Aug 28, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Pages/Format: 565, eARC
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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?

Book in One Word: BADASS!

Here's how this is going to work: There will be spoilers for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, so if you haven't read those, you'll probably want to leave this review (or read my reviews for those books instead, wink wink). Any spoilers for Heir of Fire should be marked, so I think you'll be okay. But if you want to go into this book knowing absolutely nothing, then maybe don't read this review (or the quotes on Goodreads, because some spoilery quotes were posted). Now, for the review!

To start this off, here's a portion (well, the majority) of my Goodreads updates while reading Heir of Fire.

As you can see, I read this book over two months ago. And I'm just now reviewing it. Heck, I'm just now writing the review. And why is that? Would it not have been easier to write this already difficult review two months ago? Probably. But, you see, it's this book. I don't know what I think of it, and that kind of kills me, because I love this series--and I still do--but I don't know about this one. (I place partial blame on the fact that I read an eBook instead of a physical version.) Don't get me wrong--it's at least four stars on Goodreads. Because if there's one thing I know about this book, it's that "badass" was constantly going through my head while reading it.
"'I have never told anyone this story. No one in the world knows it. But it's mine,' she said, blinking past the burning in her eyes, 'and it's time for me to tell it.'"
Here's the deal. Celaena's off in Wendlyn trying to figure out how to destroy the asshole King of Adarlan (who I won't really mention again because I'll talk about him for a whole paragraph, but See: Status Update at 97%) and do Fae stuff and all that jazz, Chaol's at home brooding, and Dorian is trying to control his magic. (I told you not to read this if you haven't read the first two books.) While Heir of Fire definitely has all kinds of action, it's a looong book, and it's slower. There's more background information and more time spent working toward a climax and main goal, and while it was kind of lengthy, I didn't mind it much. I think I was just kind of frustrated with what the characters were doing and thinking. (See: Status Update at 71%.) I still don't understand why Celaena is so freaking pissed and upset with Chaol. I mean, I know why, but I don't get it. Did I miss something? I don't remember Chaol doing anything, and he certainly never did it intentionally, so why all the overreacting, people?! Like, MY GOSH, I have this SHIP, this big, huge, hardcore SHIP, and that ship set sail, and it was glorious, and then it suddenly started sinking (in Crown of Midnight) and why why WHY? The ship sailed for, like, ten pages, then that was it. WHERE IS THE SHIP REPAIR PERSON? DO YOUR JOB.
"Witches didn't need blood to survive, but humans didn't need wine, either."
Now. There are a handful of new characters introduced in this book, and the four main ones--and the four I'll discuss--are Aedion, Sorscha, Manon, and Rowan. Aedion Ashryver is a General with a bad reputation--and he's the cousin of Aelin, and deeply devoted to her--but as a character, he's actually quite likable. I don't want to say too much because of spoilers, but I really liked his character and it'll be interesting to see what he does next. (Assuming he lived through this book. Because I don't know. That'd be a spoiler.) Then there's Sorscha, another likable character (and nicer than Aedion). She...does something for a character. And I'll leave it at that because, well. If you follow Sarah on the internet, you may have noticed that there was a released snippet from Heir of Fire--from the POV of Manon Blackbeak. Manon is a freaking badass whose bad side you never ever ever want to get on. She's a top witch and SHE KILLS PEOPLE AND DRINKS THEIR BLOOD. Again, I'm not saying if this happens or not, but if it did/does: her and Celaena teaming up--and with a bunch of other characters, Aedion included--could TAKE OVER THE WORLD and DESTROY IT (what should be destroyed) and KICK ALL THE ASS EVER. Gosh, this book has such badassery. ANYWAY. I have one more character to briefly discuss: Rowan Whitethorn, who's Fae, a warrior, and, you guessed it, badass. (Do you sense a theme here?) Now, if you'll notice, I haven't mentioned which previous characters (Celaena, Chaol, Dorian) any of these characters have to do with. That's so you can figure it out on your own. BUT. I have to say one thing, and if you don't want to know what characters interact with each other, go to the next paragraph because here's a semi-spoiler: Rowan and Celaena. I ship it, but I really don't because her and Chaol have to be together forever. But seriously, while reading it how can you NOT ship it?
"And just like that, his father fed him to the Wolf."
And now I'll tell you about our three beloved characters: Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian. But really, what can I tell you? I don't want to spoil anything, and I don't know what to say except that everyone is kind of...weaker, in this book. Maybe that's not the right word. But they're down in the dumps. It's kind of like when, in a movie, someone big dies and the next day the whole city is all sad and meandering. That's how these characters are. Dorian, he may be okay, if he can get rid of the Big Bad Dad. But Celaena and Chaol? Sure, they have friends. But they need EACH OTHER. (This is a TOP SHIP HERE, PEOPLE.) Celaena and Chaol are on opposite sides of the world (or something, I don't really know). What they need to do is stay there. Cry themselves a big-ass river. Make a bridge. AND GET OVER IT. (But with and to each other.) Because (spoiler, skip to next paragraph) at the end of--and, really, throughout--Heir of Fire I don't know where these two stand with each other. I don't. And that UPSETS me. These two have to, need to be together, forever and ever, they lived happily ever after, no The End because I want to read about them forever. I mean (and if you really don't want to be spoiled and are reading this, seriously, I think you should really skip to the next paragraph), Celaena took off Chaol's ring. What does that mean? I sure as hell better find out in the next book (when do we get that, by the way?), and it better be what Rachel (that's me!) wants. Because right now, it kind of seems like Celaena is living in a love hexagon (which is bound to get more sides as the series goes on), and I'm getting kind of annoyed because no. Stop it. Pick one. (The only correct answer is Chaol.)
" and I are going to learn how to fly. And then we'll stain this kingdom red."
Again and again and again, I don't want to spoil this book for you. And I swear this isn't a spoiler, and I'm not saying if there are dragons in this book or if there aren't--heck, it could be a dog--but there's a certain character who constantly reminded me of and had me picturing Toothless, which was excellent. Also, a not-exactly-fun tidbit, but you know how in The Fault in Our Stars Hazel and Gus are like "Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always'?" I think "Get up." is Sarah J. Maas's "okay." (See: Status Updates at 18% and 83%.) I kid you not. That's one of my absolute favorite/most memorable parts in Throne of Glass--maybe the whole series--and it just DOESN'T STOP.
"It would take a monster to destroy a monster."
I think my biggest problem with Heir of Fire--and it isn't really a problem--is that this book was hyped, and I wanted it, and I wanted a lot of things to happen in it and they didn't. I think I may have been expecting certain things, and when they didn't happen I was...not disappointed, but just, well, I don't know. Throughout this book (I don't know when it started) I had this vision of sorts. Picture this. (You really can, see, I drew it for you below. I'm sorry. It's horrible and an inaccurate picture of my vision.) The King of Adarlan's big hall thing with the gray brick and the guards and the people (including Chaol and Dorian and some unmentionables), with the King's great throne, and him on it. Then suddenly the grand doors burst open, and in struts Celaena, with [name redacted] at her side, and a cape (sorry, Edna) flowing behind her. She has that look on her face--you know, a side-grin, glinting eyes--and she goes right up to the King's face, get's right there, and turns Fae. There, right there, is Aelin Ashyrver Galathynius, heir to the freaking world, and she's pretty much saying, "I'm here, bitch. It's me." Maybe this happened. Maybe it didn't. But my gosh, I CAN SEE IT, and it is--wait for it--badass.

