Jennifer L. Armentrout’s A Fire in the Flesh is the third book in the Flesh and Fire prequel series. This series was planned to contain three books, but it has since been expanded to four. So we’re getting close to the end. Because both the main series (Blood and Ash) and this one are down to their final book. And I can see the pieces coming together for the final outcome. I’ll share my predictions at the end of my review. But first, let me discuss my thoughts about A Fire in the Flesh.
The only thing that can save the realms now is the one thing more powerful than the Fates.
After a startling betrayal ends with both Sera and the dangerously seductive ruler of the Shadowlands she has fallen madly in love with being held captive by the false King of the Gods, there is only one thing that can free Nyktos and prevent the forces of the Shadowlands from invading Dalos and igniting a War of Primals.
Convincing Kolis won’t be easy, though – not even with a lifetime of training. While his most favored Revenant is insistent that she is nothing more than a lie, Kolis’s erratic nature and twisted sense of honor leave her shaken to the core, and nothing could’ve prepared her for the cruelty of his Court or the shocking truths revealed. The revelations not only upend what she has understood about her duty and the very creation of the realms but also draw into question exactly what the true threat is. However, surviving Kolis is only one part of the battle. The Ascension is upon her, and Sera is out of time.
But Nyktos will do anything to keep Sera alive and give her the life she deserves. He’ll even risk the utter destruction of the realms, and that’s exactly what will happen if he doesn’t Ascend as the Primal of Life. Yet despite his desperate determination, their destinies may be out of their hands.
But there is that foreseen unexpected thread—the unpredictable, unknown, and unwritten. The only thing more powerful than the Fates…
- Published: October 31, 2023
- Page Count: 630 pages
- Genre: Fantasy Romance
Thoughts on A Fire in the Flesh
To begin, I have conflicting thoughts about this book. I wasn’t sure how I’d react to the third installment in the prequel series after A Soul of Ash and Blood ended up being a cash grab/letdown from the main series, posing as the fifth book but really being a retelling of the first. Particularly given that the original trilogy expanded to four books in all. Which indicated to me that there would be a lot that could have been trimmed out but wasn’t. It’s sometimes a positive thing that things were expanded on, and sometimes it’s just filler.
So, which way did I think this book leaned?
To be honest, there was a lot of unnecessary filler. I understand Sera was imprisoned for a long time, but did we really need so many scenes of her frustrated in a cage, bittering with Callum (who we learn isn’t truly a revenant and was Sotoria’s younger brother), and attempting to persuade herself to seduce Kolis then loathing every second of it? No. And this was the bulk of the novel, with a few dreams of her and Ash thrown in for good measure, so it never seemed too heavy.
Did I still enjoy the book? Yes. But I can say that and understand that a lot could have been trimmed out without ruining the overall story. Plus, this could have been the end of the original series if that filler had been cut out and we got the conclusion in place of that filler. However, depending on how Armentrout intends to reveal the material between the main series and this one, I could maybe understand why she didn’t. Kolis isn’t and can’t be truly stopped by Sera. Instead, Poppy will be in charge of that. But I’ll go into more detail about that during my predictions.
However, because of the filler, Sera and Ash are separated for 65% of the book, and not much happens during that time. Just the three things I’ve already mentioned. Oh, and there’s one more thing, but it’s a spoiler, so I’ll keep that out of my review. The last 30% was mostly spent with the two (Sera and Ash) reuniting. So all of the spice is practically jammed into that last bit to make up for the fact that they have been separated the entire time. And, in comparison to the rest of the books in this universe, the ending was rather tame, with no cliffhanger. However, I did enjoy seeing Ash and Sera together. And them finally being on the same page after her Ascension into the Primal of Life. I don’t consider that a spoiler considering we’ve known about that since book four of the main series.
Alright, onto my predictions. I am going to have this section hidden since there are potential spoilers within. So, look at your own risk.
- Sotoria is reborn as Poppy Balfour. We learned the meaning of the name Sotoria, which can be translated into My Pretty Flower or My Pretty Poppy. POPPY! As in the name of the main character from the Blood and Ash series. We know the gods are planning to have her soul be reborn in the future and based on descriptions from Kolis, Sotoria looks similar to Sera but with wine red hair. Who has wine red hair and looks similar to her grandmother? Poppy. Plus, we know Sotoria didn’t like Kolis, so her being reborn and getting Casteel as a heartmate is the icing on the top. Plus, it’s nice to know she (Sotoria) finally has peace and love… granted, she also has to stop Kolis from destroying the world. But after that all the trauma she went through her many lives can be put behind her. Though I’m curious why Callum didn’t recognize Poppy as Sotoria, unless he did but didn’t comment on it since she didn’t recognize him.
- Sera is pregnant with Malec and Ires. Not much of a prediction, we know she has the twins very soon after she marries Ash from what Nektas told Poppy and Cas. But the fact that her period never came while she was captive (something she calls out) and she saw two small snow cats behind her own snow cat beast form, while she was Ascending really just calls out that fact she truly was pregnant when she ascended. She’s just unaware of it.
- Many of the current Primals are going to die. We know by the time the Blood and Ash series happens most of Nyktos’ friends are known as Primals. And we are introduced to other Primals during the Flesh and Fire series. We’ve seen one true Ascension and turn over, but the rest are likely going to happen in the next book. And Sera is going to Ascend them all. Though I know it’s going to be a roller coaster to witness considering how many would need to be ascended. And I can’t imagine Kolis letting go of the fact Sera is now the Primal of Life, instead of him having both of the embers.
- Speaking of both of the embers residing in one Primal, that’s going to Poppy. We already know she has the embers of true embers of life and the embers of death. But I think once the true embers of death are removed from Kolis, they are going to end up in her. Unless, Nyktos takes them becoming the Primal of Death instead of a Primal of Death. But we know Poppy is as close to an Ancient as they get with both embers residing in her.
Overall, while I enjoyed A Fire in the Flesh by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I had higher hopes for it. So, I’m giving this one a 3.75 star rating. But I’m only rating it higher than A Soul of Ash and Blood because this one at least didn’t feel like a cash grab. Plus, I like how while Ash did the same thing Cas did, speaking to his wife while she ascended, we didn’t have an entire book recounting everything from another perspective. We just had a chapter and then it was done, and we had way more of his thoughts than a recap of everything that happened.
I’m going to stick out these series to the end as I’ve come this far. And while the second to last book in each of these series have been a let down, I’m holding out hope that the final book in each will make it worth it. Though I could honestly be lying to myself considering how many books it has been.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Did you agree or disagree with my thoughts on this book? Or on any of the predictions I shared?
Join the Howl of the Pack today by subscribing! To stay updated on everything I’m doing, follow me on Twitter as that’s where I post quick updates. Or join our Discord server. Also, if you like this post, let me know in the comment section, it really helps me figure out what content you guys appreciate. Don’t be shy I would love to hear from you!