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?
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)FeaturedHot
The good thing is that by the Heir of Fire, I feel like my grasp on Maas’ world building is much stronger than it was at the end of Crown of Midnight. After CoM, I felt a bit awash, confused by the busy world building. Now, Maas is really tying things together and I’m starting to really get what she’s doing rather than just sort of shrug and keep going. Basically, the time she’s spending on world building is needed and useful. Also, though it is slow and dense, Heir of Fire doesn’t feel infodumpy to me. What we learn, the characters are learning and needed to learn.
Speaking of characters, there are a whole load of new ones in Heir of Fire. That was part of the slowness too. There’s a lot of time spent with Manon, this black-hearted, iron-toothed witch. Her sections were rather torturous for me at first, because I didn’t know her and I hadn’t bonded with her. I just wanted to get back to Celaena. However, Manon’s third person perspective gets really good in the end. My most emotional moment ended up occurring during Manon’s section, not Celaena’s, which I never would have predicted. As with everything else, my point is that Heir of Fire is worth it if you hold out and spend the time. Well worth it. Because wyverns.
You also need to know that there’s not going to be a massive showdown in Heir of Fire. There are definitely enemies to be faced and wars to be waged, but Heir of Fire is more setting the stage and moving the players than actually getting into that. The battles waged in Heir of Fire are primarily inner conflicts. Manon the witch is, without even realizing it, in conflict with a kinder nature than she’s meant to have and the expectations her clan has for her. Chaol’s torn between his duty to the kingdom, his desire to help Celaena, and his promise to his father. Dorian’s struggling with whether to resist or accept his magic. Celaena’s inner conflict is most obvious, as she’s figuratively divided herself into two. She is both Celaena Sardothien and Aelin Ashryver Galthynius. The problem is that she thinks of those identities as separate and not as parts of who she is as a whole. Without accepting both sides of herself, Celaena/Aelin (henceforth to be called by me Celaelin) will not have enough power to face what’s coming.
Speaking of Celaelin, I love her even more now than I did before. Though it’s third person limited, her sections pop with excitement no matter what she’s doing. Celaelin is vibrant and jumps off the page. What I like here is that we get to see new depths to Celaelin. We’ve seen her as the pretty girl who loves parties and dresses, a childish spirit with a love for candy, a fierce warrior and a true friend. Now we get to see her so intimidated by the pressure on her shoulders that she becomes a drunken, homeless wastrel instead of making a move. We see her so terrified that she pees herself. It’s a whole new Celaelin.
That said, Celaelin obtains a whole lot more power in Heir of Fire. An absurd amount of power. However, she works hard for every bit of it. Maas is very good about showing the training and the pain and the strain. The power feels earned and not like it comes to her easily, even if it is part of her nature. That does slow things down, but it was so necessary for Celaelin’s journey and for the reader to really get to know her and care about her even more. We also come to care for Rowan, her trainer, though I differ from the bulk of my friends since my new favorites characters are Aedion and Abraxos rather than Rowan. They’re all fabulous, but those two are where my feels really reside. Well, with them and Celaena.
So far as the romance, previously my favorite aspect of the series goes, there’s not actually too much of it in Heir of Fire. Celaelin and Chaol are apart and honestly not too sure how they feel about each other now. It’s not so much that they don’t think they love or at least loved one another, but that they don’t know if that means anything in the context of everything else and whether they can possibly be right for each other. Dorian has a romance, but I can’t say I ever got particularly invested, aside from being really glad that Maas seems to be moving him out of the list of possible love interests for Celaena. The romance could go anywhere and I’m really happy with that for the moment.
Heir of Fire isn’t the book I expected it to be and it’s got a slow pace, but I think that it’s the book that will turn this series from really good to incredibly amazing. Heir of Fire is a turning point and from here the scale gets so much more epic and dangerous. Prepare yourselves for Maasive pain, because it’s coming.
ROWAN. MANON. WYVERNS. ROWAN. AEDION. MAGIC. ROWAN. Okay, now that I’ve got the shouting out of the way, we can get down to the review. So you know how I’m always blabbering on about characters and how character-driven stories are my favorite and that all I ask for in life is a complex character arc? Well basically this book was written for me.
