It took me a bit to get through this one with summer going on and the other books I was reading, but I finally finished Queen of Shadows.
Cealena has finally embrace who she is and has come home to retake her kingdom. But she has a few things to do first. Like rescue her cousin and restore magic to the continent.
I think I liked this one the best so far. While I had issues with how some of the characters were being portrayed early on, it redeemed itself by the end with that spectacular finale. This one had a lot of intrigue and action in it. And a lot going on in general between all the different point of view characters and factions.
I really liked the addition of Lysandra. I literally cheered when she showed up in the final battle. I found her interesting and I like her friendship with Cealena/Aelin. I also liked her growing relationship with Aedoin.
As for Aedion himself, he really grew on me through the course of the book. He’s a lot more complicated than he originally comes off as and I can’t wait to get more of his backstory.
Manon also grew on me. Her slow evolution is very interesting. As is her relationship with her thirteen. I’m looking forward to seeing which side they ultimately end up on.
Then there is Evangeline who was another new addition. The cast just keeps getting bigger. I’m not sure how I feel about her yet though. Nesryn is a third new addition, but thankfully she is not a POV character. I’m starting to think that there are too many of those. It’s hard to keep track.
As for Cealena/Aelin’s relationship with Rowan. I don’t like it. I ship her with Chaol, but it’s more than that. Aelin calls Rowan territorial and overprotective, rolling her eyes and blaming it on his Fae heritage. But he’s more than that. He’s possessive, controlling, territorial, overprotective to the extreme. He could give Edward Cullen a run for his money. Then there is the fact that not only are they distantly related, he is hundreds of years older than her. He’s had a “mate” (and don’t get me started on the use of this term) and should totally be with someone closer in age. And I don’t understand the love for this character. I cringe at the fact that Aelin grows to like him romantically. I just don’t get it. It grosses me out to be honest, and blaming it on Fae heritage is a dumb reason.
And how Aelin initially treats Chaol and his reaction to this I didn’t like. Aelin seems to take Cealena’s arrogance and bitchyness to a whle new level in the beginning. I thought she had healed while in Wendlyn and gotten over what had happened in Crown of Midnight, but she still blames Chaol for something that he had not control over, and wasn’t even his fault. Nehemia admitted she willingly died for the cause to spur her to action, and Archer admitted to kidnapping Chaol to get both of them away from the palace. It was a set up, pure and simple. Did Chaol chose not to tell her about the threats, yes, but it was established that there was nothing either of them could have done to prevent Nehemia’s death anyway. She still treats him like shit, and his self esteem suffers because of it with this brooding reaching a new level. They don’t finally become friends again until near the end. And I think her relationship with Rowan is partly to blame, his attitude rubbed off on her.
However, as I said, the book redeemed itself by the end. There were several big moments and battles throughout making this one full of action and intrigue. Therefore I give it Four Lightsabers.