She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one. Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbrea...

BOOK REVIEW: HEIR OF FIRE BY SARAH J. MAAS

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

Celaena Sardothien 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. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight.





Read the last paragraph of this book and try not to get goosebumps. I dare you.

(You didn't get goosebumps? I don't believe you.)

Hey, everybody got goosebumps reading the final paragraph of this book!

Having read and been a fan of the Throne of Glass series since its inception, it was hard to imagine that it could in any way become more addictive, more enthralling than it already was. And having praised and loved Celaena Sardothien's strength and perseverance in the past, it was even harder to imagine her surpassing herself to achieve new levels of badassery. This crowd of loveable characters couldn't possibly become more lovable, nor could they land themselves in situations even more hopeless than before. Right?

Wrong.

This book was stunning.



Sarah J. Maas has become well-known for excellent worldbuilding in both her high fantasy series, and it's her worldbuilding skills which are most often praised. The expansion of the existing domains in Heir of Fire were incredible. Following Throne of Glass and then Crown of Midnight, I could not have worked out or named half the territories depicted on the map at the front of the book, however much I loved the series. Following Heir of Fire, however, I think I might just be able to draw the map from memory. (I just tried. It was pretty accurate.) The world expands as the stakes are raised, and Heir of Fire brings Throne of Glass from fantasy to epic high fantasy. It's no longer just human politics that are in play, and it is no longer just one tyrannical kingdom that sets the rules.

But while the worldbuilding deserves all the praise in the world, in Heir of Fire in particular, for me personally, it was the characters who take the cake. (And occasionally the chocolate, because Celaena's love for chocolate knows no bounds.) Not for one moment has this series suffered from a dearth of fascinating characters. But the inclusion of new ones in Heir of Fire has just elevated it to new levels of perfection. (Can you detect the leitmotif here? The entire book is perfection, and darn if I'm not going to hammer it home in this review.)

Celaena Sardothien (for one final time under this name) has undergone substantial development before this series ever started, and then again in each book so far. But nowhere does her transformation come remotely close to her arc in Heir of Fire. From a broken husk of a girl in serious need of a will to live, a friend, and a shower, to the heir of ash and fire, who will bow to no one. From a homeless recluse to fireheart. From assassin to princess. And while Celaena and Nehemia's friendship set the tone of the book and set her development in motion, it was Rowan Whitethorn who has easily become the biggest friend and greatest ally. The change he singlehandedly inspired in Celaena, the way she opened up to a person for the very first time, and their hilarious likeness ("in the weeks she had been looking at him it had been like gazing at a reflection") just stole my heart. So far, the banter and the sass in this book was all Celaena. From here on out, I will be counting on it from both Rowan and his Fireheart. And what a powerful, formidable, intimidating team they make! Beware, world. This is going to be good.

And as Rowan and Celaena unlock her past and jump-start her transformation-of-badassery in Wendlyn, in the distant Ferian Gap, three clans of witches converge to train to become the King's most deadly, elite unit. Chief among the witches is Manon, of the clan Blackbeak, and in almost every way Manon is Celaena's badass cousin. No, they aren't actually related, but in all things that matter - in fierceness, in an innate leadership quality, in self-sufficiency, Manon is everything Celaena is... with a propensity to occasionally eat people and with more of an enjoyment of violent displays. Nevertheless, Manon's arc is scarcely less phenomenal than any of our old favorites', and in Manon the nature-vs-nurture struggle is the most pronounced. Is she a heartless witch who will stand with the king on the most brutal of monsters? Or is she the kind to side with the underdog in the end? One thing is for sure - once Manon comes head-to-head with Celaena... it's going to be explosive.

Meanwhile, back in Adarlan, Chaol and Dorian each find themselves on uneven footing, their principal beliefs shaken to the core. Throughout the course of this book, both our beloved Prince and our beloved Captain of the Guard are forced to question and abandon their principles. Fool, Dorian thinks at one point, for courting fire and danger in turn. Fool, Chaol thinks, for believing loyalty to be a straightforward matter. Chaol's transformation, in fact, is secondary only to that of Celaena and Rowan's in Wendlyn. With his best friend and his ex lover now possessing the magic he thought was evil, and with the king he served having no magic but being distinctly evil, he has to seriously reevaluate his priorities. And as the story draws to a close, Chaol is on the brink of one of the biggest character developments yet. Dorian, meanwhile, wages an equally solitary battle, as he takes strides away from The Princeling and towards The Future King. The addition of Celaena's childhood friend and cousin, Aedion, only adds to it. Aedion's love for his lost friend and his enslaved people is just unparalleled. Aedion is impossible not to embrace and admire. Whatever the future books bring, I for one am hoping for more of him. His is the story of such feeling and fierceness and epic, epic scopes.

Now, with tensions rising in three separate locations with three different sets of characters, the stakes have been raised way high. And the wait for Queen of Shadows, the next book in the series, is downright painful.

Warning: a major book hangover might ensue.




Our giveaway for Queen of Shadows, book 4 in the Throne of Glass series is still open for entries. If you have read this series or are considering reading it, feel free to enter. And if you have any thoughts about Heir of Fire, the current latest book released, please leave them in the comments below. We love and appreciate your input. We are also on all sorts of social media, and we talk about Sarah J. Maas way too much. 




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4 comments:

  1. Favorite book in the series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who loved Manon! It was so fascinating to read from a "villain's" point of view. I can't wait to find out what Maas has planned for Manon

    And Chaol, my baaby

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    Replies
    1. A few friends and I have been discussing Manon so much over the past month, and for us the jury is still out on whether she "crosses over FROM the dark side" to join Team Good or not. Manon is that kind of personality that will either evolve into Aelin's best friend or her mortal enemy. :)

      But one way or another, we LOVE her and find her POV SO compelling to read!

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