Soul of Flame (Imdalind, #4)-Rebecca Ethington
+++I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review and in participation with Good Choice Reading blog tours.
I feel like I read this book eons ago. No really. I read Soul of Flame in early February and here we are mid-March. For those of you who have been following my semi-stalkerish love for this series, last month I did an Imdalind reread-a-thon and put up reviews for the earlier books in the series. If you haven’t read books 2 + 3 and want to check out my reviews, here are the links:Eyes of Ember (Imdalind, #2) Scorched Treachery (Imdalind, #3) That being said, not only is Rebecca Ethington an awesome, funny person but this series is crazy addictive and if you haven’t yet taken the journey to Imdalind, Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, #1) is FREE on Amazon: Get Kiss of Fire. I can’t say enough wonderful, gushing, obsessive things about this story. It’s packed with emotion, you will laugh, cry, ache, pine, and get so enraged you’ll feel compelled to scream out of frustration. It’s an emotional merry-go-round of feels. The storyline is original, it takes you on a magical journey into a legacy of magic, prophecy, and death in such an epic way you’ll feel like you’re experiencing a story that transcends the pages. When I first read Kiss of Fire way back when, I was so incredibly impressed with the character development, the creativity, and the dialogue. It’s passionate, raw, and yet so easy to identify with the characters. Each book is better than the last, I didn’t think it was possible but I’ve never been more happy to be wrong. There were so many perfect quotes, if I could, I’d share the entire first chapter ❤
The petals were a blizzard that covered the world, creating beauty that minutes ago I had forgotten could exist. Despite what my walking terrors would have me believe, the world was not always blood-soaked walls and torture chambers. The world was not all anger and hatred as Edmund had hoped. The world was beautiful…”Miluju tē, Joclyn. Ty jsi moje navždy. Mūj začátek a mūj konec.” He whispered the words like a prayer, and although I understood nothing, I understood everything. I could hear his thoughts as he spoke, his heart translating for me what my mind could not understand. “You are my forever. My beginning and my end,” I whispered back to him in English.
I felt all his love in that instant, all his worry and sadness. I felt every promise and every vow. I felt it all in one tick of the clock before it was gone from me. His golden eyes devoured me as his fingers trailed over my jaw, lighting me on fire. He swallowed my soul with that look before he turned from me, his back straight as he towered before me with the long ribbon of gold hanging down his back and to the floor.
+++Contains spoilers if you haven’t read Scorched Treachery.
Plot: Soul of Flame picks up immediately where Scorched Treachery left off (mid-scene). Jocyln escaped her mental imprisonment with the help of Ilyan and fumbles to piece her broken life back together. She’s terrified, the psychological damage she suffered under the hands of Ryland, Edmund, Timothy, and Cail is beyond damning. She wakes to horrific memories, jumps at her own shadow, and doesn’t know how to overcome the crippling fear that rules her life. No matter how hard she tries to fight it, she flinches at the slightest touch and doesn’t know if she’ll ever be the same. Ilyan gives her warmth, encouragement and love, he hold her as she cries and feeds her his strength in the comfort of his arms. Joclyn’s magic has grown exponentially, she can’t control her power because her fear reigns. Joclyn must learn to face her demons, contain her magic, and harness it to perfection as the prophetic battle against evil gets closer by the day. Jocyln’s heart is a mess. Her head is clouded with darkness, she can’t cope with what went on psychologically and goes into emotional overdrive every time she sets sight on Ryland, she can’t help it and is more confused than ever by her feelings for Ilyan. On top of this, Jocyln’s visions as a Drak don’t bode well for the future. The battle seen so many centuries ago is on the horizon and Joclyn must be ready, the fate of the world depends on her weilding her powers to their optimal ability but her memories keep getting in the way. Jocyln works to pick of the pieces of her fragile mind, her shattered heart, and bursting magic at warp speed but she’s running out of time. The battle looms, Edmond and his cronies have built a deadly army, set to reap utter devastation on the world, destroying the magical community and making cruelty the norm. Jocyln, Ilyan and friends work together, planning to once and for all annihilate Edmund and save the world in the name of good.
