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?
“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”
Heir of Fire is quite different from its predecessors. For starters, it’s huge; at 565 pages, it was a bit of a workout carrying this book around. As a result, the pacing was rather slow at times, so I found it difficult to initially become absorbed into the story. While retrospect shows that every scene was important, some felt out of place and disjointed from the common narrative thread (especially those involving Manon, the witch who was heir to the Ironteeth clan). The last ~150 pages, though, were perfectly paced, taking me on an emotional roller coaster ride that I still haven’t recovered from.
A good portion of the book was devoted to further developing the stunning, magical world that Maas has created. I loved reading about Celaena’s training, the Fae and the demi-Fae, the folktales regarding Queen Maeve, and the creepy creatures that you could find in the dark. All of these were laid out in so much detail, prompting me to compare it to Game of Thrones on several occasions.
Celaena’s history is laid bare through flashbacks and dreams, lending a great deal of sympathy to her character. She undergoes a tremendous amount of growth as she contends with her many demons, and my heart broke so many times for all that she has been through.
All of our other beloved characters are just as broken and lost as she is: Chaol is struggling with the consequences of his actions, and Dorian is struggling to control his magic. Added to this mix are several new characters: the Fae prince, Rowan; a bloodthirsty Ironteeth witch named Manon; and Aedion, Aelin’s cousin and General in the North. While these additions made for many changes in perspective, it led to the perfect balance between magic and background information/politics.
There was very little romance present in Heir of Fire. While I would have liked my Chaolena ship to have been in full force, I appreciated that Celaena needed to be able to love herself before any romantic relationships could occur.
Overall, Heir of Fire was a very strong addition to the Throne of Glass series. It’s beautifully written and magical, and I’m excited (but also terrified) to see where the story goes from here.