Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, book #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Source: from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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?



**As always, no spoilers for this book, but there are potential spoilers for the previous books. Read at your own peril. But if you haven't started this series yet, why the heck not?!?**


After I finished my re-read/listen of the THRONE OF GLASS series, I had to wait a bit because I was still overcome with Crown of Midnight feels. Again. Okay, AND The Assassin's Blade feels. I had so many emotions leftover from the previous books that I didn't want that to affect my feelings toward Heir of Fire. After several weeks, though, I just couldn't wait anymore. (The first 30% or so of HoF was a tad slow for me, but I knew the pace had to pick up eventually, and it did.)

Even after waiting so long to start it, I was still a bit overwrought with everything that happened at the end of CoM, but I kinda think it worked for me. I was feeling every bit as gloomy about Celaena's situation as she was, which is to say we were having an extreme pity-party all on her behalf. Things have taken a dark turn for all involved parties, but most especially Celaena, who's coping with her past and what it means for her future while also trying to fulfill her promise to Nehemia. (If you haven't read The Assassin's Blade yet, I highly recommend it. It's the five prequel novels to the series, and they give the reader some incredible insight into Celaena's character.)

BUT this installment has really upped the magic factor. And unearthed some major secrets from Celaena's past that have only been hinted at before. This includes Celaena's ability to wield magic, as we saw in CoM. This book may be the darkest yet, but Celaena is still her charming self. And I don't mean that sarcastically...mostly. Seeing her have to really work at accessing her magic and seeing others' reactions to her progress were something else. This is a character who's been adept at everything she attempts, and to see her struggle -- and give up only to come back fighting harder -- only endeared her to me more. Celaena may be beautiful and fierce, but she is not above reproach and she is not without her faults. Her character growth over the course of this series has been monumental but never more astounding than in this book, especially as we learn more about who she is and what that means for everyone else.

Everyone else. Yes, them...they're important to the story, too. Favorites, those that remain anyway, are still featured prominently, but for now, we're beyond petty romantic entanglements. A war is brewing and there are ever so many more players now than there were before. There's the heartless Manon Blackbeak and her wyvern, who bears a striking resemblance to Toothless. (I'm not making that up...Summer thought the same of Abraxos when we discussed it. :D) And Rowan, the ageless fae prince tasked with helping Celaena access her magic and teaching her how to control it so that she might get the answers she needs. Dorian finds a friend in Sorscha, the healer who is complicit in her knowledge of the existence of magic in the castle. Aedion is Aelin Ashryver Galathynius's cousin and there is much more to him than meets the eye, especially once he learns that his cousin has truly survived all these years. I loved the addition of all these new characters and new perspectives and what they all bring to the table, and I sense that the characters that survive this book will become very important indeed in future books.

As I said, unlike the previous books, this installment does not focus on romance nearly as much. I appreciated that even though Celaena dwelled on what happened with Chaol a bit, she concentrated her attention on the task at hand. Chaol and Dorian do their own fair share of dwelling on the subject, and their friendship has suffered for it. Dorian has to learn how to wield his own magic while also keeping it a secret. Chaol's sense of duty, his desire to protect his friend at all costs, his love for Celaena, and his promise to his father are all vying for his attention. These two are at odds with one another after Chaol's decision to send Celaena to Wendlyn and his discovery of Dorian's own magic, and it leaves them turning to others for help. And for better or for worse, they'll each have to live with those decisions and what they may bring.

The tone of this book is definitely darker, but the story also delves so much deeper into this world. Yes, this is somewhat of a typical middle book, intent on exploring the world and the rules it abides by over intense action scenes and swoonworthy romance. However, that's not to say that neither of those things makes an appearance in this book. Those scenes are just few and far between in favor of the overarching theme of war that looms over everyone's heads.

