Book review: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published September 1st 2020 by Blue Box Press


A Betrayal…

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.

A Choice…

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.

A Secret…

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.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Unpopular opinion time! Beware the spoilers!

I can’t believe I am saying it but I was bored with this book. The contrast between my easy enjoyment of the first book and this slow monstrous 600 pages declaration of Poppy’s specialness is vast!

First, she is the chosen one, then she is half Anlantian, then she is the Empath, then she can talk to Wolvens in her head, then she can heal people, then she can talk to the mist, then- *falls asleep from boredom*.

No, really, don’t you dare to forget that Poppy is also an exceptionally kind person!!

And she’s wild in bed despite being a virgin just yesterday.

Casteel – you stand no chance; I am no longer dare to admire The Dark One because here’s the Glowing One – Poppy! I take all my jokes about Maas’s glowing vaginas back; Poppy beats her with her amazing glowing self.

And Casteel, are you for real!? From now on, I regret all my dark fantasies about you. Rest in peace sugar! The man forgot all about his duties and spends all his time between Poppy’s legs. The Darkling turns in his grave.

But honestly, I am so tired of the whole special snowflake turns a bad hero into a decent, with no bad bone in him, puppy trope.

At least give me back my snark! And my bloody snow-scene! Agh! The vibe of something dark and sensual is gone *looks accusingly at Maas*

Oh, but hello Twilight! I suppose we could count on the whole vampire-human-werewolf sandwich. There were so many hints, I would be surprised if nothing of the sort happened in book three.

I am not a complete Grinch, I swear! I liked the ending and can’t wait for Poppy’s reunion with her brother and, um, other relatives.

And now excuse me, I’ll go bury The Dark One. Rest his right dimple in peace!

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