Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah j Maas
On the Shelves: Young Adult Fiction> Fantasy
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love? (Goodreads 2014)
When I read Throne of Glass back in 2012, I gave it three stars, and claimed it was enjoyable but nothing too original- it reminded me a lot of a weird mix between The Hunger Games and the Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder, with the additional irksome potential love triangle.
I would never in a million years have guessed this path is the one this series would be taking. Throne of Glass was good. Crown of Midnight was better. Heir of Fire pretty much blew me away. I need to re-read the first two books in order to get fair and proper reviews of them up on my blog. I will try my best to keep this review as spoiler free as I can!
Heir of Fire introduces a whole new range of characters and environments into the Throne of Glass world which we have come to be familiar with. We meet Rowan, a distant cousin of Celaena’s who is serving under their tyrannical aunt Queen Maeve, ruler of the Fae people. We meet Manon, her Covern of the Blackbeaks, and her new pet Wyvern (yes, Wyvern), Abraxos (which reminded me a lot of Hiccup and Toothless, just saying.) You still do see the usual characters of Dorian and Chaol, although there is arguably a lot less of them in this book than the previous two- understandably so.
In this third instalment, Celaena is forced to face her past, and everything that happened between her childhood up until the point where she was forced to flee to Adarlan. Celaena, or as she is truly, Aelin– comes to terms with her own true nature, her own heritage and learns to accept herself, her people and her destiny.
I found this book a little slow- I’m not going to lie, the pacing was nice and steady but it felt like not a lot of was happening throughout the first half of the book. A lot of politics. A lot of training montages. A fair few new characters. All of which was still good and was going to get it a solid four stars- landing it on parr with Crown of Midnight- but then the last 100 pages happened and basically blew my mind. So much happened in the final part of the book and it just…..stunned me completely. I’m so happy that we finally got to see Celaena’s backstory properly and find out exactly what happened to her and her family before she wound up in the mines.
I’ve said that I found the pace of the story itself to be quite slow, but this actually felt necessary- which makes a nice change. In the first two books, you are very much confined to the perspective within and around the palace where the contest is taking place, you only really hear snippets of the outside world, through Celaena’s point of view. But in this third book, the world opens up and is incredibly detailed and Maas leaves no stone unturned as she shows us how effective world-building should be done in fantasy novels.
Reading Maas’ writing and world building is a little like watching a brilliant magician who doesn’t reveal their tricks- you sit watching, confused but intrigued the whole time for a while and then BAM, the trick is done, the magic happens and you are stunned and more confused then ever- and are left wanting more!
Five stars to this third instalment, I also desperately now need to get my grabby hands on “The Assassin’s Blade”, the bind up of all of the novellas which has now also been published into physical format, because I’ve not read any of those yet and I need more backstory!! After all, we have to wait until 2015 for book number four!
For those who are fans of Sarah J Maas, just a heads up, she is starting a new book/series soon called “A Court of Thorns and Roses”, which appears to be a fantasy re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. )Maas and fairytale re-tellings?! That has my name all over it!