Archive

BOOK REVIEW: Immortal Fire (Red Winter Trilogy #3) by Annette Marie

BOOK REVIEW: Immortal Fire (Red Winter Trilogy #3) by Annette MarieImmortal Fire (Red Winter Trilogy #3)
by Annette Marie
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity's only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can't escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

Review:

*Buddy read with Sophie @ Beware of the Reader and Raven @ Dreamy Addictions*

Immortal Fire was an epic conclusion to a thrilling trilogy!  I devoured every page and yet at the same time, I wanted to slow down and savor every moment.  I became so attached to these characters, I didn’t want my time to end with them.  With twists, sacrifice, love and friendship flowing throughout the pages, this book was impossible to put down.  I can’t ever recommend this trilogy enough!  Here are a few reasons why you should pick up this book….

“Now that I’ve finally found you, why must I lose you?” His torment cut through her, rending her heart. “Every instinct I possess demands that I protect you, that I save you. But I can’t. I can’t stop this.”

The story:

Shiro drew her up and, for a single instant among the chaos, he crushed her against his chest, his face in her hair. Somehow her arms were around his neck, and she held him just as tightly, knowing it was their final embrace, their final moment together. There would be no more time for farewells.

Immortal Fire was a beautiful and deadly tale.  There were lots of obstacles in their way.  So I kept finding myself with sweaty palms.  I didn’t always feel like I knew what was going to happen next and I’d get so nervous it felt like my stomach was tied up in knots.  So of course I kept finding myself gasping out loud.  And again there were elements to the story that creeped me out.  The kanashibari…ugh *shudders*.  With an action packed story and some epic battles, this book had it all.

 

The characters:

“Saving my life won’t earn you Amaterasu’s forgiveness!” She shouted the words, her hands clenching with sudden fury. “I would rather die fighting than give up!”
His dark eyes widened.

Emi was perseverance.  No matter how bleak the situation was, she kept trying.  And even though it felt like sometimes she didn’t even get two second to breathe, and I was terrified for her, she kept going.  I loved how much she continued to grow and how much she was capable of thinking on her feet!

“Command me, Emi.”
This time, her heart didn’t stumble. It soared. How casually, how confidently he ordered her to rule him. Without restriction, without hesitation or doubt, he’d demanded she ask him for anything she wanted. Anything she desired.
A shiver ran through her. Before she could think, before she even realized she was speaking, the words slipped from her traitorous tongue.
“Kiss me.”

Shiro was the ultimate book boyfriend.  He was always thoughtful of Emi.  And I loved how he always listened to her.  How he always chose her.  And even when he was possessive of her.  I’ve said it before, but the lengths Shiro would go to protect Emi made my heart soar.  Add in the fact that he made me laugh and had so much wisdom and insight.  Sigh.  I loved everything about Shiro.

He staggered back a step, holding his hands away from her as though he had no idea how an embrace worked. She pressed her face against his shoulder, tears streaking her cheeks.
“Thank you, Yumei,” she choked.
“She’s crying,” he growled at Shiro.
“Try returning her embrace,” Shiro said with a snicker. “That might help.”

Yumei was the truest of friends to Emi and Shiro, even if he would never acknowledge it lol!    He was still cunning, cut throat and wickedly handsome, yet friendship entered his heart.  And I loved seeing how much he would do to help his friends in need.  With darkness radiating around him and never knowing what he was thinking, I loved watching Yumei in this story.  He could be so matter of fact and he made me laugh.  But I loved how protective Yumei was of Emi and Shiro and I’m hoping he gets his own story some day!

 

The ending:

“I would have kept you forever, little miko.” His words were soft, almost soundless. “I would have taken you with me wherever the tides of time carried us, and I would have loved you until the very end.”

That ending was beyond epic.  If you love happily ever afters, then you’re in for a treat with this series.  It was an extremely rough path to get there.  It even made me shed some tears and all out cry.  Multiple times.  But that ending was everything my heart could ever want!

“You realize you’re mine now, don’t you?” he growled. “I am keeping you. Forever.”

Immortal Fire was an emotional tale that continually pulled at my heart.  Especially since there was a love story that felt forbidden and star crossed.  They were truly doomed from the start, but I still held out so much hope for Emi and Shiro.  But it helped that there were humor in moments you wouldn’t expect.  I loved how the hidden smiles and laughter could be found in this story.  Especially since sacrifice felt like a strong theme in this book.  So just know that I closed Immortal Fire on cloud 9 and I can’t ever recommend this series enough.

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Red Winter
   #1
Review:

Jen

Dark Tempest #2
Reviews:

Jen
 
Immortal Fire   #3
Reviews:

Jen

BOOK REVIEW: Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy #2) by Annette Marie

BOOK REVIEW: Dark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy #2) by Annette MarieDark Tempest (Red Winter Trilogy #2)
by Annette Marie
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Emi has dedicated her life to becoming the perfect vessel for the goddess Amaterasu, but the insidious betrayal of another deity has changed everything. Now Amaterasu has charged Emi with an urgent mission: to find and free the earthly gods before mankind is brought to its knees beneath divine tyranny.

