One of the BEST books of 2020!
Reviewed in Canada on 23 November 2020
“I don’t want to pretend,” I whispered.
“I’m Poppy and you’re Casteel, and this is real.”
Can you hear me crying? That's also real.
This book was too beautiful.🥺
AKOFAF is definitely one of the best books of 2020 and my favourite from JLA.🥰
I didn't even think it was possible to love JLA more than I already do, but it is.
How does she do it?!?! Casteel, Poppy, and Kieran have got to be my favourite characters from all of her books. The banter between them all and just.....everything.🤧😍
Awww now I feel like crying even though there's no reason to. JLA is simply just amazing.
🛑WARNING: SPOILERS FROM FB&A BELOW!!!🛑
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire picks up literally right after Casteel Da’Neer aka The Dark One aka the Prince of Atlantia aka Hawke Flynn (xD so many different names) declares to all about his plans to marry the once-Maiden, Poppy Balfour.
Well, you can guess how that went with Poppy........
She definitely wanted to stab someone.😈🤣 And so it began: The battle between Poppy & Casteel.🔥⚔️
“I was the Maiden, nearly groomed my entire life to remain pure and focused only on my Ascension. I was Chosen to be given to the gods, even though I never chose the life. I didn’t get to choose what I ate, when I left my chambers, or who was allowed to even touch me."
"But he was the first thing I’d ever truly chosen for myself.”
Poppy has got to be one of my all time favourite MCs. I love this girl so much.🥰 She's such a strong and witty female protagonist. Finally, after being subjected to a life of no choices and silence, Poppy can now be herself and speak out to those who insult her. And being declared as the fiance of the Prince of Atlantia—well, of course she's going to have a lot of enemies and hatred directed towards her.
Even so, she speaks her mind and refuses to let anyone put her down or scorn her. Her curiosity also never ceases to amaze me xD. I love that all the questions she asks annoys Kieran endlessly. Their bantering is just too good.🤣
“Do you think he’ll believe us?”
“Yet another question?” Kieran leaned back, crossing his arms. “Seriously? Do you ever get tired of asking so many?”
“Apparently, you don’t, since you just asked three of them.”
And though she used to feel a self-conscious of her scars, now Poppy stands proud and looks straight into peoples' eyes without absolute fear of what they'll think of her. I love this girl sm.💞
“Somewhere along the way, I no longer saw her as a bargaining chip or a tool for revenge. I saw her for who she was. Who she is—this beautiful, strong, intelligent, endlessly curious and kind woman who was as much a victim of the Ascended as any Atlantians."
"I fell in love with her, probably long before I even realized I had.”
Ahhh how could anyone not fall in love with Casteel?!?! Even after all the lies and betrayals, you could understand where he was coming from. He wanted so badly to save his brother, Malik, from the Ascended and was planning on using Poppy to get to him, but all that changed from the very moment he met her. Instead of going through with that, he completely changed all his plans just to find a way to be with her.🥺 This boy.....
And then there's Casteel's fierce protectiveness over Poppy. I love how even though he worries and tries to convince Poppy from taking huge risks, he doesn't actually stop her. He respects Poppy's decision and ability to do what is necessary. He's always taking care of her, too.🥰
“Fight me. Argue with me. I won’t stop you. But I will not allow you to put your life in jeopardy."
And don't forget those dimples as Poppy loves to point out.😏😍
“He was Casteel then just like he’s Hawke now,” Kieran stated quietly, drawing my gaze to him. “And you know that. You just aren’t ready to accept it.”
Oh Kieran🥺🤧💞. You're like a wingman and the barrier between Casteel & Poppy for majority of the book xD. He had to deal with being in between the heat of Casteel and Poppy's arguments and conversations. You gotta admire him for all that.
I probably love him the most.🥰 He knocked some sense into Poppy, that's for sure.
Haha and the conversations the 3 of them had😆🤣
“I’m curious,” Casteel said, causing me to jump. I hadn’t even heard him approach. “What are you two discussing that has Poppy looking as if she’s five seconds away from crawling under the table?”
“Nothing,” I said.
“I was just telling her about how you have heightened physical senses,” Kieran answered at the same time as I did. “Like your ability to see better than her, and scent her arousal—”
“Oh, my gods!” I spun on the bench, swinging at Kieran, but he easily avoided my fist.
“I’m sorry.” Kieran didn’t look remotely remorseful. “I meant desire. She doesn’t like the word arousal.”
You must not use the word 'arousal' in front of Poppy xD. Casteel, Poppy, & Kieran.... all of them are definitely best when together.💖
Of course, I got to see more of both some new and old characters. Some wolven, Atlantian, and Descenters. Declan, a wolven, was placed on guard duty a few times and his responses to Poppy demanding to be let out was just too good.👌😂
“No one wishes to chase you through a snowstorm.”
“I’d rather not be gutted by the Prince, so no.”
“The Prince will return soon.”
My favorite was when I’d said that I just wanted some fresh air. “Nothing personal, but there is literally no way I would trust you enough to crack this door open to allow even an inch of fresh air to enter your chamber.”
He's learned his lesson from the last time he was on guard duty with her xD.
Ooo and then there's Alastir.......I'm a little conflicted about him🤔 I do so love him for being such a kind wolven to Poppy, but certain events have left me wondering some things. Still, he'd only met Poppy yet he was already offering to help her. So kind.🥺
“So, that is why I’m offering you my aid. If you are being forced into this, I will help you escape. I will do everything in my power to ensure safe passage."
"But I will make sure you are somewhere neither the Ascended nor Casteel can ever reach you. All you have to do is tell me, and this will be over for you."
I must, before I end this, put in those moments with Poppy threatening the life of others xD. Mostly just Casteel & Kieran.
He chuckled. “Careful, Kieran,” Casteel murmured, catching my hand before I could swing at Kieran once more. “She’ll be threatening to stab you next.”
The wolven grinned. “I’m pretty sure that’s already happened.”
“I hate you,” I announced. “I hate you both.”
Awww of course Poppy means the exact opposite.🥰🤣
“Obviously, Casteel takes after his father when it comes to women with sharp objects,” Jasper commented with a snort. “I feel like I’m missing some vital information that Delano conveniently left out when he met me halfway.”
I frowned, but at least I knew where Delano had been.
“You stabbed Casteel?” Jasper repeated. “In the heart? With bloodstone. And you thought it would kill him?”
“In my defense, I felt bad afterward.”
“She did cry,” Casteel remarked.
I was going to stab him again.
Poppy's murderous intentions and violence is too funny, especially when she's around others who bear witness to it.😂 I need more of that.
Well, after that ending the 3rd book has definitely landed into my most anticipated releases for 2021. Ackk I can't wait!!! I NEED the next book NOW!!!😫😭😍
I just love JLA so much.🥺🤧 You can really tell how much her writing has changed from her first few books. Truly just a queen😍💞
Hopefully, the latest the 3rd book comes out will be spring 2021.
I don't think I can bear waiting a full year or more.....
"From Blood And Ash."
"We Will Rise."