December 11, 2013

REVIEW: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4), by Richelle Mead 
Published November 19, 2013
e-book, purchased
young adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
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.

It's been a week since I finished The Fiery Heart, and I'm still nursing the remnants of a massive book hangover. I loved it so. much. Each new Bloodlines book is better than the one before it, and I think I love that fact the most of all. 

Sydney and Adrian are finally together, but hanging out has been made infinitely more difficult since Sydney's little sister Zoe joined up with the Scoobies in Palm Springs. Every move Sydney makes is scrutinized, and if it got back to their dad or the other alchemists that not only was Sydney an honest-to-goodness witch now, but one that's in love with a vampire, Sydney would be sent to reeducation. 

Once again, there's more than one main story happening in The Fiery Heart. First on my list was the romance between Syd and Adrian. At the end of The Indigo Spell, she finally gave in to her feelings for Adrian and I can't even tell you what a relief that was. Syd is so strict and uptight and stuck on the rules she was brought up to believe blindly that it was a hard fought win. And now that she has her prize in Adrian, finding time to spend with him is nearly impossible thanks to her sister. Yet Adrian and Sydney are determined to make it work - to "hold the center." 

The second main story is the one centering around Sydney trying to find the right recipe to replicate Marcus' anti-alchemist tattoo in quantity so that he can help more alchemists escape from their oppression. This process was awesome to read about as Sydney uses her smarts to figure out all the missing pieces to find the right mixture for the ink. I loved that part and the possibilities it creates. 

The third main story was about Adrian's battle with spirit. It's starting to bring the crazy on, and his mood swings have reached epic levels. He could take drugs to lessen the effects, but then what if someone he cares about needs his help? 

One of the best parts of this book is the dual POV. For the first time ever, we get to see inside the wonderfully complicated mess that is Adrian's head. Sometimes his mind is a little batty. But, when he thinks about Sydney, he is unbelievably sweet. 

The way that Richelle Mead has developed Sydney's character over not only the four Bloodlines books, but really a total of seven books now, if you look back to when she was first introduced in the fourth Vampire Academy book, it's so remarkable. Over the course of those seven books, Syd has gone from a completely close-minded, obnoxious character that I honestly hated, to a brave fighter that I love so much. It's been such a gradual process, which is so much more believable than if she were to change on a dime. 

The magic, the action, the politics - it's all so, so well done. Yes, there is a cliffhanger. But it's been done well. The loose ends, except for one big one, are starting to tie up, and the ending is done in such a way that Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) is one of the most anticipated books of 2014 for me.  


Unknown said...

Yay! I'm glad you love this one too. I loved Sydney and Adrian so much in this one. With their milestone and all. ;) Silver Shadows is definitely one of the most anticipated for me too! Can't wait!!

Erica (The Reading Kitten) said...

I'm so glad you liked this one! Can't wait to read it myself. Great review! =D

Lola said...

I am glad we could buddy read this book! I agree with you on most points, I loved seeing how much Sydney has developed! The cliffhanger was indeed done very well and I am really looking forward to the Silver Shadows (already preordered my copy on TBD).

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

OOoh nice review! Reading tons of good reviews on this one! Keep holding off a bit because of this cliffhanger. I don't do well with cliffhangers and the months wait til the next book! Thinking I can only hold off on this one til the new year and then I will have to dive in! Great review!

Teresa Mary Rose said...

Great review! I need to make time for this one soon but I am dreading the cliffhanger, but I'll probably read it soon because I'm impatient haha

Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives