Book Review // A Kingdom Of Flesh & Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Sometimes, the heartbreak that comes with loving someone is worth it, even if loving that person means eventually saying goodbye to them.”

I don’t know how Jennifer L. Armentrout manages to keep writing 600+ page books that keep me utterly engrossed despite the fact that barely anything actually happens, but manage it she does. I mentioned in my review of From Blood & Ash that there was a lot of predictability and a slow-paced but intriguing plot, and A Kingdom Of Flesh & Fire was simply more of the same. But am I mad at it? Hell no. The way Jennifer L. Armentrout writes sexual tension and witty banter makes for an extremely fun fantasy romance that I can’t get enough of. And that cliffhanger? Oh boy, that was an experience.

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout | Series: Blood & Ash #2 | Publisher: Blue Box Press
GOODREADS | AMAZON

SYNOPSIS:

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.

If you enjoyed From Blood & Ash, there’s really no reason not to read this sequel. A Kingdom Of Flesh & Fire picks up immediately where the first book left off, and from start to finish, it’s a rollercoaster of emotion that will leave you craving more. If your favourite aspect from the first book was the romance, you won’t be disappointed by what Jennifer L. Armentrout brings to the table in this sequel. Sexual tension? Check. Witty banter? Check. A whole lot of smut? Check, check, check. This is such a fun fantasy romance series, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the third installment!

“I need to feel your lips on mine. I need to feel your breath in my lungs. I need to feel your life inside me. I just need you. It’s an ache. This need. Can I have you? All of you?”

Though it’s true that this series does have an intriguing premise, it’s the characters that really make these books shine. Hawke and Poppy are both fantastic alone, but their relationship is so deliciously complicated that you can’t help but root for them as a couple. Poppy is so determined to hate Hawke (and with good reason), but she still finds herself drawn to him despite all the lies and betrayal. I’m not going to say that either of these characters are particularly unique, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to read about. I also just want to give Kieran a mention. As far as secondary characters go, he really is top notch, and I hope we get a lot more Hawke/Poppy/Kieran moments in the third book. Their interactions throughout this story were just fantastic.

“There is no side of you that is not as beautiful as the other half. Not a single inch isn’t stunning. That was true the first time I said it to you, and it is still the truth today and tomorrow.”

Much like From Blood & Ash, there was a lot of predictability within this sequel, but I’m not mad at it. So far, this series is addictive and a lot of fun, but it’s not ground-breaking by any means. It’s a little repetitive and info-dumpy, but if you can get past that, it’s a highly enjoyable experience. All I’ll say is don’t read this series for the plot – read it for the characters, the romance (read: sexual tension), and the excellent banter.

★★★★

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