In my original review on Goodreads I gave Heir of Fire five stars, but now that the excitement has settled I find myself reconsidering that rating.
I feel like I’ve said this before in my reviews of the previous books, and I suppose by now I should not be that surprised. Once again I had to fight my way through the first half of the book. The first twenty chapter were – simply put – boring but necessary. This is truly starting to lean towards high fantasy rather than YA fantasy.
So the question is, does the book redeem itself in the second half?
In many way it does, although I cannot say that I do not have problems with this series and quite honestly it is the introduction of a new character that saves this series for me.
I don’t think I can do this review with any spoilers so if you haven’t read Heir of Fire I suggest you do and then come back for the rest of this review.
Firstly, I was thoroughly annoyed by some of the character’s development, I felt as though there were certain characters that would have been better off if Maas killed them at some point. Chaol for one, it feels as though he is simply there because Maas cannot let him go. Yes sure, together with Aedion and Dorian he kind of figured out how the King made magic disappear but beyond that discovery I just can’t see his place in the plot. The Celaena and Chaol ship sunk long ago. Since shit has completely hit the fan now that Dorian is basically collared like an evil demon dog Chaol may just be useful simply because of his loyalty to Dorian.
Since we’ve already touched on the Dorian topic we may as well stay here. So his relationship with Sorscha, that was doomed from the beginning, there is no way that would have ended with Sorscha alive. Although I was surprised that she was sending info to the rebels.
And then we have Rowan, the Fae warrior. Borderline insane and wild. Initially, I hated this dude, the guy was abusive and just plain rude. His methods are cruel and I began to question Maas’s view on the relationship between men and women. Now, I’m not going to go into depth about my issues with the relationships that Maas’s characters portray, it’ll just get way too sticky. But I’ll say this while I do enjoy this series there are many things I find slightly problematic.
Getting back to Rowan and Celaena it is obvious that the whole platonic relationship thing is not going to last. C’mon, Rowan is going to fall madly in love with her – doesn’t every male in this series?
I did enjoy seeing Celaena in her Fae form and using fire, however, I wish we could see more magic. I feel like there is just not enough magic in this series which makes sense when they are in Rifthold, but most of this book took place in Wendlyn where magic still exists. So there was no excuse for the lack of magic.
Celaena’s character develops tremendously, we basically watch her transform into Aelin. But I get this feeling that once she is Aelin we’ll get absolutely no trace of the Celaena we have come to know and love, and that kind of annoys me.
The redeeming aspect of this novel was the introduction of Manon and Abraxos. I don’t know why but I looked forward to her chapters. Maybe it was the wyverns, maybe it was the fact that it is so obviously that Manon isn’t as evil as Maas would like us to believe. I just think that Manon is going to be an extremely important character in the next few novels.
I enjoyed the second half of the novel enough to keep reading, and I suppose that is a good thing. It is an entertaining read and while it is not on the top of my list I would definitely still recommend it. I am excited to see how the plot develops in Queen of Shadows, although I am not sure when I will get around to reading it. Hopefully, early in next year. Maas has set a high standard for the next novel and I hope that it lives up to it.