"The queen has returned.I honestly have no idea what happened in the previous three books. I have simply forgotten about the plot. Well, some of it. I do remember the major plot of the first two books in this series. The last book... is too complicated for my little brain to remember. I also received a fresh, general recap from Tumblr: every book has a new love interest. Well, that is certainly enough to jog more of my memory. (Sam... Dorian... Chaol... Some Fae guy with a name I can't remember...)
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 has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. 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.
The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world."
Loads and loads of characters. I'm honestly impressed with anyone who manages to keep them all straight without needing to look at Wiki or some notes. We can look at Aelin (which is a weird name, I have to admit), Dorian (normal name), Chaol (weird), Manon (weirder), and... Okay, I'm having trouble remembering everyone now. What is Aelin's cousin's name? And what is the name of her new boyfriend? Things like this... It's so hard to keep track of characters, much less character development and arcs. Aelin's character arc is the strongest out of all of them, and she is still strong, yes. Still holding on.
The conflict... I'm thoroughly confused by this time, but I'm very entertained by the action and the little tricks here and there. Though there is a lot of plot to remember, there is a lot of action and not a single moment for boredom.
The book itself is a bloody brick. That's all I have to say about the size of it.
The ending is HFN. I'm thinking of just ending this series right here and preventing myself from reading anymore of this series. (Part of the reason is that I don't want to see Aelin quickly moving onto another love interest. Another part of the reason is that I don't want any of the main characters to die any time soon. If a friend reads the sequel to Queen of Shadows and deems it "safe with no major cliffhanger," then maybe I'll read the next book.)
In conclusion, you don't have to remember what happened in the previous three books. You just need to remember the general plot to understand Queen of Shadows. It's a good book to end on, especially for those who don't want their heart to be (badly) broken. Still, I do indeed have a lot of confusion and "What the heck?" moments.
Rating: Two Point Five out of Five (Rounded to Two)