narration was incredibly irritating, she herself wasn’t very likeable either, neither was Tamlin. I don’t understand everyone swooning over him. I found him creepy (and the fact that he bit her and that was her fault?! I don’t care that he wasn’t himself. I hate victim blaming, okay. I feel very strongly about that) and didn’t see the chemistry between him and Feyre. And oh my god don’t get me started on Rhysand. He was even creepier and more disturbing. I don’t care that he was trying to protect her and trying to help. IT WAS DISTURBING AS HELL AND I DON’T WANT TO READ THE SEQUEL BECAUSE I’M SCARED OF WHAT HE WILL DO TO HER WHEN SHE HAS TO LIVE WITH HIM.

I also felt like barely anything happened until the ending and by then I didn’t even care really about what was going to happen. Except to Lucien. Don’t hurt that precious thing. I even skimmed a certain action scene because it actually bored me. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THRONE OF GLASS. And the lead up to all these scenes…? I just… I don’t know guys. I have so many mixed feelings about this book, I even debated with myself if I should give a two or three star rating. I decided that because there were moments that were actually fun to read and I didn’t hate all the characters, so three stars it was. (EDIT: after thinking it really through I decided to give it a 2-star rating after all. I’m just too disturbed by some of the abusive and rape culture elements). I could actually rant about this book, which is not a good sign. I finished it right before I left for America, so I don’t remember all my irritations and faults, but guys…. PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE. I wanted to love this book, I really did. IT’S SARAH J. MAAS GUYS. But I won’t even continue with this series, I was that annoyed.

So… Am I alone in this? PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT.

– The Writing Hufflepuff