I'm sure there are five million other things I meant to say about Heir of Fire, but I'll leave it at that. Was it my favorite of the series? Probably not. But I really want to reread them all back to back and just get so immersed in this world that I love and then I'll tell you what book is my favorite and what I really, really think about Heir of Fire. But get this. We get at least three more books in this series. Three. More. Books. Three more books for hell to break loose and tears to fall and hearts to ache and my gosh, I don't even know. If you haven't started this series yet I highly suggest you get on it like Donkey Kong. Because you are missing out. Are the books perfect? No! But there's something about this world and these characters and their stories that you just get so invested in, and that's what makes a good book a damn good book. Read it. Love (or really really like) it. Then wait what is actually, scientifically forever for the next book. (So HELP ME if there aren't ARCs.)
"...her dearest friends are characters in books."
Wait! I almost forgot! Let me end with a song (or some lyrics)!

"I fell into a burning ring of fire,
I went down, down, down as the flames went higher.
And it burns, burns, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire."

Did I like it? Seriously?
Did I love it? I don't get this passionate in a whole lot of reviews, so I'm leaning toward yes, but not fully, I think.
Would I reread it? Is this a rhetorical question? (Because yes. YES.)
Would I purchase it? Are you freaking kidding me, I PRE-ORDERED IT.
Who would I recommend it to? I'm talking the series, but EVERY SINGLE PERSON.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.


  1. I love it when I read reviews and I'm just like AHHH YESSSS to everything you say. haha. umm basicallyyy (and I'm trying not to say any spoilery things in the comment) your ship -- GAH I agree with, completely, 100%, it is my favorite ship in the whole wide world and I need it forever and ever and ever and it needs to sail into a sunset and be perfect. PLEASE. The tidbit you're wondering about what it means?? ME TOO. I don't know. It worries me. If she does something stupid with it, I'm gonna slap celaena upside the head. I totally agree that it was a slower book and I wanted everyone to be stronger (but I know, i understand why they need to heal). But I esp wanted more from Chaol. What I said in my review was that I wanted him to just man up and be more CHAOL for hte majority of the book. But despite all that, I freaking loved it and I just love this series so much. CoM is my fave so far... and I just can't wait for the next one. Whyyy do we have to wait so long. :(

  2. This is the greatest review I have ever read.I completely agree with everything you said.


    Thank you for this epicness.

  3. I'm going to read this whole review AFTER I've reading HEIR OF FIRE (no spoilers!), but what I saw from skimming. . . .I think my other books on my TBR for September might just be ignored so I can read this book. Sounds like my hopes have been proven right in this book being even better than the last one.


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