The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

First Lines: I won’t lie.  Walking into a room and seeing your girlfriend reading a baby-name book can kind of make your heart stop.  “I’m no expert,” I began, choosing my words carefully.  “Well–actually, I am.  And I’m pretty sure there are certain things we have to do before you need to be reading that.”

I recently went to the biggest library in my county and about cried when I saw how many books lived on those shelves that I had yet to read.  (You think I’m joking, but I quite literally shook like a junkie for every book I saw that I knew I couldn’t grab.  It took a lot of will-power to get me out of there.)

*Series Spoilers Ahead, if you haven’t read the earlier books in this series!*

The Indigo Spell ended in a way that took fans by surprise, and now Sydney has to live with the consequences.  In the aftermath, she’s still trying to be true to herself while being pulled in many different directions.  Her sister Zoe has arrived to help out and learn how to be a true Alchemist.  Sydney wants to be closer to her sister, but how can she when she has to hide so many things from her?  Marcus has forever changed the way Sydney sees the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread carefully if she doesn’t want anyone to discover her new magical abilities.  Sydney will fight to keep her life as secret as possible while the threat of re-education looms over her head, coming closer with every passing day…

This was really good.  I do enjoy Richelle Mead’s writing style, and I always have.  I think I’ve read something like 14 of her books by now.  She makes every story exciting and heartfelt and hilarious.  I love it.

Alright.  So this story does something really interesting: the chapters alternate between Sydney and Adrian.  With some stories, I don’t think it affects the story as much as the author would hope, but this pulled it off.  There were definite benefits of seeing the story from Adrian’s perspective.  First of all, he is so sarcastic and clever that nearly every scene had something funny in it.  Also, there’s a lot of Adrian that we really didn’t know before, about how he thinks and feels.  That was really nice to see how he really feels, when he covers up so much with sarcasm.

The pacing for this book was a lot slower than most of the others.  It wasn’t constantly action, action, action.  In fact, at times, it felt too slow.  I’m probably just used to her other books when I say that.  But it did spend a lot of time focusing on normal life at school for Sydney and the gang.  I think part of the slow-down comes from the dueling perspectives in this one.  Sydney’s action would have to wait until we were done reading about Adrian and vice versa.  So for that reason, this book focused more on emotions and secrets rather than action and battles.

And what is up with these VA/Bloodlines cliffhangers?  Sigh.  I suppose I’m used to them at this point.  On the upside, I usually never forget how the previous book ended.

Overall, I found this to be an entertaining read that showed a lot of character growth and emotions.  The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it worked for the story.

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