I had a really fun idea when I finished Queen of Shadows, since I have SO many feelings about this book, I decided to react to… just about everything. This might end up being a really long post in which I fangirl over Sarah J. Maas’s really cool world.
She is really good at character development and world building, nothing will convince me otherwise. I can only imagine how long the series outline would look like, oh my gosh. It’s probably a mile long…
Anyways, I’m going to react to everything I can think of that happened in this book. THERE WILL BE MAJOR SPOILERS, if you haven’t read Queen of Shadows, I advise you to go read it, I will talk about the ending, I will talk about all the plot twists. So once more, this will have MAJOR spoilers, ENDING spoilers, read Queen of Shadows first. Or if you don’t care, be spoiled by my react post :P. You’ve been warned.
My Queen of Shadows review can be found here!
Oh my gosh, I really like her. At first, I wasn’t too sure if she’d be important to the plot or not, but I am so glad that she made it through the book. I literally screamed in terror when Vernon locked her away, it broke my heart when she thought no one would come for her. She deserved so much better than to have to deal with such an evil uncle >:| poor girl.
I loved her relationship with Manon and Abroxas. She is partially responsible for opening Manon up to the evils of the Valg Princes and Vernon. If it weren’t for her and Asterin basically, the thirteen would be doomed under to the evil Valg Princes (ICK). Elide was afraid of Manon and Abroxas, but she didn’t cower in fear. She managed to over come, she’s one brave girl, you have to give her credit.
Asterin was all over the place for me, it wasn’t really until the end that we got to see who she truly was. She is not just the wild witch, she is something more, she is a character with many secrets. I loved how Sarah J. Maas gave her layers and depth!
When she told Manon the secret she had been hiding all those years, my heart broke. Manon’s grandma is a menace to society, she is just as bad as Vernon and the Valg princes, she is cruelty in the form of a witch.
Asterin falling in love with a human, and then losing her child was so sad. It was only made worse when Manon’s evil grandma beat her and branded her unclean. I was shocked, okay, maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked because her grandma is nuts, but I mean come on.
Her story though, as I said, gave her more of a reason for being in the story, and I love how Sarah J. Maas does that. Her characters belong, they add depth and move the plot foreword. Asterin is a good at being a witch, a bad violent one, but even she knew that what Vernon was doing was wrong. And I am so glad she helped open up Manon’s eyes alongside Elide.
I did not want Manon to accept Vernon’s stupid offer. AGH I hated him, what a baaaad guy.
What a butt face. I REALLY don’t like him. He’s the kind of bad guy that makes your blood boil, the kind that makes you rage silently in your chair because he is just so DESPICABLE. The way he treated Kaltain was awful, beyond awful and I can’t even begin to think of a word for Vernon, there is just no word for a man so evil and despicable and disgusting.
I could rage forever -_-
It also drove me crazy how he was so smug all the time! He was always smirking and rubbing his power in Manon’s face, bossing her and the Thirteen around -_- GAH. I hated him.
The worst part of him, is what he made the witches do… >:| he. is. awful.
I didn’t like Manon until I finished Queen of Shadows! She used to be so violent, bloodthirsty and evil… but by the end of Queen of Shadows, I began to realize that Manon is like a cookie. The kind of cookie that looks crunchy but is actually soft. She put on this big bad I AM SO TOUGH AND I LOVE BLOOD AND KILLING PEOPLE front, but in reality, she cares. She really does.
Her relationship with Elide was really interesting, it really evolved over the course of Queen of Shadows. I loved how she went from hating her, to respecting her.
I also liked her relationship with Dorian by the end of the book. It was so cute to watch Dorian be all HEY GURL to her and she was like, I am going to end you now. I thought it was adorable! I’m not sure if I ship them or not, I just really liked how they were around each other, but I have the same feelings for Manon and Elide.
Manon is a bit stubborn and there were times when I wanted to yell at her, because COME ON GIRL save those witches. But nope… she’s stubborn. But words cannot describe how glad I was when she saved Elide in the end, and when she decided to NOT make her Thirteen go with the Valg princes (gag)
I really hope Manon and Elide meet again. I hope Manon will join forces with Aelin to end the stupid people from taking over the world. Because come on, let’s be real here. The Valg Princes will only obey you for so long, after a while they’re probably going to kill the humans and take over the world -_- you ca’t control darkness and stuff. It would be so much fun to see Manon and Aelin come together, I could imagine the bickering.
Dorian, oh my gosh. He’s probably one of my favorite characters from the very beginning… a lot of my feelings for EVERYONE has been changing but I still like Dorian, he’s a stand up guy, he’s charismatic, he’s sassy. In Queen of Shadows, Dorian is not himself. He is not himself… I really liked Dorian’s chapters in this one, I loved how we could see him struggle with the Valg Prince inside of him, how he struggled to remember who he is. I LOVED IT.
I just loved it because it seemed realistic! Dorian struggles made him realer. Because he’s still fiction.
