Sarah J. Maas has released a new book in her Throne of Glass series, instantly gaining popularity throughout  the country as an award-winning Young Adult book

By Hannah Shi, ’19

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, published by BloomsburyWith recently sold TV rights, New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas has also released a new book. Queen of Shadows, was highly anticipated by many fans for good reason, as it tells the captivating story of a fantasy world. Published by Bloomsbury, the book—fourth in the “Throne of Glass” series—quickly rose to new heights when it came out on Sept. 1.

The series begins with a small competition for fame, riches and freedom as reward to a girl previously in a salt mine prison. Protagonist Celaena Sardothien’s intriguing history is revealed after she wins the competition, aided by dark discoveries. Sent on a mission to a different continent, her adventures eventually lead to Queen of Shadows, where she heads back for her homeland. As “Adarlan’s Assassin” Celaena returns to Erilea, she accepts her previous identity as a long-lost fae queen. With many new viewpoints and characters, intriguing scenes take place among a fast-paced lifestyle.

With over one million sales, Maas’ previous three books and her exclusive collection of prequel novellas were a popular hit among teens. The “Throne of Glass” series drew an eagerly-waiting audience long before it came out, while an accompanying book, “The Assassin’s Blade,” gave the fans even more to look forward to. With the books available for sale in 24 countries, fans located all around the world were eager for the book, aiding it reach top charts rapidly.

Within weeks of the release, the 672-page book came out, it was #1 on Publisher’s Weekly, #5 on USA Today’s Bestseller List, as well as #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Maas’ book is popular not only because of existing fans, but because the story is one of a kind, full of well-written scenes and events that together create a net of traps, plots, and schemes.

Many book series, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, gradually slowed down nearing the end of the series, with exciting openings but boring finales. Yet Queen of Shadows is one of few exceptions to this disappointing and unintentional trend, as it builds up more and more excitement throughout the series. While the first book circled around a small, local matter, the conflicts in Queen of Shadows involve countries, kingdoms, and many bitter rivalries.

Several new elements were revealed in the fourth volume, including new characters, knowledge and presences, as well as the latest on never-before seen relationships. Fresh details on multiple main characters were all found in the book, each of whom encounter new challenges and situations. Additionally, many characters only briefly mentioned in previous books, such as the King of Assassins Arobynn Hamel, came into play, taking part in the plots and schemes of one another.

Told through multiple perspectives, many which meet one another, the way Maas gave readers various sides of the same story added depth to an already fascinating story. Multiple small strings of events were pulled together to tie into a detailed yet simple plan that always makes readers love Celaena’s story.

Though the story’s plot is incentive enough to read the series, Maas has excelled in yet another area. She has included in her series multiple concepts and aspects that are popular among modern teens, such as characters with individual thoughts, plans and ideas. Her book is set in a seemingly normal fantasy kingdom, yet includes a minority group—those with magic. With an handful of people who have remarkable goals, Queen of Shadows includes rebels, harsh governments, romance, and rule-breaking. Deceitful trades and interactions create a delightful fantasy to read and satisfies all book-loving teenagers’ tastes.