Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Heir of Fire: review

Book three of the Throne of Glass series, so yes SPOILERS for the second two.

Goodreads summary:
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy. 

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

I really want to give this 5 stars…4.75 all right?

After the awesomeness of Crown of Midnight, and its awful cliffhanger, I wasn't sure what to expect from Heir of Fire. First of all it's like twice as long. There is no second of all. It's just really freaking long.

This installment follows three points of view. Celaena's voyage to the fae realm, introducing Manon the Iron Witch (is that what they're called?) being evil/up to no good in the far mountains, and Chaol and Dorian's goings on back in Adarlan's castle of glass. You see why this has to be so long, it's like three stories woven together. It was done excellently, I must say. 

Celaena's story was the slowest, I think. At least through the entire middle of the book. You remember in the Eragon series where he goes and trains for ever and ever in the second book? That's like what it was. Celaena's so messed up right now with guilt, depression from her best friend's death, and oh this Queen of fae crown she's supposed to take on and save everybody with. It's a lot for her to handle, and her instructor, Rowan, is super obnoxious about helping her take control of her magic. Eventually, the relationship between Celaena and Rowan becomes one of the most interesting I've come across. It's slow building, but intensely deep and not in the way you might think. And her magical powers are outstanding and awesome. Once she stops incinerating everything within a mile of her.

When we meet Manon…well I wanted to run way screaming in the other direction. She and her people are so terrifying with their iron teeth and nails and bloodthirstiness, it's amazing. There's some real woman power here, and it's too bad these warriors are on the bad side. It's a sort of behind the scenes to what the king is planning, and a different perspective on the war.

Now for Chaol's and Dorian's perspective. Chaol is definitely becoming more complicated. As much as he loves Celaena, her fae powers scared him at the end of Crown of Midnight, and now he's a little unsure where his loyalties lie. Or I should say to whom his loyalties lie. Watching this internal struggle and the straining relationship with his friend and prince, Dorian, is hard, but very real. It's never black and white with these things like war and friendship. 

Dorian on the other hand, is trying to control his newfound magic in secret as well as…yeah that's mostly it. At least from what I can remember, he's having an awful time of it, being prince and everything, and disagreeing with his evil dad, all that really fun stuff. I'm really proud of him for moving on from Celaena in the romantic sense though. I really didn't expect that maturity which started in the last book. It only strengthens in here, and he (successfully?) starts a new romantic relationship too. He isn't just 'that other guy'--that boat sailed long ago. Because this series is about so much more than Celaena and her badassery and fancy dresses.

I think my slight of loss stars is…there is no actual interaction between Celaena and Chaol. From a fangirling point of view, I was in a state of depression. I needed my sexual tension!!! Nope, character building it is, I guess. Kudos for that aspect (lack of romance whatsoever) and still making the book an incredibly enjoyable read.

Wait, I have to wait another year for the next one? Okay, I AM glad this story keeps going because it looks like this is just the beginning...

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