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A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire: A Blood and Ash Novel Audio CD – Unabridged, Dec 1 2020
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes the next novel in her Blood and Ash series…
Is Love Stronger Than Vengeance?
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.
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"Picking up after an explosive cliff-hanger, Stina Nielsen narrates a captivating fantasy romance in which a young woman struggles to overcome betrayal.… Nielsen's immersive performance blends romance and action for an entrancing listen."
—AudioFile Magazine, An Earphones Award Winner
About the Author
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES, # 1 International, and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia. She also writes under the name J. Lynn. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel and her hyper Border Jack Apollo, and a slew of farm animals that include alpacas, goats, and sheep.
- Publisher : Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (Dec 1 2020)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 171354816X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1713548164
- Item weight : 82 g
- Dimensions : 13.34 x 1.27 x 16.51 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Canada
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I'm absolutely in love with this world and these characters.
It took me weeks and rereading this book twice to even come close to writing a understandable review. That is how amazing this book is. I never knew I needed this story until Jennifer published this.
I love the characters. I absolutely adore Poppy. Seeing her growth through even just these first two books is incredible. And the romance between her and Hawke is worth every minute it takes to read this huge book.
So is her friendship with Kieran.
And the s*x scenes. Oh my life, I'm pretty sure my kindle nearly caught on fire quite a few times. They're chemistry is off the charts.
Lucky for us we have had two books in this series released in the same year. I can't even begin to choose which one I loved more. But second book syndrome? Kingdom of Flesh and Fire is nowhere close to having second book syndrome. It's just as or even more amazing than FB&A.
I love learning about the mythology in this world. I seriously cannot wait for the next books to come out. I dont know if my heart can take the wait.
I'll definitely be rereading this a few more times.
Seriously. Buy it. Don't wait. It's out today, just buy it and binge both if you havent read FB&A yet. You won't regret it.
From Blood and Ash has been one of my favourite books of 2020, and I honestly didn’t know how it could be topped. Still, I had faith in Armentrout, and that faith paid off in a massive way.
AKOFAF is everything I loved about FBaA and then some. There is more action, more drama, more of the world, more side characters (Kieran is precious and must never come to harm), and of course, more romance. LOTS more romance.
Where do I even begin? This book is gigantic, yet Armentrout packed it with fun banter, wicked action scenes, unexpectedly creepy and intense moments, serious steam, and compelling characters.
Poppy is AWESOME. There’s no other way I can describe her. She reacts as I would hope a strong female character like her would. She has a solid heart, a fierceness, and wild powers that I never imagined would come at the end. I am truly dying to see what happens to her next.
And Casteel? Consider him my new favourite book boyfriend. Not only is he unfairly hot and wicked with his romantic antics, but he is a complex character who struggles with his past and his feelings for Poppy. Their moments together never seem tired or unexpected, since they spend much of their time together working out what they are and what they want from each other.
I LOVED this book so much. I’m not surprised to see it everywhere on Instagram because it is a fun, wild ride packed with two compelling main characters (and Kieran!), perfect for anyone seeking adventure and unforgettable romance.
I am smitten with the characters, the setting, the cultures, the action , emotional depth and witty humor, all wrapped up in a fantabulous package!
Cas is my book boyfriend. He's a legit Alpha male I can appreciate - he's not only strong, capable, with a delicious darkness about him - he's smart, moral, and not afraid to sensitive. What slays me about his character, is that the author balances his capacity for sensitivity with all his other traits so he doesn't turn into a complete ball of mushiness - too many authors in this genre aren't able to balance their Alpha's in this way.
Ugh! This review sucks, and just isn't doing the book justice. READ THIS!! It will knock your freaking socks off!
The second instalment in the Blood and Ash series starts where the first one ended and we are sucked right back into the world that Jennifer L. Armentrout created. We find Poppy trying to come to terms that everything she ever believed to be true her whole life were in fact lies. We see her struggle to trust Casteel fearing that he is not fully honest about his motive to marry her. She is not ready to go down without a fight though and that is just how we love her.
