~posted by Ruth
The Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
This is definitely an addictive series! Calaena Sardothian, aka The King’s Assassin aka Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen, is a fascinating character who has evolved from her first identity through the many changes in her life and royal calling. I absolutely love the first two books: in the premier (Throne of Glass) we meet Calaena as she is taken from a slave prison (The Salt Mines of Endover) to be part of a gladiator competition to become the King’s Assassin. We learn her history and Maas lays the foundation for the possible romances with two intriguing characters: the young Prince, King-to-be, Dorian, and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol. Read these books! You’ll be captivated. In Crown of Midnight, the characters –and adventures deepen, as Calaena keeps up a false front of loyalty to the King, while hiding many secrets (no spoilers!) and learning more about herself and her past.
In the third installment, Heir of Fire, Calaena takes on her identity as the heir to the kingdom–more than a bit grudgingly and with a host of heartbreak. We meet new characters, who have control over the young Queen’s destiny. Queen Maeve of the Fae has plans for Celaena, and sends Fae Prince Rowan to fetch the heroine and train her in the ways of fairy magic. Through this change in setting, we also begin to follow the Witch Covens. I found myself less intrigued with this whole aspect of the fantasy realm Maas set up, and for me, the book dragged a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still devoured it, but missed the characters I had come to know in the first two books.
Well, the fourth book, Queen of Shadows, got me back on track. Still lots of the witches (who, to be fair, seem to be intriguing to most of the readers I’ve talked with), and to me they take on more depth as the story evolves. And we are reunited with the characters I missed in the last installment. Plus: new characters that I quite enjoy! Especially Nesryn and Lysandra, two new friends for Aelin. This one has everything: lots of adventure, Kick-Ass Girl Power, emphasis on growing relationships all-round, twists and turns and surprises, lots of magic. . .what’s not to like?
Word has it there are 2 more books in the series. So stay tuned!
Need more info on the first in the series? Here’s what we wrote when we reviewed it:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Known as Adarlin’s Assassin, she is the most feared killer in this magical kingdom. Captured and sent to prison, she is given a chance for freedom if she agrees to be a fighter for the Prince. When he pulls her out of prison to come to court, he is amazed to discover that she is an eighteen-year-old girl. Celaena is an awesome heroine–strong feisty, witty. Maas’ kingdom is compelling, with political intrigue, dangerous assassins, and yes–an actual castle made out of glass. There is ancient magic, romance, great characters, and action–everything a summer read should offer! And when you finish, you can jump right into Crown of Midnight, where Celaena’s adventures continue.