Armentrout delights with another fantasy romance books that fans of her series, From Blood and Ash, will devour. Read the book review from She Reads Romance Books to learn what this romance book blogger really thinks!
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A Shadow in the Ember
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Category: Fantasy Romance
Series: Flesh and Fire
Tags: Fantasy, Opposites Attract, Slow Burn
Published October 2021
Amazon | Goodreads
Boyfriend Rating: 💍💍💍💍💍
Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.
However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot.
Never before would I have thought that I’d fall in love with Death, but Armentrout made me do it by giving me Ash!
Just when I think there couldn’t possibly be more to the From Blood and Ash series that I’ve fallen in love with, Armentrout goes and creates this amazing spin off series you don’t want to miss.
A Shadow in the Ember is the first in the new Flesh and Fire series. It’s a prequel of sorts to From Blood and Ash but I think it can be read as a standalone if you haven’t yet started that series (but you REALLY should!).
I’ve come to expect amazing writing, awesome storytelling and the greatest world building from Armentrout and she again delivers in this fantasy romance I couldn’t put down.
I’m not going to lie, my expectations were high going into this book since I have LOVED every book in the Blood and Ash series.
There’s just something about the characters she created, the intimacy between characters and the compelling story that creates this hope that this series will never end. And while I’m waiting desperately for the next book, she goes and starts a completely new tie-in series!
While I do think this can be read as a standalone (because honestly I couldn’t remember ALL of the details we learned about Nyktos and his Consort in The Crown of Gilded Bones and I will be going back for a reread), I do think fans of the previous series will enjoy it the most.
Why? Because you have to love the immense world building that is such an integral part of her stories and why she can create such long-spanning series. This book is no different.
While I think it is a wonderful slow burn romance, you also get a LOT of details about the worlds these characters live in as well as bits and pieces about the creatures, gods, Primals and more that all play a role in the present as well as the history that led up to it.
And since this is what I imagine will be a long-running series, you have to be OK with the story not being complete. It doesn’t end on any major cliffhanger, but at a natural conclusion and with information leaving you wondering what is possibly in store next?
At the heart of this romance are Ash and Sera, the Primal of Death and the Maiden who was born to kill him. Now if that alone doesn’t set up an amazing storyline, I don’t know what does!
I loved the outspoken, inquisitive, impulsive nature of Sera and her resignation to her duty.
Ash was this amazing character that kept peeling more and more layers back as the story unfolded. I loved all the different aspects of his personality that started to come through the more time he and Sera spent together.
Armentrout created a great slow burn romance between these two that had the right amount of chemistry and the perfect amount of pacing. I’m glad that their secrets weren’t held in secret too long.
I agree that their interactions strongly resembled those of Casteel and Poppy but I didn’t care because I absolutely love Casteel and Poppy’s story and connection!
Despite the reason for their connection and the implications of the deal that brought them together, Ash and Sera are amazing together.
Though there is a lot to this book with various characters to meet, worlds to imagine and a history to understand, it was Ash and Sera that pulled me along the story and who have me wanting more.
I highly recommend for any fantasy fan and any fans of the Blood and Ash series!
*I received an advanced reader copy but all opinions are my own.