“Heir of Fire” by Sarah J. Maas
4 out of 5 stars.
Finally ready to stir up ghosts from her past and intending to uncover some of the painful truths behind her heritage, Celaena leaves Rifthold behind to sail east across the Great Ocean to Wendlyn in the hopes of finding her aunt to seek out answers. But instead of meeting her aunt, Queen Maeve, Celaena encounters a warrior with a foul temper named Rowan Whitethorn, and he is standing between her and the answers she seeks for herself and those she left behind in Adarlan. Precious time is passing as Celaena attempts to prove herself to Rowan and her aunt, and all the while everyone in Rifthold and the rest of Erilea is dangerously close to succumbing to the King of Adarlan’s dark influence.
Isolated in the glass castle of Rifthold, Dorian Havilliard is hard-pressed on all sides, and each day proves to be a struggle as he tries to conceal his new-found abilities. One wrong move and Dorian’s father would gladly dispatch his own son and anyone connected to him. With Choal Westfall distant and Celaena gone from Rifthold, Dorian finds himself terrifyingly alone until he meets Sorcha, a servant in the glass castle. But even with Sorcha helping him find a solution to his abilities, Dorian still fears that the answers he seeks will not be found before it is too late to save himself and those he loves.
Everyone linked to Celaena is in danger of succumbing to the darkness infecting Erilea, and it is only a matter of time before war will sweep across the continent. Celaena must embrace the piece of herself so long forgotten in order to fight against the darkness and save those she loves. Can Celaena become the warrior she needs to be to save the Faeries and humans from the coming tide, or will she fail and have to watch those she loves perish along with all of Erilea?
“Heir of Fire” was a cruel, cruel book, but I loved it! Sarah J. Maas recaptured my attention with the third book in her “Throne of Glass” series, and I loved how I got to see more of her well-developed and expansive world. Sarah took me beyond the boarders of Adarlan to Wendlyn in the east and also to the far west, but as interesting as some of those places were, my favorite parts of this book happened in Rifthold. The majority of Sarah’s previous books in this series took place in Rifthold, so you would think that I would like the change in scenery, but Rifthold was where Dorian was, so…
Dorian!!! I was so happy to see that he was a key player in “Heir of Fire,” and I loved every moment I got with him. Dorian had changed a lot as a person over the course of “Throne of Glass” and “Crown of Midnight” because of everything that he had experienced, but despite those changes he was still Dorian in “Heir of Fire.” He struggled throughout this book to keep his abilities in check, and the constant strain of that and everything his father was trying to do to the people who were under his thumb wore on Dorian, and it made my heart ache to see a good person like him being stuck in such a horrible situation. Dorian’s life was on the line this entire book and if he took one miss step, I knew as a reader that he could die; Sarah J. Maas doesn’t hesitate when it comes to killing her characters off, so no one is safe in her books. Despite the dire situation Dorian was placed in, Sarah helped his parts to not be entirely doom and gloom by writing moments of him being brave and smart, and he even had a love interest in “Heir of Fire.”
From my previous reviews, you all know how hard I SHIPPED Celaena and Dorian and that hasn’t changed, but I still really liked Dorian and his love-interest, Sorscha, in this book. Dorian had been betrayed and discarded by all of his friends and relations by the time “Heir of Fire” began, and I just wanted to see him be happy, whether that happiness be Celaena or not. If Dorian was/is happy, then I’m happy. Sorscha and Dorian were sweet together, and I enjoyed seeing them working together and making one another happy. Sorscha was one of many new characters added to the “Throne of Glass” series by Sarah J. Maas, and I really liked her as a strong female who was cool despite the fact that she wasn’t a ninja/assassin. As much as I liked Sorscha, though, my favorite character who was officially introduced to this series in “Heir of Fire” was Aedion Ashryver.
So, yeah, I fell in love with this character and all of his AWESOMENESS in “Heir of Fire.” Aedion Ashryver was smart and he got business done in this book, and I found that to be extremely attractive in this male character. He operated in more of the gray zone, and normally that would be off-putting for me, but I completely understood what his motivations were, and in the end, his intentions made me respect and love him all the more. I loved how cunning and decisive he was; he knew what he wanted and was ready to pay the price to get it. Aedion played a huge role in “Heir of Fire” despite his minimal page time, and I really respect Sarah J. Maas for creating such a layered and dynamic character who drew me into her book. I loved Aedion as much as Dorian, just for different reasons, and I wanted to learn so much more about him. My greatest hope for “Queen of Shadows,” besides more Dorian time, would be to get more of Aedion’s perspective.
Standing next to Aedion and Dorian, Chaol Westfall was lackluster and seemed fairly useless in “Heir of Fire.” I know you already understand that I don’t like Chaol, but I just want to point out that this is book three in the “Throne of Glass” series and he still hasn’t been able to change my opinion of him. Thinking about everything that Aedion, Celaena, and Dorian did and sacrificed, I don’t remember Chaol ever doing anything particularly impacting in “Heir of Fire,” and if he did, it didn’t affect events in this book enough to make me remember that he did it. Sorry, guys, I just still do not understand the appeal of this character…
Although my dislike for Chaol in this book was no surprise, I was, however, shocked by how much I ended up liking Rowan. Rowan and Aedion were very much alike for me in the sense that I found both of them to be cunningly intelligent and dynamic characters. Rowan was a strong male character like Aedion and despite his initially jerkiness, I really warmed up to him. He and Celaena worked well together because he was a seasoned warrior who had a more collected approach of getting what he wanted whereas Celaena was brash and would leap into a fight without thinking about an alternative approach. Rowan and Celaena tempered each other well, like fire and ice (no pun intended!), and I enjoyed seeing them form a friendship as “Heir of Fire” progressed. Personally, I want them to end up together; I desperately want Dorian and Celaena to be together, but I could still be happy with Dorian and Celaena remaining friends and she and Rowan riding off into the sunset. Honestly, as long as Chaol’s out of the picture, I’ll be perfectly satisfied with the relationships in this series.
One of the things that I thought was really interesting about this book was how dynamic and interesting characters like Rowan, Aedion, Dorian, and even Sorcha were, yet Celaena as a person was only fine in “Heir of Fine.” She was cool at moments, but her whining in the first half of this book didn’t make me feel for her or root for her more, and she also felt a lot less dynamic than some of the other heroes and villains in “Heir of Fire.” I can respect the fact that Celaena was going to get business done at the end of this book, but her initial griping didn’t make me look forward to her parts of the book; if Rowan and her hadn’t spent so much time together, I might have grazed over her chapters just a little bit, but thankfully the new and intriguing male leads and Dorian helped to keep me reading. Despite all that, I am very interested in seeing where Sarah takes Celaena as a character in “Queen of Shadows” after that kind of ending.
OH MY GOSH THAT ENDING!! Sarah J. Maas can be oh, so cruel to her readers. “Heir of Fire” left me cruelly hanging off of a cliff of despair and with no way of know whether the characters I loved were dead or going to die. EVERYTHING HURTS AND I WANT CHOCOLATE!!
Overall, I really enjoyed “Heir of Fire,” and I liked that it really let the secondary characters shine who deserved to have their voices heard. “Heir of Fire” didn’t take the place “Throne of Glass” in my heart, but I loved it and am looking forward to reading “Queen of Shadows” to see if anyone I love survives. I’M COMING FOR YOU AEDION AND DORIAN!!!