I just finished reading Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas!
"She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.
Celaena Sardothien 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. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.
The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight. "
Note: This whole review will be riddled with spoilers. I tried writing it without any but it just became awkward to write.
Heir of Fire... woah that was intense! Maas introduces a whole array of new characters and backgrounds to us that all blend nicely with the story. We get Rowan, a fae prince, who has a blood-oath of one of the fae queens, and thus has to bow to her will. He took Celaena (Aelin) under his wing (hehe) and teaches her to use and control her powers. He starts off as dark and very quiet but warms up in the second half of the novel. And now Rowan and Aelin are one of my biggest ships ever. Seriously, I like how slowly they are taking it, and how they got to be solid friends by the end of the novel. They are both there for each other, even when they don't realize they need someone with them. His past is awful, but Celaena helps him come back up to the surface, to breathe again. They are both broken, and they realize that they can just be themselves with each other - whether that is broken or strong.
I really appreciate how, even though romance was a big part of books one and two, it was barely there in HoF. There are so many more things going on - backstories, development of the world and of characters, war, learning... there was simply no room for the romance. And it was so nice to take a break from it.
I still ship Celaena/Aelin and Rowan ^^
Another character we meet is Manon. I have to say, with great same, that I mostly skimmed her parts. I just couldn't help but feel that her parts interrupted the story that I was enjoying already so much! Manon is a witch and gets caught up in some sort of competition or convention with all three witch clans. She is also an assassin.
We also get points of view from Dorian and Chaol. They are in the midst of an argument, thus they do not speak to each other often during the book, they each stay on their own side. Dorian falls for Sorcha, a healer (who gets brutally murdered in the end by the king. This was so painful to read, she was an absolutely adorable character.) Dorian teams up with Celaena's cousin, Aedion, who only has one wish - to see his cousin again. He starts off as this rough, cruel and nonchalant warrior, and we come to realize that he's actually somewhat a softie who just wants to see his cousin - his queen - again.
Celaena herself goes through huge, huge development in this book. Not only does she learn to control her fae transformations and powers, but she also goes through incredible emotional rollercoasters. And when she breaks, it's not a pretty sight. To be honest, it becomes heartbreaking even for the reader, because her breakdowns are so intense. Personally, the worst scene for me is when she is faced with the demons who give her strange memory-visions. One of these is Nehemina and Sam - the two people she lost that she loved the most - who take turns to whip her in Endovier. She lets them, as a punishment for not being able to save him.
Sarah J Maas, that scene broke me, my family was all concerned. Thanks for that, haha
But seriously that scene was absolutely horrible, yet it was gloriously written. Why to authors torture their characters so horribly?
Through this book, you get to see a side of her that isn't confident and sarcastic and awesome. In this country, she has no idea what she's doing. She might be the heir to a throne, but she's still like a child - she can't use her powers, she has to learn about the history of the country, and generally has a lot of catching up to do - a huge contrast from books one and two, where she was considered to be the best in every field. That was also somewhat refreshing.
But through these moments where she wasn't as strong as everyone else, and where she was broken, she rose like a phoenix be become x times as stronger than before. She has perfect control over her fire powers and is not afraid of anyone.
Then in the last third of the book, all hell breaks loose - you get the king who murders all of the prisoners in Endovier and other camps to prevent any possibility of an uprising, the whole war with the fae, magic, swords, treachery... it was awesome! And horrible. And just woah that part, I couldn't put the book down!
In this book, you really come to understand the king's evil side - the one that everyone hates - on a deeper level. A newfound hate for this character arises and you easily get the idea that the next book will be even darker, and more dangerous.
So now that I'm (almost) fully functional from having read that ending, I can move on to book 4! So excited to read it!
I'm giving this a 4.5/5 feathers! I'm knocking off a half point because of Manon's story that I couldn't adhere to, but this was otherwise and explosive book!
Have you read Heir of Fire? What did you think about it? Let me know!