Read or Die

Review of Sarah J. Maas’s HEIR OF FIRE

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My original plans were to complete the entire Throne of Glass series, despite my lukewarm reaction to the first volume (both times I read the book). I vowed to give things my best effort and persevere. But my tolerance for problems has bottomed out, and I can’t continue. (Three books IS a fair attempt, as far as I’m concerned)

The glaring issues I started pulling apart haven’t improved, and I can’t stomach sitting through so much as one more book, much less the remaining four (or is it five?).

How a publisher and the editorial team allowed blatant rip-offs of the Black Jewel series is beyond me. They’re glaringly obvious (A court pledged through a blood oath? The spiders? This notion of an eternal bond? A protagonist with a seemingly endless well of power?) with subtle changes that barely shift things into a new realm. It’s the worst kind of fan fiction. And it gnaws at the soul of a devoted Anne Bishop reader. At the very least, Ms. Maas could have acknowledged Ms. Bishop’s influence or offered a note of thanks. Yet again, all I can conclude is that some misguided individual assumed readers wouldn’t cross the bookstore to pick up the two volumes and draw the connection.

Even worse, the needless drawing out of idiocy makes readers want to slam their heads against the wall. How intelligent/crafty/dangerous are these characters meant to be? Because their actions prove otherwise. An entire book spent trembling in fear over the might and cunning of the King, and yet he unraveled the secrets in the space of a few pages? (Convenient) And then he casually chooses to keep one of his greatest threats alive? (As a “trap” – of course – because what would Ms. Maas do without a plot point and “cliffhanger” for the next volume?) But he can casually murder another minor character a paragraph later. The juxtaposition makes no sense and draws attention to the lack of reason.

An entire book wasted on – what, exactly? Nothing. No insight gained, no motivations changed, no development. I felt a twinge of guilt that I set it aside to dive into others on my pile, but now I wish I’d continued to leave it gathering dust on my headboard.

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