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REVIEW + DISCUSSION: heir of fire, by sarah j. maasHeir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, General
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Amazon // The Book Depository
Goodreads

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.

heir of fire sarah j maas

i was hesitant on starting HEIR OF FIRE. i enjoyed THRONE OF GLASS and CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, but they were both solid 4/5 stars. there was so much hype surrounding this series and i just didn’t get it. i’ll admit: the first two novels were good but not THAT good. i knew i’d start HoF eventually but maybe not now. but with QUEEN OF SHADOWS releasing soon, i decided it’d be best if i finished this one first. and so, i begrudgingly picked it up and began to read.

i did not like the first hundred pages. the book was at a solid two stars and i was aggravated at everything, my number one complaint being that nothing was explained. i had no idea what was going on or who this person was, and it was written in a sense that i should have known but didn’t. and that frustrated me to no end. plot-wise, there wasn’t much going on either; it was dull and confusing. i wish sarah j. maas gave more of a refresher of the world – the magic terms, land, characters, etc – before completely diving in. it took over a hundred pages for me to be invested in the story, and it was mostly by forcing my eyes to read the paragraphs.

somewhere around page 100, something in the story snapped into place and the roller coaster ride began. in a matter of ten pages, i was 100% team sarah j. maas and i understood why everyone loves her. the plot began to build; the characters grew complex; the writing smoothed out, and i visualized everything. there were twists and turns and thing (finally) began to make sense. i slowly began falling in love with sarah j. mass’s descriptive sentences and writing style. i sincerely admire her ability to connect with all characters. i tend to find it harder to relate and understand them when the story is told in third-person, but sarah still managed to do a wonderful job.

“It would not take a monster to destroy a monster – but light, light to drive out darkness.”

HEIR OF FIRE grows on you: you think you’re not a huge fan, but suddenly you’re very emotionally attached and there’s no backing out. i knew it was coming, but i didn’t know it was coming; i signed up for this, but i didn’t sign up for this. the experience reminded me so much of when i watched MY LOVE FROM ANOTHER STAR, a korean drama. (if you watched this and read HoF, I HOPE YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.) the somewhat romance in this novel was also somewhat similar to the drama and it brought out ALL THE FEELINGS. one moment i was crying tears of joy and the next i was frozen from shock. the twists and turns in the plot truly took me on a journey. HEIR OF FIRE was by far my favorite of the series (so far). i cannot wait to see what else sarah j. maas has up her sleeve (as i’ve officially joined her fan club).

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Cover
Overall: 4.6

SPOILER-FILLED DISCUSSION BEGINNING. please do not proceed to read this post unless you’ve finished HEIR OF FIRE and all the previous books in the series. (i warned you!)


warning: lots of gifs, flailing, and feelings

my first initial reaction upon finishing the novel was:

i'm a mess right now gif

characters

let’s have a moment of silence for ROWAN WHITETHORN. *inhales* if you’ve seen my tweets, you’d know i’m a HUGE fan of rowan. he’s one of the biggest reasons i enjoyed this novel so much; he’s one of the reasons i’m now obsessed with this series. rowan was everything i dreamed of in a character: intense, clever, snarky, powerful, and just overall the best thing in life. he was so complex and i loved him. it was so refreshing to have a character to flail and fangirl over (wasn’t a huge fan of chaol in the previous books but more on that later). all in all, all chapters and paragraphs and pages with rowan had me grinning from ear to ear.

too precious

based on the first two novels, i thought celaena was confusing and a little two dimensional. she’d savor the death of men, but she’d also grieved for others? she was a warrior, but also… not? she was a sadist, but also (kinda?) had a heart?? i was confused. but in this novel, i finally FINALLY understood celaena. sarah j. maas did a fantastic job going into her character. celaena was constantly changing and growing and being utterly AWESOME. i felt like this book was really character-driven and i loved it. we figure out who celaena truly is and i just…

yeahhhh - loki

we didn’t see much of chaol or dorian and i’m actually somewhat grateful for that. they kinda had their own thing on the side, but i was more invested in celaena and rowan to notice the less chapters. chaol was mostly moping to the side, and being awfully annoying in my opinion. (i appreciate you trying to support your friends and “sacrificing” yourself, but 1/ you need to accept your friends for who they are, 2/ PICK A SIDE.) dorian was trying to control his magic and sneaking up with sorscha.

aedion was a new character that we dove deep into and i really liked him. at first, i was very very wary of his presence. neither dorian nor chaol trusted him and he was working for the king. however when chaol found him helping the rebels, i was… confused. when we start to see things from his POV, THEN i was like, “yes, this guy is great.” THEN, we see him appear in celaena’s memories and i’m like “OHMYGOD YES.” i had a theory that he would be (or was) aelin’s mate?? there were a few sentences that made me think, “IS THIS A FORESHADOW?” but i sincerely hope not. at this point, i have no idea who aelin/celaena will end up with because there are honestly TOO MANY GUYS. maybe sarah j. maas will pull a major plot twist and aelin will end up on the throne alone. (i actually would not mind that.)

