Aly in Wonderland

Heir of Fire

Heir of Fire  - Sarah J. Maas Actual rating: 3.5


Gods, he was brilliant. Cunning and wicked and brilliant.
Even when he beat the hell out of her. Every. Damn. Day.


You GUYS.



I've been fiddling with the rating in my mind all night and half of today. Truthfully, up until around the 400 page mark, it was going to be two stars. The last quarter, however, blew me away.

It's a shame that it had to take so damn long for it to get good. I don't mind filler chapters but... 400 pages worth? Come on.



There's only so much whining, self-pity and emo-angst that I can take and trust me when I say that everyone is an angsty emo crying over themselves in this book.

You have to go through pages and pages of boo-fucking-hoo accompanied by the world's teeniest violin, before you get to the good stuff.

And, as always, the good stuff doesn't last long.

Basically, it was like when Stewie from Family Guy was really fat and he couldn't quite reach the ice cream.



What's the saying? The longer you wait, the better it tastes?

Yeah, no. Because even though it was really damn good, IT WASN'T ENOUGH.

I also had a problem with the constant POV switches. Not only are we dealing with Celaena's mind numbing self-pity but you've also got Dorian's, Chaol's and some new characters: Manon, a Blackbeak witch, Aedion (the King's general! Who knew!) and, lastly, Rowan. You're thrown a bucket of information in every chapter, and it's so, so hard to follow:

- the battle strategies
- the internal monologues
- the secrets
- plans
- family ties

It got to a point where I was either too bored to care, or too confused to bother caring. Surely, everything will be explained at the end, right? Surely, all this extra information will come in handy at one point, and it will be explained, right?!



My main problem was the information we're apparently supposed to know/remember, and the family ties.

In Heir of Fire everyone and your mother is your cousin. A few people have told me I should have read the novellas but... why? Is everyone honestly going to spend an extra twenty-something pounds to get all the novellas, so they can catch up on family and information that could easily, EASILY be placed at the end of the novel, like so many books do?

Thankfully, I found these pictures on Tumblr which came in handy when reading.



But still, it was damn confusing, especially since they're brand new characters I, personally, had barely heard of or not at all. So a little index thing at the end would have been nice. Just sayin'.

Celaena:

"There's this... rage," she said hoarsely. "This despair and hatred and rage that lives and breathes inside me. There is no sanity to it, no gentleness. It is a monster dwelling under my skin. For the past ten years, I have worked every day, every hour, to keep that monster locked up. And the moment I talk about those two days, and what happened before and after, that monster is going to break loose and there will be no accounting for what I do."


Adarlan's most feared assassin? More like the most feared kitten in the world.



Christ, even I got a little bit depressed after being in her head. I didn't understand her sudden wallowing. When Nehemia died in Crown of Midnight, yeah, she wallowed, she was sad, she mourned, but she picked herself up and fought against it. For some absurd reason she falls back into that pit for hundreds of pages in this one.

Rowan paused his stalking. "You're worthless."
"Tell me something I don't know."
He went on, "You would probably have been more useful to the world if you'd actually died ten years ago."


Come ON, Celaena! You're Adarlan's assassin! You bow to no one! You dismembered a man for getting in your way! SHOW HIM WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF!

She just looked him in the eye and said, "I'm leaving."




For hundreds and hundreds of pages. She literally throws her reputation and hard work down the drain because feels, man. I get it, you're a tortured soul with a crappy life but Jesus, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

No, instead, she runs, she hides, she submits like a kitten and rolls around on the ground screaming, "RUB MY BELLEH!"

... it would have been nice, she supposed. It would have been nice to have one person who knew the absolute truth about her -- and didn't hate her for it.
It would have been really, really nice.
She walked away without another word. With each step she took back to her room, that flickering light inside of her guttered.
And went out.


Stop trying to get people to accept you and love you, because they won't. Fight back and prove them wrong! Show them what you're made of! Make them fear you, not pity you.

I guess she got the memo late though, because she only starts improving after the 350 page mark. Which is a long, long time to wait.

Rowan

HELLO, FUTURE HUSBAND.

