“Fireheart – why do you cry?” “Because I am lost,” she whispered onto the earth. “And I do not know the way.”
Sarah J. Maas isn’t just an author – she is a weapon of mass destruction and knows exactly where to hit. This woman will always be my number one when it comes to fantasy authors. Because she knows exactly how to break her characters and how to make them suffer so that they come back stronger than before. This woman is glorious. So when I finished reading Crown of Midnight I knew that I wanted to dive into Heir of Fire right away. And it was the biggest emotional rollercoaster I ever jumped on (so far I haven’t read the fourth and fifth book in the series, so I cannot judge about those).
Starting with the main character I definitely need to say that the journey of Celaena is an incredible one. While I got an insight of her life as an assassin in the first two books, the third one was indeed different. If you haven’t read Heir of Fire by now I suggest you ignore the next sentences in case you don’t want to read spoilers. So you have been warned. What I actually wanted to say is that Heir of Fire manages a shift on the view containing Calaena. I tend to almost write Aelin – because you get know more of her background story which is so important for her. But I actually don’t want to call her by her birth name by now. I strongly believe that Heir of Fire is some kind of breaking point for the story. While the girl I learned to loved is neither Celaena nor Aelin she is also both at the same moment. To justify that I want to mention that she is on her way to accept herself – her true self – in the course of the book. And I also think that the following quote describes perfectly what Maas did to her main character:
The development of Celaenas character in this sequel is breath-taking. Not only has the book a breaking point, the same also applies to Celaena herself. On her very own journey she comes to point where she has to face her inner demons to finally realize who she really is. And while ripping herself open her characters gets incredibly raw. At least, that’s the most fitting description I can find. She finds herself at the bottom of her own soul – literally. From there on she picks herself up and starts to build a new self, transforming step after step into Aelin. And she made me feel all of this as well. I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her that everything would be okay. It hurt to read about her grief, her loss, her anger and all of the other emotions she ultimately had to face. But when she came back, stronger than ever before, I was glad. Glad to see that my girl was finally on her way home.
Gladly she didn’t need to find her way alone. She trained with Rowan – who immediately struck my heart – and while he sometimes seemed to trigger her to break, he also healed her. He knew what it felt like and helped her to find herself. He knew that she was afraid of what she could do, what she was. Still he believed in her and helped to master it all. So while they defeated each other and were close to killing each other – if only wishing for it from time to time, they grew together. Grew to be a perfect team. And I strongly believe that Rowan is exactly what Aelin needs to keep her grounded and strong.
The book also made me realise that Chaol isn’t perfect. He is way away from being so. Even more when I learned how he acts when confronted with magic or the royal house of Terrasen. It hurt me to see him withdraw from his former friends, but I can still understand him. Like every person, he changed. He didn’t know in what to believe anymore and was confused and kind of hurt. I think that all the changes he had to endure were pretty hard for him to deal with. And while he might not be the one for Aelin, he was perfect for Celaena. He was there for her when she needed him most and he mended her wounds back then. He truly loved her and so did she. So while many hate him for his own beliefs, I want to remind all of you that he was all she needed once. Even if things have changed by now.
While I love my female main character, I was so hyped when I read about Manon. I love my little witch and no one will ever convince me otherwise. She is one of my bookish queens by now and I cannot get enough from her. When she got Abraxos I squealed with delight. While the wyvern reminds is basically a flower-loving baby, Manon is a reckless and heartless witch. At least, that’s what she pretends. Underneath I can see a woman who cares. About her Thirteen, about Abraxos. Even if she doesn’t want to admit it.
And can we take a moment to talk about the Wolf of the North? I mean – come on. You cannot not love Aedion Ashryver. He is perfection in every way possible and his wit is … well, perfect. He has build up a reputation I’m still trying to figure out but still – I need more of this erilearian Thor for myself.
All in all this book put me in a major emotional rollercoaster but it was definitely worth it. I can only assume where this is going and I might be a little bit afraid for all the characters. But I’m quite sure that Aelin will find her way – with her friends by her side.