Book: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass 3)
Author: Sarah J Maas
This book took me a while to read, not because I didn’t enjoy it, it was amazing, but because it was the longest book in the series so far, at 562 pages. It follows the revelations of the last book (spoiler alert if you haven’t read Crown of Midnight yet), that Celaena is a demi-Fae and heir to the throne of Terrasen, and that Dorian has magic. There’s a lot of other stuff of course, but I’ll discuss everything in more detail later on. Here is a short synopsis of the book:
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?
It did take me a little time to get into this book, but once I was into it, it was the type of book that you just couldn’t put down because there were so many exciting things going on particularly in the last third of the book. I loved that in this book we finally got to see the true extent of Celeana’s past, it was brutal and horrifying but it really helped me understand how she became the person she is, and I liked that we got to see her parents and her court, and her childhood life, even though we knew how it was going to end, we nas eeded to see it in order to fully understand Celaena. We got to see where she came from, where her power came from and it was great.
There is a definite difference between this book and the other two in the series, this one seemed a lot darker than the other two, and much less on the romance side, in fact there is no romance for Celaena in this, which I appreciated, because this book was much more about Celaena’s healing journey, to accept her past and become who she needed to be to be able to take up her title as Queen of Terrasen, so romance for her in this book wasn’t really necessary. Celeana’s character development in this was incredible, she started the book as a broken shell, reeling from the events of Crown of Midnight, and by the end she comes out as the determined, fierce Queen ready to take back the kingdom that’s rightfully hers, and I loved watching that journey-it was good to see the broken side to Celaena because it made you truly appreciate how strong she was by the end of the book.
Chaol annoyed me somewhat because he couldn’t make up his mind for almost the entire damn book! He kept swinging between the King’s side and the rebels side and I just wanted him to make up his mind as to whether he was going to support magic and Celaena or not, I was relieved that when he made his decision, he made the right one, because it was horrible at the beginning of the book to see him distancing himself from Dorian because of his magic. I’m intrigued to see where his storyline goes now that he is firmly on the side of the rebels and there will be no going back to the King for him.
Dorian’s storyline on the other hand had a lot to do with romance. He meets a healer woman who works in the castle, Sorscha. I thought they were cute together so I was really sad as to how this storyline turns out (but I won’t reveal anything because that would be spoiling!). I felt so sorry for Dorian in this book, because Chaol was kind of an ass to him for most of it, and he only found out that Celaena was actually Aelin Ashryver through an overheard conversation, no one actually told him. He had some great development in this book, he learned to control his magic which was great, and he stood up to both Chaol and his father, which I enjoyed seeing. He became a true man in this book, not just a flirty young boy, which made what happened to him in the end even more devastating. His storyline is left on a huge cliffhanger, which I desperately need to see where it goes, and I’m not sure if I can’t wait another year! I would like to find out how he developed magic though because surely if the King froze magic he shouldn’t be able to use his? I hope that question is answered in the next book.
Celeana’s storyline was by far my favourite of the novel, not just because we got to see her learning to control her magic (there was so much magic in this book, it was amazing!) but because of Rowan. Rowan is the Fae assigned to help her learn to control her magic. He is stubborn, rude and he pushes Celaena around a lot, but he was exactly what she needed, he brought out her inner Queen. I loved seeing them become friends and slowly opening up to each other (although I have to say I guessed the whole caranam thing the moment Celaena asked about it) . I loved that he was such a kick-ass fighter, even better than Celaena, but he has a soft side and he truly cares about her. I liked that they were just friends too, true friends and whilst some have said there could be romance here, I don’t think there will be. They make the perfect team and we see that in the battle at the close of the novel. It was nice to see her finally have a true friendship, since Nehemia basically broke her, so you can’t really consider her a true friend.
