Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire

HEIR OF FIRE
Throne of Glass #3
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult/Fantasy
565 pages
Bloomsbury
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?


MY THOUGHTS
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.

Rating: 5/5
 

Find Sarah:
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.

47 comments:

  1. Initially I was also sad that they are apart for so long, well, but then we meet Rowan and I was suddenly completely over Chaol. I know Rowan is not a love interest but I want him to be - Rowan completely stole my heart!

    And yes, Celaena needed to be alone to grow, otherwise she would have never grew so much and accepted who she is! Gosh I love this series!

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    1. I know you want Rowan to be a love interest, I loved him as well, but I think I love their friendship more than I would love their romance. It's just so rare to see a genuine male/female friendship like theirs:)

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  2. Sigh, if I had the time to read everything I want

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    1. This is a great series, I hope you give it a try one day!

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  3. I have skimmed a bit your review, mostly just read the first and last paragraph cause I kinda want to go into the book knowing as little as possible but seeing how you gave it 5 stars... I know I will love it to bits!! Cannot wait for my preorder to arriveeeeeeeeeeeee!!

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    1. YOU WILL LOVE IT PILI! At least I hope you will:)

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  4. Aw, as much as I adore Celaena with all her kick-a attitude and snarky banters with everyone, I love her humble side and feel like she could become the queen everyone expects her to be. Yayyy that you loved it regardless of the slower pace and Chaol and Celaena being apart in this installment. Oh, I hate le king hard and will probably hate him with more passion the more installments I tackle. I hope this series continues to wow you even more, Jenny :) Gorgeous, gorgeous review!

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    1. Normally Celaena and Chaol being separated the whole time would drive me crazy, but I just thought it worked in this case. They needed that time to figure things out on their own. SO GOOD SIIRI!

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  5. You know what, Jenny, I'm going to steal this brain of yours because even though I've been visiting your blog for the longest time, you never fail to make me want to go green in envy at your review writing abilities.
    This review is just so gorgeous! Anyways, you already know what happened to me with this book. I was in such a terrible mood when I read it. I just couldn't get into it. I'm going to give it another shot, probably closer to the release of the next book. :)
    I'm glad you mentioned that the relationship between Rowan and Celeana stays on the friendship side of things. And the King. He looks like he's still the bastard that he was in the previous books and I'm happy about that! :D
    Lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. Mood makes such a big difference when reading Nick! I feel like I wasn't really in the right mood for Throne of Glass and it didn't work for me the way it seemed to for everyone else, but hopefully you'll give this one a second try down the line:)

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  6. I still need to give book 2 a try but I'm excited about this one because you gave it 5 stars, Jenny. I can't remember who Rowan is - was he introduced in book 2? - but it's good to know that his relationship with Celeana remains platonic.

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    1. Rowan is new to this installment! He's amazing. I love him.

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  7. I still haven't read this series, despite owning every book in it. I just hate the year long wait between books and there's still another 3 to go!

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    1. READ IMMEDIATELY HANNAH! So very good:)

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  8. YES! While it was sad, I loved the changes in Calaena at the same time. This was a beautiful addition to the series and I can't wait for more. Sarah better write fast darn it! :P

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    1. Me too Ali. I hated seeing her brought so low, but she never ceases to amaze me with how strong she is. I adore her:)

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  9. I put Throne of Glass on my LIbrary Shelf. You guys have convinced me to give this a whirl :)

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    1. Make sure you read The Assassin's Blade first Felicia, the prequel novellas made a HUGE difference for me with this series. I wasn't the biggest fan of Throne of Glass, but then I read the novellas and book two and fell madly in love.

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  10. I really need to try this series. I have the novellas and the 2 first books but I need to try them... soon! Great review!

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    1. YES!!!! I hope you start this series soon!

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  11. Thank you for the excellent review! It's so well-written! I'm super pumped to get my hands on this one. I want to watch Celaena fight on and meet Rowan ;)

    Eileen @ BookCatPin

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    1. Celaena rocks. And I think you'll love Rowan. The two of them together just made me happy:)

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  12. I was supposed to start this last night and then I got lost in the Hollows so this is next up. I am a bit disappointed that there is no reunion but I am eager to meet this Rowan and see how Celeana has grown. Love seeing that five stars as I know you were initially hesitant about this series.

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    1. YAY! Can't wait to see what you think Heidi!

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  13. I have wanted to read this one but because it is fantasy I figured it should be read in order. Not too many fantasies can be read out of order (see... sometimes I'm good about it...). I'm thinking about attacking this series on audio so I know I've good some goodness to look toward. You know you are the reason I have the first book on my wishlist? :)

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    1. Definitely a series to be read in order. You can read Throne of Glass without having read the prequel novellas, but I can't recommend starting with them enough. They gave me a much better feel for Celaena:)

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  14. This friendship between Celaena and Rowan might just be the most intriguing thing about this book because you're absoltuely right that readers yearn for that kind of thing. But this series has so many things going for it, a character like Rowan and a friendship like the one they apparently develop is just a cherry on top.

