Heir of Fire is the third book in the Throne of Glass series—if you didn’t know that I’m not sure where you’ve been for like the last five years—if you have not read the first two books this review will include spoilers. You can read my review of Throne of Glass here and Crown of Midnight here.
I read this like a week and a half ago—I was in a binge okay and forgot to stop and write the review before reading the next book—so please bear with me if it is not super descriptive. Things are a little fuzzy and blurring between books. This is also really long because there are just so many characters to touch on and things to say about this book and series.
Like Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire has all the makings of a filler book. It’s that part in a fantasy or dystopian novel where the heroine is having a training montage before defeating the bad guy. But then within the same book she goes and fights the bad guy. Heir of Fire as a whole book is a training montage for Celaena. I didn’t particularly mind it though because she is my favorite, and also because we finally get to see magic and enter into that “world.”
Writing wise, I mean it is very on par with the rest of the series. There are a bit more point of view switches before now that characters are split up and there are more of them. But it still not hard to handle.
And just plot-wise, we now know a little bit more on how evil the king really is and what he is creating and what needs to be retrieved to stop him—the Wyrdkeys.
Like I said, we get a decent amount of new characters. There’s Maeve, the not-so-nice Fae Queen. And then there is Rowan—fae warrior and prince—who I am particularly fond of, even though that might be an unpopular opinion. And I think just two more big new characters, Manon and Aedion.
Okay, so at the end of the last book we found out Celaena is Aelin, the supposedly dead Princess of Terrasen. Honestly, I had an inkling of this in the first book when Dorian was looking for the princess. But then I kind of forgot about it going into the second. I’m glad, not only does Celaena have some super cool magic now, but it kind of answers the ‘why her’ question in regards to like all of this.
Celaena—I’m going to call her Celaena, because I believe that is still what she likes to be called in this book. Anyway, she is still beyond interesting in Heir of Fire. Her secret has been revealed to us and Chaol; and she is now on a continent where the fae rulers live and know who she is.
Really she is having this internal war. Celaena does not want to readopt her identity as Aelin. Yet, she still has the guilt and want to somehow help, she is just not sure how. All of this strongly motivated by Nehemia’s death. I liked seeing this kind of struggle, guilt, and grief playing out in her. She is a little broken here. It just means she needs to start to put herself back together—and then maybe she can conquer and defeat the king.
Chaol is a bit different in this book as well, as a result of Celaena’s real identity being revealed. Obviously, knowing everything he does he still hates the king. But now he is questioning what Celaena/Aelin will do and he just really doesn’t like magic or trust it—especially trust her with that power after his country has been her enemy for so long. He feels similarly afraid and untrusting of Dorian’s magic. He just doesn’t want to know and really isolates himself.
I know a lot of people don’t like or agree with his characterization after the first two books, but I got it. Like he could handle Celaena as an assassin—what he thought were her worst memories and secrets. And that’s really why she loved him, but then this whole other identity of her is revealed to him. It isn’t the same girl he understood and fell in love with and that really like scares and angers him.
Then to check on our lovely Dorian. Sadly, with Celaena gone and Chaol acting like a butt, he is pretty alone. I felt bad for him. He misses his friends and is trying to deal with this unfamiliar magic that might just get him killed.
And some new characters…
Like I said, lots of new characters.
So Maeve—Celaena’s kind of aunt—is a real piece of work. That’s all I’m going to say. She’s not present a lot page-wise but she looms as a presence.
But I do love Rowan, who is one of the queen’s blood-sworn and is assigned to train Celaena. I definitely have a thing for territorial alpha-fae males it seems. That and the grumpy, brooding, strong male—but secretly humorous and sweet—trope. And Rowan is all of that. Beautifully, perfectly, all of that.
I mentioned Aedion before but just to go a little more into him, because he feels like he is going to become a major player. His name has definitely come up before. He’s Celaena’s cousin but has also been working as a general for the king. He’s a bit slippery, and it’s hard to see where his loyalty might lie.
And lastly, Manon. Celaena killed a witch in the last book, Manon is one of those witches just of a different clan. I think it was cool to see a different like breed or race of magical beings in this book. Like we’re introduced to fae here and the witches. She has these really badass metal talons and teeth. I liked her, but I still felt myself wanting to skim or skip her pov sections—which actually were quite often—only to get to Celaena’s part.
Like I hadn’t already built up a relationship with her and just wanted to get to the characters I had one with. I will say her and her thirteen—the group of kick-butt witches she leads—are awesome, and I loved the Wyverns—which are essentially (smaller?) dragons they fly. Her Wyvern, Abraxos was adorable and so lovable. He actually kind of reminded me, both in what I pictured as appearance and temperament, of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.
Anyway, I know this book faces a lot of criticism of ‘eh’ or kind of ‘the beginning of the end’ to when people start to get mad with the series, but I really enjoyed it. I think part of it is being open to relationships changing and shifting. I mean that’s what essentially happened between the first two books and if that didn’t bother you there I feel like it shouldn’t here. Sarah J. Maas—as we can also tell from the ACOTAR series—likes to put characters through traumas that change them and change how they relate to those around them. And she obvs loves an alpha male.