But my goodness, Valg Prince Dorian was a trip. He was such a bad guy, but Sarah J. Maas wrote him perfectly! She made him into a monster with a stone heart, I loved how she had him change so drastically. The Valg Prince Dorian and Dorian are veryyyy different.
Aelin has never been my favorite character, don’t get me wrong, I LIKE her, but I’ve never loved her. Queen of Shadows brought out a lot of respect and admiration from me for Aelin, she really has an agenda, but she really has a personality. She isn’t some ruthless cold hearted killer, she has feelings, she has regret and remorse, sorrow, she has happiness and can see how her actions shape others.
Queen of Shadows made Aelin into something more than a killer, it made her into a girl with more dimension.
I LOVED seeing Aelin change into someone with layers, I loved seeing her move on and forward. I LOVED reading about her in this book, but honestly, I loved Manon’s story more.
I LOVED Aelin and Rowan in this book, I really did. He is so great for her, the two of them together are like the sun and the sky, they just make sense. Rowan really loves her, but he doesn’t want to get close to her because she will age, and he will live forever. Now that makes a relationship hard! You can’t tell me that Aelin doesn’t love Rowan, you can’t.
You know, I used to like Chaol, I really did. This is not the case in Queen of Shadows, I don’t hate Chaol but he was a pretty big jerk in this book, especially to Aelin. I could not believe that he blamed her for Dorian, like what the heck? He blamed Aelin for everything, EVERYTHING.
In the end, he wasn’t too bad but oh my gosh. The beginning of the book Chaol was a jerk, the end of the book Chaol was ok. I am going to acknowledge the fact that he probably feels cheated, and lied too. Aelin wasn’t exactly truthful with him, and she didn’t trust him either.
He is a very loyal friend to Dorian which is one thing I admire about Chaol! I think they have a wonderful friendship that is seriously friendship goals because the two guys can always go to the other for help, they can rely on each other, even if they can’t rely on other people.
In Heir of Fire, I wasn’t really a fan of Rowan, but I wasn’t a fan of Chaol either. Look, I don’t really ship anyone all that much, this is Sarah J. Maas’s world and I trust her. But Rowan in HOF = meh.
Rowan in Queen of Shadows = YES!
HE LOVED Aelin, for who she actually is. He accepts her for who she is, for what she is. Rowan cares for Aelin, but as I said, he’s afraid to love her. He knows that one day she will die, and he will remain living as an immortal. Now that is one tough relationship problem…
He was afraid for her, he wanted nothing more to protect her and yes he is a bit controlling, I SO see that. But at the same time, Rowan is immortal, Aelin is not. She can die, he can heal, that’s how it is. Aelin is also stubborn, but they both are!
She is now one of my all time favorite fiction characters… I’m not sure why, but I REALLY liked Lysandra. I liked her story, she was such a strong character.
When I found out she was a shape shifter, I was SO excited! A shape shifter trapped in her current form because magic is sealed away, YES! I would LOVE a story about Lysandra… I didn’t read The Assassins Blade, not sure if that matters.
But Lysandra was such a great character, like Rowan, she didn’t judge Aelin for who she truely was! She was quick to accept her, and befriend her. I loooooved their friendship, two great girl characters saving the world from an evil man… Arobynn. And more, but gosh I HATED Arobynn too.
I really liked how Aelin gave Lysandra the power to destroy Arobynn and rob him of his life. Lysandra suffered much longer than Aelin under Arobynn’s control, I can only imagine the horrible things he did to her. And if Arobynn lived, she would have been under his debt for her whole life probably.
I really LOVED how Aelin gave Lysandra her freedom, payed off her debt and made her into a Lady. Oh my gosh, I wanted to cry for her. She finally made it, she’s finally free after all those years of serving the DISGUSTING pig that was Arobynn…
Another thing that made me super happy was Lysandra coming back to help Aelin in her fight against the king and Valg Princes. I WAS LIKE YES, you go girl. #ExcellentLifeChoices. And can we just talk about family values for a moment here?
Lysandra scarred her daughter’s face to save her. She allowed herself to get beaten by Arobynn and his men, she permanently scarred her daughter all to save her. TO SAVE HER. She didn’t want her daughter to live the life she had, like oh my gosh. I feel like there aren’t too many great family values in YA books, but Lysandra is a wonderful mother to her daughter, you can really feel the love between the two girls.
I don’t have that much to say about her, but her story in Queen of Shadows broke my heart. She is one of the many reasons I hated Vernon, he treated her like his pet and OH MY GOSH IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL.
When she saved Elide’s life by pretending to be her, I kind of wanted to cry. I could imagine the scene in my head as she burns the place, and everyone inside, to the ground. That is a pretty epic imagine, not going to lie. It gives me chills. Kaltain deserved to burn the place to the ground, and I was so glad that she was able to bring down the people who made her life awful.
I was actually really surprised when I found out that Kaltain took out the Valg Prince (or whatever it was?) inside of her. Seriously, she is one epic girl. She’s a fighter.
