Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Goodreads
Release date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Series: Yes, #3 in the Throne of Glass series
Source: BEA14
Length: 565 beautiful, beautiful pages
Rating: I'm sorry, Gillian can't come to the internet now because she is deceased. There is no Gillian. Gillian is nothing but ash and motherfucking flame.

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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?

SPOILERS FOR CROWN OF MIDNIGHT ALL UP IN DIS BIDGE.

This is one of those series that ruins your life.

I get it. I've finally figured it out. Sarah J. Maas is a life ruiner, and we should all mount our bloody wyverns and burn the whole bloody world, because MY LIFE IS RUINED. She has placed one of those demon mind control wyrd collars over my neck, and my will is hers. My heart is hers. She has bred obsession into my very soul, and I will never be okay again if the characters in this series aren't okay too. Because how else do you explain the fact that my soul exploded--for real, I swear it did--while I read this book? How do you explain the fact that I care so much for these characters and the fate of this world that all I want to do--mere minutes after finishing Heir of Fire--is read the whole damn thing again?

I think this book is a Horcrux. I think it ate up my soul as I read it. It sucked out heartbreak, and fierce joy, and MURDEROUS RAGE, and more heartbreak, and the kind of happy tears that are really, REALLY rare for me. The kind where you care so much about the characters that when something truly beautiful or pure rises out of the empty ash-sweep of their lives like a damn sprig of new grass after a fire you SOB AND SOB AND SOB. There is no better feeling than having a book steal your soul that way. I am not even a person anymore. I am a puddle of useless goo on the floor, and standing over me is a corporeal Rowan Whitethorn, revelling in my misery, that Fae bastard.

Heir of Fire is the game changer. This book is now and forever an all-time favorite beyond favorites. It catapults this series headlong into the category of mega epic fantasy, adding untold layers of depth to both the worldbuilding and the characters. The characters. I thought I had  known and loved Celaena Sardothien through all her ups and downs--what I thought were the worst and best moments of her life, but MY EVER WYRDING GOD.  She is in rough shape in the beginning, but the journey she undergoes internally to harness herself, find her purpose, and deal with the scars on every inch of her psyche is so impossibly glorious. She has to confront her hatred of her half-Fae heritage, her hated royal identity, her hated past deed... the list goes on an on. She was so MUCH to handle, and the whole world is stacked against her and she really just doesn't want to fight anymore an everything is pain and she gives up but she can't because Nehemia and Rowan HOW WORDS DO I can't

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DON'T TOUCH ME
 Heir of Fire is that rare epic fantasy that is about people. Sure, there are a million AWESOME THINGS like creeptastic monsters, wyverns, evil empires, Fae, battles, romance, and bloodshed, but the reason you care--the reason my life is ruined-- is because of those characters. And in HoF, the focus is on the messy bits, the pain, ugliness, and pointy edges that all people have. We delve into Celaena's memories of her horrific past, and we learn so much about her and all her contradictions. All of the characters in HoF have things they're ashamed of, things they need to fight against, flaws and fears and goals. Rowan and Chaol both need to find new bedrock to stand on, a new direction for their lives. Celaena needs to find the bedrock inside herself. Dorian needs to grow from a Prince to a King. Aedion needs to learn to deal with the horrors he has done and fight for the country he loves. I would tell you more, but JUST GO READ THE DAMN THING PLEASE.

Okay, you probably want to know a little bit about the plot. HoF features three theaters of action: Wendlyn, where grief-stricken Celaena is trying to get answers about how to defeat the King of Adarlan from the Fae Queen, but instead gets stuck training with the positively perfect Fae Rowan; Rifthold, where Dorian struggles with his newfound magic, Chaol struggles with the consequences of his actions and being the best, saddest, handsomest captain ever, and a new character, Celaena's long-lost positively perfect cousin Aedion, arrives and stirs up trouble; and Manon, a heartless (literal) witch training a fabulous army of wyvern-riding witches for the king, and who will totally become very relevant later I am sure.

If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is. The reviews I've read complain of pacing issues, of Chaol being a deadweight (*clutches heart* NEVARRR!!), and of Manon's storyline being less than engaging, but truthfully, I was fully and obsessively absorbed nearly from the start. My only nitpick is that I wish we'd had more of a chance to see Dorian's relationship with Sorcha progress, and thereby know Sorscha better.

Sure, it's a bit of slow going at first, but that's because we have so much to deal with. And Manon's storyline--since she is a brand new character--takes a bit to become truly interesting. But the moment she chooses Abraxos as her wyvern (THAT SCENE!!!!!!!), I was hooked. The twists in this book are devastating, the reveals enlightening, the developments heartwrenching. And Chaol's storyline is so internal, and the ultimate resolution is just GUHHHH, and Dorian, and the gorgeous platonic relationships just blossoming like beautiful tragic goddamn flowers, and AEDION IS PERFECTION PERFECTION PERFECTION I HAVE FEELINGS, and ROWAN AND CELAENA AS A TEAM I CANNOTTT and "I CLAIM YOU" and "THE PRINCE WAS HIS BROTHER IN SOUL 'I LOVE YOU'" and CELAENA AELIN FIRE WHUT I

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NO SERIOUSLY DON'T TOUCH ME

I don't want to tell you anything else, really, because it's best to discover these things yourself. But know that the last 150 pages are. The. Best. And. Worst. Things. To. Ever. Happen. To. Me. It's a fucking snowball of awful and glorious and the stakes are so high they're on the motherfucking moon and I. LOST. ITTTTT.

