Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: September 1st, 2015 (Bloomsbury USA Children’s)
Synopsis: 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?
So this series re-read is going far slower than I expected. At this rate, it’ll likely take the entire year. But now that I’m finally done swooning over this amazing, perfect book, I can get started on the review! As always, minor spoilers.
So she steeled herself. “I have never told anyone this story.
No one in the world knows it. But it’s mine,” she said, blinking past the burning in her eyes, “and it’s time for me to tell it.”
Following Chaol’s ‘suggestion’ to the King, Celaena has been dispatched to Wendlyn to assassinate the royal family. Celaena has other ideas though, and still reeling from the events of the past months, she lazes about on the rooftops of Wendlyn, generally feeling very sorry for herself, until she is finally taken to meet her aunt, the Fae Queen Maeve – the one person with the knowledge about the Wyrdkeys that she seeks. Maeve, however, refuses to give Celaena any answers until she can control her magic and entrusts the task of training her to Rowan Whitethorn, one of her trusted warriors. Rowan, however, is less than pleased at being ordered to babysit and with Celaena’s personality, both of them clash instantly.
Meanwhile in Adarlan, Dorian is having a difficult time controlling his magic and keeping it hidden. Chaol, still in shock from all the revelations, is trying to help Dorian, along with struggling to accept Celaena’s true identity. When Aedion Ashryver, the celebrated general and cousin to Aelin Galathynius, arrives in Rifthold, Chaol may find in him either a valuable ally or a formidable foe, and he plays a dangerous game to discover which Aedion will be.
“Fireheart—why do you cry?”
“Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth.
“And I do not know the way.”
As readers, we may now know about Celaena actually being Aelin, but Celaena herself is no closer to accepting her past. Cast aside all you think you know about her, the swaggering assassin is nowhere to be found. Celaena is pretty much at breaking point. Nehemia’s death has brought back all her old memories, constantly reminding her of her deeds, and we learn how she blames herself for the death of her dear ones. Now usually, I can’t stand angst-ridden novels. But I will make an exception for this book – because this is how it should really be written. The first time I read this series, Heir of Fire was the book that made me sit up and start paying closer attention to the story. The tone of this book is very different from the previous two – it has the feeling of the beginning of an epic journey for Celaena – for Aelin – that I had not seen in the series this far. Hats off to Sarah J. Maas for such a realistic and touching character arc!
And Rowan – Rowan is seriously one of my favourite characters of all time. Initially grouchy, hostile and a harsh taskmaster towards Celaena – or Aelin as he insists on calling her, Rowan is the kind of character that grows on you – very slowly. He’s trying to heal from a pretty horrible past himself and uses emotional distance to cope, just like Celaena. And it’s so beautiful when they eventually begin to understand each other and accept each other as friends.
While Heir of Fire may be mainly about Celaena finding the strength to accept who she is meant to be, the other plot lines are no less engrossing. Remember that scene with Baba Yellowlegs in Crown of Midnight? Turns out that’s actually really important. We get to see the Ironteeth witches through the eyes of a new character, Manon Blackbeak, as the witches ally with the King of Adarlan and prepare for war. First time readers, do not ignore Manon’s arc! It might seem out of place right now, but it’s really crucial going forward.
As for Dorian’s new romance, let’s be honest – while Sorscha is a nice character, this plotline never had the feeling of something that was going to last. What it did serve for, however, was the character development on Dorian’s part. On the other hand, it also feels like Dorian and Chaol have switched places from where they were in Crown of Midnight, with Chaol taking over the moping. But regardless of what many people say about this book, neither of them in my opinion, are acting out of character. Considering the events going on around them, their reactions are exactly what they should be.
Overall, Heir of Fire is a very deep and emotional book – slow to start, perhaps, but every page is worth the read. I absolutely loved the way this ended, and what it hints at for the next book. This is a series that grows better by the book. Heir of Fire is a beautifully written masterpiece, and definitely one of my favourites in this series.
Other reviews in this series: