Heir of Fire was great, and the ending was fabulous. It slows the pace down a lot, and many new characters are added, bringing depth to the series. Some additions I loved (Manon Blackbeak and Rowan Whitethorn), while others were just … there (Aedion Ashryver and Sorscha).
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the first two books in the series. You’ve been warned!
Taking off from where book two ended, Celaena goes to Wendlyn to assassinate their leaders at the request of the King. Along the way, she teams up with Rowan, a fierce tattoed Fae warrior who works for Maeve. I loved Rowan. He is prickly and mean, but he has that glimpse of kindness beneath. And I enjoyed the relationship between Rowan and Celaena. I don’t feel any romantic vibes between them, but their friendship is great. I wouldn’t want to face the two of them in battle!
We have left Dorian and Chaol at Rifthold, and we get the new additions of Aedion Ashryver and Sorscha, a healer who develops a connection with Dorian. Note I didn’t describe Aedion, because he completely bored me. I still am not even sure who he is (Celaena’s cousin I think?) nor do I care. He and his plotline didn’t interest me at all. The sections in Rifthold really dragged for me, up until the end. The end was amazing. But, unfortunately, neither Chaol or Dorian is much interesting on their own, without Celaena around. And this bothers me, because I was rooting for Chaol and Celaena. But now that Chaol is kind of a dud on his own, I dunno. I can’t quite get behind that pairing now. Characters should be interesting on their own, for their own sakes, and also interesting together as a couple. So, I’m kinda stuck here. Perhaps Chaol will get more interesting in the next book, as he was kind of a bore in this one. It could’ve just been an issue with him really not having a tremendous amount to do until the end. Same with Dorian, who was boring too until the very end of the book.
And then we come to my favorite character. A character so evil, so full of hate, but that slowly starts to show a bit of kindness and regret. I love it. Her name is Manon Blackbeak, and she is the heir to the Blackbeak witchclan. Witches are somewhat brought out in book two, but here in book three, they have their own side plot that fascinated me. The witches have iron teeth and iron claws and are absolutely crazy. Manon’s first chapter was a little odd and jarring, but once you start to read more and understand her she becomes absolutely fascinating. More Manon please!!! And I absolutely loved the chapter where she gets Abraxos, her wyvern. I am really interested to see where Sarah J. Maas takes this character. She reminds me somewhat of Jaime Lannister from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I love characters with internal struggles (hello Severus Snape!).
And now after reading three books in this series, I still have issues with Throne of Glass, which was the first book. I think it dragged on for too long, there was no need to put that much attention on the competition for champion, and I think it and Crown of Midnight could’ve been combined somehow into just one book. Things come out about Celaena’s past in Heir of Fire that somehow don’t mesh with actions in the first two books, but perhaps if I went back and re-read the first books I would see the path laid out. I dunno. Celaena is just so shallow in the first book and to some degree in the second book and it doesn’t seem to fit with her actions in book three. I get it, she’s running from her past, but the Celaena from book one and book three are two different people. So, I liked her more in this book, but still don’t love her or truly connect with her. (I’m trying, I’m really trying!!).
And c’mon library – I’m ready for book four!
Bottom Line: A slower paced addition to the series which drags in places. New characters Manon and Rowan really shine. Bring on book four!
Thanks for reading!