Monday, February 16, 2015

Heir of Fire Review

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Published:  September 2, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Warning: This review contains minor spoilers Heir of Fire. If you haven't read it yet, proceed with caution.

Heir of Fire... To be perfectly honest, it took me a while to really get into this one. After Crown of Midnight - which blew my mind into itsy bitsy pieces so much that I still just can't even a full week later - I was so ready to be blown away again by this third book. But I wasn't really, which makes me kind of sad. It's not that I didn't like the book because I did - a lot, it's just that so much happened, so many new characters were introduced, new plot lines, new places, etc. etc. There was a lot of just NEW that it resorted to info dumping at times. It didn't stop me from enjoying the book, there was just so much going on that I got lost a few times and forgot details of certain things and who people were that I spent a lot of time flipping back and forth to try to remember it all. 
Fireheart, why do you cry?
"Because I am lost," she whispered onto the earth. "And I do not know the way."
 - Evalin and Celaena, pg 281

One thing that separates this book from the other two is that it's separated into three storylines following Manon - witch of the Blackbeak Clan, Chaol and Dorian in Rifthold, and Celaena in Wendlyn. Just about every two chapters rotated between the storylines. I generally don't like when books are arranged this way. That's a personal preference though. It gives me anxiety (not really anxiety but I couldn't think of a better word) especially when you really start getting into one particular storyline then the chapter ends in a cliffhanger and you have to wait another four or five chapters to continue it.

Let's start with the Manon storyline. (I just found out her name is pronounced ma-NON. I was pronouncing it like Shannon - oops.) Manon is the heir of the Blackbeak Clan of Ironteen Witches. The three clans have gathered together at the Ferian Gap after accepting the king of Adarlan's offer to become his aerial troops and learn to fly on the wyverns he's been breeding. Manon's storyline doesn't intersect at all with the other two storylines. I feel like she was her own novella scattered within the book. At least the Rifthold plot and Celaena's plot were obviously connected. Though I liked her, her chapters were my least favorite just because they seemed so separate from the other two plots and I was more interested in those. I can definitely see the markings of how her story will fit into future books though. As for her as a character, her kick-ass-ery fits in well with the kick-ass-eriness of the rest of the characters up until now. She's like the polar opposite of Nehemia. Where Nehemia was all heart and sacrifice, Manon is darkness and literally doesn't have a heart - though that's subject to change.

My favorite part of Manon's storyline was getting to know Abraxos, her wyvern. He was always the underdog. He was initially a bait dragon and was never intended to be used in combat. I really want a wyvern now because of him. He's so cute what with liking flowers and protecting Manon from the cold. It's because of him and his bond to Manon that I think Manon's story will not end in her being a true villain. I really think that the king's idea to use witches is going to backfire entirely in his face. At least, with Manon as Wing Leader and her loyal Thirteen following her, they'll be a force to compete with just by themselves if they decide to rebel. I can't wait to discover the how and when her story will overlap with Celaenas's. I also hope we find out why the humans in the Ferian Gap tasted rotten. Maybe they were touched by the Vlag somehow?

The second storyline involved what Dorian and Chaol are up to while Celaena's in Wendlyn - which is basically two semi-separate plots because Chaol and Dorian are on the outs with each other. It's in here that we're introduced to Aedion Ashryver - the king's most esteemed general nicknamed Adarlan's Whore but also Celaena's cousin. It turns out that Aedion is not as loyal to the crown as he makes himself seem to be. He has basically taken over Archer's place as head of the rebels in Rifthold. I actually really liked Aedion. He started out as a complete ass but as the book progressed and we learned more about his character, we saw just how intensely loyal he is to Aelin and Terrasen. It's amazing that after all he's been through because of the king, he still has it in him to love Aelin and all she stands for as a symbol of hope for a better world. Although, what with all the flashbacks and stuff, I can't see Aelin/Aedion as a thing. I feel like they have too much of a brother-sister type of relationship.

Chaol quickly discovers what the rebels are up to when Aedion's parties begin to disrupt his guards' duty. *le sigh* Oh Chaol... let's talk about Chaol for a moment. Now, if you read my Crown of Midnight review, you'd know that I hardcore ship Celaena/Chaol. But - UGH - Chaol was soooooo frustrating in this book! Dorian was absolutely in the right when he told Chaol that he can't choose which parts of Celaena to love. Chaol kept flip-flopping between being loyal to the king and loyal to Celaena and obviously, he can't be both! It wasn't until the very end that he finally made a decision as to who's side he is on. It was without a doubt a beautiful moment for his friendship with Dorian when he finally declared a side but really, Chaol, dude, it shouldn't have been that difficult. Side with Dorian and the woman you love or continue to follow the orders of the crazy, psychotic, murdering king and the father who disowned you? I understand that his loyalty to the crown and his morals keep him where he is but he's seen so much that proves that the king is an awful, awful person but he still chose to turn a blind eye. I don't understand, Chaol. I still love you but I don't understand...
"As for Celaena," he said again, "you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend."
- Dorian, pg 344

