Thursday, July 2, 2015

Review: Heir Of Fire (AKA: The longest review ever)

This was the best one yet.  I am just always in constant awe of Sarah J. Maas.  How does she do it?  I don’t even know where to start with this one.  Also, this is the third book and this review will contain spoilers by default.  If you haven’t read Heir of Fire, I wouldn’t recommend reading this review. So, beware.  Also, this is insanely long.  So, grab a snack and a cup of tea and sit down.  This might take a while. 

When I sat down to write this review, I never expected it to be this long.  I just started writing and all of my thoughts and feelings just kept pouring out.  And they WOULDN’T STOP.  So, here you have it: in its’ 2000+ word glory.  My Heir of Fire review (Book Talk? Discussion? Fangirling?)

I buddy read this with Kitty @ My Little Corner for Books.  It was a blast!  Buddy reading is great. Thanks so much Kitty for reading with me and hopefully we can do it again soon.  

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Published: 2014

Genres: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover                                                           

What is Heir of Fire about?

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight.


-- Celaena:

I guess the best place to start is with Celaena.   Before Heir of Fire, I had a hard time imagining myself thinking of her as anyone but “Celaena”.   I thought to myself “Sure, she’s Aelin, but she’ll always be Celaena to me.”  But, throughout Heir of Fire, I found myself thinking of her as Aelin.  I wanted her to refer to herself by her REAL name and be proud of it.  It’s another testament to Sarah J. Maas that she can change your viewpoints like that.  I support her so much as Aelin and it broke my heart every time she tried to push that away.  

I supported Celaena so much in her journey to figure out who she is and to own up to it.  And it was amazing to see her development as she learned to use her magic.  In the previous books, Celaena always had this fear.  And it was amazing for her to just let go of that in this book.  For her to finally say "She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius -- and she would not be afraid."  It took so much for her to become comfortable with the fact that YES she is Fae and her name is Aelin and she is powerful and the rightful queen of Terrasen.  Because that’s something that she’s spent the last 10 years trying to hide and push down.  I was rooting for her the whole way.   It felt so amazing for Celaena to finally accept herself as Aelin and be the incredible, kick-ass, fearless Queen that I know she is. 

To me, Celaena stands for who she was before.  The girl who initially we all fell in love with, and while still amazing, spent her life trying to hide and deny who she truly was.  Who didn’t believe in herself and wasn’t confident in her ability to take back her throne.  Who didn’t want any part of her heritage or her kingdom.   Aelin has accepted who she is.  She has honed her magical powers.  She is willing to fight for her people and her kingdom – to whatever end.  She has loyal friends who will fight beside her in her quest to reclaim what is hers.  Aelin is a whole new level of strength and power that Celaena never showed. 

And it feels so different.  But, at the same time, incredible.  Because for the first time, it finally feels like HER.  Like both her and I finally knew who she really was. 

-- Dorian:

It was amazing to finally see my old pals, Chaol and Dorian again.   They both grow and change a lot in this book.  Dorian falls in love, but also learns about his power and how to control it.  I’m really proud of Dorian.  He got something completely strange and unexpected thrown at him.  Yet, he learned how to control it and didn’t try to deny itI love how much Dorian supports Celaena unconditionally.  Whether she’s Celaena or Aelin.  Whether she’s human or fae.  Assassin or Queen.  And even with all of that, Dorian knows that he will always fight beside her, no matter what her name is or what powers she has.  And I love him for that.  I really came to realize (especially with the end scene) what an amazing king he will be.  (And he WILL be king)  He had such a clear, mature perspective on things and I love that he finally stood up to his dad like we’ve all been cheering for him to do from book 1.  (Although it kind of backfired.  Oops.) *sobs*.  

-- Chaol:

And Chaol.  Wow.  It’s no secret that I’ve always been a HUGE Chaolaena shipper.  I love Chaol.  But this book made me think about Chaol and see him in a bit of a different light.

As  Dorian points out, he doesn’t fully support Celaena anymore.  He can’t say that he still loves her, yet look in disdain at that fact that she’s a magical fae queen.  He can’t pick and choose which parts of her to love.  And the girl that he loved is dead.  She’s Aelin now.  And if he can’t support her in that, then he doesn’t support her at all. 

 I love the scene where he finally gives Chaol what he had coming to him.  And it was so important because someone needed to say that to Chaol.  And it had to be Dorian.  There are so many times in books where I’m yelling things at characters and thinking “someone needs to sit down with them and tell them to get their shit together.”  And Dorian actually DID.  He told Chaol exactly what I was thinking and exactly what needed to be said. 

I think there are certain things that Chaol just doesn’t like.  And he had a really hard time adjusting to and accepting the fact that two of the people he loved the most have magic.  He just wants everything to go back to the way it was.  But that’s never possible.   Celaena and Dorian have both moved forward and become new people.  He either had to follow them and accept that, or get left behind. 

The fact of the matter is though, is Chaol was the one reaching out and trying to discover things.  He was meeting with Aedion and helping the rebels.  Dorian wasn’t.   So, as much as he tried to pretend like he was conflicted, he knew it in his heart all along.  He was just too scared to admit it.  Because that would mean turning his back on everything he’s ever known.  The kingdom and king that he swore his life to.  And Chaol wasn’t ready to admit that to himself.  That he is willing to turn his back on that and commit treason.  That his friends mean more to him that his job or Adarlan.  He still loves Celaena.  And he's willing to fight beside her. 

I was really proud of Chaol, though, in the end scene.  It was amazing to finally see him draw that line and confirm who’s side he was on.  And that really meant a lot to Dorian too.  For Chaol to finally stop being a coward and to step forward and say that he will fight with Dorian and Aelin.  It was a really important moment.  It also broke my heart because we finally see Dorian and Chaol reconciling again.  I love their friendship so much and you can tell how much they mean to each other.  And you KNOW the line i'm talking about.  Gosh, I want to cry,  

-- Aedion:

And that brings us around to Aedion.   I wasn’t sure of him at first.  But, once we discover what he’s really been doing and whose side he’s on?  I loved him.  I think it takes a lot of strength to keep up hope.  To silently work his way up through the king’s ranks.  Even if he’s the monster who destroyed your kingdom and killed your family.  All the while, with the hope that one day, you will get revenge.  You will be reunited with Aelin again and she will rightfully claim her kingdom.  Aedion never lost hope.  He kept fighting, kept searching for Aelin.  I just love how emotional he would get sometimes when he would talk about Aelin.  How the thing he wanted the most was just to be able to see her again once.   You can tell how much he cared for her and still does care for her.  He’s really just an amazing man and you have no idea how badly I’m looking forward to their reunion. 

-- Rowan:

Rowan.  Going in, I had mixed feelings about him because all I had heard was that people ship him and Celaena.  And I didn’t like that. 

But I loved their relationship SO MUCH.  I LOVE IT SO MUCH IT HURTS.  In the beginning, it was a little rough.  But, as they grew closer and closer you could see how much Rowan cares for and supports Aelin.  She needed someone who was going to make her go out there and practice every day.  Who wasn’t going to let he off easy.  Who would kick her butt when necessary.   She needed some tough love.  And Rowan gave that to her.  She needed to be with someone who would call her Aelin.  Who wouldn’t back down.  Who tells her that believes in her and that she can be a kick-ass queen and fight for her kingdom. 

Rowan was so crucial to Celaena’s development and transition into Aelin in this book.  She couldn’t have done it without him.  But what I love is that they helped each other.  Rowan has seen a lot of horrible things and has gone through things that still haunt him.  He lost someone who meant the world to him, and he bears that burden still.  The guilt that they could have done something to save the ones they loved.  They are alike in so many ways.

Their relationship was one of the most beautiful relationships and (now) one of my favorites ever.   How much Rowan cared for Celaena and how concerned he got whenever she was in danger.  Yet, he still didn’t baby her.  I just love them so much and I can’t express it in words (thank goodness or you might be here all day).  The fact that you can love a relationship and that there can be so much love in a relationship and it doesn’t have to be romantic is incredible.  How Sarah J. Maas makes you love them so much just as friends.   Theirs is one of my all-time favorite friendships ever.   They care for each other so deeply and intimately, without being together romantically.

How Rowan reacted when he thought she died.  Didn’t it remind you of how Sam had to be restrained when Arobynn beat Celaena?  How he took care of her when she almost burned out.  There is no shame, no secrets between them.  She told him things that she’s never told anyone else before.  He knows more about her than anyone else.  In each other, they found their carranam.  That is so rare and special.  And to top it off, the blood oath.   There are so many things that will forever bind and connect them.  


I liked Manon!  It was really interesting to read from a witch’s POV.  To get inside her head.  And I loved it.  It reminded me a little of the old, bloodthirsty, darker Celaena who just wanted to kill people.

But what I loved about Manon was that as much as she tried to pretend she didn’t have a heart, she did. 

She was different from any of the other witches.  I loved the relationship between her and her wyvern, Abraxos.  It was so amazing and it makes me miss Celaena and Fleetfoot. 

I loved her personality and her fierceness.  But also how she could show compassion that everyone (witches included) thinks they don’t have.  When she swooped in to save Petrah.  All of the times when she protected Abraxos.

I don’t know quite how she’ll come into play in Queen of Shadows, but I’m sure she’ll have a big role.  And I hope that eventually, her and Aelin meet.  Because I really do think they would get along wonderfully.  

-- More Fangirling:

It was really important for Celaena (and us) to see how many people supported her.  She spent so long without her family.  She felt like she had no friends, one who cared about her.  She never thought she would find people that she would be able to share her secrets with.  People that would support her as Aelin and fight beside her no matter what.  And it was so important for her to see that.  That people believe in her.  And as much as that helped her in this book, I think it will really impact her in the second book.  Once she realizes that she has three incredible men (Dorian, Aedion, Chaol) who risked their lives for her and are willing to do anything in support of her.  That they will follow her anywhere.

