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Epic YA Fantasy Audiobook Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #4)

Audiocopy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

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.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


* * *
 OMG, where do I start?!

This book was so long, that the epic moments were just overshadowed by the general messiness of mundane things, plus Celaena/Aelin kept pulling a rabbit from the hat, and I got really annoyed by her general perfection in all things. Certainly, in Heir of Fire she was more human and more hesitant. I felt like I could relate to her more.

Anyway, first of all, there are two different plotlines in this book.

- Aelin comes back to Riftfold to save Dorian and release the magic, so the king and evil princes can be destroyed.

- Manon continues to work for the good of Iron witches, following the increasingly awful directions of her grandmother in cooperation with princes and their strange experiments.

The two interconnect in a very spectacular way closer to the end, and I was especially excited about Manon-Aelin interactions. They were just such similar characters, and their fight was ah-mazing!

There are circles of supporting characters for both and they all have their downsides. For example, Chaol as we know him does not exist in this book. Most of the time he is a judgemental prick, and I could not see how he became such a negative, poisonous part of Aelin's life. It was weird. Aedion and Rowan suddenly got into a pissing contest, and Lysandra went from a nuisance to a bestie. Actually, Lysandra's story was the highlight of this plotline, and I really felt for her. Dorian was pretty great as well.

Manon's plotline was my favorite, and while I couldn't understand Kaltain and Elide's characters as I couldn't remember them from previous books, I loved Asterin's story. It was heartfelt. It became a catalyst of Manon's changes. 

 Do you know if this is the end of the series or we are going to have more books? There were many secrets explained and many plotlines tied up, but there were also new threads starting, and their meaning wasn't explained. For example, Manon and her influence on Princes. You could also see new love stories being born *grinning*

The narrator was superb, and I enjoyed her portrayal of all the characters, but overall, I felt like something has been lost in this book as it didn't have the same impact on me as superbly written Heir of Fire and Throne of Glass.  It was more on par with Crown of Midnight which I also didn't rate very high. Did you read it? What did you think of it?

My reviews of
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire

* * *

Боже мой, я не знаю, с чего мне эту рецензию начать!

Прежде всего несмотря на несколько совершенно эпичных моментов, книга какая-та вышла сумбурная, грязная, от нёё не осталось удовлетворения несмотря на завязку монументальных линий сюжета. В этом плане, Наследница Огня была написана гораздо лучше.  Вообще, первая и третья книги у Маас вышли сильнее, чем вторая и четвёртая.

Сюжет вертится вокруг двух линий:

- Эйлин (она же Селена) и её приезд в Рифтфолд, чтобы освободить Дориана и вернуть магию, с помощью которых она свергнет короля.

- Манон, работающая на короля, верховодящая Тринадцатью, и исполняющая садистские приказы своей бабушки, управляющей кланами Железных Ведьм.

В какой-то момент эти линии пересекаются, что оказалось одним из лучших моментов книги (да-да, битва между Манон и Эйлин была шикарной!),однако их круги различных  вторичных персонажей многочисленны и во-многом растягивают книгу до невозможности.

Нерешительность Манон и умение Эйлин вытащить кролика из шляпы вновь и вновь, когда мне совсем было непонятно откуда у неё нашлось время всё спланировать меня раздражали до невозможности. Эйдион и Рован, у которых было гораздо больше практического опыта, почему-то постоянно оставались в простаках. Каол вообще вёл себя как последний мудак, и я не понимала, как он мог измениться так сильно за одну книгу.

В кругу Манон откуда-то появились полуведьма/полужертва Элид, которая стала на неё шпионить, а также Калтэйн, которую я никак не могу вспомнить. Была ли она в книге предыдущей? Однако Астерин и её история меня тронули так же сильно как и история Лисандры из круга Эйлин.

Многие сюжётные линии в этой книге были завершены, многие секреты раскрыты, но в то же время, появилось много новых необъяснимых нитей и потенциальных пар из существующих персонажей. Эта значит книга не последняя, да?

В общем, рассказчица прекрасная, но книга сама по себя не оправдала мои ожидания полностью. Серию рекомендую в общем, но первая и третья книги - самые сильные.

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