However, there are some elements of the book that I wanted to discuss. These two literary features aren't necessarily specific to QoS, but I wanted to use my recent reading experience as a basis for this two part discussion. So if you haven't read QoS yet, don't worry, there will be no spoilers (although there will be minor spoilers from the previous books) and the discussion won't hinge entirely on knowing the plot.
Let's Talk About Point of View
In both Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, Sarah J Maas chooses to tell two different stories (that will eventually connect). One story follows Celeana/Aelin's story and the other follows the witches, mainly Manon's, story. In QoS, each of these story lines are developed by even more POV breakdowns, such as Chaol, Dorian, Rowan and in the witches story, Elide.
Switching POVs in a book is a risky move for any author, especially if the POVs are telling seemingly separate story-lines. Readers tend to have strong ideas on whether they like the switching or not. To be honest, most readers (i.e. me) dislike the perspective shifting. So why do authors do it?! The answer is in the pro-con list. The answer is ALWAYS in the pro-con list.
-Expands the breadth of the story by giving a fuller plot
-Expands the depth of the story by allowing a deeper understanding of other major characters
-Tries to appeal to more readers with different stories/characters that they may enjoy more
-Disrupts the flow of the story
-Too much information. Feels like the author is indulging in their world-building
-Readers are attached to a certain character and don't care about other POVs, making the story seem boring when not on their preferred POV
The trick to an author successfully changing POVs throughout the story is to make the reader care about ALL the characters/story-lines and to switch at natural points in each of the stories. This is no easy feat. Nobody likes it when a chapter ends on a cliff hanger and the next chapter starts with a completely different character. That being said, I believe that an author can take a literary feature that so many people dislike and change they're minds about it, if they write it well.
So here's the question: Did Sarah J Maas change my mind about switching POVs?
I'm coming around. I hated reading about Manon's storyline in Heir of Fire, because I was already established with Celeana, Chaol and Dorian from the first two books. However, during Queen of Shadows I started to care more about Manon. Maas softens Manon a bit, which makes her much more likable. The witches story-line also starts to connect with the Celeana/Aelin story-line, which helps me appreciate the breadth of the story more. So yes, I'm beginning to appreciate it.
Originally I was going to talk about both of my thoughts surrounding Queen of Shadows in one post, but I had more to say about POVs than I anticipated, and I really want to do justice to my other thought. So be on the look out for a post related to the symbolism in Queen of Shadows that will be going up in a few days. Let me know what you thought of QoS (if you've read it yet) or what you think of the series in general. Do you like books with switching POVs? Any good/bad ones you've read lately? Let me know all your responses in the comments. Let's discuss!
Reading: Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Listening: Ascend the Hill
Watching: Just finished season two of The 100 (feel free to fangirl in the comments)