Friday, July 31, 2015

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Publication Date:  September 11, 2014
Publisher:  Bloomsbury
Series:  Throne of Glass #3
Pages:  562
Genre:  Fantasy
Synopsis:  Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can't bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back...

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king - for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her? 

Review:  This book literally killed me.  Invites will be sent out for my funeral.  Cake will be served.  

Heir of Fire is written so well I just want to dissolve into a puddle of tears.  The atmosphere is darker and the stakes have been raised to frightening heights.  The overall tone of the book becomes simultaneously more desperate and more sophisticated.  

The plot, however, progresses at a turtle's pace.  A lot happens, true, but not all of it feels necessary to the plot.  It could have been sharper, a littler more streamlined.  Throughout the entire series so far, we have seen a lot of little plot threads, but still only have a vague idea of where they may end up.  

The world building is taken to new heights.  So much more of the world and what it contains is shown, not just the confines of Adarlan.  It expanded from one little city to an entire continent that is full of creatures beyond belief, some savage, some not.  

Finally, finally, we get a real experience with magic.  Celaena struggles with her powers and is learning to tame them while staying in a place where faeries and demons run rampant.  It is revealed what happened to the magic a decade ago that made it poof and disappear.  It's not just that-- you are taken through the mechanics of magic as Celaena starts to fully understand just what it is she, and others, have the ability to do.

A lot of new information pops up throughout the story, not just about the magical world, but about the past.  What happened to the wryd keys all those years ago?  What happened to Celaena the night her parents were murdered?  What was it like growing up as a fae princess, before it all went to hell? Celaena's motivations and memories are explored as she learns to finally accept who she really is.  

As for Celaena's character development, it really blew me away. She struggles with her identity and all she has done to get her where she is.  She is more broken, more beaten down and left for dead than ever before.  But it is at your lowest point when you are open to the greatest change (thanks, Legend of Korra).

Rowan, immortal fae prince, is introduced in this installment.  I had heard about him long before I started this book.  I didn't think he could really be that great.  But, I hate to admit it, I was wrong. Over the course of the book, his character just gets better and better.  He is cold and unforgiving, at times even cruel.  But he is also loyal until the end and a perfect match for Celaena (in a non-romantic sense).  He doesn't put up with her nonsense and forces her to face what she has been running from her entire life.  As a team, they are relentless and terrifying.  

This entire book is full to the brim with astounding character development.  Dorian finally transforms from a childish, weak willed prince, to a king who will fight for what he believes in. He also gets a new love interest, Sorscha.  As for me, I'm glad he is finally moving on from Celaena and growing into his own person.

Now, of course, there has to be a downfall.  And that downfall is Chaol.  He disappointed me at every turn.  It takes him a long time to accept that you cannot pick and choose parts of people and rebellions to live with.  It's all or nothing, Chaol.  You cannot give only half of yourself to something.

Oh, by the way, there is another new character: Aedion Ashryver, none other than Celaena's long lost cousin who swore to protect her.  Aedion is playing a dangerous game in a very clever way. While his queen was off denying everything she was, he stayed to fight for what she should have been: her country. Mostly, I am just dying for the two to reunite.  If one or both of them don't die first.

This review is getting really long, but the book is, too.  There are a lot of new twists and turns--including Manon Blackbeak, heir to the Blackbeak clan of the Ironteeth witches.  I adore her in every sense of the word. She is cunning, ruthless, and ambitious.  Her chapters learning to fly wyverns and hoping to one day reclaim her home are one of my favorite parts of the book.  But, and I hate to admit this, I didn't see a point to them.  As much as I enjoyed them, I don't yet see why they were included in the plot.

With all the loss, danger, and determination of this book, you would have to try extremely hard to not fall in love with it.  It is perfectly imperfect, and I would trade entire worlds to have my hands on Queen of Shadows right now.

4.5 Keys


  1. I'm so glad you loved Heir of Fire--it's definitely my favourite in the Throne of Glass series and I could fangirl about it forever. :P I agree with what you said about Rowan--it took me a while to warm to him but now he's definitely one of my favourite characters in the series. I do see what you mean about Chaol and I definitely didn't like him as much in this book as the other two, but I do think he got his act together by the end (and by that point I was in floods of tears because of that certain spoilery thing). At least there's only a month to wait until Queen of Shadows. Great review!

    1. It's definitely my favorite in the series so far! I mean, I would marry it. Rowan was just SO hyped that when he first appeared and was a total jerk, I was disappointed. But, man, he grew on me. I was SO SHOCKED by the ending. Way to rip my heart out, Sarah J. Maas! It is going to be a very long month until Queen of Shadows...

  2. I've seen this series everywhere... but never got round to reading it. It sounds really cool! Would you recommend it? :-) It sounds like you loved this book anyway! Really great review :-D

    1. I would TOTALLY recommend it! The first one is a bit meh, but the next two will BLOW YOUR MIND. And thanks, Rebekah! :D