Author: Sarah J Maas
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Cheers Factor: 5/5
Pairing: Fire in My Veins
If you’re heard anything about this book you know it sets something aflame. So this fun little drink is truly perfect not just in its coloring, but in the kick it brings.
2oz silver tequila (I used Jose Cuervo)
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz grenadine
4-5 dashes bitters
“She had the courage to tell me the truth.”
-Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice
-Strain in glass with fresh ice
-Garnish with lime wedge
“And I have never hated you, Cassian.”
Take a Shot: (18+ for sexual content and discussion around mental health) It’s been 18 months since the war and Nesta is on a downward spiral. Her sister doesn’t know what to do with her and no one not even Cassian or Amren can get through to her. So as a form of rehab she’s forced to start training and working in the library. Go along with Nesta as she heals wounds she never thought she could heal and starts to love those in her life and more importantly herself.
“You are a lord in good deeds. It is not a title born, but earned.”
I know I was kind of indifferent when I heard that this book would be a Nesta book. I was hesitant to even start it because of the perspective change from Rhys and Feyre to strictly Nesta and Cassian. However, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. This one is probably going to be a long one so strap in, but I feel like there’s a lot that I want to talk about here.
I want to start off by saying I think we all wish in our hearts that we would be a Feyre. We would be the Cursebreaker willing to sacrifice all of ourselves in order to save everything and everyone. Willing to do anything and everything no matter the cost. I don’t think most of us are willing to realize that we are more like a Nesta than we think. She lashes out when she feels cornered or hurt, she holds her grudges and tends to them like a garden Elain has built and she has enough self doubt and loathing that it just might consume her. I didn’t always love Nesta, in fact I actually quite hated her, but there had to be some reason behind a lot of her actions and this book gave it to us. I liked that it was honest though and didn’t use them as excuses. She knew she had messed up and she knew she was not the person she wanted to be but didn’t know how to become her.
This book handles a lot more adult topics more in depth than I feel like the original trilogy ever did and I love that. I had to continually remind myself that Nesta is the eldest of the Archeron siblings and at 25 has more adult problems like any 25 year old would. Her guilt over her father is a huge striking force with her and I think we can all think of someone who loved us so unconditionally despite the way we push them away. She feels guilt over her powers for having the ability to take away the people she loves. She also feels immense guilt over who she is and that pain runs deep.
We get to see all of this from Nesta’s perspective, but also Cassian’s. I loved the move away from the first person from this book and it felt very Throne of Glass which I loved because Sarah just writes these perspectives so well and you really get to see so much of these characters in new ways. I am slightly angry that we don’t have a Rhys and Feyre portion because you can’t expect me not to want to know how Rhys reacted to finding out Feyre was pregnant or the thoughts that ran through her head when she found out the birth might kill her. I want to know that and I want to see that. I also want to see the growth of their relationship. I love the deference that High Lady Feyre is given from Rhysand when it comes to their decisions. Reading that from another perspective is amazing to see how Rhysand speaks with Cassian and Azriel about him and Feyre as a unit making decisions for their court. It’s truly magical and I hope that in one of the novellas we get to see those moments from their perspectives.
I am not going to really talk about the setting because well there wasn’t much. I do love how Nesta essentially “Made” the house and it came to life as she was living there and it was honestly formed in her own vision of what she needed at the time. That was unique and a great way to lead into that becoming her future home with Cassian.
Now I guess I need to talk about Cassian too seeing as he’s such a huge part of this book. He’s hot headed and stubborn but I absolutely loved reading from his perspective more or less. He’s really such a full rounded character and I loved seeing so much more of him beyond his interactions with other members of the court. Also he’s so good to Nesta like damn I want that. I loved when she attempted to throw him out on the Winter Solstice and she finally breaks by telling him what she hasn’t wanted to completely admit that she doesn’t feel worthy of his goodness and his reaction is just ugh. I don’t really have words but I really loved that part.
