Title: Heir of Fire
Author; Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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?
When I started this series, I hated Celaena. I thought she was arrogant and vain, and I was annoyed with how little she actually killed anyone after claiming to be the best assassin in the lands.
Oh, how she's changed.
I would never have guessed that two books later, I would be crying over this series. Celaena has grown so much since the first book, and her new determination to save and protect her people was heartbreaking considering how much it cost her. You see all the pain and trauma Celaena bottles up inside, because she thinks she doesn't deserve compassion or redemption, and it hurts. She is no longer the vain and selfish girl of Throne of Glass; she has become a courageous leader and is finally willing to confront her demons. It's amazing to think how powerful she will be in future books now that she has embraced her identity so fully.
Celaena isn't the only character who has changed. Dorian has grown up so much, from a fickle young prince to a leader who truly cares about his people. Dorian holds the key to defeating his father, and I loved watching his journey as he stepped into his new role. Chaol has had deal with so much betrayal that it's hard to imagine he trusts anyone at all; I loved seeing him mend his friendship with Dorian and continue to doggedly pursue what he felt was right.
There were many new characters that I grew to love as well. Rowan seems like a jerk for the beginning of the book, but the friendship and trust he builds with Celaena made me cry. For me, a beautiful friendship is worth more than a thousand love stories. True friendship is so rare, and this one in particular was so well-written and honest that I ached to share that same bond. On the other hand, Manon Blackbeak made my gut twist. The witches are more ruthless and cunning than I imagined, and Manon's chapters were so intense. I can't wait to see how her story collides with the others.
Another thing I didn't like about Throne of Glass was that the world seemed like fantasy-lite: oh look, there's a castle and some noblemen and some deep dark secret and that's about it. Heir of Fire has built on that world so much more, and it is now as multi-layered and complex as the best of fantasy worlds. I love getting to know different facets of the history and mythology of this world, and it's so interesting to see all the different magical and political power struggles.
When my OTSP Secret sister sent me this book in January, she said to be prepared for a kick in the feels. I can't think of a better way to describe this book. Thanks Katie!