I also really loved how much of Aelin’s childhood and past got revealed in this book.  We finally get to see what her childhood might have been like.  We see parts of her past.  Her first meeting with the king of Adarlan and Dorian.  Her with Aedion.  Her and her powers.  And what really happened that day that changed her life forever.  It was something I was always curious about and we got to see a lot of it in Heir of Fire.

Heir of Fire took the Throne of Glass series to a whole new level.  With this book, we were following a whole new plotline.  It has grown bigger that just Celaena and her problems.  I loved how we got to follow so many different storylines and see from different POV’s.  We’re following Aelin and Rowan and Chaol and Dorian and Aedion now. 

There were just so many amazing and important scenes in this book.  We finally get some more pieces of the puzzle.  There are confrontations and things said that you’ve been waiting the entire book (series?) for. All of the characters change and grow and learn and develop so much.  I loved all of the changes and think that everything is way better than it was before.  This book was a masterpiece and I loved every minute of it.  Heir of Fire really left off at a beautiful place.  The rumors are true.  Aelin Ashryver Galathynius is alive. And she is coming for revenge.  She is coming to save the people she loves.  And she is going to take back her kingdom.  

And that’s where I’m going to stop for today!  I have more thoughts and feelings, but that’s for another day.  We still haven’t even discussed Queen of Shadows theories yet!
But seriously, if you made it all the way through this review THANKS SO MUCH.  You should get a prize.  I appreciate you guys commenting and reading and being so wonderful!  And please comment your thoughts and feelings (because clearly I have plenty) so we can discuss!  


  1. This is such an awesome review Olivia!!! I'm totally on board with everything that you just said. I absolutely love how far Celaena has come, when she was fighting the dark princes with her fire at the end, I swear I was screaming at the book and breathing super hard, like I was there with her. Dorian and Chaol, my babies. I was also a Chaolaena shipper, but after Heir of Fire, I'm not even sure who I want her to end up with, she's just so badass on her own. Rowan and Manon were definitely surprises for me, in that I ended up liking them a lot more than I thought I would!! LOVE this review, can't wait for Queen of Shadows!

    1. Thanks so much! :D
      That was an amazing scene! But I was also super concerned for her, because the dark princes were just...woah.
      Same here! Celaena is so amazing on her own, that I don't even know if she needs to end up with anyone.
      I'm still a Chaolaena shipper. I always will be. My ship has not sunk yet!
      Yeah! I didn't know how I would feel about them, but I really loved them. Rowan especially.
      Same here!!

  2. Wasn't this book so freaking amazing!! I was jumping with joy when you told me you were reading it and so much more when I started reading your review haha. It's such a great review. I haven't written mine yet because I'll be rereading it and when I first read it, I read it so quick that I can't remember a lot of small details that I know might be important.

    I love everything about your review and agree with a lot of things, most things actually haha. I love how all the characters here had growth. My only issue was Chaol (sorry, I know you love him haha). I'm so glad he finally vocally picked a side but by the time he did I was like Chaol, I'm so tired of your shit, I'm done with you already! Then Dorian standing up to his father to protect Chaol ended up with him being imprisoned. Worst father of the year award here lol. That was one of my favorite scenes -- not how it ended but you know. Another favorite scene was when Dorian finally tells Chaol what he needed to hear. I was literally screaming and woo-hooing haha, you'd think I was crazy lol.

    I love the new characters! I love Rowan and Aelin's relationship and you're right about him not just enabling her and babying her, he treated her like an equal and trained her like one which was so great to see. I love Aedion's unwavering loyalty to Aelin (I picture him as Eomer from the Lord of the Rings haha). The last fight scene ugh was so crazy and I love how it infused some of Aelin's childhood past. I love getting to see how Aelin grew up and getting more information on her. Queen of Shadows is going to be insane! I can't wait for so many things to happen.

    Anjie @ Love thy Shelf

  3. Dorian's plan backfired so much;( I'm excited to see what's going to happen to him though. That sounds weird to say that though:P I liked Manon from the moment we read about her and I don't understand why other people didn't like her. Rowan and Aelin have a amazing relationship together. They are great partners. I can't believe I thought I saw Aedion somewhere else. I guess he reminded me of another character from the second book. It was soo heartbreaking to read about Aelin's past. Lady Marion *sob* That was so sad! Confrontations were great! I love how Dorian set Chaol straight! The ending really did push Chaol to choose his side. I just kept thinking how great would this be if it was a TV show? A good quality TV show that is. Amazing review:)

  4. Ha! That is one hell of a long review, but it's a great one! I love how that happens when we get really excited about a book. I have just recently read The Assassin's Blade and look forward to reading more in the series.