Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Book Three of the Throne of Glass series
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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?

What I Liked:

***Spoiler-free review, for this book. Spoilers for books one and two may be present.***

You all know I didn't enjoy Crown of Midnight. I gave it three stars, but I seriously didn't like it much. I had big problems Celaena, and the romance, and other things. What's more, I barely remembered anything from Crown of Midnight. I blocked it out, honestly, and all I could solidly remember was Celaena's rage at Chaol, her bouncing between Chaol and Dorian, and the ending. I contemplated not finishing the series (there are SIX books in this series, so would it be worth it?), but in the end, I gave Maas another chance.

I really, really enjoyed this book. There were so many things that Maas did that were extraordinary, but one of the things specifically was that in the beginning of the book, Maas broadcasted the fact that Celaena is a coward. She is a fake assassin and a coward, incapable of killing or caring or facing her fears or accepting her magical side. One of the things I absolutely HATED about the second book was how glorified Celaena is, as the King's Champion, the assassin, the kickbutt woman. She's not any of those things, in my opinion, which led me to hate the book, because it's so fake. But Maas shows readers that yes, Celaena is fake and a coward, because she is not fearless. She is broken and torn apart, and for her, there is no coming back.

Celaena travels to Wendlyn to meet Queen Maeve, to demand answers about the Wyrdkeys and whatnot. She meets Rowan, the prince of the Fae, who take her to Maeve. Maeve orders Rowan to train Celaena to her Fae potential, so that Celaena will claim her throne as queen. Rowan begins to train Celaena, pushing her, baiting her, fighting her, forcing her to work. He orders her to shift, but she will not - she's afraid of herself, her magic. But there are creatures in the forest, and armies of wicked, deadly things that must be dealt with. All are harbingers of the king of Ardalan's plans for conquer.

Meanwhile, Chaol is forced to deal with Aedion, the illustrious young general that the King of Ardalan called upon to the castle. It turns out that Aedion and Cheol have more in common than one would have thought. And Dorian - well, his magic is quite the force to be reckoned with. His magic is uncontrolled and unskilled, much like Celaena's. But unlike Celaena, he has no one to train him. Chaol is distant with him, and he has no one to trust. He finds solace and comfort with Sorscha, the head healer of the kingdom, whose family was slaughtered by Dorian's father's command.

As you can tell, there is a lot going on in this book. At first, I was like UGH, another book in which we have to endure Celaena being trained and perfected to "kill" people ("kill" is in quotations because Celaena is a horrible assassin, can't kill anyone for s***, it seems). BUT. That is not the case, in this book. There are like, four plots going on in this book, and my favorite is with Rowan and Celaena training. 

Rowan is cold, brutal, cruel. I knew right from the start that I would like him, because he is NO JOKE. Which is good, because he kicks Celaena's butt. THANK GOODNESS. Someone needed to knock her down a few notches. More like a couple miles down. But Rowan is just as empty as she is, in a way. I really like Rowan. I want to re-read parts of this book, just for him.

I've always seen Celaena as spoiled, bratty, selfish, self-centered. So does Rowan, at first, and eventually his mind (and mine) changes. That's because Celaena slowly begins to piece herself back together. It amazed me, how powerful her despair was and how completely broken she seemed to be. Celaena was literally an abyss of her own, and she needed to pull herself out. That transformation was VERY well written by Maas. An excellent job, there. I no longer hate Celaena - in fact, I really like her, and understand her a lot more, know that I can see past her selfish, spoiled behavior. 

Basically, Celaena's character development is really, really well-done. Everyone will see what I saw in book two (if you all hadn't seen it already) - that really, Celaena is pathetic, and a coward. But she really changes throughout this book. It's not like in the first or second book, where she is selfish and fake and a coward, and flaunts her "assassin-ness", when it really doesn't exist. There is more to being an assassin than just having great combat skills. You have to actually, you know, KILL PEOPLE. In this book, Celaena isn't an assassin - she is her true and primary self, a demi-Fae.

