The only one who can save Sera now is the one she spent her life planning to kill.
The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm.
Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for the tortured Primal, not when a life no longer bound to a destiny she never wanted is more attainable than ever. But memories of their shared pleasure and unrivaled desire are a siren’s call impossible to resist.
And as Sera begins to realize that she wants to be more than a Consort in name only, the danger surrounding them intensifies. The attacks on the Shadowlands are increasing, and when Kolis summons them to Court, a whole new risk becomes apparent. The Primal power of Life is growing inside her, pushing her closer to the end of her Culling. And without Nyktos’s love—an emotion he’s incapable of feeling—she won’t survive her Ascension. That is if she even makes it to her Ascension and Kolis doesn’t get to her first. Because time is running out. For both her and the realms.
“You are the heir to the lands and seas, skies and realms. A Queen instead of a King. You are the Primal of Life,” Nyktos—the Asher, the One who is Blessed, the Guardian of Souls and the Primal God of Common Men and Endings—rasped.
enjoyable/easy to read:
A Light in the Flame is better than A Shadow in the Ember, mostly because it moves away from being a direct rewrite of the Blood and Ash series and starts to forge its own path.
There’s a trend I’m starting to notice in modern fantasy romance that is becoming incredibly tiring: Does anyone edit these books?! I have no problem with long books, but there has to be a point to adding hundreds of extra pages. If these additional pages were used to develop a relationship or avoid the pitfalls of instalove, I’d be totally on board. Instead, A Light in the Flame uses its extra pages to copy and paste arguments, relationship shifts, and smut.
Ash and Sera have the same arguments over and over and over and over. He’s overprotective; she’s reckless and combative. He keeps secrets to hide his ‘shame’ (which I’ve put in quotes because everyone sees through this bullshit, right? Ash’s ‘shame’ always manages to paint him in the best possible light while he pretends it makes him a monster). She keeps secrets to hide her emotions (more bullshit - these gods and godlings and Primals must be missing brain cells to be oblivious to how Sera feels about Ash. Only Nektas seems to have any emotional intelligence). So they fight about it. And resolve their fights with sex. And then fight again. We get it.
Only slightly more repetitive and boring is Sera’s flip-flopping on their relationship. As we've been told a million times, Ash can’t fall in love (insert eye roll here. I’m not even going to start on this ridiculous plot point), so the definition of their relationship comes down to whatever Sera wants it to be. So what are they? Frenemies, fuck buddies, partners? Don’t pick one; just cycle through them as needed.
It’s not surprising that repeating arguments and relationship status would lead to repetitive smut. I keep waiting for something exciting to happen. At least we haven’t had an overhyped and ultimately disappointing threesome or sex at inopportune moments (like when they're trying to escape a dangerous situation and time is short), which is what I’ve come to associate with Armentrout's writing (see: the Blood and Ash series). But with all the time these characters seem to spend sitting around waiting for things to happen, you’d think they’d get a little more creative.
Besides the lack of editing, there’s a lot to love about A Light in the Flame, even if it could’ve been two or three hundred pages shorter. There are a lot of new characters introduced that I’d love to get to know better; there’s some excellent development of a few favourites (the draken, obviously), and when things finally start happening, they’re usually exciting and interesting. I'm looking forward to A Fire in the Flesh. I doubt I’ll want to reread the first two books, and I’m definitely hoping for a little less angst (unlikely, I know), but I am mostly enjoying this series so far.