August 31, 2015

Book Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

August 31, 2015

Heir of Fire
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #3
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 562 pages

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.
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.


With the long-awaited September 1 release of the fourth installment in Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling series, Throne of Glass, I just had to get my hands on Heir of Fire before the big day.  Luckily, I tracked down a copy at a local library, and my wonderful mom (Thanks, mom!) picked it up during her lunch break.  I tore through this fictional gold in a day, and oh boy, do I have a lot to say about it.

As we all know, the Throne of Glass series is one of the book blogosphere's greatest literary loves.  And it's a love I do understand, but I was never truly invested in this series . . . until this book.  From the characters, to the complex storyline, to the dialogue, I have to say I now understand the hype.  I finally get why everyone's been praising and swooning and yes, fangirling, over this series year after year.

Here's why:

+ Rowan

+ Rowan

+ Rowan

+ Rowan

+ Rowan

If you can tell, I kind of liked Rowan.  (How can you not?!)  I am THE BIGGEST sucker for these "Rowan types."  You know what I mean: the silent, strong guy with a whole story to uncover behind their facade.  Rowan is intense.  Scary.  Passionate.  Lethal.  Loyal.  And he's exactly what Celaena needed in this third book: a mentor and a friend.  If you're one of the few who have yet to start the series or catch up before book four, I would say, GET. ON. READING!  Trust me, you are so in for a treat.  Rowan is just one of many newly introduced characters to our beloved cast, a fae prince and warrior full of that "kick-assery" and "no-bullshit" personality we all love to read about.  I truly see him as Celaena's equal, and it was a priviledge to read about the two of their personal journeys in this book.  In a completely non-romantic way, they completed each other.  And I loved their platonic relationship in this book.  Celaena did not need another guy to add to her love triangle (though I honestly wouldn't mind them together).  She simply needed a friend and a supporter, and she got it: Rowan.

+ Celaena's journey

We're used to Celaena expertly scaling walls and wreaking havoc upon her enemies, but we are not so used to her showing signs of weakness.  We've come to know Celaena as that badass, tough assassin, but in this book, we see a different side of her.  She's . . . broken.  Devastated.  Heartbroken.  And personally, I loved reading about her "weak" side.  Yes, she's a phenomenal warrior, but when it comes down to it, she's really just . . . a girl.  Sometimes it's easy to forget such a simple fact as this, but Celeana has her struggles and her setbacks and her hardships just like the rest of us.  Sarah J. Maas brought a very real side to our beloved assassin in Heir of Fire, and you'll find yourself somehow loving Celaena even more.

+ The Magic

In Heir of Fire, Celaena travels across the vast sea to Wendlyn.  A land, unlike Erilea, that is still teeming with magic and its magical fae inhabitants.  A HUGE plus to this story was the magical aspects.  Celaena is the Heir of Fire, which means she gets even more badass than ever before in this third book.  The magical aspects of the story really brought the definition of "action" to a whole new level.  Just imagine: fire shooting across the battlefield.  Animal warriors.  Massive, magical creatures.  Dark, deathly, horrors literally from another world . . . They're all in this book.

- The POV Shifts

Throughout the book, we shift from chapter to chapter following along three main characters in third person:

1. Celaena/Aelin

2. Chaol

3. Manon

I hate to say it, but the constantly shifting perspectives in Heir of Fire, I feel, hurt the book.  I was never a fan of constantly shifting POVs, but a few awesome books are able to accomplish such a feat.  Unfortunately, Heir of Fire was not one of those books.  Really, the only POV I truly enjoyed reading was, of course, Celaena's.  Chaol's chapters weren't too bad, as I saw the point in them.  

And then, we come to our new character, Manon's, chapters.  Manon is an Ironteeth - a supposedly heartless, cold-blooded witch with a knack for killing.  Throughout the book we read along as she basically trains her dragon and learns to "grow a heart."  And I'm going to be painfully honest here: Manon's chapters were painfully boring.  No matter how I tried, I just couldn't bring myself to take interest in Manon, her character, or her disposition.  I fought the unyielding urge to skip through her chapters whenever I did come across them.  

