Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas | Review

Posted March 14, 2016 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Reviews / 13 Comments

Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas | ReviewHeir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
Also by this author: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1), Crown of Midnight, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4), A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2), Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5), A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3), A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1), The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-#0.5), Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3)
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on September 1st 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Faeries & Fae, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 592 •Format: PaperbackSource: Purchased
Goodreads
five-stars

Celaena Sardothien, heroine of the New York Times bestselling series, rises from the ashes to burn even brighter than before.
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?
In this USA Today bestselling third book in the New York Times bestselling series, Sarah J. Maas again delivers the epic fantasy, heart-stopping pace, and heady romance that have won her readers the world over. Look for a teaser for the fourth book in the series, Queen of Shadows, out in this same season!

“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”

I never thought I’d be a Sarah J Maas fangirl. I read Throne of Glass and was underwhelmed. I read Crown of Midnight, and it was shockingly good, but I was suspicious that it was more due to certain plot elements rather than an overall love for the series itself. However after I discovered my love affair with A Court of Thorns and Roses, I decided it was time to give the Throne of Glass series another chance to wow me. And wow me it did. Heir of Fire was long and angsty, sure, but it was also the installment that broke down the characters to their very core and allowed me to fully empathize with them. It was, in one word, epic.

Heir of Fire is very much a bridge book, in the sense that it is much more about exploring the depths of Celaena’s personality, peeling back the layers of her self-hatred and guilt, than it is about plot momentum. Embarking on a literal hero’s journey, Celaena spends this book away from Dorian and Chaol, off in Wendlyn, facing the truth of her heritage, confronting her inadequacies and fears, and dealing with the memories of her past that she’s repressed for the past decade. I adored this change of setting. I loved learning more about the Fae world that runs like a dangerous, mournful current under the evil King of Adarlan’s reign. I love learning about the systems of oppression that exists between the Fae and demi-Fae, and how the political nuances exist in their world even in the face of extermination by the King. Until I discovered Sarah J Maas I thought it was impossible for me to like a book about Fae, but she entices the reader with the ancient, mysterious, and yet vulnerable qualities of the Fair Folk, and its impossible not to be drawn to their lore and hidden worlds.

There’s no denying that Heir of Fire is a long read at over 500 pages, and much of that can be attributed to the introduction of several new POV characters (always a dicey occurrence in the middle of a series). Personally, I felt that Maas accomplished the task of weaving in the new characters to the narrative, and making them integral and integral to the plot. Aedion proved to be an important part of the story, as the only POV character who knows Celaena before she was Adarlan’s most feared assassin, and brings a fresh perspective to Aelin. His devotion and commitment to her is really honorable and is probably what kept me reading whenever the narrative switched back to Chaol (who I’m sorry, is really just sort of boring in this book). Then there was Manon, whose chapters I expected to hate (because it deviated so much from the other things going on in the book) but whom I grew to love because her relationship with Abraxos was just SO heartwarming (and also those ironteeth witches are pretty badass). The only new character who didn’t work for me as a reader was Sorscha, as she really rubbed off on me the wrong way (I found her to read sort of holier-than-thou and sanctimonious) and I felt like her relationship with Dorian was for plot convenience more than anything else. And then there’s Rowan…

ROWAN. The only character who eclipses my love for him at the moment is TAMLIN from Maas’ ACOTAR series. I love him. He is the one true bae. I didn’t think it was possible that he’d grow on me, because he was so wicked and nasty at the beginning of the book and I thought to myself “I know what you’re trying to do Maas, you’re going to try to make me think he’s a jerk and then slowly fall in love with him but it WON’T WORK.” Well, I must eat my words because not only did it SO TOTALLY WORK but it runs deeper than him and Celaena being my one true Throne of Glass ship (bye, Chaol). I loved how Rowan was so layered, so ancient and tormented by what it means to be immortal and the multiple lifetimes worth of tragedies that one accumulates after living so long. Rowan and Celaena really were mirror images to one another, one young and one very, very old, and there bond grows into something so much deeper than a potential romantic pairing by the end of the book. Rowan and Celaena, in my opinion, epitomize the idea of a soul mate, wherein you are inescapable tethered to a person through a deep, unyielding understanding of that person’s self regardless of if you’re lovers or even friends. I love that Maas was able to show such a strong connection outside of a standard romance story line although I WILL THROW EVERY PART OF MY BEING HOPING THIS SHIP SAILS.

