So it’s no secret how excited I was about the third installment of the Throne of Glass series – I’ve been telling almost everybody know that It’s Nearly Out. I loved Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, at a recent book signing I learned just how lovely Sarah J. Maas actually is, and Heir of Fire promised to be just as wonderful. The ending of the previous book made me desperate to know more… but it’s finally here!
Plot summary: 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?
Heir of Fire doesn’t have the same sense of instant gratification that was present in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight – I wasn’t instantly hooked and didn’t feel the same need to keep desperately turning pages that I’d felt before. It’s not that it’s bad or anything even remotely like it; it’s just that all the characters had separated and gone off with new characters that I didn’t know or care all that much about. I wasn’t really interested. And I don’t like fairies. That doesn’t help.
It just didn’t feel like part of the same series. The most interesting sections were those about the Ironteeth witches and the wyverns, which is a new plotline unique to Heir of Fire. Incidentally, I’d happily have read that story as a separate series – it’s really interesting and quite dark.
My final complaint about the beginning of Heir of Fire is the complete lack of recapping. It took quite a while before I could remember what vow was made to who and which battle had happened when, etc. It may be an idea to skim a plot summary before picking this up, unless you happen to have your ever-suffering mother present to answer every irritating whiny question you have about the previous books. Which I did.
However. The book picks up remarkably quickly after about 25% or so. As in the previous books, there is some beautiful prose and some parts that really affected me. It always irks me to archive these books under the ‘Young Adult’ review section because some of the twists involved in this story are brutal. They’re clever and shocking in a way that I’ve never seen done before, but it’s hardly fluffy YA. Oh, and the attention to detail deserves a mention as well. Certain tiny, trivial events happen that break your heart and make you let out a little gasp. Or that might just be me.
She would not let that light go out.
She would fill the world with it, with her light – her gift. She would light up the darkness, so brightly that all who were lost or wounded or broken would find their way to it, a beacon for those who still dwelled in that abyss. It would not take a monster to destroy a monster – but light, light to drive out darkness.
She was not afraid.
I was a bit disappointed that there’s little development of Celaena and Chaol’s relationship, which was the thing I loved the most about the previous series (which is surprising for me). I did enjoy her friendship with Rowan, although it was slightly ‘Insta-Friend’ at one point. However, I much prefer to be teased with the hint of a relationship than have it rammed in my face like some YA books are wont to do.
While I enjoyed learning more about Celaena’s past, I actually found that all the best parts (in my opinion) didn’t involve her in the slightest. Which is odd, but there you go. There’s nothing wrong with her but there was just so much going on elsewhere!
Heir of Fire ended up being just as amazing as Throne of Glass and Heir of Fire. The slightly slow beginning meant that it wasn’t quite as good overall, but I finished the page with exactly the same desperation for the next book in the series. I’d actually thought that this was the final installment, but apparently not… I’m just happy Sarah J. Maas writes so quickly!