Written by: Sarah J. Maas
Book # 3 / 6 of The Throne of Glass series
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Summary: 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?
“I am going to rattle the stars.”
Review: FINALLY. I have been hearing for so long from so many people about how much they love this series. I really, truly did not understand it until this book. I was still unimpressed for most of it, but during the last 30% of the book, I was flipping through the pages faster than my fingers could move. It’s safe to say that Maas has finally got me hooked.
I saw that a lot of people thought that Heir of Fire almost seemed like a separate book from its predecessors, and I can almost understand that. While it’s definitely a continuation of the same series, the focus has shifted from that of romance to that of the deepest bonds (friendship, loyalty to country, etc.), and Maas even changed her way of telling the story. In an attempt to discuss all the different cogs in the machine that is this story, Maas decided to split up the chapters among different POVs, featuring the viewpoints from Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, and a new character, Mannon. Although I think that overall that this only supported the beautiful and thoughtful complexity of the story and the series in general, it was sometimes hard to follow – one of the main reasons this book didn’t receive a 5 / 5 rating from me. Just as things were beginning to pick up in one POV, it would abruptly change, and it was sometimes hard to figure out if these events were happening at the same time or separately. Additionally, for most of the story, it was hard to see how they all connected; this was remedied for the most part by the end of the book, but there’s still a few loose threads left for Maas to pull taut in subsequent books. Furthermore, Maas has made the books a little bit darker even, beginning to introduce the Vlag demons that were only hinted at before, as well as the witches we had already been slightly introduced to before. So, while I understand that those who were huge fans of the two predecessors may have not enjoyed Heir of Fire as much because it felt separate form the rest of the series, I disagree with that assessment and don’t think it should get anyone to stop reading the series.
Celaena is finally claiming responsibility for her mistakes, rather than just carrying the guilt. She is taking the deaths of her friends and using them proactively, using them to fuel the change that she needs to make in the world. Additionally, she is moving on from the drama behind her in Rifthold; her entire POV takes place in a place far away, rather removed from Chaol and Dorian and the messes taking place in the kingdom’s capitol. Although she will no doubt return, it is nice to see Celaena finally out of this environment; I think it allowed for her to grow a lot more. As for the members of the story who are still stuck in Rifthold, I’m really glad with how they are progressing. Chaol finally makes a decision (and a good one) about where his loyalties ultimately lie, and Dorian becomes more confident in himself as a person and as a leader, as well as growing more confident in his abilities. The trio that have kind of been the center of attention since the first book are finally growing up and growing into themselves and the big roles they will have to play, and I am so psyched to see where all of their plots head next.
As for the new (or relatively new) characters… I am in love with all of them. At first, I was a little overwhelmed with how many more people were being added into the mix, but I think each of them has the potential to bring a different point to the plot line. First, there’s Aedion, who is easily my favorite character in the entire series. He’s the general of the King’s army in the North, but his true loyalties lie to the lost princess of Terrasen, and he takes up a pretty large leadership role in the rebellion. He’s dry and calculating, but he also obviously has a soft side that makes him the whole package. Then, there’s Rowan, a Fae warrior sent to help Celaena develop her skills a little more thoroughly. Although initially portrayed as heartless, cold, and sharp, he thaws throughout the book and is one of the more reachable characters by the time the book is up. Besides these two, Maas also introduces us to a slew of other new characters: Fae, demi-Fae, witches (who I need a lot more about before I make a judgment on), weird possessed demons, and so on. I know that all of these different characters are going to come to some sort of clash later, and I am excited to see how all of their different races and backgrounds will come together to develop that plot.
Ultimately, I think Heir of Fire is the best book in the series thus far, and it will definitely be the one that commits me to reading the rest. Maas has finally begun to develop her characters and allow them to mature as they should, as she starts to line them up to potentially lead a revolution. And although the book felt a little scattered, I know all the different pieces will fit together in the end. All in all, I really liked that Maas has begun to shift the way the story has been told and the direction in which it was going; I think this is the best path for the story, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes us.