Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Better. This book turns the series from a near-UF clone (with easy-pacing and even easier (read: cardboard) characters) into something with REAL MEAT.
Celaena, now having left the Kingdom of Evil to regain her lost past and the Words of Power to save everyone, period, finally grows into her own. Not just an investigator and reluctant killer and former slave... but we now we get the OTHER trope mentioned at the end of the second book. No, no. Don't sigh. Yes, she's a princess. Yes, most of her family is dead. Yes, the remaining family is pretty nasty.
Fortunately, the way it is revealed and the full story surrounding it happens to be INTERESTING. Involved. Detailed. This is where the series falls into line with all the other Epic Fantasies I've known and loved. I want to be immersed in the worldbuilding, shocked by the reveals, impressed by the convoluted plots, and wow'd by the impressive new learned skills.
And you know what? I was. To all the above. And now I actually feel satisfied with my investment in Celaena. Not so much with the lite Celaena from the previous books, but the deeper, more angry and pro-active Celaena in book 3. I LIKE her. A lot.
And all the magic stuff works, too. Fire? Yep. Wild magic? Yep. Even the princeling parts are rather interesting. I'm on the fence about Manon. Might be a real interesting mirror. Maybe antagonist. Maybe ally. So why do I just think this is How To Train Your Dragon?
This is definitely the best out of the series. So far. Good payoff.
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