The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

ImageTitle: The Fiery Heart
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy (YA)

This review is spoiler free.

Goodreads synopsis:
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

My review:

Well, wow. I have a lot of thoughts on this book, so this review may be a little all over the place, but please do bear with me! Like I said a few days ago, I did manage to get my hands on a copy of TFH from my nearest bookstore, and I read it in about 5 hours straight – and each hour was definitely worth it. Without further blabbing, here goes.

Firstly, I just want to say that Richelle’s narration of alternating chapters between Sydney and Adrian just did not work for me. At all. Yes, the story was wider and we could see a lot more of what was going on, but at the same time, the whole idea was lacking, because I found it extremely confusing. I lost count of the number of times where I’d be halfway through a chapter then forget whose head I was in then having to flip back to the start of said chapter. Perhaps I was just tired and half brain dead – but still, knowing whose POV a chapter is from shouldn’t be that frustrating for a reader. Moving on to the ending. This was painfully obvious from the very start for me. From the synopsis, from the synopsis of Silver Shadows and the way the book panned out in general, I predicted the ending almost from the get go.

However, I have complete and utter respect for Richelle for delivering such an ending so beautifully. It may have been expected, but I still found myself gasping with what was going on – the execution was done really well, so props to Richelle for that. The biggest bone I have to pick with this book is the fact that none of Indigo Spell’s events had any affect on The Fiery Heart. I’m not talking about the romance here (I’ll get to that later) but the actual plot. Veronica was initially a central character in the preceding book, and she was mentioned all but once in TFH. I really hope Richelle is planning on sorting that out in her next books, as I’m fairly sure she will – she’s too thorough of an author to let something that big slip by, but I suppose we’ll see. This whole thing just reinforced my view that The Indigo Spell was a mere filler, but y’know.

Going back to the romance. TOO MUCH. Too much is all I have to say. I do love my fair share of romance, but when I pick up an urban fantasy book, I expect urban fantasy. That’s not to say that I don’t want romance to be in it – hell, I loved the Vampire Academy series and I genuinely would not criticize a thing about it – but there has to be a limit. Pausing the whole plot for a romantic interlude is just not my cup of tea. The. whole. plot. was. literally. paused. That frustrated me terribly, but moving on to the positive! parts.

ROSE. ROSE, ROSE, ROSE. I was so happy to see her and some of the other treasured characters from VA making an appearance. It was beautiful. This also ties into something that I’ve been waiting for since Bloodlines – the original plot. Guys, the original plot was finally returned to. I was so happy that I wanted to cry (I did end up crying, but let’s wait for that). The whole issue of Strigoi who were converted back to their previous form by spirit was explored again, AND the entire point of the spin off series was addressed – Lissa needing another family member to maintain the throne, and Jill going into hiding for that. I’ll admit, it was a tiny part of the book, but it was definitely one of my favourites.

Now to the one thing that utterly and completely made this book for me. Are you ready? Eddie Castile. I may or may not be slightly in love with him, so seeing him featured in this book far more than the previous one gave me a real thrill. Also, I feel like we finally got more insight into Eddie’s mind – the ending was the thing that reduced me to tears, and it wasn’t because of Adrian or Sydney. No, I was bawling because of Eddie, Eddie who did everything he could, yet lost so much. Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, Eddi- I’m sorry, is my obsession coming through? Oops.

Overall, The Fiery Heart was far, far better than The Indigo Spell. I’m definitely eagerly awaiting Silver Shadows, although the wait seems quite terrible and painful at the moment. My hopes for the book? More Eddie, more Lissa, Jill’s safety issue being addressed further, a little less Sydrian, and Richelle Mead’s fabulous writing.

My rating: 3 out of 5

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