by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Flesh and Fire #1
Published by Blue Box Press
Release Date: October 19th, 2021
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, Adult
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.
However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot.
Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.
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.
Before there was our stunning, red-headed, murderous little creature, Prince McSexy, Miss Willa’s Diary, and the upcoming War of Two Queens – the world we’ve come to know and love in Jen’s absolutely magnificent and widely popular Blood and Ash series was ruled by higher beings. Primals. Gods. Taking you back to that time, A Shadow in the Ember follows a young girl, a princess, chosen to be Consort to the Primal of Death. Hidden away all her life, trained to be a killer, a weapon, a seductress, the ultimate weakness – Sera has never been allowed to take a single step outside of the golden cage created by her destiny. However, things take an interesting turn when the key to her prison is handed to her by the person she least expected.
Jen’s take on the classic Hades and Persephone story is refreshing, original, and in some ways unexpected. I said it before, and I’m saying it now, she has an unmatched ability to take a popular theme and make it uniquely hers. As for the characters – Sera is as bad-ass as they come. She’s fierce, intelligent, loyal, and has the same brand of sassiness to her as her successor. However, there’s also a kind of broken, more sensitive side to her. She was raised by people that have never seen her as anything but the ultimate weapon designed to win this war. And somewhere along the line, she’s come to believe that. I adore her character. Then we have her male counterpart, the Primal of Death. Nyktos. And all I can really say about him, without causing heart attacks across the world, is – he is complete and utter perfection. I didn’t think I could fall for anyone faster than I had with Aiden, but here we go. He’s intimidating, dominant, powerful, and at the same time, he has a softer side to him that makes him incredibly human. Add the protectiveness, the playfulness, and the flirting – package complete. I loved getting to know him beyond the label “Primal of Death” as a friend, a son, a lover.
In favor of not disclosing too much and potentially spoiling something, which we’re not allowed to do, I’m not going to elaborate on their relationship beyond – there’s passion, anger, heartbreak, and steamy encounters in alleyways that will leave you reeling.
Jen again takes the time to walk us through parts of this world we’ve only caught glimpses of so far; it’s rich in detail and history. The plot is well-paced and laced with action, angst, humor, betrayal, and twists and turns around every corner. Having read all of Jen’s books, I always think I know her well enough to know where she’s taking us, and while that’s true for some elements, she always manages to knock me on my ass one way or the other. A fantastic set of secondary characters and magical creatures (brace yourselves) make this a must-read for everyone. High Fantasy at its best, folks!
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.