by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Blood and Ash #2
Published by Blue Box Press
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
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.
I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
With her surprise release of From Blood and Ash earlier this year, Jen caught most of us off guard. Finally, a High Fantasy series! What wasn’t a surprise to me at all is that I fell head over heels in love with the book. Naturally, I have been dying to get my hands on the sequel. And honestly, I don’t know what to tell you except clear your schedule, get some coffee, put your hair in a bun, and let’s go! It will blow your freaking mind.
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire picks up right after the events of From Blood and Ash, so if you have not read that one yet – abort mission. This review contains spoilers for the first book. After having left Carsadonia and finding out that everyone, including the man who she was falling in love with, has been lying to her this whole time, Poppy finds herself alone behind enemy lines. Torn between her feelings for the man she knew, her, to her utter frustration, undimmed desire for him, and the world that she’s only now discovering as the truth, she tries to figure out the best course of action and, more importantly, who she is without the Maiden’s veil.
Three pages in, I was hooked and unable to put the book down for anything except bathroom breaks (yes, not even food). I simply had to know what was going to happen. Poppy’s journey in this one is incredible. Despite having her entire world ripped apart by the seams within a matter of days, she doesn’t shy away from the truth, and everything she’s learning about the Ascended, Atlantia, and how things came to be the way they are now. She’s accepted that her “guardians” put blinders on her and that she let them for fear what she might find, but no more. I adore her character so much; I can’t even put it into words.
And not only Poppy immensely grows as a character in this one. Hawke, or rather Casteel Hawkethrone Da’Neer, Prince of Atlantia, has his own battles and demons to fight. I loved getting to know him as Cas, the side only his friends and close confidantes get to see, and as the future King of a Kingdom on the edge of war. As for their relationship, considering their history, you can imagine things aren’t that easy. They’re both put in an impossible situation that neither of them was expecting, but gradually come to terms with the fact that working together is the only reasonable choice. The romance element is beautifully developed – there’s passion, anger, heartbreak, and steamy encounters in pantries that will leave you reeling.
Jen again takes the time to walk her readers through this complex world she’s building. The entire world construct is amazing; it’s rich in detail and history, and so vivid you feel you can reach out and touch it. The plot is well-paced and laced with action, angst, humor, betrayal, and twists and turns around every corner. It’s utter perfection – I have no idea how else to put it. A diverse set of secondary characters bring the little extra to the story, making this THE book to pick up this fall. It’s High Fantasy at its best.
Hi! I’m Lisa. I’m twenty-three, a college student and a book lover. I spend every free minute, and most of my lectures, reading all kinds of books, which is how I ended up here. While I particularly enjoy books of the young and new adult variety, I also love historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, all things romance, and one or the other classic as well. If I’m not reading, I’m either working, sleeping, binge-watching my newest obsession on Netflix, or on my way to Starbucks, to satisfy my slight caffeine addiction.