“Heir of Fire” by Sarah J. Maas

This is the third in the series, so if you haven’t read the previous books or my previous reviews, you may want to do so unless you don’t mind spoilers! Cause this deep into a series, there will be.

The first book was great, but it seemed like she took the safe and predictable path, so I liked the book, but it wasn’t amazing. Now that I’m three in, I’m addicted to this series, the more she builds on her world the more she expands and changes from safe and predictable to …not. What seemed like the obvious writing choice is now being built on, has become part of a bigger picture. Safe choices become the start of something more sinister.

Evil is still obviously evil, and I’m not really surprised by choices she makes in the book, but she is writing in more so that the obvious and safe are just background to the true problems in the book. Scenes are still predictable to a point like “someone in this room is going to die” but the who is sometimes shocking. She tweaks the situations enough its “yeah I know how this scene is going to play out but …oOOh!”

Continuing on from the last book, Celaena was sent to a different continent to assaasinate the King of Adarlan’s enemies, but she had a different plan in mind. Being the lost Princess Aelin, sworn enemy of Adarlan, it was time to return to certain family members to find a way to defeat the King and bring magic back to the land. That family happens to be the Fae Queen Maeve. Before Celaena can enter their land though, she is forced to train and learn to harness her Fae half (transformations, fire casting, etc). Enter Rowan, blood-oathed to Maeve, and equally forced to train Celaena. During their training they come across dead bodies of half-fae, completely drained of blood and always washed up on the shores of the river. Is this some new creature? Or a bigger problem?

This book in particular is interesting because with Celaena on an entirely different continent, Maas switches to also follow other characters. It’s a great way to flesh out the story because even though she isn’t in Adarlan, the story there hasn’t stopped.

There is Celaena and Rowan’s adventures, Chaol and Celaena’s cousin Aedion (who is also the King’s General), Dorian and the healer Sorcha (Irish name I DO believe is pronounced “Ser-shaa”), and a new player – Manon. In the last book we were introduced to a race of Witches known as the iron teeth. Manon is the head of a Coven known as the Thirteen. Which is Thirteen iron teeth witches who have been trained to be the most deadly and vicious beings ever. All of the covens and families were “hired” in a way, by the King of Adarlan to be his Army of Wyvern riders. Used to riding on brooms in the days before the King locked away magic and made it illegal, he has given them something better. Mini dragons. So all the witches are trained how to ride, and then once that training is deemed complete, they are to battle in what is known as a “war game” to figure out who will be Wing Leader.

Every new character fleshes out the world and the story, showing new sides that Celaena’s view would never have seen.

I love, love, love the way Maas writes women. One scene in particular that blew me away was a scene where Celaena needed to be “saved”. Her magic was running low and she still hadn’t beaten the enemy, so instead of Rowan jumping in and Saving the Day TM, he gave Celaena his strength to amp her magic back up so she could finish what she started. Too often the media shows women being “strong” but in the end still need to be saved by the Hero TM. Not this series. Maas has a wide range of female characters – Celaena: strong, young, talented, but damaged; Manon: Heartless, soulless, fierce; Sorscha: Gentle, loving, caring, healer. It’s not just a cookie cutter shape with different hair, the women all FEEL different, sound different, act differently.

All the characters, male and female, grow throughout the series, like normal people. They are believable, because it’s reactions to strenuous situations; sometimes life or death. And all the characters are still CHILDREN. Celaena is 19, some of her reactions will be impetuous and childish, we all were at 19, just because she’s an assassin doesn’t mean she still won’t be a 19-year-old girl.

I could rant forever about these books, I love them dearly. I read at night and as soon as I take my night-time medication (I’m old and sick, leave me alone), I start watching the clock to see when I can go back to reading. With the quarantine and being immunocompromised, I’m home alone …a lot. So I am reading more and blew through this book faster than usual. I never wanted to put it down!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s