Book Chat | Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (reread)

“She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.” 

Sarah J. Maas, Heir of Fire

Synopsis

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times best selling Crown of Midnight


Review

Caitlynn: This book really gives you a great preview of what is to come in the series. Maas gives you so much of Wendlyn and so many great relationships in this book. I do think it was a bit drug out, but I also think it is such a pivotal point in the series for everyone involved. Maas continues to make me anticipate what is to come and I cannot wait. 5/5 stars!

Jenn: When I first read this book I was so excited to continue with Celeana’s journey. My original rating for this novel was 5:5 stars. Unfortunately, upon rereading it I’ve noticed that the pacing of the novel is not my favorite. It is a great book and very well written. However, it is my least favorite of the series. I’m really glad we did this reread because I can really appreciate this series even more for what it is. I enjoyed this book. However, I think I would lower my rating to a 3.5/5 stars.

Eden: Heir of Fire is probably my second favorite in the Throne of Glass series. I love that it introduces the magic elements that become so integral in the books that come after it. Even more, I love the introduction of Rowan and Aedion — two of the most interesting characters that Maas adds to the novels, in my opinion. Overall, I gave Heir of Fire 5/5 stars as the pacing and character development sets the tone for what is to be expected in the future novels.


Discussion

Eden: What were your guy’s thoughts on Heir of Fire?

Jenn: This is my least favorite of the series.

Caitlynn: I wonder why Jenn…?

J: I don’t think it is the reason that you think it is.

E: Why?

C: Because the book is solely based around her relationship building with Rowan… Your least favorite person?

J: Ok… well… Rowan is annoying, but not that much to make this my least favorite book.

J, cont.: I just find this book the most boring. I feel like there is a lot of stuff that we must get through in this book that I think could have been condensed down and it would have had the same effect.

C: That’s fair.

E: For me, I like that it’s drawn out and more of a process to get through. The pace is perfect for what Celaena is going through, which is why I really like this book.

E, cont.: This is probably my second favorite book in the series.

C: I really enjoyed this book. I like Rowan and Celaena’s relationship, the majority of what I’m feeling towards it is like halfway between you guys… I feel like Celaena’s sulking was drawn out way too long, but at the same time I feel like it was appropriate for what she was going through.

J: I can see that. My issue with it has been more that I don’t feel like this book fits with the character that she has built throughout the series, books before and books after it. I get that she is in a weird place mentally, but it just doesn’t match up to who she truly is. I’m less attached to Celaena throughout this book, so it makes me care less about the process, so it makes it harder for me to care about how drawn out this book is.

E: Do you think that maybe that was intention for this to create “Queen Aelin” for when she comes in Queen of Shadows?

J: I don’t think so; I think it is a gradual progression. I don’t see any part of Queen Aelin to the Aelin that is in this book.

E: My assumption with how vastly different Celaena acted in this book was based on how broken she was, and Maas was trying to build the character of Queen Aelin and that’s kind of what I took it as.

C: I think Aedion added a lot to setting Celaena up as queen.

J: I agree, I think it is more about the people that are set up around her who set up the next book than her actual personality.

J, cont.: I feel like Celaena acts more like Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses in this book than she seems like Aelin or Celaena.

E: I really agree with that. Last time talked about the comparisons between ACOTAR and Throne of Glass, she really feels like Feyre from ACOTAR so much to me.

E, cont.: However, speaking about Aedion. Did you guys feel like you liked him the first time you read this series.

J: I loved him from the start.

E: When I first met him, I hated him. I didn’t want to read his parts but going back through it I don’t really understand why I didn’t like him, because now I think he is an interesting character.

C: I think for me, what I noticed from when I read these books the first time was that I only wanted to focus on Celaena so anyone else that had a pivotal part in her character development, like Chaol or Dorian sometimes, I was bored with.

C, cont.: Now reading it, I realized how important these other characters are and getting to read from their perspectives is so much better this time around. I love reading Manon’s chapters before, I preferred to skim her chapters my first time reading and now I love reading them.

E: It’s insane how you fall in love with the characters and go back and reread the book and appreciate those characters so much more.

J: I think that this time, I had the reverse reaction to you guys. The first time, I wanted to get through Celaena’s part quickly because I didn’t care about what she was going through. I was much more invested back in Adarlan in the castle. I had the opposite reaction this time because I appreciated Celaena’s parts much more. I still feel like there are parts that could be 2 pages instead of 30, but I appreciated what the point was.

