Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

7:00 PM

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas | Rating: ★★★☆☆

“You collect scars because you want proof that you are paying for whatever sins you've committed. And I know this because I've been doing the same damn thing for two hundred years. Tell me, do you think you will go to some blessed Afterworld, or do you expect a burning hell? You're hoping for hell--because how could you face them in the Afterworld? Better to suffer, to be damned for eternity and--” Review also found here.

I couldn't for the life of me decide if I wanted to rate this a 2 or a 3. I've said it before in the past that I have rather lukewarm feelings for the series. While, without a doubt, the second installment in Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series, Crown of Midnight was ions better than the introduction, the third didn't quite do it for me in the same way that TOG didn't.

In fact, I was very underwhelmed. A good chunk of the story was spent not really connecting to the characters; despite enjoying them and the world-building. I was a bit intrigued but nothing to write home about. I felt like, in the case of Heir of Fire a lot of development was undone or cast aside for one thing or another. I still love Celeana/Aelin, Dorian and Chaol--and I was interested in a few of the new faces we meet. I didn't mind Sorscha half as much as other fans did. I liked Manon well enough although her chapters weren't always the strongest of the novel. I was intrigued by Aedion and his backstory.

But then there's Rowan. I just didn't like him a good chunk of the time and can't see that changing any time soon, despite the fact that he seemed to warm by the end. He is a stereotypical alpha male who is just... not my cup of tea. And began the story on a rather rocky start without improving much until the last minute.

(Ahem. He f*cking punched her. And referred to her as worthless. Let's not romanticize that, kids.)

Naturally, my favourite parts of this novel involved the characters I like to call the core three. I know this has shifted a bit with the introduction of multiple new characters but, for me, Celaena, Dorian and Chaol are the mains and the ones I am most invested in.

I thought Chaol's growth was pretty on point (although he is still an exceptionally flawed character) and seeing Celaena's journey directing her from where she has been all these years to her royal title was very beautifully drawn. I was a little disappointed in the scenes we got of Dorian. I still love my boy but I wish he would have continued to be developed beyond his romantic relationship.

(I love the pairing of Sorscha/Dorian, though and am 100% devastated by it. The scene of him on the floor was very emotionally damaging.)

The bad news is... I spent the first 50% of this novel snoozing. I was literally on autopilot. I could not get into it for the longest of times and found it to be utterly slow rather than fast paced like the previous two. Even in its flaws, I felt more captivated by Throne of Glass than I did Heir of Fire. The good news is that it actually did pick up in the last half. Especially in the last quarter.

Which almost made up for some of its less than stellar quirks. I didn't know what to think. And then when I did know what to think--I was completely shattered. Which, I guess, is a good thing because it means I will definitely be continuing on with the series in Queen of Shadows and Sarah J. Maas will probably rip my heart out again and again before the series is paused. All I'm thinking is protect the core three at all costs.

Though Heir of Fire was slow to start it did have its redeeming qualities and left on a note that kept me dangling from my seat. Mostly, I love the characters and the world-building and can't praise Sarah J. Maas enough for it. While I preferred the A Court of Thorns and Roses series best by her, it does have its redeemable qualities and is surely an entertaining read with a good dash of romance, action and mystery.

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