HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas
The third in the Throne of Glass series promises adventure, political machinations, and dangerous games as Celaena Sardothien, King’s Champion and Ardalan’s Assassin, must explore an old part of her identity, one she’d thought long dead.
Maas really brings you into this world, making the fantasy realm seem liveable and a place you could lose yourself in. Easily one of the best parts of the books is Celaena’s training: the assassin must now learn how to use the magic that is her birthright, under the tutelage of Fae warrior Rowan, bound to Queen Maeve. The romance, the other area that Maas excels at, felt a bit flat this time around– Chaol and Celaena are separated for the entire book, and while it’s understandable that she and Rowan have a complicated enough relationship without adding romance, I’m so used to seeing it in Maas’ books that it felt weird reading through without her trademark romantic tension between characters. Characters grow, but Nehemia’s arc is frustrating and seems geared to cause Celaena more pain than have a clear purpose. Manon’s sections with her witches add an intriguing extra arc, and it was especially nice to see more women taking the center stage and Maas’ usually male-dominated work. Maas also seems to be making an effort to up the representation of marginalized people in her work across the board in this book. Also interesting are the likenesses between the faeries and magic in the Throne of Glass series and the Court of Thorns and Roses books– we now have enough Maas books that we’re starting to see what her archetypes are, which is a cool thing to analyze in itself.
A worthy successor to the series, if very long, and while the romance may not catch you this time around the adventure and excellent training scenes will.