It’s been long overdue for me to finally sit down and write my review for A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire. From Blood and Ash was such a pleasant surprise last year and it’s great getting back into this world. I waited to read A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire closer to the release of The Crown of Gilded Bones, because I knew the wait would be torture. Keep on reading to find out what I thought of the second book in the Blood and Ash series. I’ll do my best to keep it spoiler free!
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.
“He was both the villain and the hero, the monster and the monster-slayer.”
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire starts where From Blood and Ash ended. Once again this author knows how to suck the readers in with romance, humor, secrets, twists, drama and politics in a world we learn about together with our main character.
Many readers say this book is slow and I can understand that to a point. A lot of this book is politics, conversations and Poppy discovering things that have been hidden from her for quite some time. I can understand that it seems slow, because there isn’t a lot of action for quite some time. I’m the kind of reader that doesn’t mind this though, because I love politics and learning all I can now about the world I’m reading about.
“You’re an absolutely stunning, murderous little creature,” he murmured.”
Poppy is such an interesting character. After being told what she can and can’t do and being forced to live a certain way it was great seeing her become her own person. She starts speaking her own mind, forming her own opinions and is determined no one will decide what is best for her from now on. Poppy proves her strength many times in this story.
Casteel is another amazing character and I loved learning more about him and his past in this story. I honestly can’t wait until we get his book or even just more from his POV. There were many times while reading this book that I would’ve loved to have known what he was thinking. Casteel is loyal and will do anything to get his brother back, but things didn’t completely go according to plan. He’s still fighting his own demons as well as feelings he never expected. He fights for what he believes in and no one will stop him.
Then there’s romance! I can tell you this got more intense and we get more steamy moments than in the first book. Their chemistry jumps at you off the page and can definitely keep you warm on a cold night. Casteel and Poppy are also just really interesting together. Their banter made me laugh frequently and their feelings for each other were intense. They have a long way to go, but it’s interesting see them figure things out.
“I was raised in a cage so pretty that it took a very long time for me to see it for what it was.”
Another thing I love about Armentrout’s books is the sarcasm. She knows how to make characters sarcastic and there’s so much humor even when books become serious. Also, she’s the Queen in writing amazing side characters. We meet many new ones along the way, but my favorite is still Kieran. I’m one of the readers who would love to see him get his own series. He’s just amazing!
All in all, A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire was an interesting ride that definitely left me wanting more. The reveals near the end leave a lot open for the next book and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the characters I’ve come to love.
I can’t imagine how hard it was to wait all these months for the third book in this series! Keep an eye out for my review of The Crown of Gilded Bones, because I will be posting it soon! Have you read this series? What do you think so far? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.