WARNING KINGDOM OF ASH SPOILER BELOW SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH TO NOT BE SPOILED
Another great moment was all the talk of the Valkyries. I cannot and will not be convinced that they weren’t the same as the Thirteen. I refuse to accept anything else. I cried just thinking about it while reading it and while writing this. You cannot tell me this isn’t reminiscent of when the Thirteen completed the Yielding razing the field to nothing and the flowers were placed there in tribute to them. “As if the earth still mourned the females who’d given their lives with no hesitation. Who had laughed at death and embraced life so fully.” Like no you cannot convince me this is not similar the same or in parallel to them. Thank you for coming to my TedTalk. I'm gonna go cry for a minute right back.
WELCOME BACK NON SPOILER FOLKS
Okay now I’m back or for those of you non spoilers we are all back. Overall, I really loved this book. I loved the raunchy aspect that felt more grown up given our characters older ages. I loved the maturity brought to their relations as well. It was nice. Also Sarah is a dirty dog because we all know who was involved in that threesome so if you ever want to share it we will gladly read it. I also loved the addition of the “f bomb”. It was added at fitting moments and it makes up for all the ones no one got to say in books 1 through 3 as well as all the ones Aelin didn’t get to use in Throne of Glass.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering about how if I loved it so much why the heck is it not a 5/5 book? Well that’s what this is for. First of all I thought Fae babies were rare and blessings and hard to conceive. You mean to tell me that Feyre is only 21 (or like 2 to 3 years old in Fae life) and she’s already pregnant? Like c’mon dawg. Also Sarah thought she was slyly having us not know the whole shield thing, but I knew as soon as Cassian said it masked her scent that she was pregnant. I mean it also makes sense why Rhys would do it because he’s a protective mate and all, but that’s so we could reveal it conveniently duh. Circling back to the pregnancy deal though like 18 months post war not only is Feyre pregnant but so is Viviane? So Rhys and Kallias are both soon to be dads? I don’t know, it just seems convenient. Also now I really want to see some Winter Court books because that looks fun. I love Viviane and Kallias and if in Mor’s story we don’t get more of them I will throw hands.
Okay back to more of what I found problematic. Although I loved Gwyn and Emerie , their additions felt forced. Like I know Nesta needed friends. She needed more people to interact with that weren’t the Inner Circle and her sisters, but they still seemed kind of forced regardless of how much I liked them. Plus they all have that much trauma? I respected the way that they did find one another and bonded over their need to fight, not physically, to find themselves again, but it just seemed strange to me. I also want to know how mates are so rare. Rhys is 500+ years old and just found Feyre as is the same for Cassian finding Nesta, yet all our characters are mated and not just mated but mated to an Archeron sister. That just seemed weird to me, but like I also like it so I don’t really want it to change it does just seem weird that everyone is genuinely mated despite it being rare and not happening that frequently.
If you have made it this far thank you for sticking around as I essentially ran through my thoughts on this one because it really did throw my mind, but that’s basically all I have and know I will be reading it again and will say it did well and stands to hold its own against the original trilogy.
“Because my mate taught me well.”
Bonus Chapters Review
Okay I wrote my ACOSF review before reading these chapters because it only seemed fair that way and I was proven right. The Feyre and Rhysand bonus chapter from the Barnes and Noble edition did give me the insight I wanted of Rhys finding out Feyre was pregnant, however if I hadn’t read that chapter the original novel would have been lacking. I did like the sweet moment that helped us to see more of our favorite mates though. Then there is the Az chapter and I actually really liked it. I love the adult-ness that’s in these newer books. It’s refreshing and again like I said everything ToG and the original series never really got. However, I will be curious to see Azriel’s story moving forward seeing as Elain will no doubt be involved as I assume Gwyn will. I want to see everything from Elain’s perspective and I know we were set up to believe that it might happen, but part of me still truly hopes it does even if for a brief time. I love the argument Az makes about how three sisters were chosen and made and then 2 of 3 brothers are mated to them. Az is right it doesn’t seem fair and he is, at the moment, getting the tough end of the stick. Overall, I liked the bonus chapters because they addressed what I felt was missing in the book itself, but reading the book alone has me asking questions and wanting more.
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