From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a new 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.
Amazing story with excellent characterization!
AKOFAF picks up right where the first book left off; Casteel has announced they will travel to Atlantia to get married. Before that can happen, Cas has his work cut out for him to prove his feelings for Poppy are genuine.
AKOFAF has them both learning to reestablish trust after the blows his betrayal cost them. However, that is only part of the larger experience that Poppy is going through as she embarks on her own journey to learn more about who she is and the kind of person she wants to be. She also learns to step up and take accountability for the role she inadvertently played in the destruction that Solis created. It is a beautifully wrought part of her story and one that I think reflects a very real need for people to recognize their own complicity in systems of structural oppression.
We also get even more insight into the Atlantians. They are a fascinating culture and laying the foundations for who the are, where they come from, and what upheavals they are facing really bring their part in the story into focus. I think AKOFAF really toes the line between character development and plot progression very well; there is certainly a lot of growth for the characters (particularly Poppy) and we are introduced to quite a few new faces. Each of the new characters bring a lot to the table and the part they play had my mind buzzing with possibilities! Plenty happens and each event is elegantly interspersed with character development that really demonstrates how everything happening is affecting the characters. I think a few events are also breadcrumbs that will have more relevance as the story progresses in the upcoming books.
Lastly - while there is no shortage of twists, reveals, and serious developments there is also a good sprinkling of levity that will surprise you as you go from tense to laughing. The chemistry between Poppy and Cas is as simmering as ever, the tension between them scorching, and the heat levels ... well let's just say they put FBA to shame. Kieran also continues to delight and serve as a source of great amusement but also a source of common sense and reason.
I received an advance issue and chose to review voluntarily.
just keeps getting better…
5 / 5 — Forewarning that the first 100-ish pages go in circles a bit but that doesn’t overshadow the masterpiece that this book is. So many layers to this story & so many character developments that keep you DYING to peel them back. And the PLOT TWISTS! Oh my God! Such an incredible story/series that just keeps getting better. Again, think GOT. So much action & the cliffhanger at the is killing me. Starting the 3rd immediately.
Best book ever!!!!