Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas Book Review
Updated: Jan 25
Heir of Fire
by Sarah J Maas
Published by Bloomsbury
Book 3 in the Throne of Glass series
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?
RATED: 14+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violent #Fantasy Thrilling
Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas is the third book in the Throne of Glass series, and focuses on several key characters in the series, and some new ones. First, we have Celaena/Aelin, assassin, kings champion, but most importantly, the lost Queen of Terrasen. After giving Chaol the last puzzle piece to who she was, and us coming to find out who she is, book 2 has her leaving on a mission for the king, suggested by Chaol to get her to a safer place after finding out she is fae. When Celaena gets there, her severe depression of all she has lost keeps her from finishing her own tasks to bring down the King, until she is forced to face her biggest enemy: herself. Her adventure leads us to new character, Rowan, a very strong fae prince, who is forced to train Celaena to use her fae powers, so she can gain access to her aunts kingdom to get the answers she needs to defeat the king. While training, arguing and brawling with each other, and trying to figure out what is killing demi-fae nearby, Rowan and her develop a strong mutual understanding of one another. We also get POV's from Chaol, who is forced to decide what to do now that he knows that Celaena is Aelin, Dorian, who finds comfort and a bond with a young healer named Sorscha, Aedion Ashryver, a distant relative of Celaena, who was very close to her, and was meant to become her protector, but is now a general for the King after believing Aelin dead, and a new character, Manon Blackbeak, a witch, who's coven has been invited to fight in the kings army, as riders on wyrvens.
First of all. Oh. My. God. This book was INSANE! Heir of Fire was original, and thrilling, right to the end. Seriously, most of the book is amazing. I couldn't put it down.
I only had two problems. First, with Manon Blackbeak. Her whole story arc in this book must be set up for future books, but the amount of time spent with her character wasn't needed. It was boring, and took me out of the story. I also wasn't a fan of Dorian's story. While his arc ends on a cliffhanger, and was brutal, I felt like we didn't get anything but him and Sorscha sneaking around. It would have been nice to get some more story with him actually learning to control and use his magic. The characters arcs in Heir of Fire were pretty good, aside from Manon (at least in the end, Dorian finally stood against his father). The best arc, which was a long time coming, is Celaena ... now Aelin, now that she has finally faced her past and decided to embrace it.
Celaena/Aelin's character arc is the best one of the book, as it should be. Celaena starts off in a really bad place. She slowly pieces herself together, and finally faces the brutal violence of her past. Embracing who she truly is: Aelin, Queen of Terrason. Its a moment I have been waiting for since figuring out who she was. We also finally learn the details of what happened ten years ago, and everything Aelin's character in the past books clicked into place. One of the things I loved in this book was her relationship with Rowan. The animosity between the two of them was brutal in the beginning, but the growth of reluctant understanding and acceptance, to a strong friendship and bond was wonderful. I have a theory. Highlight the text if you don't mind a mild spoiler concerning Rowan's character background ------>I have this feeling that their mates. I don't know how, because Rowan was mated before and she died. Maybe in rare cases you can have more than one mate? I just have this inkling. The bond between them is strong, more strong than I think Carranam would be, (Carranam is a bond between two warriors. They fight better together). They sleep in the same bed, hold each other when the other is upset, hell, Aelin has no problem being naked around him. It just seems like something more ... and while I love Chaol, I think Rowan is the perfect fit for Aelin.<------ I think it's important to point out, that just like Aelin finally puts herself together again, Rowan does as well. His bond with Aelin forces him to get himself out of that dark hole of grief and guilt he was in.
