I think this is the longest review I’ve written and it is full of spoilers. Initially I was going to have a half spoiler-free review but there is too much to discuss and it’s very difficult without going into the story. Basically, if you haven’t read ANY prior books in this series, bye, turn around and read the first book because you will get spoiled for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. There is a tiny spoiler-free section under “general thoughts” but if you haven’t read this book, do NOT click “read more” i.e. quotes and below = spoilers. So many disclaimers for this series but now, let’s begin!
(I have a Goodreads version of this review that hides all the major spoilers HERE)
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass (#3)
Publication: September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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?
The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish.
There are a LOT of different subplots in this book and it’s a really emotional read, especially in terms of experiencing Celaena’s journey and her hardships. She’s only 17 and she has gone through heaps. We got to learn about the different types of fae and their history which was really interesting, and also the different clans of witches which was alright. A lot of the book consists of Celaena dealing with her grief, developing her powers and fae heritage. Also it was amazing to see how seemingly insignificant things in previous novels were explained and contributed to the story. It’s mind-blowing. This one especially killed me.
“Tell me: why does our daughter love reading so much… she has told me that her dearest friends are characters in books.”
Another part that killed me was the revelation of the massacre of slaves. Such a turmoil of emotions. Cry me a river.
“None were spared in Endovier”
The brawls between Celaena and Rowan were unexpectedly really strong and emotional scenes and it’s not often Celaena meets her match. This book is absolutely savage – almost every storyline, and I loved it.
The ending though was so epic at the last 50-100 pages kind of reminded me of Uprooted by Naomi Novik, the magic and all (which I love). It did feel a bit easy for Celaena and I wanted more significant deaths (I’m not that bad of a person). Nonetheless, a found a lot of the book was predictable (the major stuff) and the deaths weren’t that bad. I could see the arc of Rowan and Celaena’s relationship and who was going to survive whereas Crown of Midnight was full of twists and scary moments. This book seems like preparation for the next book which from what I’ve heard, goes back to action-packed intensity and definitely needed.
So much more worldbuilding in this novel and I loved it. I was confused several times but it was beautiful. We got plenty of Wendlyn and some Terrasen; Celaena’s background and everything she was holding in.
Let’s just flail around for a while because (a billion) new character alerts. There’s so much more development between the relationships in the novel because it was less action dependent. There are so many point of views in this novel, both major and minor characters contributing their voice. I thought there were way more than necessary which took away some of the suspense and frankly I find it a bit… lazy. Also, the multiple POVs in one chapter irritated me. At least there is secondary character development and no one’s neglected. And we finally of some queer characters and nobody is bothered by this – no teenage angst *happy dance*.
- Celaena: I actually really liked Celaena in this novel, something I haven’t fully felt in the previous books. I found her development to be so raw and I loved her opening up. Her trauma really hit me hard and the was such a rollercoaster of emotions. I think we really got to see her as a strong female character in this book, fighting through her internal fears and building herself up again to become even more stronger – especially in her mentality.
All her memories were devastating to read although I still want to know when and why she changed her name to Celaena… or was that already mentioned? I need to know. I was so glad a romance was hardly there because I don’t think this is what she needs right now. I liked how everything was connecting and explanations were made but I think she’s made to be too special and too special snowflakey. Why does everyone get defeated by Celaena so easily??? She masters EVERYTHING. I understand more now that she is demi-fae which explains her enhanced skills and ability to kill mortal humans so quickly, but amongst the monsters and the thousand-year-old queen? Not so much.
I thought there would be a better explanation to Nehemia’s death but I’m afraid it wasn’t sufficient for me. She was massacred to make Celaena stand up and do something instead of chilling in the backseat. People need to communicate. Yes, I am still bitter about her death. The way that Celaena seems like the most indispensable and important person, I just don’t believe. She’s been built so special, so unique, so beautiful and so deadly that literally anyone is willing to sacrifice their lives for her. And yes I’m still referring to her as Celaena because saying Aelin feels weird.
- Dorian: initially (like for the first half of the book), I was constantly questioning why he was still here and why did we need to hear him and his little love story. I’m sorry Dorian fans but I don’t like him. Especially since he was made into more of a special snowflake at the end of the last novel. His ending though totally destroyed me though because we’ve seen what those beasts can do and it suggests that’s what he’s going to become.
