Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Publication Date: 9/2/14 by Bloomsbury
Pages: 565 | Format: Paperback ARC
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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?
Many thanks to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for allowing me to borrow her Heir of Fire ARC! Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.
I suppose I’ll start this review off by saying what a lot of bloggers have said when sharing their thoughts on Sarah J. Maas’ third book in the Throne of Glass series. WHERE do I begin? No really…where? This book clocks in at nearly 600 pages and I’m here to say that each and every one of the pages, each paragraph, each sentence, each word…is perfection.
The opening pages of Heir of Fire pick up right where Crown of Midnight left off and we don’t miss a beat. Celaena is off to Wendlyn under Chaol’s suggestion as a way to find the answers she is looking for. What we don’t know is just how epic of a journey and transformation that is about to take place in all of our beloved characters lives. To me, this whole story was about transformation and about choices. Each character we are introduced to undergo some sort of transformation, and has made choices that lead to consequences they may or may not be ready to face. It was fascinating to see the arc of each character develop so magically from beginning to end.
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Celaena’s whole life has been consumed with the burning desire to enact revenge, to make those responsible for her pain and the pain of those she loves suffer at her hand. She doesn’t care about anything else and is haunted by the endless betrayal and loss she has experienced her whole life. She refers to her rage as a “monster under her skin” and this is such a perfect analogy. It lives in her and she always knows it’s there. Sarah J. Maas does an unbelievable job in getting us to the dark heart of Celaena, in learning what motivates her. We get so much more back story to Celaena’s childhood and begin to understand what exactly it was that happened to her so long ago.
As part of her journey, Celaena is introduced to Rowan, a fae who allows her to look deep inside of herself and helps her to realize what she must to in order to fulfill her destiny. Their relationship was my very favorite aspect of this book – it’s multi layered, unexpected and transformative. Rowan allows her to explore the intricacies of her heart and her pain, as a way tap into her true power that allows her to heal and move forward. I’m not going to give any details as to the nature of his relationship with Celaena, but I will say that his friendship is what truly carried her to the edge of darkness and then through it. Their relationship transcends definition and it was such a cornerstone of this book for me.
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Which brings me to my next point, Sarah J. Maas really knows how to write powerful friendships. Much of this book focuses on the strength one can draw from a person who believes in them and offers their unwavering support. They’ve all been through so much in their own way and need at least one person they can look to in times of need. You can tell that Maas has some amazing friendships to draw experience and inspiration from.
Another new character we meet is the hardcore witch Manon Blackbeak, heir to the Blackbeak witch clan. Maas introduces us to a whole new wicked race in the realm of this story and I must say I am totally intrigued! You can tell that most of the narrative surrounding this character is a whole lot of world building and setting the stage for something amazing. I just know it. Manon is amazingly evil, but something tells me behind those iron teeth and steely glare is some sort of humanity. I cannot wait to see how her story develops in future books.
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This review is already THE.LONGEST and I haven’t even talked about Dorian and the gang back at Rifthold. In this book, Dorian is figuring out what his power means and also starts to understand his father’s rule for what it truly is. A power-hungry and blood thirsty campaign to rule all of Erilea. We also learn that Chaol is left questioning everything he thought to be true, and seems so much more weary and guarded which totally broke my heart. For as much as Dorian was discovering who he truly is, Chaol was left trying to figure out what he ever was and will be. Don’t even get me started on Aedion! Another new character who ended up being one of my favorites! He is SO much more than I first assumed and I was so invested in how his past shaped him and what his motivations are. His focus on righting the past wrongs, as well as the ruthless and cunning way in which he must do so is captivating.
Seriously, HUGE kudos to Maas for writing some of the most complex, fully-formed characters and locations I have read in a while. There are so many layers to this story and the way in which they all come together is something to be admired. The images I used in this review actually come from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass Pinterest board in which she shares images that act as inspiration for each book. The images I selected were marked as “Book 3” and I can see so much of the story I read in them.
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So…more than a thousand words later and all I have left to say is that this book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Epic is the best word I can use to describe it, but others that come to mind are captivating, heart-wrenching, exhilarating and mesmerizing! There was so much plot and character development in this book and I cannot wait to see what the next installment in this legendary series brings us. By the end of Heir of Fire each character is presented with or forced into a fate we never could have seen coming. You should definitely have some tissues handy because the last 100 pages are intense and heart-breaking! In the best possible way of course! Many thanks to Sarah J. Maas for doing it again, Heir of Fire is most certainly one of my new favorite books ever.
If my review has you itching for more Heir of Fire goodness, please be sure to check out the Maas Thirteen and their Thirteen Days of Ash and Fire. It’s an epic Heir of Fire blog tour hosted by Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Rachel from Hello Chelly, Judith from Paper Riot, Katie from The Polished Page-Turners and Jaz from Fiction In Fiction In Fiction. These amazing ladies will have fantastic posts celebrating the release of Heir of Fire, as well as a pretty spectacular giveaway! To keep up with posts use hashtags #HOF13Tour and #MaasThirteen on Twitter.
August 25 – Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
August 26 – Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
August 27 – Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
August 28 – Elena @ Novel Sounds
August 29 – Nicole @ The Quiet Concert
September 1 – Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 2 – Judith @ Paperiot
September 3 – Melanie @ The Daily Prophecy
September 4 – Magan @ Rather Be Reading
September 5 – Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 8 – Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 9 – Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 10 – Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books