Celaena has left Rifthold behind, in body is not in spirit. She knows that the lives of the people she cares about are in her hands, but she can't seem to shake off the fog and fatigue surrounding her. The royal family she was sent to kill are not monsters and tyrants, they are beloved by their people and she can't bring herself to kill them - although she would have faced a serious challenge from the highly trained and observant guards that protect them. When one of the Fae finds her in an alley Celaena has the chance to meet her aunt Maeve, a powerful Fae that everyone knows by name. The journey will not be pleasant, especially as the Fae, Rowan, seems to regard Celaena with a careful blend of disgust and disdain.
Meeting her aunt is supposed to help Celaena, supposed to help her unlock the riddle of the Wyrdkeys, save her friends from an evil tyrannical king, and help her keep her sworn vow to her dead friend. But Celaena should have learnt by now that nothing is that simple, that the path to victory will always be laced with pain, death, and terrible choices. Maeve is willing to help Celaena, but only if she learns to embrace her Fae heritage, only if she learns how to tap into and control her fire magic. It is an imposing challenge, because not only has Celaena spent most of her life trying to dampen and control her power - she has also spent nearly have her life trying to forget who she was and forget dark secrets from the past that are buried deep in her mind. She has faced trials and tribulations in her short life, trials that would have broken a lesser person, but she has yet to truly face her past. It is a race against time for Celaena and her friends - and it is a race they can not afford to loose.
At more than 550 pages Heir of fire requires a certain amount of commitment to finish it, but if you do (you know you want to!) what you will find is a sweeping saga that drags you into multiple stories that are slowly woven together through mystery, treachery, revelations, and a coming of age. This is the book where we finally get to see more of Celaena's past, a peak that explains so much more about her and where all the rage that simmers under the surface comes from. It is also the story that finally delves into the mythology of the world they all live in, explaining some of the mysteries of the past that we knew very little about - and makes you wonder more than a little about how much Celaena has changed in the past ten years that some people didn't recognise her - or did they?
The characters are what makes the Throne of glass series so intriguing and engaging - no one is perfect and everyone has some pretty major character flaws that make them stand out, make them more human. Throughout this story we gain a better understanding of some of the characters, and we are introduced to new characters who are obviously going to have their parts to play in the last three books in the series. One of the things I just adore about this series is that Maas doesn't talk down to her teenage audience, when things go badly they go badly, when there is death and disaster you get to feel the agony, the pain, the despair.
This is the kind of book that I wish had been written when I was a teenager, to find this sort of depth and realism I had to read books from "adult" authors because there was simply nothing this gritty and sweeping for me to read. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens next - and I have the collected novella's to read while I wait!
If you like this book then try:
- Throne of glass by Sarah J. Maas
- Crown of midnight by Sarah J. Maas
- A court of thorns and roses by Sarah J. Maas
- Ink and bone by Rachel Caine
- Arrows of the queen by Mercedes Lackey
- The kiss of deception by Mary E. Pearson
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Grave mercy by Robin LaFevers
- The hunt by Andrew Fukuda
- Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
- The pledge by Kimberly Derting
- Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
- Daughter of smoke and bone by Laini Taylor
- The demon trapper's daughter by Jana Oliver
Reviewed by Brilla