First, there’s the progression of the characters I’ve grown to obsessively love from the first two books. Celaena in this book is just heartbreaking because she herself is broken. She struggles between who she was born to be and who she made herself into and who others shaped her to be. She gives in to the lowest forms of her insecurities and becomes buried by them. With her lack of confidence and motivation, Celeana is a very different character than she was before and I think that’s what made me love her even more. There are so many layers to who she is. And Dorian and Chaol grow too. They are faced with terrifying decisions and they both rise to the occasion. I was wary at first of reading a story where the three were separated. In the first two books, they had grown into a unit, one bound by love and loyalty. But I know it was necessary to separate them. I don’t think any one could’ve evolved without that distance.
And then there are all the new characters, all of whom I fell instantly in love with and couldn’t get out of my head. Rowan is tough and unyielding and then you see the softer side, the incredible loyalty and his unfathomable ability to love. Every time he was on the page, it was like a spark straight to my heart. Manon is the most BAMF in the whole damn world. Her story is surprising, full of violence and cunning and something that tastes like redemption. Also, wyverns, who are awesome. Like there’s literally no other way to describe them. And finally Aedion, who makes me ache all over. He has committed atrocities in the name of the king and lost his hope.
This book is everything you want from a book in the middle of the series. It slows down the plot a bit and takes a long look at who these people are and how they got here and sets them on the path to where they’re going. If you think you loved the first two books, I’m warning you now that your heart will grow like the Grinch’s until it explodes from your chest.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Only that ending because HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE NOW?!
The Final Verdict:
I suspect Sarah might be an ironteeth witch because I’m pretty sure she tore out my heart with all the feels.
I really love this new, undiscovered world along with the people and dangers within. Even the new characters have their own type of charm... and yes, that includes Rowan. Though everyone seems to be girling over the brute of a Fae, I seem to still have my eyes on Chaol regardless of what previously happened between him and Celaena. However, going on through the story, I've learned to love Rowan in his ... Fae ways (I suppose).
This book wasn't slow as some people say it was... at least, in my opinion, it wasn't. However, I really could have done without the new character perspective of Mannon and the witches. Sure, it gave some insight as to what was happening while Celaena was away and the others were unaware of how dangerous the King was becoming, but I feel like that story stretched on and I had to continue fighting the urge to skip those pages. One thing that I really did love about the Mannon story was that it revealed what happened with Ansel (I wonder what will happen if Celaena should cross paths with her now).
The ending was great and full of action, making you want to read more right away. Alas, when I first read this book, it literally had just came out and I had to wait this agonizingly long just for Queen of Shadows to come out. I was up until 4AM reading this because I really wanted to finish it. I really can't wait to see what Celaena does next and if she finds out what happened to everyone at the castle. I want to know if (SPOILER) the king of assassins actually has this wyrdkey.
- The action!
Celaena is in a state of depression over Nehemia’s death and the killing of Archer Finn. She is also upset about breaking up with Chaol and the utter enormity of the task to free Eyllwe from the King like she swore over Nehemia’s grave. While she is in Wendlyn on a mission to kill the royal family she is summoned by her aunt Queen Maeve of the Fae who has the answers she desires. However, she must prove her worth by training with the handsome Prince Rowan in order to receive them. This very interesting as it expands on and explores more of Celaena’s magic, Fae heritage and mysterious past. The magic in this book is very unique, if Celaena doesn’t learn to control it, it will not only destroy all those around her but will burn her from the inside out. Finally, we learn about Celaena's past which was definitely worth the wait! Everything links into that night ten years ago when Celaena’s life and that of the kingdoms’ was changed forever.
