Series: Throne of Glass #3
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Romance, Young Adult
She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.
Celaena Sardothien 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. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.
The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight.
*Warning: Review contains spoilers from the previous books*
Oh my. What a splendid twist of events. I must say, I am quite unexpectedly surprised in an absolutely hysterical way. I mean…okay wait here a while till I go flail and come back…
Alright, enough flailing. We shall begin now. Let me break it down for you – If you’ve read my review of the first book, you’d know that I felt pretty “meh” about the whole thing. I mean, yes, magic and kick-ass heroines did exist even then, but…but I was never really a 100% invested, you know? I enjoyed the book from a very external perspective, could not really appreciate the character dynamics, and as far as I remember, the only thing I liked about the series had been the magic, and of course, Maas’ splendid writing. I was never a fan of Celeana’s relationship with Chaol, and I always hoped she would end up with Dorian, but even that wasn’t a proper “OMG-I-ship-them-so-bad” sort of feeling. In short, I was bored. And after Crown of Midnight, I went scouring around the blogosphere, where most of the reviews of Heir of Fire were sad – it wasn’t as good as Crown of Midnight, they said. My own friend liked the former books better, and thus you can imagine why I was hesitant to pick up Heir of Fire. I didn’t want to waste my time, you know? But I did want to know what exactly happened, so I took a deep breath, cursed the book for being so bloody darn fat, and went in headfirst. And you know what?
I LOVED IT SO MUCH I CRIED AT THE END.
And thus, here is a list of all the reasons why Heir of Fire is the best Throne of Glass novel ever:
Unexpected character arcs that rocked
The beautifully made, carefully constructed, killer-of-hearts-because-he’s-not-real Fae Prince, Rowan Whitethorn. If you forgot what exactly happened in the previous book (like me – curse my goldfish brain) then let me refresh your memory: Chaol manipulates the King of Adarlan to send Celaena to Wendlyn to keep her safe from all the horrors going on in Rifthold, and thus the third book starts with her in Wendlyn, drunk and aimless beyond reason. And as she’s wandering the streets of the city, she meets Rowan and I fall in love. He was a cosmic force to be reckoned with is what he was. He takes her to visit Maeve, the Fae Queen, and she tries to strike a bargain with her, but oh well that’s not really important. I mean…it is, just not while we are still talking about Rowan.
Gods, he was brilliant. Cunning and wicked and brilliant. Even when he beat the hell out of her. Every. Damn. Day.
At first, he comes off as an extremely stand-offish brute who has no other purpose in the book than to make Celaena’s life hell, but slowly…slowly (too slow for my taste, in fact :/), Celaena comes to learn more about him and when he speaks, I drop everything and listen. Fast, strong, and deadly, Rowan was an amazing character, with a beautiful back story, and the one thing I loved more than anything was Celaena’s friendship with him – how it evolved, and how, in turn, she evolved. View Spoiler »I especially went crazy when he swore the blood-oath to Celaena. I am serious – I actually cheered. Outright. In the BUS. On my way to school. It was awkward. « Hide Spoiler
Manon Blackbeak, witch and cold blooded killer extraordinaire. She is an immortal witch of the Blackbeak Witch Clan, and I won’t give away much about what her role is, exactly, but she was a wonderful addition to the Throne of Glass cast – she’s essentially on the enemy side, so viewing the world from the eyes of a cold blooded witch was, I dare say, the coolest thing ever. View Spoiler »One of the main reasons I loved Manon was because of her relationship to her wyvern, Abraxos. The entire process of picking him, then standing up to her grandmother about her reasons for picking him in the first place, were very inspiring and badass. « Hide Spoiler I didn’t really expect the character development that Manon went through, either. It was…awesome. Excuse me, I am a little starstruck.
And of course, our lovely Celaena Sardothien. Or should I say Aelin Galathynius? I mean…woah, I kind of expected her to be the queen of Terrassen and all, but Fae? That did come as a surprise in the previous book. I think the main reason I was suddenly so invested in her character at the beginning of Heir of Fire was because of Rowan himself. The minute I read about him, I could immediately identify something they both had in common: they were broken. Of course, Celaena more so – she was a bitter, sad, and angry person at the beginning of the book, hateful of everyone and everything around her, and constantly running away from her title. I guess one of the reasons this book was so bloody fat was because it took time to develop her character to the likes of a proper queen. I love how Maas never made it seem like Rowan had somehow saved her from herself; it was more like Rowan had been the catalyst that Celaena used to save herself. Also, Rowan and Celaena have a wonderful friendship, and their relationship was one of the main sources of laughter for me, in this heavily full-of-feels book.
And he’d returned to Celaena with chocolates, since he claimed to be insulted that she considered his absence a proper birthday present. She tried to embrace him, but he would have none of that, and told her as much. Still the next time she used the bathing room, she’d snuck behind his chair at the worktable and planted a great smacking kiss on his cheek. He’d waved her off and wiped his face with a snarl, but she had a suspicion that he’d let her get past his defenses.
The absolutely awesome magic
One thing that I have come to love and appreciate from the very beginning of all the Throne of Glass books has been the magic in it – its wonderful, otherworldly, magnificent. And since most of the book is not set in Adarlan, but in Wendlyn, I got to see so much more of that awesomeness. Some very key scenes in the book, from beginning to end, required the use of an amazing amount of magic, from various characters, and that was really fun to read about. But more importantly, I think what I loved the most was Celaena’s own magic – her fire, her willpower, her absolute will to bloody damn succeed.
It would not take a monster to destroy a monster – but light, light to drive out darkness.
Celaena’s discovery of her own magic, I think, was very vital in her path to salvation from herself. The parts where i did get to see her magic, I was blown away – how she mastered it, how she went from nothing to a force to be reckoned with…I am in absolute awe of Maas’ talents.
On the whole…
While I did have a teensy problem with the pacing, I think for the proper amount of character development, it worked out fine in the end. We get to see very little to no romance in this installment, except View Spoiler »Dorian and Sorscha, of course (I LOVED THEM BOTH AND I HATE MAAS FOR BEHEADING SORSCHA HOW DARE SHE?) « Hide Spoiler, but no matter, it hit me right in the feels. I do not know what changed – only that something did. And I hope this change continues in the next installment, because let’s face it – I’m a sucker for bad boy Fae princes.