relationships

heir of fire sarah j maas review

rowan and celaena’s chemistry had me bursting at the seams. their silent conversations and all the little things… YES. YES. YES. when rowan saw aelin fighting the princes on her own and immediately ran to her (but only to be stopped by one of his friends), i just… FEELINGS. and when we all found out they were carranam. even in the beginning when they were arguing and silent, the spark between the two was bubbling. ideally, i’d want celaena and rowan to end up together, but i’m not sure if it’ll actually happen. (i’m afraid to hope because i don’t want my feelings to be crushed). it seems doubtful because their relationship is mostly brother-sister. regardless, i just want them together – either as besties or lovers. they are honestly SQUAD GOALS.

dorian and sorscha. from the moment he asked her for her name, i just knew they were going to end up together. before, i was completely set up on the dorian/celaena ship but now that’s completely out the door. it was beautiful to see dorian acting like himself again – happy, adorable, and prince-ly. we hardly saw him in CROWN OF MIDNIGHT and it made me so sad. (also, let’s not speak about how much sorscha’s death will ruin dorian because 1/ the death itself ruined me and, 2/ watching dorian cope with that will ruin me YET AGAIN.)

dorian and chaol had an interesting relationship in this novel. in the first half, they were completely ignoring each other and keeping secrets. somewhere along the line, their “bromance” got really really strong and i supported it 100%. although they went through some rocky and rough moments, they were still there for each other until the end. it was especially cute when we see dorian and aelin meet as children and dorian’s talking about his best friend, chaol. i just, *SQUEEE*.

UPDATE: so i originally thought that dorian/aelin were never going to happen because they were “sworn enemies” or whatnot but after watching christine’s booktalk on the novel I’M 500% TEAM DORIAN AND AELIN BECAUSE IT SEEMS SO POSSIBLE AND I AM SO HAPPY. i was convinced that the two of them weren’t that serious after dorian quickly grew attracted to sorscha but IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW. just so you know, i was never a huge fan of chaol and i really don’t see chaol/aelin happening. NOPE. sorry to all the chaol fans, but i love love love dorian 5ever.

plot. plot. plot.

i’m so glad we find out ALL THE THINGS. it’s like the clouds have parted and the sky is finally clear. i think that was the biggest reason as to why i didn’t enjoy the first two novels as much. there are so many unanswered questions and “plot holes,” when actually it’s just stuff sarah j. maas hasn’t explained yet. we find out:

  • where the last wyrdkey is (OHMYGOD PLOT TWIST THIS LEFT ME IN SO MUCH SHOCK I COULDN’T EVEN)
  • exactly what happened to celaena, and her actions that previously seemed “reckless” now made sense
  • how much power the king holds
  • how magic disappeared from erilea, but still exists in wendlyn
  • the family relationships and all that jazz

i’m still not entirely sure what manon blackbeak and the witches has to do with everything. i know they’re probably going to play an important part in the next books, but i’m just curious to see how. perhaps the king will use them as weapons? that’s the easiest and logical assumption. at first, i found manon’s POV to be boring, but as the chapters grew i wanted to learn more about them. i’m excited to see how everything fits together!

that entire ending with celaena, rowan, and the battle was crazy. i knew celaena wasn’t going to die – it’s only the third book, if sarah j. maas would kill her off it wouldn’t be now – but i was still frantically flipping the pages. when she was holding off ALL THREE of the princes with her fire magic, i was so proud of her. but as her magic began to die off and darkness consumed her… NOOOOO. in some ways, i’m grateful for that because we find out about her past, which celaena refused to talk/think about. that was painful. *insert sobbing* BUT when celaena embraces the dark memories and embraces aelin, i was so proud of her. this was me:

crying yes

that entire conversation with queen maeve.. HAH. i was really nervous to see how things would turn out – especially with rowan. (random thought: doesn’t queen maeve remind you of the seelie queen from the mortal instruments? is it just me?) things were going alright then BAM PLOT TWIST AELIN IS SO CLEVER I CAN’T BREATHE. the ring from the cave was actually from maeve’s lover and she bargained for rowan’s freedom *holds breath*. then rowan makes a bond in front of maeve and all is well. i was cackling.

meanwhile in adarlan, dorian, aedion, sorscha, chaol, and a few others are trying to escape. unofrtunately, the king captures them and everything is being played into his palm. I’M SO WORRIED FOR THEM. i’m hoping celaena comes back and makes all things well before anything serious happens. seems very unlikely but it doesn’t hurt to hope does it?

what are your thoughts on HEIR OF FIRE? what were your favorite parts? ARE YOU BURSTING IN EXCITEMENT FOR QUEEN OF SHADOWS?

xxx alexandra

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a twenty-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer or practicing yoga. she currently resides in los angeles, california.

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