When you find yourself back into this world, you cannot help yourself; you want to go and read the next page, the next one, and the one after. Poppy and Casteel are still bickering and these scenes were among some of my favorites in this book. I really enjoyed the fact that as Poppy struggles to come to terms with what she knows to be the truth now or how she actually feels for Casteel, she is still willing to help others; still willing to sacrifice herself if it can help. She is such a strong character and I loved that she will not back down from an argument or say what the other wants her to say; she is her own person and she has her own beliefs. Casteel is a character that is still intriguing and has you read the book, you discover a few more façades of him and I really loved it.
There are so many other characters in this series that you will love, hate or will plain be confused about. I know I’m looking forward to the next book if only to find out if I’m to actually like some of these characters or not.
We get to discover more about Atlantians and their legends through this book and it added so much more to the story. Honestly, this fantasy world is such an amazing one to lose yourself into for a few hours.
This book has everything you can look for, you have secrets unveiled, you have battles, you have romance and you have so many questions that will make you want to have the next book in your hands. Once again, Jennifer L. Armentrout created a book series that will you keep you at the edge of your seat and will make you want to skip work so you can keep on reading.
So another 5-star read for this series and I cannot wait for the next book.
Top reviews from other countries
The book picks up exactly where it left off. Poppy is hurt and angry by what Casteel has done, and is not happy with the prospect of marriage. The first 30% of the novel sees her pretty much confined to her room (minus one escape attempt). It’s basically one long scene and there is so much of Poppy thinking about how she feels, and masses of dialogue where huge amounts of historical information are dumped out. Then we see a little action and I was thinking, brilliant this is where it kicks off. But not really. Then we’re back to pages and page of dialogue and info dump. My brain was actually hurting at one point with all of the names of gods and previous kings and I just wanted something to happen to break up the exposition.
It’s not until the very end of the novel that we really see something begin to happen and a huge battle scene. It was great, but was so short and I couldn’t help feeling like it could have happened way earlier.
In all honesty this book was way too long and could have been condensed considerably. The pacing was slow and even worse it was riddled with grammatical errors. You can kind of forgive those in a self published novel (although not really). But this was released by a publishing house who obviously did very little editing. A simple read through would have picked up a lot of the errors.
The author also uses the same phrases over and over again. After seeing the same things repeated five times it gets a little irritating.
I enjoyed elements of the story. But it really was a let down in terms of pacing and progression of the plot. Great idea, poor execution :(
Poppy is still processing Hawke's betrayal, she is angry, hurt, and confused. In a very short span of time, she has learned that everything she has known is a lie and the person she was starting to fall in love with is someone else entirely. The first chunk of this book is all about Poppy coming to terms with this, the most obvious issue of Hawke being Casteel. It was heartwrenching reading some of the scenes between them - so much hurt but there is also a lot of healing and that was kind of beautiful. Casteel is not a perfect guy, and he doesn't try to be, and this is what makes him him, I would have really liked a few chapters from his perspective.
As well as the emotional parts of this book there are a lot of kick as moments and battles. Poppy snark and stabby tendencies are on point throughout. As well as the ever-looming threat of the ascended which made me feel on edge whilst reading justing waiting from the to strike.
I want to talk about the characters and the relationships, but I feel like I am entering spoiler territory for the first book - so if you haven't read the first book then I would definitely recommend it - and you can check out my review of From Blood and Ash which I have linked above.
Firstly, Poppy is just incredible, we see her awakening in the first book, she realises that most of the things she has been told are lies and half truths, and she deals with it all so well, even if that means getting stabby with a certain person. She grows and listens and we get to witness her internal struggle as has to chose who and what to believe. I love that she is vulnerable and brave at the same time, that she is capable of taking care of herself in a phyiscal sense (she is so badass I love her) but also that in many ways she is so innocent. She had no clue about relationships or even friendships because she had no frame of reference. It all makes for very compelling reading!