The Chaol/Aedion/Ardalan plot wasn't boring, but it didn't capture my interest like Rowan/Celaena did. I loved the Fae world a lot, and all of the new characters. I didn't mention many - like Emrys or Malakai or Gavriel. In terms of Chaol and Aedion and that whole deal, it's actually interesting. They work with two men, Ren and Murtaugh, and plot against the king. Eventually, Dorian finds out, and he's pissed, because Chaol will trust Aedion, but not him?! But in the end, they must all work together.

Dorian's story is interesting as well. THANK GOODNESS that romance is shut down (sort of). Dorian gets a romance plot of his own. It happens pretty quickly, and I had/have a feeling that it wouldn't/won't work out for him, but Dorian and Sorscha... I loved watching them interact, work together, trust each other. Dorian needed this, to see why Chaol did what he did in book two. Also, this showed me that Dorian doesn't care about Celaena in that regard. Chaol, on the other hand, does still. 

There is another plot, which seems totally random. We are introduced to the witches, witch clans, such as the Blackbeaks and Bluebloods and Yellowlegs and whatnot. Manon is the one we follow. She leads the Thirteen, which are her thirteen trusted Blackbeaks of her clan. The other clans are "allies"... but in the witch world, they are rivals. Manon and the clans are recruited by the king to fight for him. He is giving them wyverns (like dragons) in exchange for their help.

Manon's wyvern, Abraxos, is a runt and the "bait beast", but he is Manon's. He's a late bloomer, so it takes a lot of Manon's care and time to get him into any shape. I think this plot with the witches is supposed to show Manon's wavering spirit, her growing humanity. Manon is ageless, immortal, and she was bred to be evil and kill kill kill. But this plot takes Manon through emotion-filled trials, like the sacrifices she must make for her wyvern, or her saving the lives of witches of the other (rival) clans. The witch plot never intersects with the other plots, which is a shame, but it will.

Chaol/Dorian/Aedion/the king/Ardalan never directly intersect with Celaena/Rowan/the demi-Fae. Indirectly, at the very end, but otherwise, not really. I APPROVE OF THIS. Celaena had enough of Ardalan's taint and heartbreak, and her time at Wendlyn with Rowan definitely helped her find her true self and hit her stride. 

I love that there basically is no romance in this book. Unless you count Dorian's thing. But you know what I mean! No directly influencing love triangle, at least in this book. If Chaol and Dorian and goodness knows who else are going to duke it out or whatever, then it will be in later books. Personally, I'm rooting for neither of those two. It's funny - I was team Dorian in book one, team Chaol in book two, but honestly, I was never really TEAM anyone. I didn't feel THAT strongly towards either of them, especially since I bounced from one straight to the other. But the male I'm currently rooting for - well, he's forever. For me, it's him or no one. HE IS PERFECT. And you probably already know who he is. But I won't directly say.

My favorite scenes... they have to do with the word "fussing". Search your ereader, if you have an eARC (we're cool like that!), you'll know what I mean. Melt my heart, why don't you!

I feel like I don't really need to mention this because it kind of speaks for itself, but the world-building in this series in general is flawless. I thought I would get confused with all of the cities and continents and places and whatnot. But the setting is really well-described, the world well crafted.

There is a certain sense of epicness to this book. I'm not just saying that - there is a sense of power and a thrum of energy threading through these books. I can't describe it, but you can just FEEL how truly remarkable and epic the story is.

One other thing - as I mentioned already, I could barely remember what happened in book two (which worried me a little, because I read it about a year ago, and it was a long book as well, so there was no way I was re-reading it, especially when I didn't even like it). HOWEVER. It's totally okay! The way Maas writes, describes things in the beginning, brings about things... you don't have to remember anything from book three, or really even have read books one or two. Sort of. I mean, it's epic fantasy, so the more background knowledge you have, the better. You should read books one and two, but it doesn't have to be recently.

And you don't need to read the novellas/The Assassin's Blade to read this book at all. I haven't read any of the novellas.

The ending of this book. OH MY HEART. In general, this book is EPIC, and not necessarily in the non-stop-action-omg-craziness-is-happening way. But the ending - it was FIERCE. It revealed so many things about some characters... well, you'll just have to read the book to know what I mean! I'm so curious - the last few scenes are a tease! Book four, please!

What I Did Not Like:

The romance. Celaena and someone. PLEASEEEEEE. They're perfect. So much perfect.

