Thursday, August 28, 2014

Heir Of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Heir Of Fire by Sarah J Maas
Release Date - September 2, 2014
Publisher Website - Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 565 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
An impressive novel is one that can combine fully developed characters, stunning world building with a tightly written plot. Heir Of Fire is a novel that does just that. It's a building block in an impressive larger story. A story whose biggest and best surprises are yet to come.

As someone who was not completely hooked by the first novel, it's now unfathomable to me that I might not have continued with this series. The second novel stunned, and impressed me. The third only solidified why this series has such a tremendous following, and gets the praise it does. It's much more intricate, and layered than it first appears, and it's a slower burn. It richly rewards the readers who patiently stay with this series.

This particular installment of the series is one of reveals and answers. I feel like I learned so much about the magic of this world, Celaena's past, and even what the future might hold. It's tantalizingly giving us more but holding enough back for further novels. It's a well planned balance between the two that ensures the series pacing overall is relentless. These reveals feel earned, and everything feels like it's come at the right moment. The plotting and planning, especially in terms of the world building, is exhaustive, and it pays off as the series progresses.

I often complain that things are not expanded upon enough in novels, or that I don't have the answers to all my questions. These novels more than satisfies when it comes to this particular aspect. The part of me that needs to pick everything into pieces and know each little detail was delighted while reading this novel. The world Sarah's created is much larger, and more complex than I originally perceived. As a result we are following multiple angles of this story and seeing it take shape. Everything, no matter how small, helps add another detail and another layer. It's not just Celaena that we are following along this journey and it's not just one side of this quickly approaching 'battle' that we get to know. Something is brewing and Sarah is making sure we're deeply invested in all the players. We're getting to see everyone's motivations. We're experiencing every betrayal, every double cross, and it's exhilarating.

This Celaena is not the one we are used to. This Celaena has had tremendous loss and is struggling to come to terms with it. Her struggle to face her past, and fully embrace her destiny is something that needed to happen. It's brutal, and excruciating, but integral. This novel was a vital part of her journey and had to happen. At times it feels like nothing is happening in this novel, until you realize everything is happening. Its slower paced, and a more internal journey that provides some stunning character growth. It proves that there is still plenty to learned about Celaena, and the other characters.

With a cast of characters this big, it's easy to neglect some of the more minor characters. Sarah J Maas proves that it is possible to advance multiple storylines and characters within the same book, and do it well. Dorian, Chaol, and some new characters all have development, and reveals as the novel progresses. Dorian, in particular, had a captivating storyline that left me with goosebumps before the novel's end.

A series that only seems to get richer with each installment and Heir Of Fire more than impresses. A sequel that once again has me breathlessly waiting for the next chapter of Celaena's story. My heart just needs to heal from this particular chapter first (Thanks for that, Sarah).

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