Review: Throne of Glass #3, Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

20658347Blurb from Goodreads

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?

Kindle Edition, 565 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
edition language: English
series: Throne of Glass
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I don’t think I can tell you how much I was so eager to get my hand on this book. I started the series with a doubt. Celaena has potential but she has things that I didn’t quite like both in Throne of Glass and The Assassin’s Blade. And then I read Crown of Midnight, it literally changed my perspective on her and the story. I loved it and counted down till the release of Heir of Fire.

Then I finally got the book. I read it and there are a lot of things that remind me of the Lord of the Rings (book but mostly the movie). To be honest, I was quite surprise about it. There were things that also reminded me of LoTR in Crown of Midnight, but I thought I won’t get the feel again here. I tried to ignore it just like what I did in Crown of Midnight. The problem is Crown of Midnight has so much more to offer than the similarities of other epic fantasy story. So in a way I can keep my focus on it, rather than the similarities. But here, I couldn’t ignore it since there is barely anything in more than half of the book. It was boring. I was bored to death I kept putting it down and fell asleep every time I tried to read it. I think the author tried too hard to make the book become a more complex epic fantasy story she forgets to add something to engage readers, at least me, to the story. This is indeed an epic fantasy book, with all of those descriptions, worldbuilding, the setting and even the characters own languages. But somehow, it’s just all about those things, there isn’t much thing that happen in it to intertwine each one of them. There aren’t much happen with Celaena and other characters to the story. It’s all about building the power, the abilities, and allies but forget to add something to make those building process more interesting.

However, I was quite surprised in the last 40% of the book. When 60% of the book was so boring, I didn’t have any hope to the story. I just read it to finish it. I can’t tell you how happy I am when the author finally showed me what she didn’t show in first part of the book. The slow-pace story and many POVs that keep changing that seem didn’t connect to one and another, especially the witches POV are finally pick up and I can’t help not to enjoy it. I think in that last 40% is where things finally happen and there are tensions in it. I especially liked that most of characters here show their vulnerability. It makes them more real and they grow as characters.

To be honest, I was thinking to dnf it, I really did. If it wasn’t my love for Chaol, I might not finish it. Now I’m glad that I keep reading it because that last 40% turn my thoughts about this book, from didn’t like it to really like it.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5, The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

18243700Blurb from Goodreads

Contains all five novellas.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out.

ebook, 448 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens
edition language: English
series: Throne of Glass
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
Some novellas are interesting and some other are boring. But all of them are the reason what Celaena do and talk in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. And it makes her story much clearer.
1. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, 2.5 stars
As a prequel of Celaen Sardothien world and work, I think this is an okay novella. It has fine action scenes and I got to know Sam Cortland, her first love interest, though I have to say that there’s not much about him either. Maybe his story will be told in other novellas. I certainly hope so.

Although I didn’t dislike Celaen here, I didn’t love her either. Somehow she’s like a mix between she in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight. She’s a bit drama queen, reckless, bold and eager to show other that she’s Arobynn’s protégée. Maybe it’s because she’s only 16 years old but still I found myself rolling my eyes whenever she does things that endanger herself and also Sam, as her companion.

I also think that Rolfe, the Pirate Lord, is too easy to be tricked and I was questioning him for how easy he trusts Celaena and Sam by telling them the ship schedule. As a well-known Pirate Lord, I think it’s a foolish act and again made me rolling my eyes. The way Celaena hide what she does from Arobynn also sounds far-fetched for me. Surely he won’t trust her letters that easy, will him? I know I won’t believe her if I were Arobynn.

2. The Assassin and the Healer, 2 stars
This novella takes place right after the first novella, The Assassin and The Pirate Lord. Celaena is punished because of what she did in Skull’s Bay.

I see her as a different person here, brooding and all emo. And seek troubles to make her day. Basically she’s bored and yet she makes me bored too. There aren’t much happen in this story, only two fighting scenes to ease her boredom but not much for me to enjoy it.

However I’m quite like Yrene Towers. I think she’s a good character and has so much potential as an interesting character. I hope she has bigger role in the series.

3. The Assassin and the Desert, 3 stars
What I dislike

Celaena here is like Celaena in Throne of Glass. She talks about dress, make up and stuff most of the time. She’s selfish, whine a lot while I think it’s understandable why Arobynn sent her to Red Desert. After all, she often said that what have she done on The Assassin and The Pirate Lord is worth it. If she thinks that letting the slaves go is worth of anything, she should take its consequences. Arobynn won’t let it go, for sure. I knew it, so why she keeps whine about it? She also couldn’t learn of what is so obvious about what The Master wants and the meaning behind her train. As Adarlan’s assassin and Arobynn’s protégée she’s so clueless. She doesn’t seem like a clever assassin to me.

Hence, more than half of the story is so boring. Nothing much happen except those things I’ve mentioned above. It can’t keep me glue to the book. And I left it behind so many times to do something else.

What I like

There are things that Celaena tells in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight without much clarity are told here and become clearer to me. It makes it intertwines each other nicely. Thus I can buy that this is Celaena’s past.

The twist and surprise at the end of the story makes this novella is worth reading, more over after there’s nothing much happen in more than half of the story. I just wish it happens earlier to make this novella more interesting and less boring.

Other characters, aside Celaena. I think they shape Celaena’s personalities in Thrones of Glass and Crown of Midnight. What she has in those books are mostly because of them. I’d love to see them, especially Ansel again in the sequel. I think she’s as a complex character as Celaena but in one way is more interesting than Celaena herself.