There is another storyline with the Ironteeth witches. I didn’t quite understand what the point of this storyline was at first, but it became clearer later on in the book. Manon Blackbeak is the main witch who is introduced. She is heir to the Blackbeak clan (there are three clans, Blackbeak, Blueblood and Yellowlegs), and is very vicious, heartless and soulless and shows absolutely no mercy to her enemies. I liked Manon, she was kind of an antihero, ruthless and cruel and yet somehow you still root for her. I loved seeing her work with Abraxos, and their relationship developing. I look forward to seeing where this storyline goes, as the witches and their waver a are an army for the King. I’d like to see Celaena and Manon meet because I get the feeling they would either be great friends or mortal enemies, so it would be nice to see that. Her chapters weren’t my favourites, as they seemed kind of a story in themselves and not really linked to the main story, but they were enjoyable enough, and I’m sure the witches’ story will be meshed with the main story in the next book. I loved the wyverns, I wish I could ride one now because it sounded like so much fun! I don’t know what they’re meant to look like but in my head they’re kind of like dragons.
The other new character that was introduced was Aedion, a general for the King, and Celaena’s cousin. I wasn’t sure what to make of him in the beginning, but as the book went on I grew to like him, it is clear how much he cares about Celaena, and I’m looking forward to seeing them reunite (hopefully next book). I quite liked his relationship with Chaol as well, how at first they hated each other and were just using each other for information, but I think by the end they both really cared about one another. It was nice to see Celaena’s relationship with him when they were kids, and it will be interesting to see how it changes when they finally meet again as adults.
I also really want to meet Arobynn. There’s a revelation in this book related to the whole Wyrdkey thing involving him, and we’ve heard so much about him, but never actually met him, (although I think he might appear in the short stories? I haven’t read many of them so I could be wrong) so I hope that he appears in the next book.
I loved the world expansion in this book, we got to see so much more, Wendlyn (both the demi-Fae fortress and Doranelle, the Fae kingdom), the witches, all the Fae and Demi-Fae characters, it was really great to expand beyond Adarlan and see more of the Throne of Glass universe. I hated Maeve (Queen of the Fae, and Celaena’s aunt) but I loved seeing Celeana stand up to her at the end, it was yet another thing that showed how much she grew through the book because she never would have been able to do what she did then at the beginning of the book. We don’t get to see much of it, but I liked Celaena’s relationship with Emrys, it almost seemed like a father-daughter relationship (or a grandfather/granddaughter relationship, considering how old he is), it was sweet. Throughout the book, I kept wondering if he was meant to be Merlin considering that was Merlin’s true name, but it’s probably just a coincidence. I liked that his mate was male, and that it was no big deal that they were both male, that was great.
The King of Adarlan is a bastard! If I had any doubt about that before (I didn’t but just if I did), then I don’t now. I at least thought he loved his son but what he did to Dorian……..you have to read it but it was just truly heartbreaking. Everything to do with him seemed to come together in this book, the creatures he had been making, the rings, how he froze magic all those years ago, and I have to admit I liked how it came together, although I hate the man himself. Those creatures are so creepy! I liked the references to Roland and Kaltain as I had wondered what had happened to them, and I hope to see more of them in the next book. I find the King slightly strange, because he hates magic, and yet he’s using magic himself, so I’d like to know what’s up with him and why he hates magic so much. I’d also like to know more about Dorian’s mother because we don’t really know anything about her.
This book was a GREAT read. It was so much darker, and more action packed than the last two and Maas really stepped up her writing and showed she was so much better than all the sappy romance stuff, so I hope this continues. It may have been hard to get into at first, but after it ended I just wanted to pick up the fourth book right away. I have no idea how I’m going to wait a whole year for the next book because that ending……shit is going to go down when the King and Celaena (Aelin now I guess, but she will always be Celaena to me) finally come face to face again. I feel like this book is on a whole another level to the last two, Maas has amped up the pressure and the stakes, and long may it continue because I officially can’t wait for next year! These books are so worth reading, it might be a little hard to get into the first two, but stick around because this book is worth the wait!
My rating: 5/5
The next book I will be reviewing is The Winter Horses, by Phillip Kerr.