by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books on September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads • Amazon •
**Caution: May contain vague Book 2 (Crown of Midnight) spoilers**
I came to the Throne of Glass series late, having just read the first two books this summer. And I’m glad I did, because it meant I only had to wait a few months for Heir of Fire, which still felt like a long time because I was dying to know what kind of havoc Ardalan’s Assassin was going to wreak next. I initially picked up the first book because I loved the idea of the main character being a female assassin, and the series has progressively gotten better with each book.
It might be due to the simple fact that Celaena (aforementioned assassin and main character) really changes. Each of the books reveals a different side of her, and in Heir of Fire she is in a very dark place indeed. Not surprising considering the ending of the second book, but she is in seriously bad shape. She acts out in her usual crazy-violent way, kicking butt and taking names, but this time we get to experience more of her inner turmoil, not to mention her back-story, which is just as brutal and disturbing as one would expect. It also becomes clear exactly why Celaena refuses to use her incredible magical gifts, or even acknowledge her powerful and mysterious Fae ancestry.
Lucky for Celaena (and us), along comes Rowan, a Fae warrior sent by her megalomaniac Aunt Maeve to help Celaena uncover and control her power. Rowan, let’s be honest, is a huge jerk, but exactly what she needs at the same time. He’s just as angry and scarred as Celaena, but he forces her to realize that she must confront her demons before she can move on with her life. Chaol, Celaena’s erstwhile true love and the Captain of the Guard for her archenemy, just plain bored me in this book. He’s missing something – I keep waiting for him to throw caution to the wind and go for it. Maybe he’ll come into his own in the next book. Prince Dorian (Celaena’s friend, who has a heart of gold despite being the son of the evil Ardalan), continued to battle his own magic, with the help of a lovely new lady friend. But frankly, all I wanted to do was get back to Celaena, Rowan, and my favorite new character, Manon Blackbeak. Manon is the heir to the Blackbeak clan of Ironteeth witches, who’s POV chapters come totally out of nowhere and were far and away my favorite part of the book. Not sure how Maas pulled that off, but she did.
Like all the Throne of Glass books so far, I did have a few issues with plot inconsistencies in Heir of Fire but I get so wrapped up in the characters that I ultimately don’t care. Maas’s consistent use of friendship over romance as a means of both self-discovery and salvation is brave and too rare, and my favorite aspect of her books. I can’t wait for the fourth installment, which, sigh, doesn’t come out until 2050 or something (okay, it might actually be 2015 but feels like f-o-r-e-v-e-r).