Review: "The Fiery Heart" by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines #4)

Sydney Sage knows that falling in love with a vampire is something an alchemist like her shouldn't even be considering, but the heart wants what it wants and in her case, Sydney wants and loves Adrian Ivashkov and he wants and loves her just as much. But they need to keep their relationship secret, especially with Sydney's younger sister Zoe now living with her. Zoe desperately wants to please their father and tries to live up to his ideals of what a true alchemist should be. Unfortunately, Sydney no longer fully adheres to those beliefs but she can't let Zoe or any of the others outside of Adrian and Marcus Finch know that. 

As Sydney delves more into human magic and what it takes to be a witch, Adrian finds himself struggling with the after effects spirit, a supernatural kind of magic vampires have, leave upon his mind. He loves Sydney desperately and her requests that he curb the use of spirit are something he thinks about but what kind of person would he be if spirit were to remain silent? Another thought that consumes his thoughts is whether he and Sydney can truly have a life of their own, one away from the demands of the alchemists and the royal court, and one that will give them the true freedom that they both crave and deserve.

I bought the paperback of The Fiery Heart once it was available here late last year but I decided to hold off on reading it until I had, at the very least, book five in my hands because I heard that there was a whopper of a cliffhanger waiting here. Thankfully, I was able to buy book five's paperback edition a few weeks ago AND my sister in California bought me the hardcover edition of the sixth and final book in the series. And so, the looooong wait is over and I was finally able to read The Fiery Heart and I'm torn between feeling like it was worth the wait and feeling like an idiot because I could have read this much, much sooner.

For those who've never read my reviews for the first three books in the Bloodlines series and the original Vampire Academy series, let it be known that I'm a fan of both Richelle Mead-penned series. All twelve books sit on a special bookshelf that I can view from my bed and the books I place there are absolute favorites of mine. I love how the author is able to weave a fantastical story with equally fantastical characters and placed in a setting that is absolutely normal and one that regular humans like us can relate to and appreciate once we open our minds to all the creative possibilities Richelle Mead presents us.

I loved how Sydney and Adrian's relationship progressed in this fourth book and how Sydney continues to come into her own. She's become much stronger and more courageous, and now she's allowing her emotions to have a place in her life and not allow herself to be the cold, unfeeling alchemist she once was. Adrian brings out the best in her and the care and concern she has for him are more evidence of how she has evolved as a character. And Adrian... Le sigh. I've always loved how cocky he can be yet still have bouts of insecurity about himself. Adrian Ivashkov is definitely one of my all-time favorite fictional vampires.

It was fun having Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov included in this story, especially because there is history between Rose and Adrian, plus Lissa Dragomir and Christian Ozera were guest characters as well. I do look forward to finding characters I've come to love in the original series show up in the spin-off series. It gives the overall story arc a sense of familiarity. The whole story line with Jill Dragomir and Angeline Dawes pretending they had a thing for Neil Raymond when they were really into Eddie Castile and Trey Juarez, respectively, was more light-hearted fare, the kind you can't help but smile and shake your head at.

If you have yet to discover the wonderful world of vampires, dhampirs, and alchemists, I highly recommend you check out the original and action-packed Vampire Academy series and the wonderful Bloodlines spin-off series. Make sure you read the books in order because none of them are standalones, and yes, this fourth book does end in a cliffhanger, one that left me bug-eyed and shouting "NOOOOO!!!" in frustration. Of course, the fifth book was already ready and waiting so you could say my reaction was a tad dramatic. ^.^ The Fiery Heart is one of my favorite reads for this year and I'm giving it five stars! ♥

Date Read: 10 May 2015

Learn more about Richelle Mead here.

Purchase The Fiery Heart on Amazon | B&N | Kobo.

Check out my reviews for the other books in the Bloodlines series:
Book 1 - Bloodlines (five stars)
Book 2 - The Golden Lily (five stars)
Book 3 - The Indigo Spell (five stars)

Check out my reviews for the Vampire Academy series:
Book 1 - Vampire Academy (five stars)
Book 2 - Frostbite (five stars)
Book 3 - Shadow Kiss (five stars)
Book 4 - Blood Promise (five stars)
Book 5 - Spirit Bound (five stars)
Book 6 - Last Sacrifice (five stars)

*The list above doesn't include short stories/novellas included in anthologies.


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