- Chaol: I was getting a bit annoyed at Chaol in Crown of Midnight and his indecision in this book bugged me too. Although it was great to finally see his proclamation against the king after being so conflicted – worst possible timing, but it’s really awesome to see him finding his identity. When courage turns into stupidity… His storyline was also pretty bland in comparison to Celaena’s, in fact I didn’t really care about a lot happening in Adarlan. The gang at Adarlan plotting against the king takes way too long to think and plan but we don’t really know what they’re doing either. Literally Chaol is the only “good person” that isn’t a special snowflake. Besides the fact that he’s a really young captain of the guard. Perhaps that’s why I like him.
Maas does really well in bringing many new characters and developing them so much without info dumping. I really commend her in her ability to add so many characters but also allow readers to know them and not get mixed up. Well I didn’t at least.
- Manon: I like her but her story seemed so insignificant in comparison to Celaena and I couldn’t see any important involvement on her part. However, her introduction was fabulous and I loved it. to be honest, Manon in this book was to some extent how I imagined Celaena in the beginning of the series. Were the wyverns ever explained properly because I imaged them as dragons – anyone else? Also I can’t actually imagine the iron teeth (or the fae teeth) and how they come out. I’m kind of picturing them as shorter tusks but honestly I don’t know.
- Rowan: upon meeting him and even after, I was pretty meh about him and expected more especially with all the rave about him. He’s a bit disappointing considering all I hear is everyone’s love for him. However, I understood Rowan’s complete disinterest in Celaena in the beginning and their development of a friendship. And even though is book being already big, I still think this relationship was too quickly developed. I mean he’s really old and this is just one annoying, disobedient and disrespectful girl that he is forced to train. Also Rowan’s possessiveness towards the end and the hint of romance annoyed me. I attempted to suppress it but I know it’s coming.
Something I did like about Rowan was his no tolerance policy even though Celaena was a girl and princess. Personally, I didn’t see him as abusive in that first punch scene because girl or boy, her uncensored words would have elicited the same reaction. Something else about Celaena and Rowan’s relationship: I don’t quite understand these “wordless conversations and exchanges” between them. They’re literally speaking detailed paragraphs by looking/staring at each other which also seems awkward and how??? I kind of get this may be alluding to their special relationship or maybe special fae abilities.
- Aedion: initially I don’t care much for him. But as we got to know him more and his childhood friendship with Celaena, I really appreciated his loyalty and unwavering support to put her back on the throne. I need a Aedion and Celaena reunion ASAP.
- Sorcha: although I wasn’t too fond of her (she was just there), I’m sick off the killing off of people of colour characters to drive the plot. It may have been coincidental or unintentional, but I can’t help noticing it.
I liked the larger focus on friendships and platonic relationships and that’s probably one of the best things about Manon’s storyline. I would love to see a Celaena and Manon showdown and I’m actually way too excited about when they meet.
I’m still a Chaolaena shipper even though that’s died a bit down for me. Currently, I don’t want Rowan and Celaena to become romantically involved because I liked seeing the growth in their platonic relationship and I think it’s important that not every hot guy who appears on the scene immediately becomes a love interest. But I think that’s where it’s going. Ahhh isn’t forbidden love a favourite topic in this series.
There was a good start and introduction to new characters but then the book started to slow down and I was mildly bored around the middle of the book. However, I never felt like I didn’t want to know what was happened next. There was this slow burn effect where the payoff is great. I could see the different storylines coming together that started as separate stories in the beginning although I still didn’t feel the interconnectedness that I wanted. You can definitely get the epic fantasy feel with the different kingdoms and POVs. This is definitely a slower paced book in comparison to the previous books in the series which did make it tedious to read at times.
The writing has definitely grown and developed in the series and finally I’ve found the map to be useful. I found myself flicking to it when places were being mentioned. Someone recently pointed the amount of times Maas makes her characters “purr” and I would literally laugh any time someone purred or growled. It’s difficult to take the situation seriously at those times.
I guess I appreciated the depth of exploration into Celaena’s past even with the many slow parts of the novel. Also the covers make sense now. I was part of the crowd that was like Celaena hardly looks human and now we know why. Although I feel that the purpose of this book was to build up to the next, I still think too much was stuffed into a single novel, especially those details that didn’t align with the main storyline (at this point). I felt a lot was repetitive and unnecessary and I’m finding a somewhat recurring pattern each novel. So many questions were answers yet there are so many new ones and I’m extremely excited to read Queen of Shadows. Honestly, throughout the novel all I kept repeating to myself was “that’s so smart” and “it makes sense”.
Tell me honestly, how many times you cried (or internally) reading this book? What popular series are you catching up on? First impressions of Rowan? Comment below!
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