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DEAD SERIOUS IF YOU TOUCH ME I WILL END YOUR WHOLE FAMILY

Observe:

















Five stars is a ridiculous rating for this book. Celaena don't accept no fucking five stars. Celaena gonna rattle those fucking stars. HIDE YO STARS HIDE YO WYRD KEYS

14 comments:

  1. I may have just started crying because CELAENA IS FLAWLESS AND MY CHAOL/DORIAN SHIP IS LEGIT AND CELAENA AND ROWAN HALP ME

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    1. ONLY IF YOU PROMISE TO HALP ME BECAUSE I AM IN A PERMANENT STATE OF ALL CAPS

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  2. I AM CRYING SO HARD OVER YOUR REVIEW BECAUSE Y E S TO EVERYTHING

    "She has placed one of those demon mind control wyrd collars over my neck, and my will is hers. My heart is hers." UGHHHHH YES

    CELAENA IN THIS BOOK OH MY GOD i also didn't know it was possible to love her more but i do oh i do

    "Rowan and Chaol both need to find new bedrock to stand on, a new direction for their lives. Celaena needs to find the bedrock inside herself. Dorian needs to grow from a Prince to a King. Aedion needs to learn to deal with the horrors he has done and fight for the country he loves." that was beautifully described and also SO TRUE

    I also just don't understand that people had issues with the pacing and the characters because I loved every damn thing

    OMG ALL THE DIFFERENT SONGS

    "I CLAIM YOU" "TO WHATEVER END"

    fireheart why do you cry because i am lost and i do not know the way I AM DEAD OKAY

    "She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one." > OKAY FOR SERIOUS CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW THIS WAS ALSO ELISA IN FIRE AND THORNS BECAUSE "I AM QUEEN OF JOYA D'ARENA AND BEARER OF A LIVING GODSTONE I WILL BOW TO NO ONE" i love them both so much, my beautiful bamfs <3

    I AM SO SAD I MISSED YOUR TWEETS BUT BUT SO HAPPY YOU INCLUDED THEM

    ALSO I CAN'T TYPE WITHOUT CAPSLOCK ANYMORE

    ALSO I AM CRYING

    THIS FUCKING GLORIOUS BEAUTIFUL TERRIBLE BOOK

    help

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  3. UGH I AM CRYING AGAIN THANKS A LOT GILLIAN.

    I have chills. Actual goosebumps. Thinking about the ending of that book and my heart and ow ow ow noooo

    Reading this review and watching you live tweet your pain makes me want to pick up this series and reread RIGHT AWAY.

    I don't understand the people that have a problem with the pacing because I thought it was spot on. I mean, I wish that Manon's chapters were longer but that's soooo not even a big deal. It's not even a little deal. My only problem was with Chaol because he went from being someone with such strong conviction and who was so sure of his trajectory to being someone so completely lost and without focus. I know this is going to resolve itself. I know he will get his shit together. But it did bother me a bit because he WAS my faveeeeeeee and then not anymore. (For me) the Chaolaena ship has sunk. This also has to do with HOW MUCH I LOVE ROWAN MY BBY OMG

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  4. This book is absolutely perfect. My feelings were just ALL OVER THE PLACE and I agree 1000000% with your review. Ugh this book.

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  5. YES YES YES. THANK YOU FOR DEFENDING CHAOL. I LOVED HIS GROWTH IN THIS BOOK. AND AEDION *SOBS* AND CELAENA *SOBS MORE* JUST THIS BOOK *SOBS UNCONTROLLABLY* AND YOUR REVIEW. I am so done.

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  6. YESSSS THIS BOOK! "The prince was his brother in soul 'i love you'" UMM YES, I CRIEDDD. I did think it was slow at the beginning and it did take me time to love manon (which i do - i love manon and abraxos and omg keelie?? yeah i may have cried over keelie). anyyyway, this comment is all over the place too but guh just so much love for these characters! how are we going to wait for the next one?!?!

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  7. Huh. I should probably read this at some point. (BUT WHAT ABOUT SAM, GILLIAN?!?! WHY ARE YOU BRINGING UP MY PRECIOUS?!?!?!)

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  8. Can I marry a review? I'm marrying this review. THIS IS EVERYTHING THAT I WANTED TO SAY BUT FAILED BECAUSE I AM SPEECHLESS WITH THIS BOOK. STILL after a month I can't get myself together oh my god. The characters <3 Rowan and Aedion and Chaol and oh my god it's time for a reread.

    *crying* *feels* *dead*

    "Celaena gonna rattle those fucking stars. HIDE YO STARS HIDE YO WYRD KEYS" <---- I lost it. I think I scared my dog with my laughter.

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  9. Read (and loved) this review before I read the book. Rereading after I've read the book and it's even more perfection. I don't have words. Just many feelings.

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  10. GILLIAN, YOUR REVIEW IS SO FREAKING PERFECT. I meant to comment on it when you first posted, but couldn't find the words. Even now, after rereading it for the nth time, I still don't have the words! What I love is that you captured excellently how Heir of Fire feels when you read it. It's one of the most life ruining, incredibly wonderful, truly sad and amazing and GAH and NO and YES and WHY and... You get the idea. Love the review, love this series and forever and always, TEAM CELAENA!

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  11. I just..... No..... I can't....... I wanna cry....... Omg....... *sob*................. *sob shriek*...... Doriiiiaaaaaaaannnnnn....... Sorschaaaaaaaaaaa.......... Nooooooo........ *fit of tears*....... OH MY GOD........ I just want to cry and scream and kill the publishers for not releasing the next book earlier........ Oh my god........WTF is wrong with this crap king......

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  12. YOUR REVIEW IS PERFECT!!! I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH I CANT EVEN DESCRIBE IT! I AM CRYING AND DYING WAITING FOR HER TO WRITE THE 5TH

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