Writing style: 9/10
My Opinionated Review
Note: This is a review for the third book in the Throne of Glass series. You can find the reviews for the previous two books here:
Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire is the third book in the epic Throne of Glass series, taking Celaena to a new journey of making peace with what she truly is. It is such a different book compared to the first two, with the use of a completely different storytelling method by bringing quite a few different plots into one book and introducing new characters’ perspectives. Although it continues to be Celaena’s journey, multiple perspectives give this book new angle and new insights.
After the mind-blowing revelations and action-packed events that took place in book two, Celaena endures on a new journey to a far away land, where magic still exists, Fae are mighty powerful creatures, and new challenges are awaiting the heroine. In order to be able to understand the enemy better, she seeks her Aunt, Queen of the Fae. But answers do not come easy, and Celaena must endure incredibly tough training in order to gain control over her magical abilities. Back in Adarlan, Chaol and Dorian have to face new issues and choose what side they are on.
There were quite a few good things about this book. The introduction to new lands and the magical Fae abilities were needed for a long time. I really liked how Maas focused on different characters, making their individual storylines develop, and transforming these supporting love interests into leads. I also really respect the author’s decision to present the reader with the long training process, indicating that nothing big can happen overnight, and accepting a part of yourself you have been denying for many years is not easy, and takes much strength and endurance.
Nevertheless, this story felt like a filler book, making me want to skim-read at quite a number of times. While I believe that Maas really grew as a writer, the book left me with so many mixed feeling that by the end of the book I could not help but feel disappointed.
At first, I was excited to see how all the characters were going to develop separated from each other. And objectively, I loved many things in this book. I loved that the author is very bold, and is not afraid to give the reader pain, ruin friendships and relationships and show dangerous characters who make mistakes and learn their lessons slowly. I loved that nothing happened overnight, and it took vast amounts of time to prepare for battling such great evil. I was sad to see the rift between the characters from the first book, but understood why it happened, and respected Maas for not giving the reader a happy painless story. I loved that she understands that in war, nothing is white and black, and that choosing a side or accepting who you are do not come easy. She created a believable story in such a magical world.
Getting to know the Fae world and learning more about Celaena’s ancestry was great. I loved seeing Chaol and Dorian having their own storylines and developing so much as individual characters, although the rift in their friendship saddened me a great deal. I loved seeing Celaena accepting who she is, and finding someone that understands and accepts the part she was so eager to hide. I loved the last few chapters especially, so much has happened, so many things were revealed, and by the end, I have loved every single character, and understood their point of view, no matter how different it was.
However, this book was boring. Oh boy, there were so many chapters where nothing happened, so many new characters that I did not care about (And if you have not read the book, minor spoilers ahead). First, the witches. It took me ages to get into the story, I just did not care what happened there. And although by the end of the book I happened to love Manon very much, but for the most part of the book I was trying really hard not to skim-read her chapters.
Second, new Dorian’s love interest. She was not a bad character, but she was not an interesting character either. Although I saw the necessity of that storyline by the end of the book, that Cinderella type angst did nothing for me. I wanted to see more of Dorian working with his magic and mending his and Chao’s friendship instead of seeing all this unnecessary angst.
Then it was Aedion. I think I enjoyed his introduction the most. He was a perfect combination of a strong and cunning douche and a loving dedicated cousin, and him and Chaol working together was one of the most entertaining storylines in the book.
And then it was Rowan. I have heard so many good things about his character before reading this book, and although not knowing anything about him besides that he is amazing, I had quite high expectations about his introduction. The more I read, the more I liked him, I loved how he pushed Celaena and helped her accept who she is, loved how over time. He and Celaena developed such a strong bond, and I believe that he was quite a necessary addition to the story. However, I do not think that he is THAT amazing. I mean, he is great and all, but I still enjoy other characters like Chaol and Dorian more. For now, I love how Maas is putting friendships above romance, but I am so afraid that Rowan is going to become yet another love interest for Celaena (and she has enough of them already) and ruin this beautiful parabatai-like bond that Rowan and Celaena have going on now.
The thing that I like the least is the growing rift between the main characters from the firs book. Although I did not enjoy Chaol’s character as much in Heir of Fire as I did in previous books, I still believe he is the best character here. I still can tolerate Celaena and appreciate her bad-ass-ery , but somehow her endless assassinations are easily excused while Chaol’s fear of what magic can do and refusal to accept only one side (whether it is abandoning his city and accepting a very dangerous new queen or being loyal to a cruel King) gets so much judgement.
Hopefully, the story will get better as there is so much potential for it to go upwards or downwards, but I will be hoping for the best. With six books in the series, the filler book was to be expected, and although it required quite a lot of suffering, now I like the new characters very much. I liked that there wasn’t that much focus on romance, as I find it silly when characters spend more time obsessing over their love life than war. But I still hope Chaol and Celaena will find their way back to each other. Also, I expect for more focus on bromances, since there are so many great ones here.
Overall, I did not enjoy this book that much. So many characters were completely transformed, and the new ones did not hold my interest. However, the impressive world-building and complex plot makes me believe that it will get better.
What did you think of the book? Are you a pert of the people who absolutely love the series, or the ones who dislike it? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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