At her side is Shiro, the mysterious fox spirit. When she first saved his life, she could never have imagined that behind his cunning and confidence, he was lost--his power bound by a devastating curse and his memories obscured. His veiled history is somehow tied to the missing gods, but he can't remember how or why.

As their search leads them into the murky depths of the spirit realm, the shadows of Shiro's past begin to emerge. With each brief awakening of his true self, she loses a little more of him. The fate of the heavens and earth rest in her mortal hands, and she must find the missing gods before time runs out for her world--and for Shiro.

Review:

*Buddy read with Sophie @ Beware of the Reader and Raven @ Dreamy Addictions*

 

Dark Tempest was a lush and vivid story and in this second installment, the ante was upped even more!  There was adventure, it was action packed and there were so many impossible hurdles in their way.  Yet there were moments that made me laugh, smile and melt into a puddle.  This book had it all!  Here are some of my favorite reasons why you should pick up this series…..


✮ An intricate story line that held me in it’s clutches:

“Does it get easier when you live a long time?” she whispered, a tear slipping down her cheek. “Or does pain still cause the same suffering? Does regret still make it hard to breathe?”

Nervous energy fitted through me as I read Dark Tempest and I found myself laughing because I was so excited with how it kept playing out. Pieces of the puzzle were falling into place, yet they kept coming up against impossible feats.  So yes I had sweaty palms and was extremely nervous in some moments.  Other times it was eerie, creepy or my claustrophobic self was freaking out.  I even screamed out loud, much to the dismay of my husband sleeping next to me.  And towards the end of the book, I even had tears in my eyes.  It’s just that I was completely immersed in their world. Nothing existed around me except Emi, Shiro and their story.

 

✮ An Unlikely Team:

Emi didn’t move as he stopped beside her and gazed down with those solid silver eyes. A shiver of fear ran down her spine.
Then he extended his hand to her.
“Today, we claim victory.” His ever-unreadable expression softened fractionally. “Well fought, Emi.”
Her breath caught. He had actually called her by name. She managed an exhausted smile as she reached up to take his hand. – Yumei

A kitsune, a Tengu and a mortal girl.  They couldn’t be more different if they tried.  Yet Shiro, Yumei and Emi made an unlikely but strong team. It took them a while to get there, but I loved watching their journey.  I loved each trial that pushed them closer together, that had them working as a team.  They had to find trust.  They had to have hope.  And I loved that they made me laugh at times.  We added two more to this group, as the story progressed, and I loved seeing how it all played out.

 

✮ A Great Love That Can’t Be, Yet I Still Hold Out Hope:

“Say the words, Emi,” he breathed. “Tell me you don’t want me.”
Eyes wide, she trembled, unable to speak, unable to think. He was telling her what to say, but she couldn’t say it. She didn’t want to.
“Shiro.” She wasn’t sure what she’d intended to say, but his name came out in a pleading whisper and even she could hear the longing in it.
That was all the answer he needed.

Throughout Red Winter, Shiro and Emi had been through so many trials and tribulations that it all felt so effortless for them to help each other now. Their relationship progressed and the trust that was there was built on a solid foundation.  And even though Shiro and Emi weren’t together, because they couldn’t risk the future, it still all felt so monumental.  What they sacrificed for each other.  The lengths they would go to protect one another.  It was beautiful.  Plus their their banter was fabulous.  I kept hoping for their HEA, but with the revelations in this book, my heart will keep trying to find hope.

 

✮ A Heroine We Can Respect:

His hand closed on her sleeve. “You have to run.”
“Not without you. Get up, Shiro.”
“Emi …” His eyes lost focus entirely and his eyelids drooped.
As she sucked in a panicked gasp, she realized how slow his breathing was. “Get up, Shiro!”

Emi was given an impossible task from Amaterasu.  She was to find the other Kunitsukami, the earthly gods, and free them since Izanami had imprisoned them.  On top of that, she had to fight for others to believe her.  To trust her and her judgement.  And I loved how she earned allies and others respect.  I loved that she refused to back down and that she found her voice.  And I loved that she stood up for what she thought was right.  Emi was brave, fierce and I was so proud of her and for how much she grew!

 

✮ A Hero I Love:

“I don’t know how I’ll feel about anything when my memories return.” His arms tightened around her. “But I know I fear losing you more than anything that might befall me.”
Tears stung her eyes. “Shiro …”
He would lose her no matter what. She was destined to die, to be consumed by Amaterasu in only a few short weeks.

Even though Shiro’s past and memories were still bound, he always felt larger than life to me.  Shiro was oh so cocky and I loved the fire inside of him.  He could be fierce and lethal when he needed to be.  And I loved how he was always protective of Emi.  His actions and intent always showed he cared.  Plus there were so many little details that tugged at my heart…..like I adored that he called her little miko, and I loved when he called her Emi, since it was so rare.  Shiro continued to capture my heart.

From within the shadows of his gaze, something ancient looked out at her, something wise and cunning and dangerous. Something that whispered to her and called to her soul.