On the other continent, we have Chaol, Dorian, Aedion, Sorscha, and Manon. I have made no secret that I really like Chaol. He is sweet. But his indecision drove me nuts in this book. I don't fully believe he is doing what he is doing JUST for Dorian. A lie to himself, because he still loves Celaena, but knows, and admits to himself, that while Celaena loves him, and would always pick him, Aelin, who she truly is, probably won't. By putting that aside and saying its for Dorian's sake, is a lie to try to escape the pain of heartbreak. I just wish he would pick a side. Knowing what the king has done, why is it even a question? Dorian's story in Heir of Fire was truly boring. Mostly filler to get him to the end of the book and in that room. His relationship with Sorscha wasn't interesting. I would have loved if his story was more about learning to control his magic. Instead we get a little bit about a tonic to suppress it, and then a whole lot of him stealing kisses with Sorscha. The end of the book is when he finally faces his father. And, spoiler ------>The moment Sorscha is beheaded, and he goes to her, trying to put her back together ... one of the most horrific moments in the book. I wasn't overly invested in the two of them, but the thought of it is hard to read. I'm truly worried about Dorian's character now that his father has put that collar on him.<------
Aedion's arc is wonderful too. I always wondered why someone so close to Aelin's family would ever work for the king, and getting answers to that question was great. He obviously has a lot of love for his kingdom, and Aelin. In truth, and here is another spoiler/theory ------->I think Rowan is Aelin's mate, and Aedion is Aelin's carranam. It's just not been discovered yet, because they haven't fought along side each other.<------- Aedion is a true rebel, and if he lives long enough, a worthy member Aelin's court.
I think I made it clear above that I was annoyed with Manon's part in this book. It seemed so separate from the book, and a whole lot of set up with no hint of what her part will be in the future. Her character doesn't even have a major arc. In the end, she is left questioning her grandmother, but still chooses to do as she was raised to do, which is a heartless, violent witch. So what was the point? The best thing she did was save Abraxos, and devote herself to his care and training. Otherwise her story is boring. The War Games? Again, what the fuck? All I kept thinking was that is was a mix of quidditch and the dragon egg task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Heir of Fire had a couple of faults, but I am finding as each book passes, Sarah J Maas's talent grows. Her writing is much better compared to Throne of Glass, and the story flows wonderfully. Heir of Fire has A LOT go down, and I am so glad I am done writing this review, so I can go start the fourth book, Queen of Shadows.
Where to Buy
Throne of Glass Box Set (Chapters/Indigo)
Celaena: "I've known a few brooding warrior-types in my day, but I think you might be the broodiest of them all."
Rowan: "Give me your weapons."
Training with him would be absolutely wonderful.
Celaena: "Tell me why."
Rowan: "I don't have to explain myself to you."
Celaena: "Then we're going to have another brawl."
Rowan: "Here's your first lesson, girl: cut the horseshit. I don't feel like dealing with it, and I'm probably the only one who doesn't give a damn about how angry and vicious and awful you are underneath."
Celaena: "I don't think you particularly want to see how angry and vicious and awful I am underneath."
Rowan: "Go ahead and be as nasty as you want, Princess, because I've been ten times as nasty, for ten times longer than you've been alive."
Celaena: "We're not - together. Not anymore. I let him go before I came here."
He looked over his shoulder.
Celaena: "Because he's safer if he's as repulsed by me as you are."
Rowan: "At least you've already learned one lesson. The people you love are just weapons that will be used against you."
Celaena: "I made an unbreakable vow. And you and Maeve - all you gods-damned bastards - are getting in the way of that."
Rowan: "And what of your own people? What of your own kingdom?"
Celaena: "They are better off without me, just as you said."
Rowan: "So you'd save another land, but not yours. Why can't your friend save her own kingdom?"
Celaena: "Because she is dead! Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!"
Celaena: "Why is my shifting so vital?"
Rowan: "Because it terrifies you."
Rowan: "Why was it different this time?"
Celaena: "Because I didn't want you to die to save me."
Rowan: "Would you have shifted to save yourself?"
Celaena: "Your opinion of me is pretty much identical to my own, so you know the answer."
Aedion: "When she returns, what she will do to the King of Adarlan will make the slaughtering ten years ago look merciful."
Celaena: "These days, I am very glad to be mortal, and to only have to endure this life once. These days, I don't envy you at all."
Rowan: "And before?"
Celaena: "I used to wish I had a chance to see it all - and hated that I never would."
Rowan: "You're already late."
Celaena: "There were extra dishes this morning. Can I expect to do something useful with you today, or will it be more sitting and growling and glaring? Or will I just wind up chopping wood for hours on end?"