Chaol joins the rebels in an attempt to gain information that may help Dorian who’s magic is becoming stronger but harder to control. Through this Chaol meets Aedion, Celaena’s lost cousin, who has joined the King’s army and has become one of his most trusted and ruthless generals. As it turns out Aedion has always been loyal to Terrasin and has risen through the ranks in an attempt to gain more information for the rebels. Dorian meets a young healer named Sorscha who he falls in love with while she helps him hide his magic. The development of Chaol and Dorian’s characters is really good to see and helps the reader to better understand both men and what they have to do for the people they care about.
A new main character by the name of Manon Blackbeak was introduced in this book. Manon is an Ironteeth witch and is the heir of the Blackbeak clan. All the Ironteeth witches have been hired by the King to ride is his army, in exchange they each get a wyvern, a dragon-like creature. The Ironteeth witches are brutal, ferocious and enjoy eating the raw flesh of creatures they kill. That pretty much sums them up, they’re not very nice. All three covens must pick and train a mount before they all compete in the War Games to determine which coven will become Wing Leader. It is interesting how you get to learn more about the King’s movements and plans. The bond that develops between Manon and Abraxos is exciting. However, I found that this more felt like it was distracting from the main story lines.
This is a fast paced book with lots of action, suspense and mystery just like the other books in the series. These are fast becoming my favourite books. However, the sudden introduction of a new and seemingly unrelated main character made this book feel a little slow as I just wanted to read about the others.
So this book is even better than Crown of Midnight and I never thought that would happen. These books really do keep getting better and better! Also Rowen! He's so awesome! Chaol... I know so many people shipped him and Celaena but I never did so I'm glad it looks like that ship has sunk. I'm sorry if that's your ship though. I used to want her with Dorian but I don't think that will happen either. So yeah...
What I love most about Sarah's writing is how she brings out such strong emotions in me. I cried, screamed and laughed so much during this book. I don't always do that with other books. She makes her characters so real. Like Celaena, she is flawed but pushes through those flaws and becomes such a better person. I'm so proud of her! Finally forgiving herself and moving forward. I can't wait to see what she does next!
I love watching Manon grow, she was so hard at first but we slowly get to see her heart come through, Dorian finally stood up to his evil ass father! Chaol finally chose a damn side!
I also found myself really falling in love with Aedion Ashryver! I can't wait to see those two together again, I think they will make one hell of a team. He's so kickass. He will help our girl so much, if she can get him free...
Also have I said how much I adore Rowen?! He is so swoon worthy. I have been told that she and Rowen get together? I wonder how that will work for him she dies? I don't know much about that yet as I'm just starting Queen of Shadows so yeah... just my thoughts.
I also just want to add that while this book is huge that it reads so quickly. Once I actually sat down to start reading it, it only took a few days to finish. So don't be scared to jump in and go for it! I don't often give five star ratings but this one fucking earned it! Amazing from the first to the last page. Sarah J Maas as done it again!
I've been dying for this book for months now. My copy finally arrived from Bloomsbury on Monday and I *might* have jumped up and down with joy. I immediately dug in, only taking breaks for homework (which I might have skipped some of), food (only when I was starving), and school (during which I often read under the table). I loved it from the very first page and gobbled the entire thing up in one big gulp!
Celaena majorly came into herself in this book. In the previous two, she's very secretive and you honestly don't know much about her. Reveal after reveal about Celaena's past hits the reader in the story. I've loved her character in the past, but her true self really shines through in this book. I don't think I can express in words how much I love her, except for: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We get a couple new characters in this book. As a result, many of my ships have sunk, and then resurfaced with different colors. One ship I'm not sure if it'll actually be a thing or not, but I love it. The other I love, but after the end of the book, has me VERY worried! I still hate Chaol. One of the new characters is a fae named Rowan and if he doesn't end up with one of the characters, I want him all for myself! There's a ton of character development in the story, which I honestly loved reading. Also, we got Aeidon, who I knew from the beginning that I would love!
God, the writing just gets better and better, and that's saying something considering how well written Throne of Glass is. I've seen a few complaints of too much info-dumping with the book, but I didn't notice any at all. I loved every second of it, and loved reading all the flashbacks!
The author's already done a lot of world-building in the previous two books, but she's had to add more in this one, considering over half of it takes place on a continent that's only been vaguely referenced up to this point. We also see more of the world that we already know, some through other points of view, and some just in more description.