I do understand the purpose of these chapters, as Manon will obviously come into bigger play in the books to come.  However, I wish her book time was cut down or written with a bit more excitement.  Still, I look forward to seeing how everything will all meld together in the end.

Queen of Shadows, you shall be mine.

author image

Julia Anne

I'm a teen with a refined taste for good books and great writing, currently living in Honolulu, HI. I'm a reader. A dreamer. And an aspirant writer. One day I have hopes to travel the world, but for now, I'll settle with venturing through the written works I read.


  1. YES!! Rowan Whitethorn *swoons* was the one thing in HoF that made it SO. GOOD. It's true that he was more of a loyal friend than lover, but a girl can dream right? Celaena did show her weak self a lot more, and I was glad that she had found Rowan to support her. Lovely review :)

    Olivia @ Fictionally Obsessed

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  3. Oh I haven't read this one yet!! I didn't know it was that long haha.
    Omg omg who's Rowan?! A fae prince?!! *runs to get the book*

    Lipstick and Mocha

  4. I didn't like this quite as much as you did Julia Anne, but I'm so glad it was such a huge hit for you. :) I felt that the multiple POVs definitely weakened the book - it seemed 90% of the time they were there for no reason and didn't add anything to the story. (Like Manon's POV especially. I mean, I can understand why Maas put her POV in there if she met up with Celaena & co, but that never happened unfortunately). Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

  5. I'm still in the middle of HoF and I agree with the shifting POVs. I'm really skimming through Manon. I'd hoped she meets up with Celaena but I don't think that's going to happen? I'm on the fence about Rowan because he's basically abusing her right now but at the same time, Celaena has also been wayyyy too overconfident to let slip [I love her arrogance as a flaw but it's about time someone told her off.] I'm hoping I'll enjoy the rest of the book!

  6. Ahh! The same thing happened for me; I enjoyed ToG and CoM but HoF solidified my love of the series. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF ROWAN. Oh god, he's absolutely at the top of the list of favorite characters of mine. I was sooo excited when Sarah said we'd get his POV in Queen of Shadows. And I loved their relationship in this book too, so much. While it wouldn't bother me if they became more (not at alllll, they definitely have potential) I definitely love the platonic side of things between them, especially because it seemed to be what she needed most. I also thought Manon's chapters were a bit boring in this one, but definitely intrigued to see how she becomes a big part of the story. :D Great review, glad you enjoyed it!!

  7. I LIKE Rowan, but CHAOL will always be the guy for me. I love the journey that all of these characters go through in this book, Celaena's probably the most. Aedion, Dorian, and Chaol all have issues to work through as well, and I loved the character development. The POV shifts made this book a bit boring (Manon is cool and all, but ugh her POVs were so boring as were Sorscha's). The last 100 pages of the book were insanely awesome! Lovely review <3

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

  8. I'm sooo nervous about reading HOF, but I've heard amazing things. I just love Chaol so much, that I know that when I finally read about the infamous Rowan, I'll love him more and will possibly ditch my original ship lol. I have no clue as to who this Manon girl is, but I guess we shall see. I decided to start this next month, or a time where I can read Queen Of Shadows right after!

  9. Consuming this book in a day? I am so glad that you loved it so much and can understand why everyone is gaping about the series! Ahaha, I can see that Rowan is very popular among readers lately :3 I should really start this series and see what this is all about. I like the sound of the journey of the main character (C ... I don't even know how to spell that xd) is really coming together and we can see all this development!

  10. I agree with EVERY single one of these points! If I wrote a review of Heir Of Fire, it would be EXACTLY this, complete with all the Rowan loving! And Manon? OHMYGOD. I feel like I like her more since it's 2016 and I've already read Queen Of Shadows, but yes, I do totally remember wanting to skip past her chapters! However, it did lead to greater things....


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