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?
As a reader, the third book in a series is often times the one that makes or breaks a series for me. It is a time for characters to either shit or get off the pot, as it were. In other words, they need to prove themselves to me so that I can choose to continue enjoying the series and not give up and move onto something entirely different. Characters will either have grown from the first time we meet them or else they've once again stumbled and bumbled their way through a story to the determent of the readers enjoyment.
I would say that there has been a whole lot of character growth by everyone from Celaena, to Chaol, as well as Dorian in Heir of Fire. Celaena's growth is the most appealing for me because she is supposed to be the heroine of the series, not someone who sits back and let's other fight her battles. She is supposed to be such a hard ass, that she can take on dozens of enemies with one hand, while enjoying a croissant with the other. Chaol and Dorian's growth comes with their ultimate choices at the end that leaves readers eager for the next book in the series.
It's a painful journey that Celaena must face in Heir of Fire because everything is hanging in the balance waiting to see what she does next. She has so much on her plate, that another lesser character might have withered away and died. She must face her vow of revenge to a friend. She must face a past that is horrific and bloody and one that she's buried deep within her psyche without truly getting over. She must face the fact that she has some major abilities that could change the landscape of the entire world, and bring down a King. She also must face her true feelings for Chaol, and accept that she is the heir to Terrasen, and not just the famous assassin Celaena Sardothien who was sent to Wendlyn by the Kind of Anderlan.
I enjoyed the fact that we get introduced to a new character named Manon Blackbeak of the Ironteeth Witch Clans. Manon is a character that I am keeping an eye on. She has the ability to be an amazing ally to Celaena, or a difficult adversary because of what Celaena did in Crown of Midnight. Although her story is part filler to show how the king is gathering dark forces to his side, Manon and her fellow witches most important mission is training to become riders of the wyverns. I would say that the witches portrayed in this series are definitely bloodthirsty, (they actually drink blood), and whether or not they are truly villainous in nature, remains to be seen. Personally, I would rather have Manon and her Thirteen on my side, than standing against me.
Fae Prince Rowan Whitethorn is perhaps the most enjoyable new character added to the series. Rowan, folks, is definitely the real deal and I am eager to see what happens next. Rowan takes a broken down Celaena who is more interested in drinking wine, and forgetting about her mission, and pushes her hard throughout her stay in Wendlyn. He forces her to face the fact that she's run from her true heritage for far too long. He makes her face reality that she's more than just an assassin, and she needs to stop hiding from her past. I wouldn't necessarily say that he's a romantic interest for Celaena at this point, because he is definitely not. I would say that Rowan is exactly the person Celaena needs in her life, and was just the person to push Celaena into her next phase of revenge against the King.
One of the more intriguing characters in Heir of Fire, is Aedion Ashryver, Celaena's, or should I say Aelin's cousin and childhood best friend. While we do get a glimpse into their childhood days, the more important point is that Aedion is entirely focused on finding Aelin and ensuring that she becomes Queen and defeats the King. He's been working secretly with the rebels, and building an network to return to Terrasen. Aedion is interesting because he is Chaol's polar opposite. While Chaol sent her to Wendlyn to protect her identity, Aedion is fiercely loyal and determined and puts his own life on the line for her. I truly don't think we've seen the last of Aedion in this series.
While Dorian is struggling to keep his magic a secret from his father, and finding a new love interest who can help him with control, Chaol is wandering around like a dead man walking. Chaol is probably the more frustrating character because his emotions are all over the place. We know that he's made a promise to return to his homeland. But we also know that he's dug his own grave by his own actions including not accepting Dorian's powers. I actually found myself screaming at Chaol to make a choice once and for all and stick with it. You did what you did to protect Celaena and her identity, you did what you did to save your best friend Dorian, isn't it time to jump aboard the rebellion?
I will say that Maas isn't afraid to make some interesting choices for Chaol, Aedion, and Dorian which leads to some curious avenues for the story to go from here. Heir of Fire is perhaps more character driven, than plot. At almost 600 pages, there is a whole lot of information to sift through. Like I said before, this is the time for characters to grow up, and prove themselves. It is also the time for an author to prove that she can rise to the challenge, and make her characters stand out from a crowded field all wanting to become the next Game of Thrones. Maas is definitely on the right track, and I am absolutely confident that the fourth novel in this series, will be just as awesome as the first three.
Author- Sarah J. Maas
Title - Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass # 3)
Published by Bloomsbury USA Children's
Releases - September 2, 2014
Genre - Young Adult Epic Fantasy
Format - E-Book 565 pages