I also want to say that with her relationship the power dynamic is literally perfection. I am a huge fan of enemies to lovers, and I love the relationship Poppy has in these books. The fact that she has the nickname Princess melts my heart. I love that she threatens to stab, well just about anyone who annoys her, and follows through with it too. I love that she is such a good person, and wants to help, even those who do not want her help, even those who hate her. The banter between her and Cas is just so swoon worthy - I do love snarky banter!
Cas is literally perfect, and he reminds me a lot of Roth from the Dark Element series, the way he baits Poppy and the things he says to her and yes the fact that he calls her Princess. But we also get to see beyond the snark and the confidence in this book, we get to see him ask Poppy to just pretend even though they are alone. We get to see his vulnerable side which makes him all the more appealing. Though to be fair we also get to see him rip the heart out of a mouthy wolven too.
These is a whole range of new characters, but one of the highlights for me was Kieran. He is an amazing character and I love that we get to see more of him in this book, that he is the voice of reason (most of the time) and tells both Poppy and Cas the truth even when, especially when they don't want to hear it. I hope that we get to find out more about the Wolven in future books.
I don't want to spoil anything of this book so I am just going to say, I loved it - my favourite read of the 80odd books I have read this year, I loved it even more than From Blood and Ash even though before I started it I could not see how that would be possible. And that everything was perfect, pacing, plot, worldbuilding and characters. I just adore Jennifer L Armentrout's writing style and I now need to focus my efforts on reading the rest of her amazing sounding backlist and trying to resist the urge to reread the two Blood as Ash book whilst I wait (impatiently) for book three which I believe is due to be released in Spring 2021.
For all its flaws, I actually really enjoyed From Blood and Ash, and began this second book with high hopes. Unfortunately, the flaws in this second book outweighed the positives for me, and my biggest gripe was simply the sheer length of the book, when for what the actual plot is, it should have been half the length. The story takes ages to actually get going, and then just when you think it has, it stalls again, and so the pattern continues.
I assumed the book would change setting to the kingdom of Atlantia, where our heroes are journeyed, fairly early on, yet they actually only begin this journey over a third of the way in, and don't arrive till the last 2 or 3 chapters. The whole book is taken up with just the getting there, and nor does really all that much happen along the way. Yes, there are some action sequences interspersed throughout the book, mostly all involving attacks from the Ascended, and 1 encounter with a violent tribe of people known as the Dead Bones clan. Other than this the book focuses mostly on the relationship between Poppy and Casteel, and yet not in a good way.
I enjoyed their relationship as Poppy and Hawke in the first book, and I do think there was a lot of potential in how things could have been handled and explored in the wake of Hawke, aka, Casteel's betrayal of Poppy and the rebuilding of trust between them, yet the way it was actually handled was just too adolescent for me personally. I appreciate this is a Young/New Adult series, but the writing and depiction here was just cringey in parts. There are endless repetitive arguments and conversations between the characters, not to mention lengthy, endless internal monologues from Poppy's point of view where she deliberates over the same things. It is so obvious that both she and Casteel have feelings for each other, such that this whole 'pretending' business that goes on for more or less the whole book, and general angst around their relationship just feels so unnecessary and contrived, though towards the end this then switches to just sickly-sweet levels of being in love, with Casteel forever telling Poppy he is not worthy of her, blah, blah, blah.
In terms of characterization, I liked Poppy in the first book, and particularly the angle of her being the Maiden, with this destiny and veiled existence that means she lives in a gilded cage, with her torn between duty and her own desires. But that all falls to the wayside here, and there is not really anything about her that stands out from other YA fantasy heroines. She is now just the typically feisty heroine, who seems to have these strange powers no-one quite understands, that grow through the book. Yes, she is still compassionate, wanting to help those in pain with her powers, but otherwise her character seems to be served by either constantly asking questions, for narrative purposes, or being angsty.
