Title: The Fiery Heart (A Bloodlines Novel, #4)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin (19th November 2013)
WHEN PULSES QUICKEN NO SECRET IS SAFE.
SYDNEY ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT ALCHEMISTS WERE BORN TO PROTECT VAMPIRE SECRETS AND HUMAN LIVES – UNTIL SHE MET MARCUS AND TURNED HER BACK ON EVERYTHING SHE ONCE KNEW.
But she’s not free yet. When her sister Zoe arrives, Sydney can only tell her half-truths about her past. And with every word she risks exposure – and the fatal consequences.
Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney must choose her path once and for all. Even if that means harnessing her magical powers to destroy the way of life she was raised to defend . . .
THE SMOULDERING FOURTH INSTALMENT IN THE BESTSELLING BLOODLINES SERIES.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
THE FIERY HEART is the fourth book in Richelle Mead’s brilliant BLOODLINES series which is a spin-off from her VAMPIRE ACADEMY series. It tells the story of Sydney Sage an eighteen-year-old girl who grew up in an Alchemist family – a group of humans sworn to keep vampire secrets and to protect humans. In THE FIERY HEART Sydney is faced with a choice, one final choice, between the rhetoric she grew up with or breaking away from its familiarity.
Having really enjoyed THE INDIGO SPELL (review) I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book. Sydney Sage is one of my favourite characters, and in all honesty I prefer the BLOODLINES series to Mead’s VAMPIRE ACADEMY one. So I had quite high expectations going into THE FIERY HEART. Mead does some really interesting things in the book, and in a lot of ways I think that this book is a pivot point in the series. Unfortunately, I’m not totally sure why, but I didn’t fall in love with this book. At the same time, it has left me anticipating SILVER SHADOWS; I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.
If you’re a reader of the BLOODLINES series then you’ll know that the narration normally focuses on Sydney, and we get to see things from her point of view, but THE INDIGO SPELL. For the first time in this series Mead splits the narration of the story between Sydney and Adrian – they get alternating chapters. I really enjoyed this change of narration, and thought it worked well in terms of the plot as it allowed the reader to know things they wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise.
The plot of THE FIERY HEART is by far the most complicated and complex of the series. There is so much going on at times, yet Mead somehow manages to make the plot thread easy to follow. At the end of THE INDIGO SPELL Sydney’s sister Zoe makes an appearance – her first since the first book – and what really struck me was how different the sisters are. I found it hard to feel anything but distrust towards Zoe, especially as I didn’t really get the sibling relationship between her and Sydney – but that may be because I am an only child. Sydney is definitely playing a dangerous game in this book, and the arrival of Zoe really served to highlight how far she has come since her first appearance in the VAMPIRE ACADEMY series. I think Sydney appeared more human in this book. As he is one of the narrators, Adrian is a main character in this book and I really enjoyed the opportunity to get inside his head. He’s a really strong vampire, and I’m hoping that we’ll get to hear his voice in the next book of the series too. The ending of the book is a cliff-hanger – sorry I’m not going to expand upon that – and although they aren’t exactly my favourite thing I think ending the book in that way really worked. Mead does a brilliant job building the tension as the book and plot progresses. It was a really exciting read, and I have to admit I didn’t see it coming at all – although I was wondering what the curve ball would be.
If you are a fan of Richelle Mead’s VAMPIRE ACADEMY series then definitely check out her BLOODLINES series. And if you are a fan of her BLOODLINES series and you haven’t read THE FIERY HEART yet, then you should get to it. The next book might not be out until Summer 2014, but you’ll want to read this book as soon as you can.