***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, don’t read any part of this review.***
Hello! So this is a spoiler review, if you haven’t gathered that yet. You should go read the first book, Throne of Glass, then the second book, Crown of Midnight, and then come back and we can discuss this book together. This is a fantastic series that you don’t want to miss out on. So go read it and then come back.
Celaena: I really loved how her character developed throughout the book and how she finally got off her damn stubborn horse and is taking action and becoming Queen.
Dorian: mixed feelings. I feel like he is just annoying me. I really loved him in the first book, but he just has annoyed me since Crown of Midnight. I think he needs to choose a side and to freaking rediscover his feelings for Celaena. My god. I AM NOT OKAY WITH THT END WITH HIM.
Chaol: He is frustrating. I think he wallows a bit about Celaena. But I do like that he is taking action in this book. I admire that he finally took a side in the end.
Rowan: LOVE his character. He is so intriguing. I thought he was a great friend (eventually) to Celaena and I just found his character interesting and mysterious. I hope we see more of him in the next book.
Aedion: I really enjoyed his character after we realized he was on our side. Before, he was just an asshat who I wanted to punch. But I do ship him with Celaena. I really want them to reunite. Hopefully in the next book. Maybe. I am very sad that he’s going to be executed.
Sorscha: Okay, I understand that she is an important character and is really nice and all, but she annoyed the hell out of me throughout the entirety of this book. I do not ship her with Dorian at all. Stay away from my baby. Leave. And now having finished the book, I feel like a bitch. So there’s that. I didn’t cry when she died.
Manon: she is a new character that while she creeped me out, also was pretty interesting. She is an Ironteeth Witch and I found her really intersting. When the Yellowlegs heir was being bitchy, I wanted to claw her face off just like Manon. I just really liked this whole perspective we saw in this book.
So the story starts off with Celaena in Wendlyn and she meets a fae warrior named Rowan who is taking her to her great-grandmother, Queen Maeve. Meanwhile in Adarlan, Celaena’s cousin who is now working for the King and is wearing one of the black rings, shows up, stirring up trouble. Chaol and Dorian’s relationship is still extremely strained and the cousin, Aedion, causes Dorian’s hand to be cut so he goes to the healer, the one who healed them all through everything, but kept her trap shut. Her name is Sorscha and apparently she is in love with the Prince (and this is the point to where I was saying, “GET AWAY FROM CELAENA’S MAN.”) I can’t decide if I like her. I don’t want her with Dorian. Take Chaol. She can have him.
So Celaena is trained (after Kitchen duty with two characters that I absolutely love) and her first training session ends up with her trying to shift, failing, and ends up face to face with some sort of creature. He made her relive her parents’ and Nehemia’s murders. So she threw up and “soiled herself” and goes back to kitchen duty the next day (she was aching because she shifted about a dozen times during the whole creature ordeal). She goes to training, fails to shift, so they end up staying in the freezing cold until he finally releases her to go inside.
She learns that Rowan’s form is a white hawk that had been watching her for days when she was watching the castle in the beginning. Chaol bargains with his father for another three months before going to Anielle. Now he owes him. Dorian is getting closer to the healer (I DO NOT SHIP THIS. I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS. DORIAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING.)
Chaol finally gets to the bottom of the Aedion ordeal. Turns out Aedion is actually the leader of the rebels now and Chaol is beaten until he explains something he said to Aedion (in private). He said that Aelin was alive (which was very stupid on his part, methinks.) We learn that Aelin was supposed to be Aedion’s Queen and he cares for her very much. I do kind of ship it. I ship Celaena with everyone, let’s be honest…
So Celaena shifts when Rowan bites her with his canines and he contains her magic with his wind. He says some things that finally convince her to leave. She runs and ends up running into skinwalkers (beings that skin humans for pelts). Rowan saves her and gets her to shift to Fae form to escape. She also uses her fire magic to kill all of the skinwalkers.
I actually forgot to mention that we are also in the POV of the heir to one of the Ironteeth Witch Clans (Blackbeaks) named Manon. They are training for a battle of some kind in which they ride beings that are called Wyverns. I am thinking of them in my mind as a cross between a dragon and a very large dog. Kind of hard to explain. Anyway, there was this one mount that all of the heirs to the clans were going to fight for and it wanted to kill Manon, but the bait wanted to protect her. So the bait eventually kills the other larger, better one. And Manon claims it, earning grief from everyone. It hasn’t even had flying time. But she won’t waver in her choice.
Meanwhile Aedion and Chaol exchange information and Dorian overhears, learning that Celaena is Aelin. And now he won’t trust anyone. He is going to be a fun character for the rest of the book…But Celaena ends up coming back to train with Rowan and hone her powers.
So I am pretty sure that healer and Dorian are together and it makes me so mad. Because I don’t care how sad her story is. I will forever be a Celorian shipper. But moving on, Celaena and Rowan find a body of a woman and deduce it was by the creature that tried to attack her that first day. Then there’s another one found about twenty miles away, so he forces her to shift to Fae form and they get there, them chasing each other the whole way (it was very cute, but I still don’t ship them. Romantically. I, however, do friendSHIP them.). But they get there and everyone is being jerkfaces because they’re Fae, but they come around when they realize they’ll pay good money for cheap things.
