Book Reviews

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass series #3) by Sarah J Maas

Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Pages: 565
Rating: 3.5/5

Book Synopsis:

Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak―but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth . . . a truth about her heritage that could change her life―and her future―forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

The bestselling series that has captured readers all over the world reaches new heights in this sequel to the New York Times best-selling Crown of Midnight. Packed with heart-pounding action, fierce new characters, and swoon-worthy romance, this third book will enthrall readers from start to finish

My Thoughts:

One of the reviewers I follow on Goodreads said that book 3 is where this series really gets good.  I could not agree more.  If you need a reason to push through Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, this is it.  It’s still not ACOMAF good (sorry to keep beating a dead  horse with that one), but I have a feeling that SJM is about to blow this series wide open in book 4, and I want to be there when she does.

Praise for Heir of Fire:

  1. PRINCE ROWAN: Yes, Rowan does deserve his own bullet point on this list.  Prince Rowan is a member of Celaena’s Aunt Maeve’s inner circle.  He and Celaena meet when he fetches her from Wendlyn for Queen Maeve, and he spends the next few weeks training her to use her magic.  All I have to say is: FINALLY, a male worthy of our Assassin Queen.  He’s stoic and hardened with time yet kind and good.  He’s seen things that make him listen when Celaena talks about her past, not cringe. (Looking at you, Kahol.)  In short, he’s exactly what this heroine and this story needed.  While he and Celaena remain friends in this book, I have a sneaking suspicion (or maybe its just wishful thinking) that their relationship may develop further over the course of the next few books.  And honestly, even if it doesn’t, even if they remain friends, I think that would be okay too.  Celaena needs and deserves someone in her life that will know and accept all of her.
  2. Plot:  Even though this book was less action-packed than the first two were, for the first time in this series I felt like I was being carried along by the plot rather than pushing through it while reading, at least with Celaena’s parts (see #1 of my opportunities for improvement below.)  I am hopeful though that if things continue on this same trajectory, by the end of the next book I’ll be fully invested in all of the various plot lines and characters.
  3. Celaena’s character development: This book is about Celaena.  The first half of this book has Celaena completely broken after her friend Nehemia’s brutal murder.  She hits rock bottom, she gives up, she hates what she’s done and who she’s become and who she’s supposed to be, and in this book you learn why.  You finally learn all of Celaena’s past, and it’s heart-wrenching and raw and real, and it all finally makes sense.

    “Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth. “And I do not know the way.”

    And then she meets Rowan, and he’s just as broken as she is, and not right at first, but slowly, so slowly they begin to pick up the pieces together.

    “How–how did you come back from that kind of loss?”
    “I didn’t.  For a long while I couldn’t.  I think I’m still…not back.  I might never be.”
    She nodded, lips pressed tight, and glanced toward the window.
    “But maybe,” he said, quietly enough that she looked at him again.  He didn’t smile, but his eyes were inquisitive.  “Maybe we could find the way back together.”

    And slowly, so slowly, and then all at once, Celaena Sardothian, Adarlan’s Assassin, picks up her mantle as Queen of Terrasen.

    “She was not afraid. She would remake the world – remake it for them, those she had loved with this glorious, burning heart; a world so brilliant and prosperous that when she saw them again in the Afterworld, she would not be ashamed. She would build it for her people, who had survived this long, and whom she would not abandon. She would make them a kingdom such as there never had been, even if it took until her last breath.”

Celaena’s character development spanned the entire novel, and I ate it up.  A lot of people were upset to see Adarlan’s Assassin so torn apart and broken and in such a vulnerable state, but her role as an assassin isn’t who she is. It’s a product of her will to survive, and a symbol of what she’s endured.  Heir of Fire is about her journey from being Celaena to becoming Aelin.  It was exactly the kind and depth of character development I needed to see from her.

Opportunities for Improvement:

  1. Wasn’t invested in all of the story lines:  Since Celaena has been separated from most of the other main characters for the entire book, SJM switches back and forth amongst three different perspectives: (1) that of Celaena/Aelin herself in Wendlyn, where she’s traveled to glean more information about destroying the Wyrdkeys from her Aunt, Queen Maeve of the Fae, (2) that of Dorian, Kahol and Aedion, Aelin’s cousin, who are in Adarlan for most of the book, and (3) Manon, the Blackbeak witch clan heir who is training with her own and two other witch covens to fight for the King.  While Celaena’s story sucked me in and had me begging for more, I just didn’t care nearly as much about the others.  I found myself rushing through Dorian, Kahol, Aedion, and Manon’s parts to get back to Celaena.  In the case of Dorian, Kahol and Aedion, they really didn’t do much of anything until right at the very end.  They did go out with a bang though!  As far as Manon goes, she was a brand new character (more on this in Opportunities for Improvement #2), and I just struggled to invest in her storyline in the same way I’ve invested in those of the character’s we’ve known and grown to love over the past 2 books.  I will say that I LOVE her relationship with her Wyvern, Abraxos, and can see myself growing to love her in the next book as her character develops more.  All of that being said, I recognize that this book was primarily about Celaena’s character growth.  I’m hoping that book 4 will develop a few of these other characters more throughly as well.
  2. Introducing new characters abruptly: SJM kind of threw me for a loop with some of the new characters, namely Maron, the aforementioned witch, and Sorscha, a healer in the glass castle that Dorian falls in love with while she’s helping him learn to conceal and control his magic.  Manon’s parts made up almost a third of the book, which was a lot for a new character that I didn’t know, didn’t care about, and didn’t particularly like right off the bat.  However, I do think she has an important role and perspective going forward, and I respect what SJM did with throwing her in the mix.  Sorscha on the other hand had absolutely no purpose in this book other than to fulfill our need for Dorian to have another flame.  It is OKAY for people to be single or to just be friends.  Not everyone needs to be falling madly in and out of love all the time.  It’s confusing, it messes with your emotions, and by the end of it you don’t know who to ship.  So, chill out with Dorian’s lovers, SJM!

This book is teetering on the verge of SJM greatness.  It’s so so so close, and I can’t wait to read book 4!  Here’s hoping for more character development (particularly for the other main characters besides Celaena), more of Rowan’s cadres, more of Rowan in general, and a long overdue showdown with Arobynn!

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5 thoughts on “Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass series #3) by Sarah J Maas

  1. Great review, I need to pick up this series again. I ‘ve been putting it off for a while since the one I truly love it’s ACOTAR. But I have seen so many different opinions about this that have me a bit intrigue. The other thing that put me a bit off it’s that now we have to wait another year for the ending since it will be 7 books instead of 6, it is what it is I guess I’ll get to it eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I can’t say that I’ll ever love the Throne of Glass series like I love ACOTAR, but I also haven’t found any other author that even compares to SJM recently. For me, the first 2 books in this series were a HUGE letdown. This is where I started to see the spark of SJM genius again. Do you have any recommendations for books to read if I liked ACOTAR?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I recently read Flame in the Mist by Renee ahdieh and absolutely loved it. It’s full of Japanese Folklore which makes it really unique and the romance and story are great.. But it does end on a huge cliffhanger so be warned if you pick it up I think it’s going to be a Duology.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! Great minds think alike – I literally just requested that book from the local library! There are a couple people ahead of me on the wait list, but hopefully within the next week or so I’ll have my hands on a copy!

        Liked by 1 person

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