I was dead set on not starting this series no matter how many times people that I was crazy for waiting. Eventually, the ayes had it and I gave in, I was seeing Jen’s book everywhere and Hawke had me intrigued. I’ve been of JLA’s books since the Covenant series and Aiden is my #1. Even after reading this one, Aiden still holds the spot, but Hawke is easily the second … or perhaps I’ll create a new category when it comes to Jen’s heroes and put him as #1? 😉

If you’ve been a fan of Jen’s from her earlier stages, you can definitely see how much growth there has been with her stories and writing, after reading From Blood and Ash. I’m 100% obsessed with this world that she has created and after getting through the last hundred or so pages of the book, I have soooooooooooooo many questions. Because it sure did pick up immensely towards the end.

OK, if you’ve read my previous JLA reviews before, you know that I’ve loved about every single one of her heroines. They’re amazing and badass in their own way. And Poppy just might be the most BA of them all. But my goodness, I do not envy the path that was laid out for her since she was a childhood. I wanted nothing more than for her to be free from her cage. Not going to lie, there were quite a few moments where I expected her to stand up for herself, but she held it back. And that was really tough for me to swallow. She has some rage that you don’t want to be on the opposite end of because she will not hold back. She bottles up everything and I totally understand why as much as it killed me to see it happening. You can’t always help the circumstances you were born into, you get told things more than enough times, and you will believe them. Can you blame her?

Even with this being book 1, you still see some growth with her character and I cannot wait to see what she’ll do in A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire. Those last hundred of pages are no joke, not going to lie, my heart broke REPEATEDLY for her and I have no idea whatsoever what’s to come.

Hawke Flynn … boy I was not ready for him at all. His presence is overwhelming in the best way possible. He’s like a mixture of all of Jen’s heroes combined into one. And I know sooooo many fell in love with him from the beginning, I sure did. As. of right now, I’m holding back my 100% devotion to him because … well, you’re just going to have to read to find out.

Poppy and Hawke have everything there when it comes to their connection and chemistry. But there’s a lot of secrets that will be a huge barrier for both of them. We learn a little bit towards the end, but there’s so much more in the unknown.

It took me a little bit longer than normal to finish this book, it’s rather long. And one thing about some fantasy romance reads that intimidate me is the world-building. Sometimes it can be a bit too much for me and I end up getting lost. For most of the book, the pacing was slow, but you’re learning a lot during that time. Then things REAALLLLLY pick up towards the end and that’s what kicked up the rating a bit for me.

Jen has woven us a rather addicting tale with characters you will be rooting for. I have quite a few theories, so I can’t wait to see which way everything will play out.

[rating stars=”four-half-stars”]

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