Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena 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. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?
Heir of Fire stepped things up in a big way, introducing a bunch of new characters, settings, creatures, and a lot more about Celaena’s history. It was a lengthier book than the others and a bit slower at the beginning, but was filled with all the familiar twists and turns and unending questions!
I don’t read all that much fantasy and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that deals with Fae characters. So I can’t really comment on how Maas’ fae characters stack up against other fae stories. On the fantasy aspect, I do think she’s weaving together a bunch of disparate elements into a story that feels fresh. In my opinion, Heir of Fire is the first book in this series that really shows its fantasy heritage and I enjoyed that.
A review I read online talked about how Heir of Fire feels like the true “start” to the story with Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight functioning like an overlong prologue. I don’t completely agree with that, but I get what they mean. The Harry Potter series is like that. The first two books are very fun and not all that dark. Book three is where the darkness arrives in full force and by the time we get to book four, the story has taken a noticeable turn into serious territory. Much the same for Heir of Fire.
I wasn’t sure about all these new characters being introduced, but I came to really like them, particularly Manon, Abraxos, and Rowan. Especially Rowan. After Crown of Midnight, I wasn’t sure if I liked the direction the romance was going at all, but Heir of Fire calmed my poor heart a little bit.
I debated whether I should read The Assassin’s Blade or Queen of Shadows next. I had thought to maybe read them in publication order, but in order to do that, I would have had had to read The Assassin’s Blade before Heir of Fire. So much for that. Ultimately, I decided to start The Assassin’s Blade. I’m looking forward to learning more about Celaena’s history before going back to Adarlan for Queen of Shadows!