Review | A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Length: 637 pages.
(Book #2 in the Blood and Ash series)
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.
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.
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 is why I almost never read series that aren’t completed. I need to have book three… like YESTERDAY.
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire was amazing. On my review for the first book I made a big deal about how I didn’t think it was primarily a romance. I insisted that it was the perfect balance between that and Fantasy. However, this installment does focus a lot on the romance part of the story. It doesn’t overshadow the Fantasy, but most of what happens has to do with Poppy and Hawke’s relationship. Nonetheless, this might’ve been done as preparation. I think the author was simply establishing the main character’s relationship, so that we know where they stand and, therefore, center more around the fantasy and the plot in the next book.
Having fear wasn’t a weakness. Only the foolish and the false claimed to feel no fear.
In regards to the story and the world… I could not ask for anything better. This is such an original and compelling plot that Jennifer L. Armentrout has created. I have never read anything like this. It has many elements from stories we’ve read over and over again, some of which might be considered as paranormal. But, somehow, she managed to make them her own, making it almost impossible to relate them to versions of these creatures that we’ve read about previously.
Poppy and Hawke… They’re wonderful. I cannot even describe how much I love them as a couple. Both their personalities are very well defined, so it’s very entertaining to see how they interact with one another. I do think the intimate scenes might have been a bit much, and some of them could’ve been cut. Also, I am a bit worried. There might’ve been some foreshadowing on things that might happen… And I really don’t want to read about that. I don’t want to be too specific (cause spoilers), but it involved Kieran (if you read this book, you know what I’m talking about). I bet that Jennifer L. Armentrout will figure out a way to make me like it… But I’m still not sold on whatever it is that’s going on regarding that.
Dear gods, you have her on her own horse? Soon, she’ll be running one of us over instead of stabbing us.
The writing was simple, straightforward and easy to follow. All of my favorite things. Poppy, our main character, is one of the most curious people I have read about. So, obviously, we’re learning along with her. It is so fun and interesting seeing things from her perspective and grasping how difficult all of what’s going on is for her. She’s as new to this as we are. Even though this may sound cliché, considering that its a narrative that we all know pretty well, it is very well done. I don’t think that it becomes annoying at any point because, let’s be honest, a naive and innocent hero is not usually the most compelling one. But Poppy is none of those things. She is the perfect hero and protagonist for this story. Fierce, loyal, intelligent, strong, compassionate… I could go on and on. I love her.
The ending… What a powerful, surprising, revealing and perfect ending. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than this. I do not understand how there are two more books in this series (I thought it would be a trilogy), but, by this point, there could be 20 more and I wouldn’t care. I am completely invested.
I think this series is great (in case you didn’t get that with all of my rambling). But, it’s not for everyone. Perfect for anyone that enjoys or doesn’t mind reading about the following: Adult Romance, Fantasy, original but Paranormal-y creatures, violence and gore.
I insist, an original story that will keep you hooked even months after you’ve finished it. I am definitely on a book hangover now, but I don’t care.