While this book brings about so many new character and elements to the series, it also circles back to plot points from much earlier on and ties their significance into Celaena’s-Aelin’s- existence even more strongly. What really resonated for me as a reader was the reflection on Celaena’s time at Endovier, how it haunts her not by reliving her own pain, but by forcing her to ruminate on the torture and slaughter of so many others that she witnessed. How those stuck in the salt mines drive her more than anything else, and the shame and pride she carries in her ruined back as a sign that if anything ever motivates her to ascend to her throne, it will be the helpless soles in Endovier, rather than a sense of duty or pride or birthright or even her people. View Spoiler » It’s powerful and painful and beautiful all at once.

“…I also think you like to suffer.  You collect scars because you want proof that you are paying for whatever sins you have committed. And I know this because I’ve been doing the same damn thing for two hundred years. Tell me, do you think you will go to some blessed Afterworld, or do you expect some burning hell? You’re hoping for hell- because how could you face them in the Afterworld? Better to suffer, to be damned for eternity...”-375

Overall: Heir of Fire is a long read that focuses on character development and the introduction of new players to the plot, but what it lacks in quick paced action in more than makes up for in gut-wrenching feels and insight into Aelin’s past. Even with this being a more insightful installment of the series, there’s still momentum, such as watching Aelin develop her affinity for fire and an epic battle at the conclusion of the novel. Heir of Fire is the kind of book I needed to fully become invested in this series, and I’m so glad it’s taking its time in developing across multiple books so I can soak in the nuances of this fantasy world, as new elements are introduced at every turn in Heir of Fire. It’s immediately onto Queen of Shadows for me!

Copy of Copy of Girl in the Pages Verdict_(1)

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Backlist Book Challenge 2016
  • Goodreads Challenge 2016
  • Must Read in 2016 Challenge
  • Rock My TBR 2016

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13 responses to “Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas | Review

  1. I so glad you liked this one! Especially after you didn’t jump on the fandom train when you read the first book. I really love how we get to know Aelin so much more in this book. It was so cool how we got to see her transformation from Celaena into Aelin take place! I have to disagree with you on one thing though: I can never picture Aelin and Rowan as a couple! They have the perfect connection for an epic friendship but as a couple? Meh. Lovely review!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks recently posted: Award Tuesday: Liebster Award #5
    • I just think that Rowan and Aelin have the perfect connection for anything and everything 😉 However, in some ways I can see the point of not wanting to tarnish their intense friendship with the messiness of romance. What book in the series is the one that really one you over? Was it Heir of Fire as well?

  2. I COMPLETELY agree that the first book was a bit underwhelming, but then again, I’m facing the same thing with TLC, and so I think I need to give Epic Fantasies like this at least two chances! READ QUEEN OF SHADOWS! IT IS THE BEST YET! EEEEEEK.

    Great review:)

    Aditi Nichani recently posted: Review: The Siren by Kiera Cass
  3. Cristina, I am SO thrilled to read your review for Heir of Fire. Like seriously, you have no idea! You perfectly expressed how I felt about this story. It was layered and nuanced, and perfectly opened up the world, added new characters and exposed older ones and their history. SO. EFFING. GOOD.

    • YES I am so invested in this world now I STILL have a book hangover after finishing Queen of Shadows last weekend! I think for most people Crown of Midnight was the turning point in the series for them but for me it was definitely Heir of Fire! How did you feel about Rowan? Did he eclipse Chaol and Dorian in your mind? 😉

  4. *squee!* I’m so glad you loved this one 🙂 Is Rowan not aMAzing?! He is definitely my favorite character in the series so far, and he helped pull attention away from the ever-present Chaol v Dorian that some people loved and others hated. Normally I get really frustrated with books that are pretty much JUST about the characters themselves and are slow on the plot, but Maas did an excellent job with this one, and the plot that DID develop was seriously meaningful.

    Liza Barrett recently posted: Sunday Post: March 27
    • Yes Rowan is AMAZING! I agree, I think Aelin outgrew the Chaol-Dorian drama and I’m so glad that Maas wasn’t afraid to introduce another major male character that wasn’t an “original” and have him play such a large part in the series (I just finished QOS and I am even more obsessed with him!)

  5. […] Heir of Fire // So that TOG reread I started back in March? Yeeeeaaaaah, I read The Assassin’s Blade and Throne of Glass but procrastinated BIG TIME on Crown of Midnight. I read it in like three sittings in October, the week that KOA was released because I realized just how direly I wanted to dive into my KOA pre-order. I’ll be getting through Heir of Fire this month (which was the major turning point in the series for me, I LOVED it the first time I read it!!) […]

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