Book Review – Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

TITLE:  Heir of Fire

SERIES:  Throne of Glass, book 3

AUTHOR:  Sarah J. Maas

FORMAT:  Epub via Google Play Books

PAGES/LOCATIONS:  508 pages

GOODREADS’ AVG. RATING:  4.60 out of 5 stars; 47,588 ratings

SYNOPSIS PROVIDED:

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.

DATES READ:  August 24th to September 3rd, 2015

MY REVIEW:

You collect scars because you want proof that you are paying for whatever sins you’ve committed.~Rowan

Let me just start by saying that Sarah J. Maas just might be a genius because Heir of Fire was a perfect book in that it was an excellent sequel and it also provided excellent setup for Queen of Shadows.  Heir of Fire does a good job exhibiting to us all of the current events utilizing multiple points of view and utilizing them effectively.  The transition between characters felt smooth – there wasn’t a feeling of abruptness or awkwardness in the transition and they occurred in a manner which fit and furthered the overall storyline while maintaining the book’s momentum.  I never felt as if a single story line was detracting from the whole and felt as if each part was able to better serve the whole.

Celaena’s story line, her entire history has finally come together and it was incredibly heart wrenching – yet, she has come out of it much stronger and more secure in herself and who she is.  What I loved the most about Celaena’s story line was witnessing her struggles with her grief and depression.  Maas shined a light onto some of the deepest, darkest truths of depression in such a pure, unadulterated way that I found myself crying with empathy at the familiarity of those feelings. Celaena’s journey through the depths of her depression and grief were heartbreaking as she faced her past actions and choices, faced the guilt she had been harboring all these years, and learned to finally forgive herself.  She has come to accept the repercussions of her actions and chosen to move forward, taking up her mantle and working towards changing the world for the better, Rowan at her side.

To be completely honest, I was really worried about the introduction of Rowan at first because I feared that he was going to be introduced as a possible romantic interest and it would be his only purpose, but he was so much more.  Truthfully, Rowan was everything that Celaena needed in order to accept her identity and place as Aelin Ashryver Galathynius and that was beautiful.  I think that the relationship Celaena has with Rowan is the most honest relationship she has had and I think that is very important.  The entirety of her life, Celaena has longed for nothing more than freedom and acceptance and I believe that because of her experiences with Rowan at Mistward she has finally found them both.  Rowan’s blood oath to Celaena represents the greatest form of acceptance he could offer because he chose to be bound to her even after witnessing her experience the lows of her depression.  They eventually were able to open up and later respect each other, what other feelings could eventually grow from this – I don’t know.  In this moment though, I appreciate Rowan for who he is and for being exactly what Celaena needed in her life.  With Rowan at her side, Celaena can now look towards the future and choosing to fight for the freedom she has always desired not just for herself, but for all people.

I really enjoyed the story line of the Ironteeth witches, particularly following the story of Mannon, chosen heir of the Blackbeak Clan.  What is so interesting about Mannon’s story is how seemingly different she is from her fellow witches, regardless of clan.  While she maintains the appearance of the same airs and attitudes, I feel her mind is much sharper and she is more intuitive regarding events around her.  Mannon no longer seems to fit entirely within the status quo and I am curious what that is going to mean for her in the future and how it will impact her place as heir.  Mannon appears to have grown a conscience and isn’t just the indiscriminate killing machine that seems to be expected of her.  The bond that Mannon forms with her wyvern Abraxos is an incredibly interesting facet of her story because it is something that is so seemingly human.  Humans showing affection for pets is nothing extraordinary, but the same being said of a witch who is regarded as a heartless killer is surprising to say the least.  I am curious how Mannon’s story line is going to play out though, will her and her fellow witches follow through in helping the King of Adarlan?  We witnessed Mannon’s willingness and ease at pulling a double cross, so do they become a weapon of the King or do they work towards furthering their own agenda?  Either choice will have dire consequences for the future of this world.

