Why does Empire Strike Back work so well? Because each side story that one of the main characters is on is interesting and well-thought out. If Luke had gone to Dagobah and Han and Leia stayed brooding on the Falcon and moping about Luke being gone, and then there was a random story about a previously unknown Sith lord hanging out with his mean Stormtrooper friends, there would be no international phenomenon today. Anyways, this long and drawn out metaphor is how I feel about Heir of Fire. Celaena (are we still calling her that?) goes off on a fun and action filled Calaena adventure and her love triangle counterparts just kind of bummed around without her.
Which isn’t to saw Calaena’s storyline wasn’t without its own flaws (she gets sent on a top secret spy mission that she has to complete or the king will rain doom down upon her friends, but then she spends her time getting drunk in a pretty conspicuous place, seriously, not one person remarked that the same girl got blackout drunk all on the time on a roof), but at least she did something. Prince Better Than The Other One got magic, which is a huge deal as we keep being told, but doesn’t do much with it other than hurt himself so he can flirt with a nurse. Then Guard Captain Chad or Chet or Cheddar broods over Calaena’s cousin, who has recently arrived in court. He spends a strange amount of time going over Cousin Wolf (I think wolfish is used to describe him a few times, or I’ve taken too much cold medicine and am having hallucinations) looks, which I’m sure is because the series is aimed at teenaged girls and not because we’ll get a bisexual character, but I can dream. #TeamTeenWolfAndCheddarCheese
And Calaena also picked up an elf hunk, so she has that going for her as well. Which I think brings her potential beau count up to four, which seems exhausting to my 30something self, but I’m sure it is titillating to the suggested age group. I still think the prince is the better option, but no one asked me.
I know I wrote a pretty facetious review of this book, but I have actually enjoyed the first two books in his series and I am always on board for a strong female character doing things. I just think this one was a weak spot in the series.