In my review for the last book, I mentioned I was unsure about my feelings towards Hawke at the book's end, though I had overall liked his character as Poppy's personal guard. Here, we essentially get to know the real Casteel, who as predicted, is a much more complicated character than Hawke. Certainly he has an interesting backstory, that makes for a tortured character, however, again this was just handled in too Young Adult a way, with too many vibes of Rhysand from the ACOTAR series by Sarah Maas, such that he didn't feel original.
I did enjoy Kieran's character and the fact we got to know him better. I liked his sense of humour, and easy-going way, and also his loyalty to Casteel. There are other new characters introduced, but none that I could say I feel too strongly about. Alastair seems rather too obviously dubious to me personally.
We do get a lot more information on Atlantia's heritage I suppose, learning more about the different types of Atlantians and Wolven, varying bloodlines and links and ancestry to the Gods. There is a lot of speculation throughout the book regarding which bloodline Poppy, who is half-Atlantian, descends from, though the answer is never resolved, if anything the cliff-hanger ending just throwing more questions to this regards. I am interested in the world-building with regards to Atlantia, and towards the end of the story things happen that suggest we still don't know the truth about Poppy, which again I am interested in, as well the wider story of the Atlantians and Ascended, unfortunately there just wasn't enough of that story in this book.
I will at some point read the next book in the series. I had initially thought it was a trilogy, but it turns out there are more books planned, and even a prequel book that relates to the Gods, which I am particularly interested in. I would have thought for the main series though, 3 books would likely have been enough, and the fact that I know the next one is not the last, makes me worry it is yet again going to be filled with endless filler. As such, I think I will be taking a break from this series for the time being, and will likely come back to it at some point.
Overall more of a 2.5 star rating, though I've rounded it up to 3 stars.
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire picks up right where From Blood and Ash left off, with Poppy away from everything and everyone she has ever known and surrounded by Atlantians and Wolven alike. And not all of them are thrilled to find The Maiden with them. Right from the start I couldn’t put this book down. I just needed to know what was going to happen. I am completely and utterly obsessed with this world and this vampire related mythology. I just love every single moment of it. I am always hesitant to talk about this series as a vampire-series as it really isn’t. It is so, so much more. It’s a heart-racing epic fantasy that just so happens to have some vampire type mythology intwined in this incredible storyline.
Poppy and Casteel are two of my all time favourite characters. They have such great character growth throughout this book and I loved every moment of this development. They are both thrust into this situation that they weren’t expecting and have to gradually come to terms with their feelings for each other. Despite the betrayal and everything they have been through, they have to accept that they are going to have to work together. Honestly, I loved how much their relationship developed throughout this book. It was just such a fantastic development. I absolutely adore them both and some of my favourite quotes in this book comes from the romance between these characters. It’s absolutely heartmelting.
Honestly, I was so anxious while reading this book. I’m in Jen’s reader and spoiler groups for her books and I had seen many, many theories of things readers wanted to see. One of them is a major thing for me and something that should it appear in a book I would DNF on 99.9% of the time. It would absolutely kill me to have to do that with this series, so I was in such a panic about it. I am so glad I continued and pushed through though as this book was just completely and utterly epic!
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire is filled to the brim with twists and turns. Honestly, it’s mind-blowingly good. I usually guess a lot of the twists and turns throughout the books that I read but there were certain things in this book that I didn’t see coming at all. When I finished it I actually could not speak. I couldn’t believe what had just happened and I was just left shouting WHAT?!?! If a book can do that for me then that is a sign that it’s a phenomenal book!
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire was just utter perfection. From the heart pounding twists and turns and the mind-blowing plot, to the swoon-worthy romance, this book had absolutely everything that I love in a book. You thought From Blood and Ash was good? Look out the absolute epicness of this sequel. I couldn’t put it down and I am now left reeling dying to know what is going to happen next. This series is a must-read for any fantasy fan.