[A quick note: I admit I’m rather surprised by the improvement I’ve witnessed in this series. I love when a series gets better and better. I suppose it should NOT be surprising, given that Throne of Glass was SJM’s first ever book and she found ways to improve. I’m glad I took everyone’s advice and stuck with the series because it’s gone from a 3 star to a 5 star in my eyes.]
“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.”—Sarah J Maas (Heir of Fire)
(5/5⭐️) Sometimes it takes tough love to uncover true potential. Celaena wants to run from who and what she is. After everything that’s happened, she has given up on life. Until Rowan Whitethorn shows up. Charged with orders to train her, he’s got no patience for her antics. From enemies to friends, they must battle the barriers of her magic. When Rowan encounters a string of killings along the shore, he and Celaena discover the arrival of something sinister, an ancient threat from another world. It’s coming for them, and Celaena’s magic is the only thing strong enough to save them.
Wow! What a whirlwind adventure! I could not put this book down. The addition of new POVs kept me turning pages. Each time I tumbled into one character’s story line, I was switching to the next. And while these characters were all part of a storyline woven together, they were were unique in their own way, with their own flaws and their own challenges.
Heir of Fire was progressively better than the first two books. The plot and character development stood out the most. It also felt more mature than the last two. Celaena’s development really impressed me. At the beginning, she was running from herself. This became more and more evident as she struggled through her training with Rowan:
“You collect scars because you want proof that you are paying for whatever sins you've committed. And I know this because I've been doing the same damn thing for two hundred years. Tell me, do you think you will go to some blessed Afterworld, or do you expect a burning hell? You're hoping for hell--because how could you face them in the Afterworld?”
But in the end, she faced her demons. She accepted her fate. This challenge was woven seamlessly into the main plot. And the plot itself was gripping. My favorite moments were near the end, when Celaena faced Mave. I felt like she’d conquered something huge. It was extremely fulfilling.
I also really enjoyed Celaena and Rowan’s relationship development. I’m a huge fan of enemies to lovers, and while they aren’t exactly lovers (yet?) they are very close. He starts off as such an ass! I disliked some of the things he did. But we learn his reasons, and he softens up. It was a testament to the author’s ability that she made me hate him before loving him. I think Celaena felt the same by the end:
“Gods, he was brilliant. Cunning and wicked and brilliant. Even when he beat the hell out of her. Every. Damn. Day.”
I cannot think of a single thing about this book that I would change. This story was gripping, the characters were fleshed out. The plot was riveting. The pace kept me turning pages. And each time I set the book down, I could not stop thinking about it. I’m still thinking about it, days later. I want to pick up the fourth book SO badly but I’m waiting a few weeks. That wait is going to be torture! I highly recommend this series.