The Time for the final battle has come.
Edmund’s armies have surrounded the Rioseco Abbey, trapping the few survivors inside. The sight that Ilyan was given a thousand years ago is about to come to pass.
If only Joclyn was able to fight.
Joclyn is tormented by the hallucinations that Cail’s mind has left her with, her magic an uncontrollable torrent that even Ilyan cannot control. Her moments of lucidity are broken by fears of dripping pipes and bleeding walls, and a desire to kill Ryland that she is having trouble trying to ignore.
The sight has shown her power, shown her success, but it has also shown her death – The end of her life something she is not quite willing to give up on yet.
Even past her death, the sight has shown her love, and that love may be the only key to her sanity, to her strength, and to Edmund’s death.
That love may stand in her way, and a single choice may tip the scales and secure their future, or destroy their fate.
- Joclyn goes through a major transformation in this book, she matures, finds herself and grows into a powerful, glorious force to be reckoned with. She’s fierce, she has her insecurities and fears but she pushes through them, faces her darkest nightmares and gravest tormentors head on. Joclyn is stunning in her confidence, she confronts Ovailia with such determination and bravado that she seems unstoppable and destined for triumph. Confession time: Joclyn has never been my favorite character, there was always something I couldn’t quite mesh with but this Joclyn, this brave, open-hearted woman is someone who is as inspiring as she is praiseworthy. Joclyn loses her childish, naïve ways and matures into someone who is able to overcome anything thrown at her.
- The braid scene. The feels. OMG. I just…I lost it. If your heart has been searching for that moment that is so completely beautiful, honest, and true that it fills you with a glowing warmth that will leave you smiling and walking around on air for days, this is it. The love is just, there are no words. The symbolism, the simple confessions, everything just fits seamlessly, it’s like what you’d imagine soul mates to feel without the cheesy clichés. You will never be able to look at braids as simply a hairstyle again. I find myself noticing braids on the street and smiling that secret smile of contentment and daydreams.
- Ilyan. Finally, finally, finally, we get an insider’s view of Ilyan’s compassionate, mighty heart. He’s smart, calculating, innovative, a dynamic leader and his devotion to Joclyn will make your heart melt. Even after what you learn, he clings to the smallest sliver of hope, sacrificing everything and subjecting his heart to the deepest hurt for Joclyn’s happiness. Ilyan is a warrior with a golden, brilliant heart. His lines are like poetry. The things he says to Joclyn are not the snarky, dirty lines common in YA now but bold, simple statements that ring with truth. And the Czech is to die for. I speak Russian, which is not too far off to be able to decipher some of the Czech and wow.
- If you had any doubts about what vindictive, disgusting, evil people Edmund, Ovailia and Timothy are you won’t after this. The extent of their malicious, violent behavior is terrifying, slimy, and all together inspires so much hate and fury that any small victory for good will prompt serious cheering. They’re truly vile and their intentions are some of the most corrupt and disquieting I’ve seen, they’re true villains.
- The prophecy, the past, and Joclyn and Ilyan’s love all collide in this magnetic give and take as they fight fate despite their dire future. The plot is ingenious. So much of the past is just great storytelling, you’ll never be bored.
- Joclyn and Ilyan’s love fluctuates between easy chemistry, understanding, soulful love, and childish jealousy. It’s endearing that such a powerhouse couple can still fight over silly things. It makes them more real and their fights bring the story back down from fantasy to reality. They complete each other. They’re constantly touching, their magic mingling, their desire is always there, waiting in the background. It’s sweet, soothing, and just so right.
- The battle was anticlimactic. The cat fight between Joclyn and Ovailia was a touch predictable and the final fight scene was not as complex or violent as expected.
- The prophecy, the history, the lies, the mysterious magical elements, and Sain’s creepy, possibly nefarious intentions were all new and lots of information at once, felt a tad rushed.
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