by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 2, 2014)
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Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.
I’ve been bathing in this series, one after the other; lathered in the dream world of the Throne of Glass. Adding in Perilous Sea, August has given me a happy soaked-in-fantasy month. Of course, this only happened because Heir of Fire was just coming out and Andye thankfully mentioned to me I had it (she also had to tell me I had Crown of Midnight and Throne of Glass sitting on my shelves, as apparently I am a dunce).
It is important to state outright that I ADORED Heir of Fire! The depth of the characters, thrilling action scenes, creative blend of plots, interplay in relationships, and worldbuilding made this book into a masterpiece.
The only real negatives, is the length of the book and that it probably wouldn’t be an ideal stand-alone. In fact, you might not be as in love with Heir of Fire, as I was, if you haven’t read the first two in the series first because they add so much backstory and meaning to this one. And I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one and going backwards either, even though this story trumps the first two!
There was definitely less exciting parts of the story, and I know this bores some. Personally, I love long books as long as they keep my attention. Heir of Fire was a relief that I could enjoy my character-friends and their world a long time and not have to cut them off. Like I said, I SOAKED, enjoying reading it slowly because I knew it would last longer that way.
Or maybe it was just so long, it seemed slow while I read fast. :)
Stupidly, I was thinking this was the final book. It took a really long time to set up the the exciting stuff that happens in part two. And, by the time I arrived at part two, which seemed to be two-fifths of the way through the book, I was desperately afraid the end would be terrible. There was no way to wrap it up the series in that short of time. Thankfully it hit me that there was a whole new book to come, which made the ending of Heir of Fire so much more anticipatory. Not only do we know what we want to happen (as we did before this book even begun), but now there is actually hope for this cast to take down tyranny!
Compared to the Other Throne of Glass Books:
Heir of Fire was a different breed than its predecessors. Not only was it much longer and slower-paced, but Crown of Midnight was just a continuation of Throne of Glass. That one took place in the same setting, and pretty much had the same characters in both books (which isn’t atypical of most series). Comparatively, the world-building and cast in those books seem trivial as they expanded so much in Heir of Fire. It was as if Sarah Maas, the author, threw the window open her imagination and let come what came to embody this book.
In Heir of Fire we move beyond the impressive kingdom of Adarlan and begin to span over all of the world of Erilea. To the west there are dangerous arachni and mysterious towers. To the northwest we feel the frigid barren mountain landscape as we soar through it as witches on wyverns. Then, we hear the true story of what happened on those fateful days ten years ago in Celena’s northern kingdom of Terrasan. And, most notably, we discover the kingdom of Wendlyn in the east-- land of the fae, fairies, monsters, and skinwalkers.
In case those aren’t a sufficient amount of strange creatures to add, we follow Celena and Rowan (her fae guru-warrior) as they try to solve the mystery of the living demons who delight in dragging Celena and other half-fae through their dark secret terrors.
Heir of Fire begins with our beloved assassin, Celaena, in a new land where magic actually is harnessed (unlike in Adarlan, where the King has smothered it). She is actually kinda a pathetic mess to start, mostly because she is just drained, broken, alone, and can’t pull off her dirty bidding.
But, this isn’t a surprise. We’ve waited two books for her to get through some major highs and lows until she is just spent. And she needed to be spent, to break open, break free, and embrace her true AWESOMENESS!
Trust me, you’ll still like her. We don’t fully loose her spitfire, defensive snark, as it characterizes her relationship with Rowan. But, her character becomes so much more in Heir of Fire. In this story I feel like we finally truly discover her, through her much deeper and wider range of emotions, and still love her despite.
Of course, Chaol and Dorian are still major characters. My heart still breaks a little for Chaol, Captain of the Guard, though he makes me crazy by not really committing to anything except to protect Celena and Dorian. It takes him much too long to figure out where he stands, but when he and Dorian decide where they stand, I feel proud. I also liked that Prince Dorian moves beyond just being a player and prince to someone I would trust to actually lead.
Notably, Heir of Fire introduces a host of new characters, and three of them are are essential to the plot. First, there is the powerful general, and cousin of Celena, Aedion. You know he will be foundational, but it is hard to see exactly what his character is at first, and how his networks in the Glass Castle and beyond will work for or against the queen of Terrasan.
And though we really have no clue why, we meet Manon and her slew of bloodthirsty witches. They take up an essential chunk of Heir of Fire, with their own story of rising in the ranks of witches. What is interesting is that so far, the witches really have no ties to the rest evolving plot of Heir of Fire. One might consider It a risk for Sarah Maas to invest so much time in this side story (although darkly fascinating), but we know the author must be laying groundwork for the next books.
Manon herself is disgusting but full of depth. She too is an heir, to her grandmother, matron of the Blackbeak clan. Manon defies assumptions over and again, which makes us wonder if despite her bloodlust, there might be an iota of good in her. I am overwhelmingly curious to see what part she, her special Thirteen, and her beloved wyvern will play in the next story.
But, most the prominent new character is Rowan. This Fae warrior made an ancient blood oath to serve Celena’s Aunt and Fae goddess, Maeve (who is freaky). For Celena to ask her Aunt about how to bring back magic and defeat the King of Aradlan, Maeve requires her to “prove” herself by being trained in magic by Rowan.
Rowan is good at Magic. Celena, not so much. To simplify things, let’s just say a major part of Heir of Fire is Celena getting worked over by Rowan while confronting, her, well, everything.
Relationships & Romance:
Unlike the other Throne of Glass novels, this one had very little actual romance.
Now, I don’t want to give anything away, but Rowan and Celena have a totally interesting relationship going on. Maybe it was a brother-sister bond, but maybe it was so much more. I hated Rowan and really didn’t want Celena to fall for him. But then I loved Rowan. Then he was a jerk, but after, I understood him.
When I started Heir of Fire, I swore Celena could only be with Chaol, and Chaol forever. But eventually, I, like others, actually wanted Celena to fall in love with Rowan and for them to get over their encompassing platonic relationship already!
Even so, the bond they shared didn’t seem to go anywhere! And where it does go, I will leave you in suspense. Regardless, I have no clue what will happen as Throne of Glass continues as there are just way too many contenders for Celena’s affections.
On the other hand, Darion is a happy man in this book, meeting in secret with a sweet, brave woman. So, there is a little romance to tie us over.
To me, this book read like one of Laini Taylor’s from the Blood and Starlight series, built itself better and better like the Seven Realms series, but had fantasy interplay like Trial of Fire, The Elemental Trilogy, His Fair Assassins series, and The Grisha series.
I hope you enjoy Heir of Fire as much as I did! It is undoubtedly one of my favorites in this year!
Sexuality- Mild, but nakedness (for non-sexual reasons)
Violence - Moderate, bordering Heavy (good vs. evil)
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