My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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?
One word that comes to mind when I want to describe this book – Glorious! I have always been a big fan of this series, right from the first novella, in fact. I have a huge crush on Celaena, and love her character. As an assassin and a young girl, both her faces are known to fans. But in Heir of Fire, we get to know the princess of the Fae, the true Queen of Terrasen. Heavily focusing on different characters, this book was a treat to the senses.
At the beginning of the book, Celaena is grieving and wallowing in her guilt. Her vow to Nehemia is the only thing driving her, and she has sunken into a deep pit of despair, as she doesn’t see a path. She doesn’t want her throne, because of a decade of guilt over not being there for her subjects, being responsible for and failing so many people, and most importantly, for feeling that the sacrifices in her name were in vain. Going to the Fae for information, she has to prove her worth first – to Rowan, her magic instructor. The slow and beautiful build-up of the relationship between the two, and her coming out of her pit and the two of them healing each other is the major arc for Celaena. Their bond, their understanding of each other nearly made me worried over Chaolena. Rowan is himself a big mystery – the stoic, territorial alpha Fae, without the misogyny (I love you, Maas) who seems merciless but has the most honorable heart. I am very excited for how their friendship will be viewed by Aedion, (her cousin) who is also her biggest loyalist. Aedion, complex and mystery wrapped in a sassy shell – who has taken nearly the same path as Celaena after the fall of Terrasen. He would perhaps understand her situation the most, and his undying loyalty for her warms my heart.
The other major character is Manon Blackbeak, and the reason she is so interesting is that she is evil. Like, kill people and enjoy it evil. Now, Celaena was somewhat like that but Manon grew up in brutality and bloodshed, being told from birth that she and all other witches have no heart or soul. There is only carnage and conquests in their path, and throughout the book, Manon slowly incorporating humanity is a thing to behold. Even by the end of the book, she is still firmly evil but just acquires a hint of mercy. The scene when she and her wyvern claim each other – I had tears in my eyes. I never thought I could cheer for a negative character so much. Her journey was the highlight of the book and I can’t wait to see what that would mean for the upcoming war. I have a headcanon that she will give a big F-U to the King of Adarlan and join forces with Celaena.
Chaol – my sweet Chaol – it made my heart break seeing him pining over her. Celaena has a similar situation, and both are reluctant to face each other over guilt. Celaena’s decision over the ring in the end actually worries me over the future of these two. She loves him, but as Aelin, what place would Chaol have in her heart. Dorian – will this poor guy catch a break? I won’t say more (it would be spoilery) but please, someone save him, wrap him in a blanket and keep him safe from the cruel world.
So many storylines – some intersecting, some not and lot of things being built up for the upcoming war. This book was a saga, and I was enthralled by every page. It had slow pacing, but the depth Maas gave the characters more than made up for it. A few things seemed out of place though – like Celaena accusing Rowan of leaving her, when she had no reason to do so, Sorscha being careless enough to get caught when she was hiding for years, Elide (is she alive?). I am looking forward, though, to when Celaena will finally avenge Sam Cortland by slowly and methodically killing Arobynn Hamel (that has been three books overdue now) when she finally drops by for her ‘visit’. I honestly would find that more satisfying than her unseating the King of Adarlan.