But nobody knows about the bodies. So we see a dream of hers that surrounded a memory with Aedin and her family. Meanwhile Chaol is meeting with the two men and Aedion, but one, Ren, shows up gutted. He had been cornered, but the other man had gotten away. Chaol and Ren hide while the remaining six are dispatched by Aedion. And then they have to hide because others are coming.
So they get him to safety and are undetected by those soldiers. Manon was trying to make Abraxos, her Wyvern, to eat mutton, but he wouldn’t. So she ate a bite and spat it out because it tasted like there was something wrong with it (I sense foreshadowing in our midst) and so she has to every day catch a goat, kill it, and bring it to Abraxos. Then she has to fly with Abraxos who hasn’t flown before or her grandmother will disown her pretty much. So she does and he ends up flying pretty well. Then she trains with the rest of her clan.
We switch over to Celaena who is being brutally trained by Rowan. She goes to his room and leaves after he tells her to. He finds her a minute later when she tells him that he left her and he says he doesn’t care about her and that she is nothing to him. So her light goes out and she screams at the people in the kitchen (whom I love) that she doesn’t care about them or pretty much anything.
Then she trains with Rowan who chained Luca on top of a lake that he froze and she has to master her power to unchain him. She makes a hole in the ice in order to free him and then there is a creature underneath it. So Rowan tosses a sword to her and a ring flies to her which she pockets and they get back safely. Rowan and Celaena fight (as in actual fist fighting) and they come in and then Emrys gives them food, but tells her she is off kitchen duty for that day and the next.
She can’t sleep so she goes to his room and he tells her about his arrogance when he was younger and how he lost his pregnant mate and she was killed. He also tells her of how he eventually does a blood oath to Maeve to serve her and whatnot. And they sort of make a pact to get through shit together.
So Aedion, Chaol, and the others learn about something to do with General Narrok. I am fairly certain he was the one leading the soldiers. Manon finally manages to get Abraxos to fly over the Crossing. There is a festivity and Celaena has to keep three fires going and she nearly causes herself to burn from the inside out when the magic starts to overtake her. They have to strip her of her clothes and Rowan sees the scars on her back. She finally tells him about how she was a prisoner in Endovier.
He leaves but comes back, enraged at those that had done this to her. So for the next few days he is pretty much fussing over her. She sleeps in his room now (they are on complete opposite sides, so it isn’t romantic or anything) and eventually she heals and tells him everything (essentially). At least up to when she is taken out of Endovier by Chaol and Dorian. He tells her stories of his past too and she finally gets better and they train.
He learns that she has been slipping out of the room to train at the wall where there is a barrier. They both go to a new body that is actually a Demi-Fae. They then find the hide out with the soldiers that General Norrak is leading and Rowan goes in his hawk form. He figures out that they are experimenting on a Demi-Fae to figure out the weaknesses so they can stage an attack on Wendlyn. They start to go back when one of the creatures (there are three) starts stalking them. They split up. It sees Celaena and tries to go for her.
So they lure the skinwalkers to collide with it and think they kill it. They get back and start preparing for battle. They learn they have a mole and the creatures and soldiers are coming that very same night, bypassing every trap. The traitor was Bas. Celaena ends up fighting all three creatures on her own and trying to keep up the barrier. Long story short she tires out and they go through every horrid memory. Then she regains belief in herself and rises. Rowan comes to her aid and they become carranam which is some type of friendship bond that is very vague, but sort of reminds me of the parabatai bond in the Shadowhunters Chronicles books by Cassandra Clare.
So that bond gives her the strength to kill all of them including General Norrak. So then word is heard all over that side of the world of how Aelin defeated the forces against Wendlyn and is regaining her throne, fully intending on challenging the King of Adarlan. Obviously the King is enraged. Dorian is very glad.
So then Chaol is leaving for Anielle to fulfill his vow to his father. Celaena has to go to meet Maeve. So she does and bests Maeve. Maeve knew practically nothing of the Wyrdkeys and Celaena threatened her with her fire magic and the sword and ring she wanted. She released Rowan of his blood oath and he in turn made an oath to Celaena. And then they leave.
So Chaol hasn’t left yet, but he and Aedion are summoned by the King and are surrounded by like fifteen guards. Then the healer and Dorian are summoned as well. Aedion gave himself up as a traitor and it is revealed that the healer was a rebel. Did not see that coming. And she was beheaded. I feel like a horrible person now for saying how much I hated her. And Chaol reveals himself and to save him, Dorian reveals his magic and freezes everyone in the room so that Chaol can escape and find Celaena, telling her of the trap the King is setting for her with the execution of Aedion.
NO!!!! DAMMIT. I HATE THE KING. THAT DAMN WYRDSTONE COLLAR WAS PLACED ON DORIAN’S NECK. AND NOW I AM CRYING SO HARD. And Chaol is fleeing to find Celaena and she is fleeing to get that last Wyrdkey and Chaol. And that was the end of the book.
I think in the next book we’ll see Dorian used as a weapon against Celaena and it will really break her. Chaol and Celaena will reunite. There will be battles and a lot of the mysteries will come to light. I really need to get my hands on Queen of Shadows, guys…
I am not okay right now. I freaking devoured this book, reading all 562 pages in two days. I laughed, got angry, cried a lot, and really wanted to throttle Sarah J. Maas for torturing me like this. This book was unbelievable. I loved it so much. And the end broke me. Completely and utterly shattered me. Again, I say, I AM NOT OKAY. That said, this book was freaking amazing. A rollercoaster from start to finish.