Wow these books and characters have evolved and matured so much since Throne of Glass. In case you forgot, in the previous book Aelin was tasked as the King’s Champion to assassinate Wendlyn’s royal family, and to steal naval defense plans as well. I really liked this book, not as much as the first one though. As the series has progressed, the story has gotten darker and you start to get a thorough understanding of the characters.
To be honest, in its predecessor, I disliked reading the Manon/Blackbeak Coven chapters. I just thought it was to take up space and help move the plot along only a little. However, in this book you learn so much more about the Blackbeak Coven, and Manon herself. The character development for her from last book to now is huge. She is juggling how to be a leader while also keeping some semblance of morals, which may even mean going against the Matron’s wishes. She actually turned into my favorite character for this book. I literally cannot wait to see what happens with her in Book 5.
Aelin is still her badass self and has her quirky/funny lines. She is still grappling with Sam’s death, but she is able to get some closure in Queen of Shadows. She is such a sneaky thing! You would see her coming back in the middle of the night and we, the readers, would not even get a real explanation about what she was doing. Sarah Maas made us wait until the climatic end to bring in all the loose ends and WOW. So many unexpected things came together in the end.
I was so happy that Rowan made an appearance in this book because he is such an awesome character (not to mention a good influence on Aelin). The twist with Lysandra was quite unexpected, but it was enjoyable.