Dorian on the other hand has always known where he stood in terms of his responsibilities as crown prince and his struggle to uphold those responsibilities as well as his own beliefs versus his father's. His storyline mainly involves his learning how to control his magic. As it's strongly attached to his emotions, his magic becomes unstable whenever he gets angry or scared and he knows his father won't hesitate to execute him if he discovers his son has magic. Solution: Sorscha - the healer who had been quietly attending to his, Celaena, and Chaol's wounds and keeping their activities secret. I wish we had more time with Sorcha. She was heading towards the path to becoming a major plot changing character. In a way, she was but we barely got to know her. I liked her for the fact that she made Dorian happy but we got so little time with her that I wasn't overly attached to her. I'm glad Dorian got a few moments of happiness before everything went to hell for him. I really need Dorian to be okay by the end of the next book. It just won't be cool with my feels if he's not.

Finally, we get to Celaena's storyline. When we meet Celaena again, she's basically honing her inner Jack Sparrow and wondering where the wine has gone while lounging in the sun on rooftops in Wendlyn. However, we quickly meet Rowan, a prince of the Fae, who takes her to Mistward to meet Maeve. Maeve is the Queen of the Fae and the only person who may know how to replace the Wyrdkeys on the gate. There is a catch though: Maeve will only give Celaena the answers she's looking for once she has proven that she can handle her powers and is deemed worthy enough to enter Doranelle.  And so training with Rowan begins.

It took me a long time to begin to like Rowan. If Aedion came off like an ass in the beginning, Rowan came off as an even bigger ass. What's worse is that he was an ass for the greater portion of the book. For the most part, he was mean and horrible towards Celaena and he almost got her killed twice during training because of things that he hadn't thought through. Really now, don't you think you should check for ancient giant monsters living under the ice in the dark cave before chaining an innocent boy in the middle and telling Celaena - who hadn't yet mastered her powers completely - to go save him? After centuries of living, you'd think that would be common sense by now. But Rowan redeems himself towards the end when he opens up to Celaena and they realize their past heartaches aren't so much different after all. Also, he kicks some major butt in the end.

As for Celaena, she went through so so much in this book and just adds to her overall amazing-ness. Not only did she meet all of Rowan's meanness with wonderful sarcasm and snark but she continually fought to prove to him that he was wrong about her. She began the book as so entirely broken over Nehemia's death and Chaol's betrayal that she could barely function. Over the course of the book, she battled against every death and heartbreak that kept her from accepting who she really is and conquered her fear of her power. She ended the book as this incredibly powerful, fire-wielding, half-Fae queen who's ready to reclaim her throne and fight against the King of Adarlan. Basically, she reaffirmed why she is basically the greatest heroine I've ever read. I will be a little mad at her though if she chooses Rowan over Chaol and it seems like it might head in that direction.

So even though this was my least favorite of the three books so far, I still enjoyed it and I seriously canNOT wait for Queen of Shadows this fall.
She was as much a queen as Maeve. She was the sovereign of a strong people and a mighty kingdom. 
She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to know one.
- about Aelin, pg 499


  1. OMG I hated Rowan so much in the beginning and just the same, it took me a while to get used to the fact that this character was going to be with us for a long long time! I love this review and all the little pictures in between. I really love love the Throne of Glass series and it's nice when some appreciates the series just as much! At the end omgoodness Celaena was just this grown up woman! And I doubt she'll pick Rowan over Chaol... do u really think so???Now Im scared bec I never thought of it like that though and I still might have that soft spot inside me for Dorian. OMG remember when that certain "someone" died and she was special to Dorian. I don't want to say her name in case someone is reading the comments when they shouldn't be LOL! And that's a major spoiler. Bravo Bravo wonderful Review Jazzie :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. Ugh YES!! I still have mixed feeling for Rowan - I like him, I do, but I spent so much time not liking him in this book and now he'll be with us for a while =/ Aw thank you! Haha the pictures came from Pinterest aka my new favorite site. =)

      I know!! I just can't with how much I love this series!! Celaena certainly did grow up a lot in this one - for the best too. Honestly, I can't really see her picking Rowan over Chaol since she and Rowan have this awesome platonic relationship going for them. But at the same time, I feel like the possibility is there. It's just like in that scene somewhere in the middle where Chaol (?) asks Aedion what he'd do if Aelin asked him to be her king. I mostly can't see it happening because both relationships seems so brother/sisterly but there are certainly times when I can see it as a possibility. Aw Dorian... don't worry, I definitely still have a soft spot for him too and I'm glad he had someone for a while. But no really, Dorian NEEDS to be okay. I'll be really upset if something worse happens to him.

      Thanks again! I'm glad you enjoyed my review! It took much longer to write it than I thought I would. =D


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