Top positive review
Reviewed in India on 17 October 2018
This month, I started a reread of the series to prepare for the upcoming and highly anticipated release of Kingdom of Ash, the conclusion to Aelin’s (Celaena’s) story.
At one point during my initial read of Throne of Glass, I was contemplating giving up on the series, and might not have picked up Heir of Fire at all. After reading ToG and CoM, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about, since this series was a favourite of so many people I knew. Honestly, I didn’t like them that much at all the first time I read them. The writing was poor, especially the excessive use of exclamation marks which made me pause and cringe every time I came across it. The overused addressing of Celaena as “the Assassin” or Dorian as “the Prince” and Chaol as “the Captain” too was terrible, as if shoving their titles in my face repeatedly would make them seem more important and powerful. It just ended up annoyed me. And I didn’t feel particularly connected to any of the characters (I did love Celaena though) or invested in the story.
But I gave this series one last chance to redeem itself, and it did not disappoint. Heir of Fire pulled me in like none of the other books had, and carved itself a special place in my heart. From here onward, the Throne of Glass series too a major turn, a turn that set it on the course of becoming one of my favourite series’. It was the book that made you either more interested and invested in the story, or hate it with all your heart. There is no in-between. I’ve read reviews that call it slow or boring or downright awful, stating that the series took a wrong turn and went in a direction that completely veered off from what it started out as. Fortunately, it was just what I needed.
Heir of Fire is the story of Celaena Sardothian on her journey to becoming Aelin Ashryver Galathynius. It’s Celaena healing from her past, from all the atrocities she’s witnessed, from believing shes worthless, from what she was forced to endure. It’s her coming back, from that edge she was about to tip over, when Nehemia says “don’t let the light go out”. Celaena and Aelin are two distinctly different people. And her transformation is one of the best written I’ve ever encountered. It’s so realistic and portrays her struggles in such a way that you are stunned by the depth of what you have read. She has to accept herself and forgive herself for her past. She has to shoulder her responsibility. She has to claim her birthright.
"She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, and she would not be afraid"
Rereads add something to the story that is lost the first time. Maybe you just pay more attention, maybe the details stick in your mind better… But the feelings invoked are stronger, and you appreciate the story more. I’m still in awe over how Aelin’s journey was handled, and I don’t think that was too important to me the first time I read it. Heaps of information I’d forgotten were brought back, which is not particularly important or integral to the story but what I find rather interesting such as the crossing the witches made from the wastes across the White Fang mountains and Ruhnns after magic disappeared. The loss of magic meant their brooms didn’t work anymore and they started to age again, so they couldn’t survive in the wastes. I loved these little details that added so much depth to the story, as it built up the world beautifully.
Another thing that was amazing was Aelin’s and Rowan’s friendship. It does develop into a romantic relationship I know, but it was just so pure and refreshing here. Both of them, broken and scarred people, finding happiness again by helping each other… And I’m glad that it’s not that insta-love rubbish, because nothing, nothing, puts me off more. True love after you just meet a person? *scoffs* This is how it’s supposed to be. Respect and friendship. It seems perfectly reasonable that they should fall in love in the near future, after truly knowing each other.
Rowan is the most stubborn, arrogant and prideful idiot in the whole of Erilea, and I love him to bits. I don’t think anyone else could have helped bring Aelin back as well as he did, especially because he is probably the only person who went through something that was somewhat similar (though not even close to what Aelin did). He understood her, and gave her just the amount of space she needed, but also knew when to step in and help. They make such a good team, honestly. Under all the “I don’t care about anyone, and I don’t need any friends” attitude, he’s an actual cinnamon roll who desperately wants to be understood. He’s also the most responsible and level-headed person Aelin knows, so it’s probably a good thing they’re a team as he’ll balance Aelin out nicely.
Parallel stories are another thing that made the plot more interesting and intricate. We have Aelin’s healing arc, Dorian’s magic and Sorscha arc, Aedion and Chaol’s rebellion arc, and finally Manon’s introduction arc.
Aedion. AEDION. AEDION. I think I may be just melting into a puddle by just thinking about him. I’m so glad to finally have him back in the story! He’s the sweetest, most brilliant and kindest people ever. And my heart breaks for him every time he thinks he’s not worthy of serving Aelin, or that he would do anything to see her one last time. These two are goals I swear. Aelin and Aedion could do anything together, burn the world down for all I care, and I’d be crying with pride seeing my beautiful, stabby children together. Cause that’s all they want. To be together again. I AM CRYING NOW. *sobs*
Manon’s story was WONDERFUL. Because, dear god, I love that witch. She is cold, brutal and gloriously, fiercely wicked. Tell me why I’d ever want anything else. Sarah J Maas could write about how Manon brushed her teeth and I would pay every cent I had to read it. Coming to think of it, it would be interesting to learn how Ironteeth Witches keep their iron teeth from rusting… Magic I suppose. ALSO, I NEED A WYVERN. Preferably one that’s called Abraxos and has spidersilk wings and likes to smell wildflowers. I’d like that very much!
This book was very centred on characters, and it built their stories very well! It turned the Throne of Glass series around, and made it what I really love. I can’t wait to get to Queen of Shadows now. All I say is, DO NOT GIVE UP ON THE SERIES BEFORE READING HEIR OF FIRE.
"She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one"