Throne of Glass #3
Sarah J. Maas
Available September 2nd
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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?
Heir of Fire returns us to beloved heroine Celaena Sardothien, but the girl we find in the opening third of this book is a very different girl from the one we've known thus far, stripped of her arrogance and torn from the anger and rage that have acted as the mooring line tethering her to the mortal coil. Without the beautiful ferocity of her vengeance driving her forward, we're left with a Celaena who embodies vulnerability, the number of times she's been beaten down finally totaling one more than she's seemingly equipped to handle. Where a Celaena who's lost a bit of her fight may sound like someone who would frustrate, instead we find we've never wanted to embrace her more, her gorgeous humanity proving that weakness is not in the simple needing of help, but rather in needing it and refusing to ask for it.
Celaena is well aware she's hit rock bottom in the wake of Nehemia's demise, and because she's cognizant of her emotional state, she takes the lifeline thrown to her by Rowan and begins to lift herself up out of the darkness. It's not to say she meets Rowan with open arms and a smiling face, oh no, even in a bad place she's still got a spark of her fire, and she and Rowan embark on an epic battle of wills that's as amusing as it is breathtaking. Ms. Maas could have taken an easier route with this story, the separation of Celaena and Chaol at the end of Crown of Midnight and the introduction of Rowan in this third installment acting as the opening notes of an all-too familiar melody, but thankfully she doesn't rob characters or readers of the tale they deserve. In place of romance, what grows between Rowan and Celaena is the type of friendship every single person who reads this book yearns for–absolute and unwavering when each of them needs an extra shoulder to carry some of their weight.
Some readers may find themselves a touch disappointed given the fact Chaol and Celaena are not reunited at any point despite the impressive length of Heir of Fire, but their separation is nothing if not necessary. Chaol's fear of who Celaena truly is would have only compounded her own reluctance to embrace her heritage, dragging her down rather than building her up as she so desperately needs in the wake of Nehemia's loss. Ms. Maas instead makes the brilliant decision to keep them apart, allowing each of them room to grow into who they need to be without the other's expectations or reservations limiting the scope of what they can achieve. We of course ache for the two of them to find their way back to one another and overcome the nearly insurmountable obstacles facing them as a couple, but we can only smile in anticipation as we read, knowing the wait will more than worth it in the end.
Overall, Heir of Fire is a stunning addition to this series, the slowness of it in parts granting readers the time to explore the fabric of each character, getting to know them in a way action sequence after action sequence wouldn't allow us, and then, when we've just been lulled into a sort of reflective quietness, we're smacked in the face with a reminder of how brutal the King of Adarlan can be. Our hatred for him burns brighter than ever before in the closing chapters, but through the blinding haze of our rage is the comfort that comes from knowing that Celaena, now ready to accept every part of herself, will never let his actions go unanswered. She will come at him with everything in her overwhelmingly impressive arsenal, and I simply cannot wait for the moment when she returns her every loss to those responsible tenfold.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.