With snowy, winter vibes and magical places that set the scene, I absolutely loved this second book!  And while there was a huge revelation, that I guessed in the first book, there were so many aspects to this story that kept me on my toes.  These characters have my heart and even though I didn’t talk about him above, I love Yumei.  Yumei was still brutal, harsh and seemed to have no remorse at times.  Yet he captured a piece of mind heart too.  I couldn’t wait to see what happened in the final book, and I’m so thankful I was able to drive right in.  And just in case you can’t tell, I definitely recommend this series!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Red Winter
   #1
Review:

Jen

Dark Tempest #2
Reviews:

Jen
 
Immortal Fire   #3
Reviews:

Jen

BOOK REVIEW: Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy #1) by Annette Marie

BOOK REVIEW: Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy #1) by Annette MarieRed Winter (Red Winter Trilogy #1)
by Annette Marie
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.

Review:

*Buddy read with Sophie @ Beware of the Reader and Raven @ Dreamy Addictions*

Do you promise?
She squeezed her eyes shut, fighting tears. Yes, she would remember him until her last day.

Red Winter was a beautiful mythology tale that had the most addictive slow burn romance.  With magic and lies filling the pages, I found myself desperately hunting for little clues here and there to see what the bigger picture was.  And with action that kept me glued to the pages, I was so invested in this story that I actually jumped during one moment.  So if you’re looking for a new mythology book to pick up or if you love fantasy then definitely add this series to your tbr!

Her entire life had been forged by a terrible lie, and there was nothing she could do to change her fate.

Red Winter slowly unfolded and the world was setup before our eyes.  We learned about the mythology, got a strong sense of the world’s culture and the different roles people played.  It was all so new to me, I’ve never read a book with Asian mythology before.  Emi was our main heroine and it took me a while to warm up to her since she was so pure and selfless.  She had spent her life, since she was eight years old, making her body the perfect vessel.  One of their gods would descend into her body during this winter solstice.  Emi sacrificed so much from food to family to finding love, all in the name of her God.  She was so devote and it almost felt like I didn’t know the true her.

His amusement at her terror sparked a tiny surge of anger. “Let me go!”
“Ah, little miko, didn’t anyone ever tell you not to run from yokai?” His deep, purring voice sent a shiver across her skin. He leaned down as his hand on her throat forced her head back. He brushed his nose along her jaw, from her chin up to her ear. “It’s the surest way to make us pounce,” he whispered, his breath tickling her ear.

While we slowly started to learn some of the truths, my connection to Emi grew stronger.  I was shocked at what unfolded, just like her.  I loved when she started to let her emotions out and take a stand for herself.  My respect and love grew for her and I was infatuated watching her transformation.  I felt like I finally knew Emi inside and out, it was brilliant how it all unfolded.  Emi became a resilient and brave woman who I respected.  

“Actions count,” she rasped. “Not intentions.”
“Not to yokai,” he murmured. “Actions change our course, influence our futures, but intentions define us, empower us. Without intent, we are nothing.”

By around 20%, the story picked up and I was completely captivated.  Emily made one decision that took her on an entirely different path.  And when the fox stepped into the picture, I couldn’t stop reading.  The fox was a yokai, who were sometimes perceived as monsters and demons.  Emi shouldn’t have helped him.  Yet she did, since he protected her first.  From there, this book took us on a wild and crazy ride that had me completely addicted.

He stopped, ruby gaze returning to the fading stars. “Because you are more to me now. Because you keep secrets like a kami and I’m curious what you hide. Because you are lonely and scared and I don’t understand why. Because you trust me when you know you shouldn’t. Because I believe you when you say you will keep your word.”
She stared at him, unfamiliar emotions tightening her throat. Her pulse beat in her ears. “Shiro …”

Shiro, the fox, had me obsessed.  He seemed to have good in him but his instincts and who he was countered that.  But he made me laugh with his nonchalance and actions.  And I loved that he could be brash and that he didn’t follow proper procedures for the world Emi lived in.  Shiro went by his own set of rules, he felt wild and enchanting.  But he kept so many of his thoughts to himself.  Even when Shiro was seductive and methodical, I always desperately wanted to known what he was thinking.  I loved Shiro with my whole heart and was easily obsessed with him.

Touching him was forbidden. Kissing him was forbidden. Wanting him was forbidden.
Her fingers brushed over his lips and his warm breath tickled her hand, sending tingles rushing up her arm.

Red Winter captured me in it’s spell and was completely enchanting.  Curse, lies and deception filled the pages and I fell wildly in love with this story and the characters.  One of my other favorite characters was Yumei.  I don’t want to say much about him other than I was kept on my toes in regards to my thoughts about him!  Ohhhh this book also had the most gorgeous drawings!  So yes, I definitely recommend this series.  I’ve already binged this trilogy and just know that each book gets even more addictive than the last!

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers) & Book Depository (click on book #)

Red Winter
   #1
Review:

Jen

Dark Tempest #2
Reviews:

Jen
 
Immortal Fire   #3
Reviews:

Jen

© 2020

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: