Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format Read: eARC, 565 pages
Publication Date: 11th September 2014 by Bloomsbury Australia
Synopsis: “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?” (Taken from Goodreads)
Sarah J. Maas can do no wrong in my books, and once again, her new novel has met and gone beyond ALL my expectations. I was so excited when this book was available for review on Netgalley that I basically dropped everything to request a copy. And then I didn’t want to start it because I was worried for my beloved Celaena in Wendlyn. I actually took my sweet time reading this book because I just didn’t want it to end – I think I actually died a little bit when I had to set my kindle down at 100%.
Wendlyn had always been my favourite part of the series back on the FictionPress draft, so I was really excited to jump back into this beautiful place. The story once again follows our kick-ass assassin Celaena as she journeys across the sea to Wendlyn to spy for the King of Adarlan. But Wendlyn is a place that holds many secrets of Celaena’s past, and she’s determined to find the answers to all her questions, especially for the deadly Wyrdkeys held by the King.
This part of Celaena’s journey is about self-discovery. She was completely shattered at the end of Crown of Midnight due to the death of her best friend, and blames herself for being too cowardly to take action and fight for her rights and those of the slaves. In an effort to push her into action, Nehemia sacrificed herself for Celaena. Broken from what happened, the majority of the first part was of Celaena feeling sorry for herself. It was a huge contrast to the determined and sure-of-herself assassin that we’d all come to know and love, and it completely broke me to read about her like this.
Her fae aunt discovers she’s back on her shores and sends her ever-obedient soldier, Rowan, to retrieve Celaena. Celaena demands for answers from her aunt, who was alive when the Wyrdkeys arrived in their land, but in order receive these answers Celaena must train her way into Doranelle, the fae city. Rowan the super fae soldier is placed as Celaena’s trainer. He shows her no mercy, forcing her to remember her magic by throwing her into the midst of danger in hopes that they will appear to protect her.
I loved how realistic Celaena’s training and magic came about because it wasn’t overnight for sure. It takes her months just to be able to transform into her fae body, and her fear of magic prevented her from really gaining control over it right away. Her training was interspersed with the discovery of drained demi-fae bodies, a mystery that her and Rowan set about to resolve.
Rowan – oh my gosh. What can I say about him that will do him justice? He’s technically Celaena’s cousin, but like thousands of years older than her. He’s stone-cold like all fae soldiers and completely obedient to their aunt, Queen Maeve, who is the ruler of all fae-kind. Rowan does not once take it easy on Celaena as he continuously pushes her to discover her fae heritage. He is stoic and brilliant and just ends up being so amazing. Over the course of their training, Celaena slowly begins to warm up to him, and he to her. They develop a very close and special bond with each other – one of respect and true friendship…and perhaps a little bit more.
In a book that’s 565 pages, we are also introduced to a lot of other characters that will definitely be playing a huge role in the rest of the series. Once again the book alternates between many perspectives, and in Heir of Fire, we get to meet Aedion, Celaena’s cousin. Of course we get Chaol and Dorian’s perspectives as usual, but we’re also introduced to a witch named Manon Blackbeak. While I enjoyed the guys’ perspectives, Manon’s life really took the cake for me. I found myself really looking forward to her life as she and her Iron Witch clans joined the King’s war. Their efforts were rewarded with the offer of wyverns, these dragon-y types of monsters that are evil and deadly.
I really enjoyed the dynamics of the witch clans, and how different their culture were to the humans. They’re described as cold-hearted and soulless, although they’re all gifted with striking beauty. Manon herself is a very strong-willed character. She is smart and a great leader to her deadly thirteen. You can probably draw some comparisons between her and Celaena, which is probably why I liked her so much. I’m definitely excited to see Manon and Celaena come face-to-face one day. The showdown will be epic.
Sarah really has a way with words and world-building as I can honestly say I was hooked the whole time through Heir of Fire. We finally get to know Celaena’s backstory, allowing her to grow even more as a character when she finally accepts who she is and is meant to be.
I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. This review does not do its sheer brilliance justice at all. Heir of Fire is an all-rounder book for me as it’s made up of so many elements that just fits so well together. If you haven’t started this series yet – what are you waiting for?! Read it. Read it now!
I preordered a copy of the book last year ago, and have been waiting patiently for it to arrive so I can add it to my collection. This is how good this series is because I rarely preorder books, let alone a year before its release date.
Read this series, you won’t regret it!
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.