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    1. I loved their friendship so much Maja! It was beautiful and painful at the same time, and I can't wait for more of them in the next book:)

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  15. I'm so excited to read this one. I'm terrified though, I just love this series too much. I am SO happy about your rating though!

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    1. I was nervous about starting this one too, but it just blew me away Candace!

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  16. I read the first book...but without reading the prequels beofre. ugh ugh ugh and even bought book 2. Oh nooo, I was Cee to be as kick-ass and arrogant as before. I like her that way. :P

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    1. I did that too and it was a mistake. I liked Celaena SO much better after understanding all she went through before Throne of Glass:) I like her kick ass too, but it was nice to see her very human and vulnerable side in this one.

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  17. I was planning to continue this series with Crown of Midnight but I know a lot of readers were disappointed with this sequel. I'm so glad to hear that you weren't one of them, Jenny! I definitely want to give this series another shot and the fact that you liked this as much as you did is a huuge indication that I should keep continuing with Maas's work. Lovely review, dearest! :)

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    1. It's a bit slower at times, and it introduces a new character who I think some readers might not want to spend time with, but I loved how everything was handled:) I hope you give it a try Keertana!

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  18. Don't be offended when I say I didn't read more than the first paragraph of your review because I still have to read this!! I know you're good about not giving spoilers but, beyond hearing that Celaena's humanity is highly present and that you gave this book a five...I NEED to read this book. :)

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    1. REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD IIIIIIIIIIIIIT! The book that is, not my review. The book is so much better than my review. DO IT NOW!!! :)

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  19. I didn't read your review because I'm a hobo who didn't get an early copy, and I kind of hate you for getting one. :p

    This is one of my favorite series so I'm certain that I will love it. :)

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    1. Hehe. I was lucky at BEA this year:)

      I hope you love it as much as I did Marie!

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  20. Your 5 star rating makes me want to kick myself for not reading this series YET! I'm going to have to fix that and get reading.

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    1. I was late to this party too, but better late than never right? RIGHT! So good Laura!

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  21. Nice to hear this series is really working for you, Jenny. I have yet to pick it up but I know there's a lot of love out there for it. It sounds like Celaena has gone through some major emotional upheaval, but has tackled it with positive growth. Nice that there doesn't seem to be a frustrating love triangle. Thank goodness for that. Wonderful review! :)

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  22. 5/5 stars, my god. You guys are making me more excited by the day. I'm reading this right now and it's amaaaazing so far (seriously, Maas is the master. WORSHIP IS THE ONLY WAY) and I just met Rowan! He's still cold to Celaena but I have a lot of expecatations for this one given his POPULARITY among the bloggers. I love your explanation regarding Chaol and Celaena's distance. I'm such a huge Chaol x Celaena shipper that I was sad they'd be far apart but what you said makes sense. I can only hope they would be reunited soon in the future books, this time, stronger and better than when they saw each other last!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  23. So glad you enjoyed this one, Jenny! Faye and I are reading this together, and so far (12% in), I still haven't encountered much of Rowan, but I'm loving his feisty attitude. I've seen some bloggers ship him with Calaena... Hm. I totally get what you mean about Calaena and Chaol. I really liked them in the middle-to-near-endish part of Crown of Midnight, but Chaol's kind of... not on my good side right now. I'm waiting for him to grow individually to get back in my good graces. ;)

    Fantastic review, girl!

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

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  24. Eeeep SUPER stoked that this one got a rare 5 stars from you Jenny!! I still need to read Crown of Midnight (I KNOW!), but I'm really loving the sound of this one and where the series is going and how much time is devoted to character building. SO awesome!! ^_^

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  25. Eeeppp! I'm reading this one next!! I CAN. NOT. WAIT!!

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  26. I'm reading this one right now and I'm SO happy to hear Rowan doesn't worm his way into that place in Celaena's life that is most definitely only Chaol's. I adore a really strong male-female friendship, especially when I've already developed a healthy fear of the same relationship being one point of a love triangle. So happy you loved this installment so much! Lovely review :-)

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  27. Ok so: I got chills reading through your review Jenny. Honestly. Chills. You gorgeously described Celaena's journey in HoF and it's a perfect summary of her character growth in HoF, from the bottom to the top. Maas is a goddess and as much as I loved TAB, ToG and CoM, she took it to a whole other level with HoF ♥ I can not wait until it's time for us to dig into book 4 :D Fantastic review ^^ x

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