I'm very much looking forward to where Maas takes this series in the next three books. I doubt I adequately expressed my sentiments in this review, but I don't think I could honestly do that without spoilers. So, I leave you with this instead: this book does start out slowly with a wallowing Celaena, but give it a chance. If you loved the previous books, you will absolutely find something to love in this book, as well. I promise it's just as engaging as the rest once it gains momentum. And if you haven't even started the series, 1) why are you reading this? and 2) I suggest trying the audiobooks, which are beautifully narrated by Elizabeth Evans.

GIF it to me straight:
Pretty much. Also, I want demand my own wyvern.




The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

Those are some fierce covers, right? Did you see the announcement that you can now get ToG in the new cover in HARDBACK on the same day that HoF releases?!?


About the author:

Sarah J. Maas lives in Southern California, and over the years, she has developed an unhealthy appreciation for Disney movies and bad pop music. She adores fairy tales and ballet, drinks too much coffee, and watches absolutely rubbish TV shows. When she's not busy writing YA fantasy novels, she can be found exploring the California coastline.

Find Sarah:

Website | BlogTwitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest



20 comments:

  1. I loved this book, too, but also found the first part to be a bit slow. Overall, though it was fantastic read. Great review!

    Amber @ Fall Into Books

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  2. Good review! I'm so excited to read this book. And I know it's hard to express a love for a book without spoilers. AND REALLY TOG HARDBACK? That paperback size difference was always bugging me!

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  3. I'm one of those poor souls who hasn't started this series yet! I read most of your review, Jen, but I did skip over a paragraph or two (for the sake of avoiding spoilers). Anyhoo, I've been a little hesitant where this series is concerned, partially because of the romance. But I've spoken to Summer about it, and she assured me there isn't a traditional love triangle here. The other part? This is a 6 part series. So... what if I made it halfway, and then decided it was no longer for me? Maybe the romance got too angsty or the plot lost its luster? That would be time and money wasted. (Even though I was willing to keep up with Kagawa's Talon series, I've since thought better of it). As you can see, I'm on the fence about starting something I'm unsure about. But... I can always count on you to convince me! The characterization of Celaena and the supporting cast sounds incredibly strong. The world-building continues to build and the plot continues to thicken! I mean, what else could I ask for? Just one thing, apparently. The romance. Am I going to be pushed and pulled in all sorts of directions? Will it hurt? I JUST HAVE TO KNOW! lol

    Fantastic review, as always, Jen <3 Love THOSE covers by the way! I'm glad the publisher recognizes the importance of a matching hardcover set -- either that or all they're thinking about is $. Doesn't matter though, fans are going to win!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

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  4. I was just telling someone that I'm messed up in the head for not having the ability to join in the melee of fans loving this series. Sigh. Maybe someday (I hope).

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  5. I could never finish the first book. Didn't like it but I do want to know who she ends up with and was hoping to get spoiled and didn't realize there would be 3 more books! Now I have to wait till then! Or did she finally get with someone?

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  6. Oh and by the way I LOVE the gif!!!!!!!!!!!! TOOTHLESS!!!! My favorite movie!

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  7. ARGH. Jen, I zoomed through the first 3 TOG books in 3 days a couple of weeks ago. I rated two of them 5 stars and you know how stingy I am with stars! I am a late fan to this series but I LOVE it, and I'm so glad to see that you loved it, too. They were all out of this ARC at ALA which is so sad, and I don't want to request it since both Kim and Kate already got it from conventions. *sigh* I sent an email to a blogger about a possible trade for her ARC a couple of day ago, but I guess that's not happening. Still, I'm glad this didn't let you down! I will read your review once I've somehow gotten my hands on this thing. Who do I have to hit over the head in a dark alley...?

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  8. I looked at nothing except for the rating! YAY! I'm so happy that so many 5 star ratings are popping up. I'm starting it this weekend as soon as I finish my reread of Crown of Midnight. <3 But I'm ALREADY thinking about the soul-destroying wait until the next book.

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