4. The Assassin and the Underworld, 3 stars
I liked this novella better than previous ones, though it still has things I didn’t quite like.

One thing for sure, Celaena’s mission is only mentioned in around 25% toward the ending. The first 75% of the story is spent to tell her way of life. How she enjoyed clothes, parties and stuff, though between all those stuff she also does her job, spying her target and planning how to kill them. I feel like she cares more about her life than her mission. On the other hand, I get to know how she eager to free herself from Arobynn. I guess it makes me see her as a young woman too, rather than only a notorious assassin.

I liked that Sam Cortland has bigger story here. I can buy his love for Celaena but it’s quite hard for me to believe that she loves him back. As she said she never think about him more than a fellow assassin before the Skull’s Bay mission. It was like 3 months before this story takes place. And suddenly she sees him in a different way while I think she’s one of characters whose so focus to herself and rarely pay attention to other.

5. The Assassin and the Empire, 3 stars
This is certainly my favorite among novellas in The Assassin’s Blade. Celaena is less annoying here. I think it has to do with Sam Cortland. He’s a perfect balance for her. And I wish I get to read from his POV too. I want to know more about his past, his love for Celaena and what he feels when he’s captured by Rourke Farran.

However, I don’t think that Celaena here matches with who she is in Throne of Glass. At the end of the novella, I feel like she has more burden than ever because of Sam’s death and she’s kinda let of what will happen to her. While in Throne of Glass she’s quite cheerful and wants people recognition as Adarlan’s Assassin. It’s just like the opposite herself.

Result: 3 out of 5 stars

Review: Throne of Glass #2, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

18846563Blurb from Goodreads

“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.

It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie…and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published August 15th 2013)
edition language: English
series: Throne of Glass
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
So I didn’t quite enjoy Throne of Glass and almost put this book on hold if not because of my friend who keeps telling me that she really loves it. Now I just want to give applause to Sarah J. Maas for this awesome sequel. This is for you, Ms. Maas.
This sequel is like the opposite of its prequel. Things that quite bother me in Throne of Glass turn out differently into something that I loved.

For one thing, Celeana doesn’t think and care much about clothes and stuff as she did in Throne of Glass. Well…she’s still mention what dress she wears and all but it isn’t her main focus anymore. She certainly doesn’t talk much about it here. She knows and set her priority clear now. And for that I’m so glad because it makes me see her as a notorious assassin, (again) a stuff I couldn’t buy in book 1.

“She came through the fog, no more than a sliver of darkness. She didn’t run—she just walked with that insufferable swagger. […]Still she approached, and the sword at her back whined as she drew it. The moonlight glinted off the long blade.”

She also doesn’t crave people recognition as Adarlan’s no. 1 assassin anymore. I can see she’s as good as she claims without she keeps telling me about it. This time she talks less but does more.

Thus, it makes the story so engaging. I didn’t feel bored at all. It can make me glue to the story and couldn’t stop reading it. There are so many things happen and so much emotions I feel when I read it. It’s also quite unpredictable, though I bet you can guess some part if you really pay attention to the story.

“Believe me, Celaena,” he snarled, his eyes flashing, “I know you can look after yourself. But I worry because I care. Gods help me, I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So I will always tell you to be careful, because I will always care what happens.”
And the romance, how I love Celaena and Chaol relationship and yes, I also love her friendship with Dorian. I can’t help not to swoon over them. The feels, it’s all there. Although the romance has bigger part than book 1, it doesn’t take the main focus of what this book about. It intertwines with the whole story nicely.

All in all, this is one of the best books I read this year. I just can’t wait for Heir of Fire now!

Note: Is there anyone who also thinks that Ms. Maas (might be) inspired by the lord of the rings (both books and movie)? There are scenes that quite remind me of LOTR while I read this book.
Result: 5 out of 5 stars

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

7896527Blurb from Goodreads

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her… but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead… quickly followed by another.

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
edition language: English
series: Throne of Glass
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
Among so many genres in the story, fantasy is what I love the most. Throne of Glass is a fantasy story that captured my attention since I read its blurb. I liked the setting, the plot and loved the character names. It might be a tiny thing but I always pay more attention to character names, especially in fantasy story. It seems fantasy story often has unusual names because it is a fantasy story. I don’t mind of those unusual names as long as it suits with the story. Characters in this story have names that more that suit with them. It feels like they belong to the story. And for that I loved all of those names. But somehow I can’t say that I really enjoyed the story.

It was hard for me to believe that Celaena is a great assassin. She cares too much about her look; pay more attention to her clothes, hair and whatnot and craving people attention and want people’s approval that she is a great assassin. I think there is nothing wrong with all of it if she also proves me that she indeed is a great assassin she keeps telling me and everyone talk about, as she claims. It just she seems too busy talking about clothes and hair rather than acts like a true assassin. No wonder her competitors don’t pay attention to her, I don’t believe her myself. Yes, in some part there are things that proof she’s a notorious assassin but it’s mostly only her talk. Again, I need proof with her action, rather than only her talk. Let’s say I need her to talk less do more.

Hence, it made the story kinda boring. It couldn’t glue my attention and I felt a sleep so many times while I read it. However, once the magic started in the story, it got more interesting. It’s like the story needs the magic to make me finish it. And a couple chapters through the ending are what made it interesting. And in the end, I’m curious enough with Celaena’s past, Chaol’s future, Nehemia’s next story and Dorian’s role to read the sequel, for sure.

Result: 3 out of 5 stars