Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, #3
Celaena Sardothien, the King’s Champion, has been sent to Wendlyn to assassinate its King and heir. But the assassin has other plans–plans to find a way to stop the King of Adarlan’s powerful reign over the continent of Erilea. Celaena seek out answers from the Fae Queen Maeve. In exchange for what she asks, the Queen has elected the Fae prince Rowan to teach Celaena how to harness and control her Fae magic. This training will push Celaena to her limits and force her to confront her past and finally accept her role as the heir of Terrasen.
Dorian’s magic continues to churn inside him and he must keep his father ignorant while trying to find a way to control it. Finally understanding who Celaena is, Chaol struggles to let go and finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with the rebels. Meanwhile, the King of Adarlan’s influence is far more wide-spread than any of his enemies have anticipated and the inevitable war against the nefarious king promises to be a brutal one.
“Wendlyn. Land of nightmares made flesh, where legends roamed the earth. Despite years of stealth training, each step felt like a snap, her breathing too loud.
Thunder grumbled, and she used the cover of the sound to take a few bounding steps. She stopped behind another tree, breathing as quietly as she could and peered around it to survey the hillside behind her. Lightning flashed again.”
Celaena Sardothien has been hiding from herself for the past ten years. In Crown of Midnight we learn that she is in fact Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, true Queen of Terrasen, and since the night of her parents’ murder she has been running. Nehemia’s death has shattered Celaena and when she enters Wendlyn she has never felt more alone. Celaena’s inner struggle with guilt and cowardice is a far cry from the ruthless and sometimes flippant Celaena we met in Throne of Glass. The relationships she developed in the first two books have either ended or altered so dramatically that it is difficult to say with certainty how she will related to Chaol or Dorian when she sees them again. I will say this, that because of Celaena’s acknowledgment of Nehemia’s scheme, her perception of Chaol’s role feels more like a punishment to herself than a true reflection of his betrayal.
You cannot convince me there is a greater character in this series than Chaol Westfall. Though he is self-sacrificing and brave, he is still very flawed. He has accepted Celaena’s condemnation which has cost him a great deal, but he gives even more of himself in order to protect her. This relationship (this book really proved to me how much I ship these two) coupled with his own conscience has splintered his loyalty. Chaol is not the type to be duplicitous and in Heir of Fire he finally decides who he will serve. Chaol’s biggest flaw is his inability to accept that he cannot protect everyone he loves from the world. Dorian will still be king and it is a disservice to alienate him from what is happening, because I believe it is Dorian who will one day have to heal his kingdom’s wounds. Dorian does not have as prominent a role in this book that he had in the first two. Though there is a notable progression to his character, I felt that his arc lacked significance compared to Celaena’s and Chaol’s. Still, I was happy to see Dorian mature and I really root for this guy who I once thought was just a spoiled prince.
Can I say how much I love when Sarah J. Maas introduces new characters? They are always dynamic and interesting, and despite knowing they might be playing for the other team, I find myself really drawn to them. The Blackbeak witch Manon is terrifying and evil, but Maas is a master of character introspection and so I found I liked Manon very much. Aedion, the fierce General of the North and Aelin’s cousin, is also a new character that I really enjoyed reading about. I loved the rapport he develops with Chaol and I am all for this bromance in the next book. Though the King of Adarlan makes only a few appearances, Sarah J. Maas’ Heir of Fire does a wonderful job of showing just how diabolic his plans are.
Heir of Fire‘s pacing at times felt a little slow for such a long book and I felt a couple of characters deserved larger arcs. Despite these minor complaints, the book left me too emotionally wrought and in awe of the sheer brilliance and magnitude of the world Sarah J. Maas has built to rate it any lower than five stars.