I don’t remember him, I really don’t. I THINK he was mentioned in the previous books, but I honestly did not remember him at all… I didn’t read The Assassins Blade so maybe that’s why? Anywho…
Arobynn is a butt, he is like Vernon but a butt to Aelin instead of Manon and Elide. My goodness. Like Vernon, he made my blood boil. I didn’t get the almond scent thing until he got mad that Rowan was wearing it, and that part made me laugh, he deserves it -_-
When he thought he trapped Aelin with the black ring I was FREAKED OUT, I didn’t think that it was an elaborate plan, but nope. It was just a joke, and Arobynn is one messed up dude. He has some serious obsession problems when it comes to Aelin
And the way he treated Lysandra was also appealing, I do not like this guy. I shouldn’t have been surprised when he left Aelin nothing but it did shock me, he loved her (I guess? meh?) and he left her nothing. Just another stab at Aelin all those years she spent working for him or whatever, and she was left with nothing.
What a butt.
I wasn’t too sure how I felt about Nesryn at first… But, I ended up liking her.
It sort of felt like Chaol was just using her, which made me really upset. After a while, I saw that they actually cared for each other, I just didn’t think Chaol loved her. BUT NOW I DO.
Nesryn was an interesting character, she wasn’t a super big part of Queen of Shadows, I hope we see more of her in the series. I honestly don’t know what to say about her right now D: I like her.
I really like Aedion! I used to not like him but by the end of Queen of Shadows, I like him so… feelings change haha.
He really likes Aelin, to the point that sometimes it feels like he might be in love with her, especially near the beginning. That wouldn’t be weird if he wasn’t… her…. cousin. So it’s a bit weird that he totally seemed in love with her at first, in the non family way. In the I LURVE you way.
Anyways, closer to the end of the book it doesn’t feel that way any more. He totally trusts Aelin, and loves her like family. He wants to protect her, he wants what is best for her… and I like Aedion!
These guys were SO evil, much more evil than I was expecting. Sarah J. Maas created a veryyyyyy bad monster, bad in a good way. The Valg were incredibly evil, I loved how they oozed darkness and how they were darkness and OH MY GOSH they were just so bad.
I really didn’t like them -_- but a bad villain always makes for an interesting story. At least the bad guys in this were threatening, I hate it when they are easily defeated!
Plot Reactions Kind of
I LOVED the first chapter, it was through Dorian’s point of view. I remember finishing Heir of Fire and screaming out of horror and excitement when Dorian’s evil dad put that collar on his neck. I was like OH MY GOSH NO (but oh my gosh yes)
The first chapter definitely drew me in, it got me excited, it got me pumped. But after Dorian’s chapter, I got bored, which is one reason I had such a hard time reading Queen of Shadows… It was slow.
There were a lot of slow parts in Queen of Shadows, but there were a LOT of crazy, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN moments too. Some of these moments include the following:
When Aelin saw Rowan for the first time since Heir of Fire, I may have teared up a bit. SHE WAS SO HAPPY she tried not to cry if I remember right? Anywho, she was so happy to see him 🙂
Man Lysandra. I did not expect such a brutal death for Arobynn. But he was an awful guy, he’s done some PRETTY AWFUL things. I already talked about this death so…
The Witches and Asterin’s story-
Now I already talked about this, but the short of it is…. Manon’s grandma is crazy, the evil kind of crazy. I’m glad she isn’t real!
Aelin and Manon’s Fight-
The moment when I thought Chaol was going to die! Actually, that wasn’t the only moment I thought Chaol was going to die, he kept risking his life. He was willing to die to save Dorian, what a loyal pal.
But Aelin and Manon’s fight was pretty epic! I don’t like fight scenes, this one however, was awesome. I loved who Aelin sort of won and Manon payed her back by telling Aelin and Chaol that Dorian was still alive.
Happy times, happy times.
Dorian Freeing Himself and The Death of the King-
WHAT AN EPIC SCENE! The glass raining down on the kingdom, Aelin, Dorian and the King falling through the glass bridge like welp. That was awesome.
I LOVED how Dorian hearing about the “death” of Chaol is what brought him back to Dorian Dorian and not Valg Prince Dorian. Anywho, it was awesome getting Dorian back to his old self as he ripped the collar from his neck.
I didn’t think he was going to kill the King, I DIDN’T think he would do it. But he did. Oh my gosh, when the King died I was like O_O ok.
Was the King REALLY a Valg Prince this Whole Time?
I mean, maybe he was but it seems convenient that right as he was about to die the “real” king came out. All this time he spent being a cold hearted jerk face, and BOOM oh no, I was under the control of an evil Prince of Darkness. I don’t like it. Maybe he was a Valg Prince but what timing -_-
The ending made me want to cry, I was teary eyed ok? When Aelin stepped into Terrasen, my heart shattered a bit in a happy way. She finally made it home, with Aedion her cousin and the love of her life (at the moment) Rowan, Aelin FINALLY made it home.
My goodness, what a powerful ending.
To me, it would have been a good ending to the series… IF we concluded the Vernon and Valg prince deal, which we didn’t so. The series must go on.