Rowan: "They've all been keeping their distance because of the scent you put out."
Celaena: "Excuse me?"
Rowan: "There are more males than females here - and they're fairly isolated from the world. Haven't you wondered why they haven't approached you?"
Celaena: "They stayed away because I ... smell?"
Rowan: "Your scent says that you don't want to be approached. The males smell it more than the females, and have been staying the hell away. They don't want their faces clawed off."
He gave her braid a sharp, painful tug.
Rowan: "Unless you're still frightened."
Her nostrils flared
Celaena: "The only thing that frightens me is how very much I want to throttle you."
Rowan: "See what you want, Aelin, and seize it. Don't ask for it; don't wish for it. Take it."
A fierce, challenging grin, and Rowan moved, so fast she could hardly follow as he appeared on her other side and yanked on her braid again. When she whirled, he was already gone, and - She yelped as he pinched her side.
Celaena: "Stop -"
He was standing in front of her now, a wild invitation in his eyes. She'd been studying the way he moved, his tricks and tells, and the way he assumed she'd react. SO when she crossed her arms, feigning the tantrum he expected, she waited. Waited, and then -
He shot left to pinch or poke or hit her. and she whirled, slamming down his arm with an elbow and whacking him upside the head with her other hand. He stopped dead and blinked a few times. She smirked at him
He bared his teeth in a feral, petrifying grin.
Rowan: "Oh, you'd better run now.
When he lunged, she shot through the trees.
Rowan: "Pointing is a crutch. Your mind can direct the flames just fine."
Celaena: "Perhaps I like the dramatics."
Emrys: "What do you see when you look at her, Prince?"
He didn't know. These days, he didn't know a damn thing.
Rowan: "That's none of your concern, either."
Emrys: "I see her slipping away, bit by bit, because you shove her down when she so desperately needs someone to help her back up."
Rowan: "I don't see why I would be of any use to -"
Emrys: "Did you know that Evalin Ashryver was my friend? She sent almost a year working in this kitchen - living here with us, fighting to convince your queen that demi-Fae have a place in your realm. She fought for our rights until the very day she departed this kingdom - and the many years after, until she was murdered by those monsters across the sea. So I knew. I knew who her daughter was the moment you brought her into this kitchen. All of us who were here twenty-five years ago recognized her for what she is."
It wasn't often that he was surprised, but ... Rowan just stared.
Emrys: "She has no hope, Prince. She has no hope left in her heart. Help her. If not for her sake, then at least for what she represents - what she could offer all of us, you included."
Rowan: "And what is that?"
Emrys: "A better world."
She vaguely felt the light shifting on the lake. Vaguely felt the sighing wind, warm as it brushed against her damp cheeks. And heard, so soft it was as if she dreamed it, a woman's voice whispering, "Why are you crying, Fireheart?"
Celaena: "Because I am lost. And I do not know the way."
Celaena: "It gives me comfort to know that people like you have a special place in hell waiting for them."
Rowan: "Tell me something I don't already know."
Rowan: "You are in control now. You are its master. You are the keeper of your own fate."
Celaena: "You know, that's twice now you've made a mess with my training with your tasks. I'm fairly sure that makes you the worst instructor I've ever had."
He gave her a sidelong look
Rowan: "I'm surprised it took you this long to call attention to it."
Emrys: "I've never seen such a sorry sight. Blood and dirt and leaves over every inch of you both. No better than alley cats, brawling at all hours of the day and night."
Emrys slammed two bowls of stew onto the worktable
Emrys: "Eat, both of you. And then get cleaned up. Elentiya, you're off kitchen duty tonight and tomorrow. I don't want you bleeding on everything. You'll be more trouble than you're worth."
Celaena slumped next to Rowan on the bench, and swore viciously at the pain in her leg, her face, her arms. Swore at the pain in the ass sitting right next to her.
Emrys: "Clean out your mouth, too, while you're at it."
Emrys: "No more adventures."
Emrys: "And no more brawling."
Rowan met Celaena's stare over the table. His expression yielded nothing.
