Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Book Review | Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas.

"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 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?

This third novel in the Throne of Glass sequence, from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J Maas, is packed with more heart-stopping action, devastating drama and swoonsome romance, and introduces some fierce new heroines to love and hate." (synopsis from NetGalley)

I have been fondly referring to this book as the 'second round of set-up' for the Throne of Glass series. Surprisingly, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Celaena Sardothien is back, and she's mourning the loss of her closest friend. Ordered across the seas, she now has a new mission. Before she can do anything, someone finds her first. Someone she'd hoped she'd never meet.

Look, if we're being totally honest, I was weary with how this series was going to progress (given that Celaena is now on another continent and things are suddenly spread across seas and whatnot). This was undoubtably a new direction, and I worried that it wouldn't live up to my expectations (which, admittedly, are really, really high). Given this, Heir of Fire was done really well.

I only really had two issues with the book. One: the pacing. Heir of Fire was a little slower than it's predecessors. Given that Maas had to create this new continent (which she did exceptionally well, mind you) and the story's new direction, this was to be expected. It took its time in ramping up the speed. Still, it was slow. However, around halfway through, things really started to pick up. I found myself prioritising reading the novel over doing uni work (this happens often, but for context, I was reading this when I had six assignments due in a two week period).

My other issue is a really, really minor one: Manon Blackbeak. It's not that I hate her. It's not even that I dislike her. I just haven't entirely warmed up to her yet. It'll happen. Just not right now.

Now, the good things (and brace yourself, because there's a lot).

As you all very well know, Celaena Sardothien is my absolute-favourite-character-in-the-entire-world. I am ridiculously protective of her. She's a bad-ass with all the assassin-y skills. But you know what else she really enjoys? Shopping. Pampering herself. She is my favourite. In this novel, she was as great as ever. Admittedly, in the beginning I found her moping a little irritating. But then I got it - in this instalment, we see Celaena's vulnerability at an all time peak. Further development of the greatest character ever? I think yes.

Of the original characters, I think they were developed further, and it was great seeing what was happening back in Adarlan. My heart is a little crushed. I won't say why because *spoilers*

Of most of the new characters, I got very quickly invested. Particularly so in Aedion (who I found had some very similar parallels to Celaena - unsurprising, I suppose) and Rowan (who I think has a wonderful dynamic with her). And before you ask, no. No, I don't ship Rowan and Celaena. That relationship is purely platonic in my eyes.

As I mentioned before, Maas did a wonderful job with the new world of Wendlyn. Superb. Also, DRAGONS. They're coming. (Well, wyverns. But I've looked it up. They're pretty much the same thing).

I am so fricking keen to see where this series is going. Maas didn't exactly leave us on a cliffhanger in the normal sense. Nothing happened suddenly in the last pages. It's more of a cliffhanger of anticipation for the rest of the series.

Basically: Buy it the day it comes out. Then we can actually talk.

Rating: **** (4 Stars)
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: September 11th 2014

Want to buy it? You can get it here:
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC

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