And then came the words she had been dreading for ten years.
"Hello, Aelin Galathynius."'
'That girl, that princess, had died in a river a decade ago. Celaena was no more Aelin Galathynius than she was any other person.'
Although Chaol Westfall may be reeling from the shock of discovering that Celaena is Terrasen's rightful queen, Celaena has no true feelings on the matter.
Her past - and who she used to be - are buried deep inside her. And she plans on keeping it that way.
Too much has happened for her to ever consider taking up a crown. Wendlyn offers nothing more than a chance to drink herself into oblivion, as she tries fruitlessly to forget what sent her there in the first place.
Nehemia. Chaol. And a tyrant on a throne that is not his own.
'Celaena was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir to the throne and rightful Queen of Terrasen. It made her his mortal enemy. It made her Dorian's enemy. The future he'd once dreamed of was irrevocably gone.'
Back at the palace, Chaol struggles to deal with the truth behind Celaena's parting words. And they're made no easier to handle by the appearance of a person who looks all too familiar.
Aedion Ashryver, the King of Adarlan's General of the North.
And Celaena's - Aelin's - cousin.
Chaol has a heavy choice to make. Can he trust anyone with Celaena's secret...even someone who shares the same blood as her?
'She'd been running for so long that she didn't know what it was to stand and fight.'
Although the humans of Wendlyn may not know a queen is in their midst, some powers certainly do. Especially Maeve, Queen of the Fae and Celaena's aunt.
Coming face-to-face with the woman her mother, when alive, had kept her hidden from is not a wise move to make. But Celaena needs answers. Answers that could change the fate of the kingdom and that could allow her to return to Adarlan at last.
But everything has a price. And Maeve isn't going to give those answers to her for free.
'I wish you to become who you were born to be. To become queen.'
Celaena is to reside at Mistward, under the experienced eye of Prince Rowan, nephew of Maeve and bound to the fae queen's service. There, he will test her until she has proven worthy of gaining the answers she desperately seeks.
But these tests, unlike the ones that made her King's Champion, are not concentrated on mere mundane methods of combat and killing.
They require Celaena to use her magic.
Which is easier said than done. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot seem to summon up even a spark - something that infuriates Rowan to no end.
The light inside her is barely flickering. For what does she have live for? For what purpose does her existence serve? Such questions Celaena must answer for herself.
'She has no hope, Prince. She has no hope left in her heart. Help her. If not for her sake, then at least for what she represents - what she could offer all of us, you included. (...) A better world.'
Rowan Whitethorn has better things to do than babysit a spoiled princess who refuses to tap into her own magic. He may not know much about Celaena, but what he does know doesn't exactly inspire him to aid her.
Yet the more time he spends with Celaena, the more he comes to realise that the girl before him is only one side she shows the world. Every now and then he gets glimpses of a fiery, passionate woman who would do anything for those she holds dear.
And he can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, she has the potential to be the queen she was meant to be - if only she'd find the strength to face her fears head-on.
'You do not have a heart, Manon. We are not born with them, and we are glad of it.'
Over in the Western Wastes, Manon Blackbeak - the heir of the Blackbeak Witch Clan - has only one goal.
To win the War Games, so she can one day become Queen of the Waste.
She is a killer, but the skills that got her that title won't help her in the Games. To do that, she will have to train Abraxos, her chosen wyvern, and get it to make the Crossing successfully.
But time is against her, as is the stubborn Abraxos. But Manon has never backed down from a challenge before and she'll be damned if she will this time, when it really counts.
Will Celaena accept her past and find a way to start a court that will change the world? What secrets will lie in Maeve's much sought-after answers? And what tricks does the evil king on his stolen throne have up his sleeve?
Only time will tell.
'She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir of two mighty bloodlines, protector of a once-glorious people, and Queen of Terrasen.
She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius - and she would not be afraid.'
**A big thank you to Netgalley for the ARC of this book and to Sarah J Maas for writing it!**