Review of A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire(Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1): ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This one totally dethroned the first book as my favorite of the year, it’s incredibly good!
Is love stronger than vengeance?
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 took her, and I kept her …”
This book was everything I could have hoped for and … more, more, more.
There are few things that compare to reading the sequel of a book you adore and realizing that sequel is even better. And if there’s one sequel that fits this distinction, it’s this one. In fact, From Blood and Ash was my favorite book of the year at the time and well … this book has stolen that title and is now crowned champion.
Everything I loved about the first book: the action, THE ROMANCE, the banter, the mythology, the tension, has been turned up tenfold and let’s just say Jennifer L. Armentrout nails it.
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire picks up right where From Blood and Ash left off and we are immediately dropped back into the action. Certainly, the first book gives us revelation after revelation during the last quarter or so and left us all reeling with questions and just an innate drive for MORE.
Many of those questions and speculations are answered (albeit, some lead to more questions) and we get to do more traveling in this one and learn more about the world of the Atlantians, especially. There’s a number of fascinating new characters introduced and familiar ones (Kieran is a smol cinnamon roll, prove me wrong) that we learn more about, too.
Poppy must navigate this new world and choose who to believe while she grapples with her own desire, the changing of her gift and determining who she can trust.
“How can anyone really believe us when I asked if you were out of your mind just a few nights ago?”
“A lot can happen in a few nights, Poppy. Especially with me.”
“Your arrogance never ceases to amaze me.”
If you’re like me and your favorite aspect of the first book was the romance … well buckle up folks because the romance in this book is fun, flirty and just overall incredible. I can’t say much here without giving spoilers (especially to those who haven’t read the first book) but let’s just say it was my favorite part in this one too. Super steamy, super angsty and definitely a driving force in the plot. The flirty, teasing vibe and depth of it reminded me of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury and I think that’s a fair comparison. In fact, I loved the romance in this book even more than ACOMAF (shocking, I know). Perhaps that’s because there’s more of it, it’s more mature and it’s addressed more but I just loved every little bit of it.
And speaking of loving something … UGH THE BANTER IS SO GOOD. For real, I have always loved the banter in JLA’s books but it really hit the mark here. It’s funny, witty, flirty at times and I just pulled off really well. The timing, the natural discourse, it all works really well.
“Dear gods, you have her on her own horse? Soon, she’ll be running one of us over instead of stabbing us.”
I loved any time Kieran was in a scene because I knew I’d be laughing or smirking at something he says. Seriously, Kieran guys … he is a whole snack. I loved his character so much and I am glad we got to learn more about him. His teasing of Poppy and interactions with her and Casteel were great. I could read a whole book about Kieran and be happy as a clam (*begs, please*). If you love side characters that will steal your heart, Kieran is your guy.
Like the first book, this one ends with a shocking revelation that will leave your head spinning! Again, many questions are answered but we are also left with a few bigger ones. There’s always something more to discover and I love that I never once felt like I knew everything. The tension is intense and really well done throughout!
Needless to say, I really feel as though this book is the perfect follow up to From Blood and Ash. If you loved the first book, I think you’ll be more than pleased with this one. Definitely my favorite read of the year and one of my top books of all time, I’d be shocked if something could dethrone it.
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