Would I Recommend It:

I mean... I feel like fans of this series wouldn't need me to recommend this book to them, regardless of if I had hated this book or loved it. But I really enjoyed it, so YES, I recommend it! If you haven't started the series at all, maybe wait until the fifth or sixth book comes out, to binge-read. But in general, this book redeems the series, so far. The second book is awful, but it's okay, because the third book is amazing!


4 stars. I'm glad I stuck it out. Don't forget, while I disliked the second book, originally, I had liked the first book a lot. I'm glad the third book pulled this series up! For me, anyway. I can't wait to read the fourth book!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I'm glad that despite you not liking Crown of Midnight (that I loved!) you still decided to continue the series! I'm super relieved to hear you loved this one!
    I've mostly skimmed the review cause I want to go into the book knowing as little as possible!! I just cannot wait for my preorder to arrive already, dammit!

    1. Right?! Me too! I don't blame you at all, girl! I hope you enjoy this one when you read it :D

  2. I am glad you loved this one. I actually liked both the first and second books, I never bother with novellas they irritate me. I can't believe the romance is going in yet another direction. Now I am curious. I thought this was the finale but there is another book? Wow!

    1. YAY! I'm glad that you did! Novellas annoy me as well. I seriously hope the romance goes in the way I want it... and dudeeee, there are SIX books in this series, total! Not counting the novella bound book, The Assassin's Blade! Six full-length novels, and we're only on number three! D:



      Wait, I suppose you didn't really spoil anything.

      But SHHH, let's leave an element of surprise, at least until the 2nd ;)

  4. I think I am going to have to start the series when I get a chance. I heard a lot about this series since I started blogging and never bothered to read it. Starting to think I mad a mistake on that choice! Yes, your review was helpful because now I have to call the library to see if they have it :)

    Amber @ The Book Bratz

    1. Binge-reading is a great idea, Amber! I know what you mean about that - I read the first book before blogging, so I never wrote a review for it. Sort of similar, anyway.

      I hope you get to read these books! Also, I hope you like them. Also, I hope they stay "good", and not like book two... book two was a bit of a train wreck, in my opinion D:

      Thank you for the lovely comment!! <3

  5. lol, amazing review sweetie. <3 I am glad you loved this book :D But omg. It sounds like too much happens. Ack. And I have heard SPOOOOILER that she isn't with Chaol for the entire damn book. HEARTBREAK. That is not for me. Sigh. But, hah, still have to start these books. But hopefully soon. We'll see :D I do own them all ;p Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. *zips lips* You'll have to read this one to find out. Seriously, you might be convinced otherwise! I hope you enjoy this one (and the series in general), Carina!

  6. There are SIX books in this series? ... .... ..... And you have to put up with a pitiful, cowardly FAKE assassin and a massive love triangle for at least the first two? And now there's a third guy interested in her in three books? .......... Barring some kind of miracle, probably not happening, but I'm glad you enjoyed this book. :)

    1. OMG OMG OMG I'm so glad you share my sentiments though! About the first two books especially. Six books is seriously a long series -.- I can't say that the third guy is interested in her like that, but I HOPE.

      Thank you, Kel!

  7. heh, great review. I too enjoyed rowan and his fussing. I didn't like the witch plot at first but I came around to it a bit.

    1. Thank you, Brandi! I know what you mean about Manon. And OMG ROWAN. MOAR FROM HIM PLEASE. DON'T KILL HIM, MAAS.

  8. Arg, this ending! It killed me.
    I want Celaena and Rowen to have the world's bestest platonic relationship!! (Though I get why people would like them together, haha)
    Also, I would like a Aedion and Chaol BROTP.

    PS. Here's my review if you're interested (:

    1. Meh, platonic, sure, I wouldn't mind, but a romantic relationship would be cool... honestly, either way, I just really love Rowan, as a character. And LOL Aedion and Chaol should definitely have a bromance or BROTP :D

      Thank you!!


I love comments! I will always try and reply to your comments, as well as leave some comment love on your blog! :)

Also, this an award and tag free blog. While I am flattered that you would think of me, I really do not have the time to follow up. Thank you!