A Fire in the Flesh

A fire in the Flesh by Jennifer Armentrout book cover
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A Fire in the Flesh

With Ash and Sera both captured by Kolis, Sera barreling towards her ascension and untimely death, and the very strings of the realm at risk, Sera finds herself fighting for all of these things with her life, her soul, and her body against Kolis. What will she have to do to become his weakness, or as Sotoria, is she closer to achieving that than she thinks? Things in Dalos are grim; Sera is locked in a cage and treated as a favorite pet, paraded about in ungodly revealing clothing and being succumbed to the disgustingly penetrating gaze of the king of the gods.

Will Sera and Ash break free, transfer the embers, survive, defeat Kolis, and save the realm? Will Ash learn to Love and be able to save Sera?

If the Flesh and Fire series wasn’t my favorite series of the year before, this book as solidified its place as such. I have so many things to rave about from A Fire in the Flesh, it was a fantastic read.

This is a very spoiler heavy post; you have been warned!

A Fire in the Flesh solidified Kolis as a great villain. He is horrifyingly terrible and cruel, evil, and has tunnel vision to get what he wants. However, through this book you do learn more about him, his past, his time as the primal of death, and can feel some slight empathy. Nothing that justifies anything he has done, but it gives you a little perspective and I like that. He clearly does not know how to operate as a decent human being and is confused when things don’t immediately remedy with a simple apology. It is really interesting to see more into the mind of the villain.

I also loved seeing his true primal of death nature bleed out sometimes – his true form being that of a skeletal version of himself. Unlike Ash, who becomes shadows, Kolis turns into a skeleton as a manifestation of death. So interesting especially when combined with his obsession with everything in Dalos being gold and white. He is attempting to represent life and purity but instead it comes across as gaudy and fake – because it is. Sera mentions several times throughout the book his ether and while it may appear to be gold and pure, it has an underlying oily blackness to it that Kolis can’t quite mask, which shows his true nature. I really enjoyed this theme throughout the book!

Additionally, learning more about Callum was a really good plot point.

Spoiler
I’m sorry, he is Sotoria’s brother?????? I did NOT see that one coming. I really enjoyed learning a little bit more about him – he is in Blood and Ash and Flesh and Fire, so I feel like we need to know everything we can about him. There is definitely a larger role going on there.

Moving away from the villians, you truly feel for Sera throughout her time in Dalos dealing with Kolis. She is trying to do whatever she can to defeat Kolis, save Ash, and stop the end of the realm – which is a hell of a lot to do if you ask me.

Spoiler
When she finally realizes she could not go through with seducing Kolis and her love for Ash was too great to allow herself to make that sacrifice? Wow, it was so beautiful and moving.
Trigger Warning (SA) for this paragraph
The internal monologue throughout the book about SA (sexual assault) and how you feel was so moving and raw. I hope the author never experienced any of that but it truly was moving, she captured how it feels and what you think exactly as you would think and feel about it. Thankfully, there wasn’t any full blown descriptive rape because I think that would have been too heavy personally. I thought these situations gave you that sickening oh-my-god feeling and the desire to see Sera kick Kolis’ ass.

One of my favorite parts of this series and this book is the continuation of the theme of the struggle with anxiety. I am really glad that continued to be a theme in the book because it not only adds a layer of realism and depth to Sera as the main character, but it also helps readers who experience it relate. For those who don’t struggle with anxiety, it helps them understand a little bit more about what it is like for people who do struggle. Obviously I don’t want Sera to have it but I like seeing it represented in media such as popular books. I think it is an extremely important theme to continue to explore in books, and personally as someone who struggles with anxiety, it is nice to see characters struggle with it and those around them lift them up.

Spoiler
Couple of quick things I liked and wanted to mention them briefly. The first is Attes. While we should be holding up the middle finger the whole time, we realize he seems to be a double agent. He is the silver hawk from the woods, and he helps Sera throughout this book as well. We learn a little bit about his past and while so terrible, I wish he hadn’t taken Sera for Kolis in the first place. I do understand his plan and idea, but I still have mixed feelings about it. The second one is the wholesome interaction with Rhain and Sera when Rhain was captured by Kolis and Kyn. He truly didn’t believe he would live after that mission and for Sera to protect him, it was so wholesome and moving. I really enjoyed the angle that he can talk to you in your mind, it made for a really interesting twist!
Spoiler
Lastly, I know this review/word vomit about A Fire in the Flesh is getting long, but we couldn’t wrap it up without talking about Ash falling in love with Sera, recovering his kardia, and getting to tell Sera he loves her and vice versa. If that doesn’t make your heart want to explode with happiness, I don’t know what does. I have been rooting for this from the very beginning! While I wasn’t sure how he would get his kardia back, I really loved the way it happened! The progression of Ash falling in love with Sera and realizing it was so beautiful and wholesome, I totally cried. He wanted to love her so badly but did not believe he could. When we found out he did it right when he brought her to the shadowlands?? Oh my god my heart nearly broke. Ash and Sera are my favorite couple, and Ash is my number one favorite book boyfriend.

Would I recommend this book to someone else? YES! I think A Fire in the Flesh and the Flesh and Fire series by Jennifer Armentrout as a whole is incredible and everyone interested in romantasy should read it.

Worthy of a re-read

See what other books I think are worthy of a re-read here.

Is it worthy of a re-read? Let's get to reading and find out. If I love it I might start immediately over again...who knows? Genres: fantasy, romantasy, smut, sci-fi, dark romance, and more! I read on average 2-4 books per week, and average 150+ books per year. I am passionate about reading books and sharing my reviews and discussing books with like minded readers and friends. One of my favorite parts of reading a good book is mentally processing the contents and getting to share my thoughts about it both online and in person with those around me.

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