A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pages: 637 pages
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Published: September 2020
Rating: 5 stars!
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.
Wow. I honestly did not think this series could get better but this book truly blew me away. It was perfect! This review will contain spoilers for From Blood and Ash.
After the shock ending of From Blood and Ash, I picked this one up straight away! Our Hawke is officially the Dark One, Prince Casteel and I am obsessed with him even more. So much happened in those last few pages that led me to believe this book would have more of a enemies-to-lovers feel. In the first book, I felt like it was quite instant-love, where as the romance is definitely a slow burn in this! Poppy agrees to marry Casteel so that she’ll be able to reach her brother and see if he’s with the Asecended.
‘But he’s the one thing in all the kingdoms that you, and only you, never have to fear.’
There is a lot of character development in this book, for Poppy in particular. Her abilities are constantly brought up as she is determined to find out where she got them from and how to use them properly. Whilst Poppy’s mind has been opened to the awful dealings of the Asecended, she shows her maturity by still defending the people of Solis and claiming their innocence, which I quite liked. Another character that surprised me in this book was Kieran. I was kind of liking him towards the end of From Blood and Ash, but this book solidified my love for him. I felt like he was such a good character and I’m intrigued to see where the next story takes him. I liked that Poppy was slowly warming up to him throughout the book.
‘We will not stop until all the Ascended, and those who support them, are nothing but ash.’
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire was a lot more action-packed than the first novel. It felt more like a fantasy book than a romance one. I could not put this down as so much kept happening! The romance, as it was a slow burn, took the backseat in this one, until at least the second half. Poppy does not lose her violent streak, which I appreciated, and Casteel continues to like that part of her. I think these two go really well together and I loved the development of their relationship in this book. They remind me of Jude and Cardan, who are one of my favourite pairings.
‘I’m Poppy and you’re Casteel, and this is real.’
I am kind of angry with myself for not waiting till the third book was out because that ending was not okay! Armentrout sure loves cliffhangers! I really recommend this book for lovers of New Adult fantasy as I am desperate to read it and experience the story again! If you’ve read this, let me know what you think!