E: Did you guys notice that Maas’ writing completely changes from the first two books to this book?

J: I took it more as; she is trying to make it seem more like a different world, so she used her writing to try to mimic that.

E: Maas’ writing matured so much through the series, obviously, she began writing this in high school. She can start creating those secret plans that Celaena has and makes shit happen. She never did that before with Throne of Glass.

J: I agree that you can see the progression of her writing. I like that she took her writing in a different way for this book. She seemed like she was trying to lean harder into the fantasy realm. The other books, she had shorter sentences and smaller vocabulary. In this book she has longer, more staccato sentences and made it more whimsical.

E: You see the adult fantasy coming out in this novel.

E, cont.: Caitlynn, what did you think of Rowan this time?

C: I liked him since the first book. I think that him and Celaena together are just a little too broody for me. They are both so overdramatic.

J: So much.

E: Celaena is always overdramatic…

C: That’s true.

J: But she is usually sarcastic with it, so you can go along with it because she is taking the piss out of herself. But this book, she is so serious and overdramatic that you are just like… omg… you are a teenager.

E: Look Jenn… she just broke up with her boyfriend and her friend just died. These are devastating things in life!

J: She also was enslaved, and her parents were killed…

E: No! I mean what happened to her recently. She acted just fine and then Nehemia died and suddenly, she has lost her mind.

J: Yes, but I mean… she wasn’t fine with those things, she was burying them and then came back to light after something else traumatic happened. She has a reason to feel that way, but she is still very overdramatic.

C: I’m very excited for where everything is going. I forgot how much I loved Manon and Abraxos’ relationship.

J: Little Toothless baby.

E: Is Toothless who you imagined too?

C: 100%. Like when he is sitting there smelling the wildflowers instead of eating…

E: I love them. Manon is one of those characters that you do not care about when you first read the books.

J: Yes, why does this matter?

E: But then you keep reading and then you’re like man this girl knows loyalty so much more than any other person in these books.

C: I agree.

J: I do want to ask you guys about what you thought about the magic introduction in this book? I felt that Maas did a really good job describing landscape and everything, but I had a hard time imagining what the magic looked like in this book. I didn’t know if that was just me or if she was trying to figure out what it looked like to herself as well.

E: I found the magic elements confusing because I could not envision the concept that she was going for. I can say that by Queen of Shadows she has a better concept of what she wants from it.

C: I felt the opposite, I think that because I was so focused on reading and imagining every single word this time and not trying to get through it as quickly as possible, I was able to focus more on those aspects. I really felt like I could imagine the magic in this book well. Especially the part in the cave when Rowan is freezing the water that Aelin is on and I think that is because I took longer to go through each page and trying to imagine everything.

E: That makes sense.

J: I had a really hard time imagining the Valg princes and what happened to her the first time and what she was seeing versus what was happening.

E: The thing that I struggle with about the thing with the magic versus the Valg was when she went through the memories and the time frame around it because I can’t tell how long this is going on for. It’s hard for me to read those sections because I’m so stressed about how long this is affecting her. Could Rowan have helped her?

C: When I first read this, I thought that the magic well dried up. I was under the assumption that if you used all the magic in your well… You are done. I think Rowan clarified it better this time around for me.

E: That was spotty for me as well. Also, because of how her power works, Maas was purposefully vague with her magic.

J: Also, Maas writes plenty of exits in her writing so she can have different avenues to explore so she is purposefully vague on some of those aspects.

C: That’s fair.

E: She does do a good job at keeping things loose.

J: She also really likes the aspect of being able to surprise a reader with my writing previously and you guys didn’t catch up on it previously.

E: Because she has taught me that she does that, any time something comes up and is repeated again I am like this has something to do with something!

J: I never assume that I have missed something, I always assume she left it out so it can be a big reveal that I didn’t notice.

E: When I finished Empire of Storms, I honestly don’t know how I didn’t remember any of this!

J: Anyone have any final thoughts?

E: I think this is one of her best books in the series and I love that it is longer and slower paced.

J: I liked this book; it is my least favorite… I think we could take it out of the series and still get the point across, but I do appreciate getting to learn a little more about this world that we didn’t get to experience previously.

C: I can agree with that; I am very excited for what this book leads to. I am still between you two, it’s not my favorite book in the series but I do like the relationships that it builds and gives us, especially with Celaena’s potential court. This book really made me excited to see what is to come.


Have you read Throne of Glass? What did you think? Will you read it?

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