Book: A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Fantasy (vampires)
Read if you like: vampire fantasy but not super heavily focused on vampires, strong female leads, forced proximity romance
Good morning bookworms! I’m sharing another review today! Look at me go catching up on reviews. This one is a new series from Jennifer L. Armentrout set in the same world as the From Blood and Ash series. It is a prequel sort of set way further back than the events of Blood and Ash.
Seraphena is the Chosen One. Long before she was born, her ancestor made a deal with Nyktos, the Primal of Death. He would give his first born daughter or his descendants first born daughter to Nyktos as a consort in exchange for healthy crops and wealth for his people. For a long time the heirs only produced boys but then Seraphena was born. She was hidden away and protected so she could be given to Nyktos on her 17th birthday unharmed. But as soon as she was born The Rot began. A disease of the land that was slowly killing all the crops in the kingdom. The King and Queen decided that to get rid of The Rot they must get rid of The Primal of Death. But there is only one way to kill a God, make him fall in love which weakens him, and then kill him. So Sera was secretly taught to be an assassin and a seductress. She was raised to believe that she would be taken by the Primal of Death on her 17th birthday, make him fall in love with her, kill him and then she would surely be killed as well. So when the Primal arrives on her 17th birthday and says he doesn’t want her, she doesn’t know what to do with her life. She’s technically the oldest child and rightful heir to the throne but her step-brother has been told his whole he will be king. So she spends her days training, hoping the primal will come for her, and trying to help people affected by The Rot, which she believes is her fault. Until one day she meets Ash and everything changes.
Hook 2/2: I really like the underestimated girl trope. So when we meet Sera and everyone is really mean to her and disappointed in her, and blaming her for the rot, and yet she’s still out there helping people and training to be a bad ass, I immediately like her. She’s feisty too and stands up for herself and others. Right away there was a character that I loved and I was rooting for which got me interested.
Writing 2/3: I have enjoyed every book I’ve read by Jennifer L. Armentrout but they are all sooooo long. Like every single one has been over 600 pages. There’s tons of world building and back story which I love but sometimes it feels like too much. This book was really well written, the world is really interesting but maybe it’s too detailed, or a little too complicated. Overall I loved the story but I think Armentrout loses some people because there’s too much detail and too much to remember to understand what’s happening.
Plot 3/3: LOVED IT. This book is set in the Blood and Ash world but it’s so different. Much less focused on the vampires and more on the humans. There weren’t a lot of enemies in this one until the end. Sera has to deal with her stupid brother and occasionally someone tries to kill her because of The Rot. But for the most part it’s about budding love and world building. I think the next book in the series will have a lot more fighting and enemies. The trouble that happens at the end is left very unfinished to I’m assuming that conflict will be the the focus in book 2.
Characters 2/2: Sera is awesome. She’s bad ass because she’s strong and could kill you very easily but also because she cares about her people and she will do anything to save them including doing something that will surely get her killed. Then she meets Ash. He’s strong and hot obviously but he’s also inexperienced. He rarely lets his guard down or lets anyone in. So when he meets Sera he doesn’t really know what’s happening. He just knows he wants to be around her. It’s so sweet. Also this love interest is much less possessive than the Blood and Ash books which I liked.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed it. The next book is coming sometime in the fall of 2022. But we can go back into the world with the fourth Blood and Ash book which releases in March of 2022. I have been thinking I should try some other series by Jennifer L. Armentrout because she has so many. I have two other trilogies on my shelves. I have The Dark Elements series starting with White Hot Kiss. I have The Wicked Trilogy starting with Wicked. Have you read either of these? Which one should I try?