The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: November 19, 2013
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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.
Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.
When November hit, I was immediately excited. No, it wasn't because Thanksgiving was approaching (and since I work retail, Thanksgiving usually just means "Dear God, Black Friday is almost here. Please help"), but it was because Richelle Mead's new book in the "Bloodlines" series was coming out.
I've been anxiously awaiting this fourth installment of the series since I read the first three books after realizing that my favorite character from her original series ("The Vampire Academy") was going to play a starring role. Of course I'm talking about Adrian Ivashkov.
That is, I couldn't be happier until I picked up Mead's most recent book, "The Fiery Heart,” and saw that half of the book was told from
Adrian's point of view. Oh, did my heart go a
flutter! This was a new style choice for Mead since all the books leading up to
this have just been told in our main female protagonist Sydney Sage's point of
view. And in my opinion, this stylistic experiment of hers really paid off.
Once I got over my initial fangirl glee of getting inside my fictional boyfriend (who just happens to be a vampire, but so what)'s head, I was able to see a deeper side of
Adrian's mood was up and flying high with his love for Sydney, and in the next
instant, he would be in the depths of despair and hearing the voice of his dead
aunt. It was so much emotion that I actually found myself tearing up at points
from witnessing his pain firsthand.
Speaking of his love for Sydney – this is the first book that we get to see them as an actual couple since the last book, "The Indigo Spell,” ended with Sydney finally(!) admitting her feelings and letting herself pursue them. That's not to say they are a normal couple by any standards, however.
These two have to still keep their relationship under wraps since the Alchemists (which is the group
is a part of that deals with keeping the vampire world secret from humans)
would punish her if she got too close to a vampire, and the vampire/human
relationship is considered taboo by vampires and the human Alchemists alike. Sydney's Alchemist sister,
who has officially moved in to "help", doesn't make them being
together and easier either.
I was pleasantly surprised with how the relationship was handled in this book. With all of
reluctance in the past, I was fully prepared to see her pull away again
"for their own good", but she didn't do that. Even though they were
under constant scrutiny and knew that others wouldn't understand, these two
tried to make things work. As always, I loved their scenes together and I was
happy to see that they weren't too enthralled in love to become gooey and
disgusting, but still have their back and forth banter, which is half the fun.
With each passing book, I also find myself loving
more and more. Even with all of Adrian's changes
from alcoholic partier to someone with responsibilities, it could be argued
that Sydney has
made even greater growth and development. She becomes a stronger person as time
goes on and is able to finally find comfort in who she is. I think Mead has
created a great female protagonist that girls can look up to. She's starting to
war with Adrian
for the position of my favorite character in the books, and I didn't think that
would ever be a fair fight until now.
Something else that's fun about this book is when Sydney and Adrian make a brief visit to the vampire court. Through their business we are able to visit our old friends from "The Vampire Academy" series, and I always like a good crossover.
Do I recommend this book? Hell yes. Was my Adrian and Sydney gushing not enough of an answer on that? I also recommend reading "The Vampire Academy" before you start with its spinoff series. Is it necessary to understand the plot? No, it's not, but you can still get the background information to enjoy the "Bloodline" books even more, and get a chance to fall in love with
like I did. So go out and read about some vampires!
Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy. A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.