Synopsis: Celaena Sardothian is now the King’s Champion, and his assassin. In order to win her freedom, she must serve him by murdering his enemies. But Celaena can’t face killing the enemies of her own enemy, and begins to fake their deaths. Celeana begins to learn that there are darker motives and reasons for the King’s oppression and rule, and as Celaena starts to learn the truth behind the dark force she is facing, she is forced to come to terms with her own past, and the future that she will have to choose.
I apologise in advance, that this may be a slightly messy review, filled with gifs and quotes more than coherent writing.
Re-reading this book was so fun, in a very emotional way. I loved it even more than the first time I read it, with every (very tiny) issue I found in the first book solved and sorted. In this book we see Celaena in her full assassin fury. We see her anger, her deadly fighting, her cut-throat manipulation – and it’s so exciting to read. And yet beneath it, this is a book about her opening up, realising her true purpose, and becoming braver. She goes through so much in this book, and to see the way she builds herself back up, through Chaol, Nehemia and secretly refusing to kill the King’s targets, it is so painful to see her broken again by those very same things: Chaol’s betrayal, Nehemia’s death, and Archer’s backstabbing as a result of her keeping him alive.
I also appreciated a greater role played by the King in this instalment. He’s still not quite as clear or a part of the story as I would like, but we do gradually learn a bit more about him. About his finding the Wyrd key as a young man, his opinions of Celaena, etc.
Dorian and his magic is one of my favourite things about this book. He has a type of ice magic, like Elsa from Frozen. There’s one scene where his magic starts going out of control as he is thinking about Celaena, and his internal monologue reads:
“He could let go. He had let go. He’d let go. Let go. Let-“
And all I could think was…
because if anyone found out about his magic he would be killed. However, by the end of the book I wondered whether that would actually be the case. His father seems to understand and possibly have/use magic, so maybe there is a bigger reason as to why Dorian just happens to have the rawest, purest type of magic in the book.
Also, Dorian has ice magic, and after learning that Celaena is fae and has magic, she describes it as burning, like a fire. They are forces of ice and fire – two opposites, yet just as powerful. There are quite a few things like this that link Calaena and Dorian together. Just like Celaena is visited by Elena, and in this book, Dorian is visited by Gavin in a dream. It’s almost as though they are being pushed together somehow. I don’t necessarily think romantically, but as an alliance that could really defeat the King.
And of course, you can’t review this book without talking about the Chaolaena feels!
The sarcastic ones…
“Chaol looked at her, his brows high. ‘You’re one to laugh. you moan about the cold floors more than anyone I know.’
She straightened as the guards gave hesitant smiles. ‘If I recall correctly, you complain about them every time I wipe the floor with you when we spar.'”
The emotionally cute ones…
“The rest of the world quieted into nothing. In that moment, after ten long years, Celaena looked at Chaol and realised she was home.”
And the painfully tear-jerking ones…
“As Celaena fell atop him, a part of Chaol fell along with her.”
I’m still rooting for Chaol and Celaena, however, I think there is just as big a chance of the series ending with Celaena standing alone. Not without support, but just without a romantic partner. And while I really want them together, I wouldn’t mind that in the end. If we’re picking teams, I’m Team Celaena!
I really can’t wait to re-read Heir of Fire now, and relive those moments she is travelling towards in Wendlyn.