I received this book for free from BookExpo in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Published by Bloomsbury on September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy YA, Young Adult
Also in this series: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, The Queen of Shadows
Also by this author: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, The Queen of Shadows
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Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.
While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
One of my very favorite things about series books is when we get a few books in and all of a sudden the world has expanded, the drama is bigger, and suddenly it’s not just a self-contained story about the characters—it’s an all-encompassing story about the very fate and future of the world in which they live. Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series has set off on this path with confidence, and if HEIR OF FIRE, the third book in this series, is any indication of where things are headed for Celaena Sardothien, then I for one am STOKED to keep reading, because these books just keep getting better. LEGIT. OMG I WANT TO REREAD THIS RIGHT NOW.
I’m going to cool it on my synopsis a little bit to avoid spoilers, but I’ll give you a little recap: Celaena finds herself in a new place with new friends, foes, and dangers as she tries to better understand her gifts and forget the life she left behind. Meanwhile, Dorian and Chaol are struggling with their own friendship and loyalties, all the while trying not to dwell overlong on Celaena, and they wind up needing to face some devastating things thanks to Dorian’s crap dad, the King. As the world expands, new characters come into the fold as well, namely Rowan Whitethorn and Manon Blackbeak, formidable, strong, and completely badass in their own ways. Things for Celaena and all the characters get REAL in HEIR OF FIRE, and there are no signs of any of it letting up.
I know that I can be totally honest with you guys, so I’m going to tell you that while I liked THRONE OF GLASS a lot, I didn’t love it like others did. When CROWN OF MIDNIGHT came out, though, I was ALL OVER IT and was rewarded—as we all were—with awesomeness. The end of that book was BANANAS and I loved the crap out of it. It made me absolutely hum with anticipation for HEIR OF FIRE, and let me tell you how glad I am that I waited on that cray line at BEA for an ARC. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZINGGGGGG.
Celaena Sardothien has come a long way from THRONE OF GLASS, literally and figuratively. She’s still a stone-cold BAMF, gritty, confident, and determined. But she’s also softened a little around the edges, and in HEIR OF FIRE we see her struggling with grief and loss and heartbreak. She’s also trying to get in touch with her fae roots and despite her no-fear attitude, her training—and her trainer, Rowan Whitethorn (more on THIS GUY OMG in a second)—gets the better of her more often than not. I’m really loving her right now. She’s lost some, but not all, of her cockiness, and it’s nice to see her hard heart melting just a little bit. There’s no doubt in my mind that she is more than capable of being the character around which this whole series turns.
So. Rowan. Guys? He’s like my new favorite. He is all the things. When we first meet him, he’s all gruff and angry and so, so full of angst, and I love that stuff. He has so many demons that plague him, and the more we found out about him, the more I loved him. Rowan is such a fantastic foil for Celaena because he doesn’t take ANY of her bs. But in those moments when he shows her just a small kindness without being overly emotional about it, you can see the gooey center he tries to hide. WHO DOES NOT LOVE THIS.
Rowan isn’t the only new character in HEIR OF FIRE, though, and honestly? Sarah J. Maas KILLED IT with the new characters because Manon Blackbeak is RIDICULOUS. Her storyline with the witch clans is bloody, deadly, vicious, and made infinitely more awesome by the presence of WYVERNS, aka DRAGONS, aka, THE BEST THINGS EVER. The witches in HEIR OF FIRE are not the type to make love potions or make dead flowers bloom (although I love those witches too), so given their plans for going forward, everyone should be pretty effing terrified. I particularly loved the relationship Manon develops with her wyvern. Sarah J. Maas did an excellent job making these two new characters bristly and cold on the outside but not without some humanity (although Manon is pretty much all bristles).
HEIR OF FIRE is a huge book, friends, but it doesn’t drag. We hop around from storylines involving Celaena and Rowan, Manon, and Chaol and Dorian (who are dealing with a very precarious situation themselves and who wind up dealing with a pretty horrible thing that gave me the epic sads by the time the book is done), but it’s not confusing or hard to follow. I just wanted to devour this book from the moment I started it.
I cannot think of one thing about HEIR OF FIRE that I didn’t love. Honestly. It didn’t read like a 500+-page book. The characters—old and new—were complex, unique, and captivating. The politics and the scheming are gearing up in fabulous, dangerous ways. There was even just enough romance to keep my shippers heart happy. I have a feeling that book 4 is going to be pretty dark, though, and THAT makes it probably one of my most anticipated books of 2015.