In looking at what the future will hold, we have to discuss Adarlan itself and the events taking place there.  I wasn’t surprised to find out that Aedion wasn’t helping to further the agenda of the King and was impressed with just how cunning his entire portrayal actually was.  Aedion was incredibly clever and cunning in his ability to direct and maintain an entire force of Terrasen rebels and sympathizers while masquerading that he was loyal to the King of Adarlan yet he has only been truly loyal to Aelin and Terrasen.  It was interesting observing Aedion and Chaol working together.   I am left hoping that Aedion’s sacrifice is truly worthwhile by diverting the King long enough to allow Chaol to escape and hopefully find Celaena, I can only hope that it was the right decision in the end because they have so many unresolved issues between them that I wonder whether they will even be able to trust in each other and work together.  Dorian straight up tells Chaol, “You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love,” and I think that is one of the most important things to have been said.  In my review of Crown of Midnight, I made a point of referencing their relationship by discussing my thoughts that Chaol was in love with his version of Celaena, an idealized version of her and not who she actually is.  If Celaena and Chaol are to have any sort of future together as lovers, Chaol is going to have to accept Dorian’s words and learn to love Celaena in her entirety rather than just the parts of her he finds acceptable.  Again, I hope that Aedion’s sacrifice to allow Chaol to get away in the end was ultimately the right decision.

Seriously, the end of Heir of Fire was just all sorts of a tumultuous mess of events and yet it provides a lot of setup for Queen of Shadows.  Aedion has been captured and is being set up as the bait to a trap for Aelin.  Can’t wait until the King discovers that Celaena is actually Aelin because that is going to be all sorts of exciting!  Dorian…oh Dorian and Sorscha, that was truly destined to fail from the start but I wasn’t expecting it to be so tragic.  I felt like Dorian and Sorscha were that new couple that just starts dating but thinks they are going to somehow last forever while the world around them is in shambles.  While I was happy to see Dorian move on and find some semblance of happiness with Sorscha, I just didn’t feel much regarding her character.  I did think it was interesting that Sorscha was part of the very same movement as Aedion and Chaol by proxy.  It became this entire circle that could have been strengthened had all of them trusted in each other and actually communicated!  I felt sympathetic that much the same as everyone else, her home had been destroyed and she had become part of the rebellion in hopes of bringing about change.  I think that Sorscha’s ultimate purpose though was similar to Celaena’s by helping to forge Dorian into the king that the world needs.   Dorian has the potential to be an amazing king, but he needs to continue to strengthen himself and grow into that man – this may be a bit difficult from his current position though.  Dorian’s magic has been found out and he has been collared with wyrdstone.  The wyrdstone collar means that Dorian is currently under the King’s control, but I am unsure exactly to what extent.  We have seen examples in the rings worn by members of the court and the Valg, but there have only been allusions and no outright explanation of their exact power and capabilities.  Then again, I imagine there are very few who actually have full knowledge of the wyrdstones and keys.  In the midst of all this chaos though, Chaol managed to escape the castle and will hopefully be able to find and warn Celaena of what has happened since she has been away.

TL;DR REVIEW:  5.00 out of 5.00 stars.  This book was just amazing and it did an excellent job in bridging between Crown of Midnight and Queen of Shadows!  I say again, if you haven’t started Throne of Glass yet, then please please please do.  It is a really well written series and is a great read!  Hopefully I can finish Queen of Shadows in the next couple days!

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7 Comments

    • Thanks very much for the comment! I was actually having a discussion with Anjie from Love thy Shelf about my read through of the series so far, and one of the things that we both agreed on is that there is this huge emphasis on the romance and ultimately who Celaena/Aelin will end up with from the fandom when there is just so much more going on! I am more interested in what she will accomplish as a leader of the rebellion and queen than who she ends up with.

  1. Exactly! As much as I’d like to get away from the requisite romance-heavy plotline (better yet, a love triangle!) in my own writing, I also want to make a living. Can you think of any even moderately successful YA books marketed toward females that don’t include romance as an essential theme?

  2. Pingback: Book Review – Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas | Reviews of a Self Proclaimed Bibliophile

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