Rowan: "We'll try."
Celaena: "How - how did you come back from that kind of loss?"
Rowan: "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.
Rowan: "But maybe - maybe we could find the way back together."
Celaena: "I think I would like that very much."
He held out a hand
Rowan: "Together, then."
Rowan: "That is not very queenly."
Celaena: "Then it's good I'm not a queen, isn't it?"
Rowan: "Give me one good reason why you won't take back your throne. One good reason, and I'll keep my mouth shut about it."
Celaena: "Because if I free Eyllwe and destroy the king as Celaena, I can go anywhere after that. The crown ... my crown is just another set of shackles."
Celaena: "Maybe we should just go back to beating each other into a pulp."
Rowan: "Oh, not a chance, Princess. You can tell me what you want, when you want, but there's no going back now."
Dorian: "Tell me your greatest wish."
She smiled into his chest.
Sorscha: "I don't have a greatest wish."
Dorian: "Liar. You're the world's worst liar. Tell me. Tell me, and I'll make it happen."
Sorscha: "And if I asked for the moon on a string?"
Dorian: "Then I would start praying to Deanna."
Sorscha: "My greatest wish, is for a morning when I don't have to run out the door at first light."
Dorian: "Do you still love her?"
Chaol closed his eyes for a moment
Chaol: "A part of me will always love her. But I had to get her out of this castle. Because it was too dangerous, and she was ... what she was becoming ..."
Dorian: "She was not becoming anything different from what she always was and always had the capacity to be. You just finally saw everything. And once you saw that other part of her ... You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love. Just as you cannot pick which parts of me you accept."
Dorian: "As for Celaena, you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend. I've already made my decision about her. And when the time comes, regardless of whether you are here or in Anielle, I hope your choice is the same as mine."
Celaena: "I don't want your pity."
Rowan: "This is not pity. Maeve decided not to tell me what happened to you. You have to know that I - I wasn't aware you had -"
She slid an arm across the bed to grasp his hand.
Celaena: "I knew. At first I was afraid you'd mock me if I told you, and I would kill you for it. Then I didn't want you to pity me. And more than any of that, I didn't want you to think it was ever an excuse."
Rowan: "Like a good soldier."
Celaena: "Tell me which one of your little cadre is the handsomest, and if he would fancy me."
Rowan: "The thought of you with any of my companions makes my blood run cold."
Celaena: "They're that awful? Your kitty-cat friend looked decent enough."
Rowan's brows rose high
Rowan: "I don't think my kitty-cat friend would know what to do with you - nor would any of the others. It would likely end in bloodshed."
She kept grinning, and he crossed his arms.
Rowan: "They would likely have very little interest in you, as you'll be old and decrepit soon enough and thus not worth the effort it would take to win you."
She rolled her eyes.
Rowan: "Tell me, do you think you will go to some blessed Afterworld, or do you expect a burning hell? You're hoping for hell - because how could you face them in the After-world? Better to suffer, to be damned for eternity, and -"
Celaena: "That's enough."
She didn't know how much time passed. After a while, the mattress shifted and groaned, and a warm body pressed against hers. Not hold her, just lying beside her.
Rowan: "At least if you're going to hell, then we'll be there together."
Celaena: "I feel bad for the dark god already."
Celaena: "First chocolates on my birthday, now an actual compliment?"
His eyes narrowed, and they had yet another of their wordless conversations.
Rowan: The more you talk, the more I'm going to make you pay in a moment.
She smiled slightly.
Celaena: Apologies, master. I am yours to instruct.
Rowan: Afraid to play with fire, Princess?"
Celaena: You won't be happy if I singe your eyebrows off.
Rowan: Try me.
Rowan: "Do you want the truth?"
Celaena: "Not tonight."
Aedion: "I have ... I have been forced to do many, many things. Depraved, despicable things. Yet nothing made me feel as filthy as I did today, thanking that man for murdering my people."
Celaena: "You have experience - you are needed here. You are the only person who can give the demi-Fae a chance of surviving; you are trusted and respected. So I am staying. Because you are needed, and because I will follow you to whatever end.
