Book Review

Book Review: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance
Length: 496 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

THIS WAS AS GOOD AS I WAS EXPECTING.

Oh did I love this. Even more than the first book. It just added to everything I experienced the first time, and now that I’m more solidified with characters/world/story, it made it all the better.

I am so in love with Hawke and Poppy. What a feisty relationship. I find myself smirking and enjoying their banter and conversations. I spent half the time shouting, JUST SAY I LOVE YOU ALREADY. Because seriously, the chemistry is off the charts. Not to mention the steam. H-o-t. A little bit past what I’m comfortable with (and I don’t mind skimming so it’s not a huge deal). I did like that it fit into the story and made the romance between them come alive. I like steamy scenes to really play their own part to the story.

What’s also amazing is the plot itself. Gods, wolves, vampires, OH MY. This is very intricate and layered. I learned even more about the world and how all the players were holding their cards. I’m excited to see how that keeps weaving into Poppy’s life as she unfolds the mysteries that have surrounded her.

Real obsessed with most of these side characters too. Namely, Kieran. His dry humor and witty remarks only make me love this series even more. I think he’ll play an even bigger role in the next installment, along with all of his werewolf friends. I can’t believe it myself, but I am loving this vampire/werewolf story. I think it’s all in how Armentrout has portrayed and written them. It’s not gimmicky, it’s fierce and powerful characters that have just made me love this series.

Amazing ending where I’m shouting, I KNEW IT. I actually don’t know if I know it, but all signs point towards a third book that’s sure to stop my heart a few times.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: some light to strong
  • Romance: a bit of everything (as I said very steamy); would probably say 3 to 4 flames out of five; multiple open door scenes
  • Violence: bloody/gory; physical, magical, swords, catapults, fire, swords, arrows
  • Trigger warnings: PTSD from being captured and tortured; losing loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Crystal Crowned (Air Awakens #5) by Elise Kova

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Author: Elise Kova
Publisher: Silver Wing Press
Release Date: July 12th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Long live Solaris. One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

THIS IS JUST MY FAVORITE EVER OKAY?

I waited to read this book because I didn’t want this story to end.

I waited to write this review because I didn’t want to sign-off on my love for this series.

So now I’m sitting here, a few weeks after finishing Crystal Crowned still trying to put into words how much I love this series.

It had everything that I look for when it comes to a young adult fantasy novel. I got the romance (always y’all), battles, politics, friendships, magic, world-building and so much more that combined to make a stellar series. Crystal Crowned was no exception. It was an impressive finale.

VHALLDRIK FOREVER. I love Vhalla and Aldrik and they are without a doubt, my new OTP (hello Feysand, you now have someone tied with you). Their relationship grew and changed with them as time went on. They adapted and fought to be by each other’s side every dang time and I AM HERE FOR IT.

The magic system is intense, yet easy to follow. There were some small tidbits of other characters that popped in that had me connecting a thousand dots at once. I loved how it all came together! The villain was wicked and we got some back story on him which really brought him out as a character.

FRIENDSHIPS. Vhalla and Fritz, Elecia, Jax, etc. While yes, this is heavily flavored with romance, it is also very strong in friendships. The bonds formed between all of these characters make my heart MELT.

Vhalla remained strong, intelligent and fierce. Even when faced with some crazy odds and poor choices she persevered and endured. She has got to be one of my favorite heroines. I love that Vhalla never gave up for what she was fighting for. Yes, times got tough, but she continually strove to remember the peace she was seeking.

If you’ve ever thought about reading these, you should. I can’t wait to read the rest of Kova’s books because I don’t doubt I will obsess over them just as much as these.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: A handful of love scenes that are barely detailed and fade to black
  • Violence: demonic creatures and soldiers, elemental magic, physical, torture, swords, battle scenes; fairly gory
  • Trigger warnings: miscarriage

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