I absolutely loved, loved, loved Rowan the second he was introduced into the story. He's a lethal Prince warrior (Dorian who?) with strong, lethal powers of ice and wind (Dorian who?) and a man who has seen horror, pain and has suffered for centuries, yet still fights for what he believes in. (Celaena who?)

"... 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?"


Chaol who?

Yes, you guessed right.



He is training Celaena, getting her ready before she meets his Queen -- her aunt Maeve. He's ruthless and cunning, and doesn't take "no" or "can't" as an answer. He is literally everything Celaena's should have been in this book.

"There is nothing that I can give you. Nothing I want to give you. You are no owed an explanation for what I do outside of training. I don't care what you have been through or what you want to do with your life. The sooner you can sort out your whining and self-pity, the sooner I can be rid of you. You are nothing to me, and I do not care."


YOU SAID IT, BROTHAAAAA.

Rowan is the only person who will be brutally honest and straightforward with Celaena. If she's being a whiny brat, he tells her. If she moans and bitches about her life, he reminds her that some people have it a million times worse because, after all, you left Endovier, whilst others are still rotting away.

He's not all bad. As the story progresses, we see a softer side to Rowan, which only made me love him more.




Aedion

Okay, brace yourselves.

Aedion is the King of Adarlan's general... and is also Celaena's cousin.

Apparently, they're so similar looking that no one fucking noticed this before.

They are described as looking like "siblings", yet it takes Chaol MONTHS to notice this.

Okay, let's work through this together.

You have a tall, blonde general with "Ashryver" (or violet-looking) eyes... and hey, look! The King's assassin is the spitting image of the general! Are they related? Let me think about that for a few months!

Aedion's history is thrown at us in buckets. Apparently, Celaena an he were close, like siblings. Apparently, they grey up together. Apparently, Dorian has actually met them both already!



I don't know, guys. But that kind of stuff? It seems way too obvious to be overlooked. And for people as observant as Chaol and Dorian? Yeah.

Aedion is almost on par with Rowan on my best character EVAAA list. He's snarky, cool and always in control.

The men paused when they beheld Aedion standing before them, still hooded. The general drew his fighting knives and purred, "None of you are leaving this alley alive."
They didn't.




His only scope is to restore his cousin, Celaena, to her throne where he can then work for her, until the very end of his days. It's such a pure, perfect thought but he knows it's going to be harder than ever now that the king is getting wind of their actions.

I am definitely looking forward to getting to know Aedion a bit better in the next books.

Chaol & Dorian

Remember back in school, there was always that one couple who constantly split up and got back together like a goddamn yo-yo?

Chaol and Dorian are that couple. So many things could have been resolved if only they talked to each other and didn't have bitch fits about every little thing.

And Jesus, what a disappointment Chaol turned out to be. Not only is he being a pussy about the future, but he's also decided that he cannot accept Celaena (who is supposedly the love of his life) for who she is. A queen. Fae. With powers.

"I've already made my decision about her. And when the time comes, regardless of whether you are here or in Anielle, I hope your choice is the same as mine."


You tell him, Dorian! It's a shame, because I was so supportive of Chaol and Celaena's relationship, but he turned out to be so WEAK.

Dorian, on the other hand, is another story entirely. He falls for the first healer who gives him the big, insta-love eyes.



I saw that shit coming from a mile away, and for someone who is supposedly head over heels for Celaena, he quickly forgets about that in favour of bedding someone with a much weaker will.

HOWEVER, I will say one thing in his favour, and that's the whole magic thing? Yeah, he's definitely getting awesome at that. If only he stopped being such a whiny kid, then maybe he could do great things. Maybe.

Manon

I honestly do not have much to say about the Blackbeak witch because I didn't quite get what her constant point of view was about. We get a little plot (well, we know what they're supposed to be doing) but for the most part, it's a bit like Hogwarts: The Watered Down Edition. Apart from a few cat fights, practice and arguing, not much happens.

She bored the fuck out of me.



Overall, Heir of Fire could have been better. It gets an extra star for Rowan, and another one for DAT ENDING but if it had carried on in the same manner as it had started, it would either have been a big fat DNF or one/two stars.

Now, we gotta wait a year for the next one.

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