Celaena: "I claim you, Rowan Whitethorn. I don't care what you say and how much you protest. I claim you as my friend."
She was too stunned to object as her mother slipped the chain over her head and arranged the amulet down her front. It hung almost to her navel, a warm, heavy weight.
Mother: "Never take it off. Never lose it."
Her mother kissed her brow.
Mother: "Wear it, and know that you are loved, Fireheart - that you are safe, and it is the strength of this -"
She placed a hand on her heart
Mother: " - that matters. Wherever you go, Aelin, no matter how far, this will lead you home."
Aelin: "To whatever end?"
He nodded and she joined hands with him, blood to blood and soul to soul, his other arm coming around to grip her tightly.
Rowan: "I claim you too, Aelin Galathynius."
Chaol: "Eyllwe. Send word to Eyllwe. Tell them to hold on - tell them to prepare. Tell them it's time to fight back."
Rowan: Trust me.
Aelin: I don't want you enslaved to me. I won't be that kind of queen.
Rowan: You have no court - you are defenseless, landless, and without allies. She might let you walk out of here today, but she could come after you tomorrow. She knows how powerful I am - how powerful we are together. It will make her hesitate.
Aelin: Please don't do this - I will give you anything else you ask, but not this.
Rowan: I claim you, Aelin. To whatever end.
So when Rowan reached for her wrist again, she did not fight him.
Rowan: "Together, Fireheart, we'll find a way together."
He looked up from her exposed wrist.
Rowan: "A court that will change the world."
And then she was nodding, nodding and smiling, too, as he drew the dagger from his boot and offered it to her.
Rowan: "Say it, Aelin."
Not daring to let her hands shake in front of Maeve or Rowan's stunned friends, she took his dagger and held it over her exposed wrist.
Aelin: "Do you promise to serve in my court, Rowan Whitethorn, from now until the day you die?"
Rowan; "I do. Until my last breath, and the world beyond. To whatever end."
Aedion: "You want a spy? You want a traitor? Then here I am. You want to know why the captain and I were meeting? It was because your stupid bastard of a boy-captain figured out that I'd been working with one of the rebels. He's been blackmailing information out of me for months to give to his father to offer you when the Lord of Anielle needed a favor. And you know what? All you monsters can burn in hell. Because my queen is coming - and she will spike you to the walls of your gods-damned castle. And I can't wait to help her gut you like the pigs you are."
Sorscha: "You destroyed everything that I had, and you deserve everything that's to come."
Then she looked at Dorian
Sorscha: "I was not supposed to love you. But I did. I do. And there is so much I wish ... I wish we could have done together, seen together."
Chaol: "I will not go to Anielle. And I will not serve you a moment longer. There is one true king in this room - there always has been. And he is not sitting on that throne."
Chaol: "There is a queen in the north, and she has already beaten you once. She will beat you again. And again. Because what she represents, is what you fear most: hope. You cannot steal it, no matter how many you rip from their homes and enslave. And you cannot break it, no matter how many you murder."
Dorian: "Run. And when you come back ... When you come back, burn this place to the ground."
Aelin: "I will gather the rest of my court - our court - and then we will raise the greatest army the world has ever witnessed. I will call in every favor, every debt owed to Celaena Sardothien, to my parents, to my bloodline. And then ... and then I am going to rattle the stars.
Aelin: "You never told me what you were praying to Mala for that morning before we entered Doranelle."
Rowan: "I prayed for two things. I asked her to ensure you survived the encounter with Maeve - to guide you and give you the strength you needed."
Aelin: "And the second?"
Rowan: "It was a selfish wish. and a fool's hope."
She read the rest of it in his eyes.
Rowan: But it came true.
Aelin: "Dangerous, for a Prince of ice and wing to pray to the Fire-Bringer."
Rowan shrugged, a secret smile on his face as he wiped away the tear that escaped down her cheek.
Rowan: "For some reason, Mala liked me, and agreed that you and I make a formidable pair."
She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, heir of two mighty bloodlines, protector of a once-glorious people, and Queen of Terrasen.
She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius - and she would not be afraid.
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