Jun 30, 2023

Review--A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Born shrouded in the veil of the Primals, a Maiden as the Fates promised, Seraphena Mierel’s future has never been hers. Chosen before birth to uphold the desperate deal her ancestor struck to save his people, Sera must leave behind her life and offer herself to the Primal of Death as his Consort.   

However, Sera’s real destiny is the most closely guarded secret in all of Lasania—she’s not the well protected Maiden but an assassin with one mission—one target. Make the Primal of Death fall in love, become his weakness, and then…end him. If she fails, she dooms her kingdom to a slow demise at the hands of the Rot. 

Sera has always known what she is. Chosen. Consort. Assassin. Weapon. A specter never fully formed yet drenched in blood. A monster. Until him. Until the Primal of Death’s unexpected words and deeds chase away the darkness gathering inside her. And his seductive touch ignites a passion she’s never allowed herself to feel and cannot feel for him. But Sera has never had a choice. Either way, her life is forfeit—it always has been, as she has been forever touched by Life and Death.


Am I the slowest reader on Earth? Most likely! I finally got around to reading A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout! As much as I ADORE her books and these series, they are just SO intimidating with their size! I needed these books back in the day when I didn't work full time! Lol! Nevertheless, I persist, if several years behind! It's always so daunting to write a review for a much beloved book from a beloved series when you are so far behind the game! But let's give it a try!

A Shadow in the Ember takes place in the same world as From Blood and Ash, just years ahead of time. Sera has always known that one day, she would become the Consort for the Primal of Death--a godlike entity but more powerful as gods are another breed basically. Sera also knows that the only way to save her people from a terrifying plague called the Rot, is to become the Consort and then kill the Primal. But when the "big night" comes, the Primal rejects her and walks away.

For years later, Sera was treated a bit poorly. She hid her identity as a princess and became her mother's handmaiden despite her inner circle knowing the truth. There was always the hope that one day the Primal would come back for her, perhaps when she was more mature. As Sera goes about life, she has the tendency to locate trouble, usually to help other people out of danger. But when she starts seeing what looks like gods killing people for no reason, she knows she has to do something to stop it. And that's when she meets Ash, another god who always seems to be showing up at the most inopportune moments. There's definite heat brewing between the two despite Sera constantly trying to fight it.

Soon Sera's evil stepbrother becomes the king when her stepfather dies and his first act as king is to torture her. That is when Ash appears and shows his true colors as the Primal of Death. He has come to collect his Consort. Well, naturally, there's a bit more to that, but I'm going to leave it nice and vague should any new readers be reading this! 

Sera thinks that her time has finally come, that she can do what needs to be done to save her people and kingdom, but will she really be able to go through with it? Time will tell.

It always amazes me that Armentrout can write these ever so deliciously long tomes and yet, I never once find myself bored with so many pages. You would think there would be monotony and while there may be a few overly long descriptions of things or seemingly dull moments, they are few and far between.

Sera isn't your ordinary heroine either. She has a special gift that could either save herself or doom her soul in the long run. Prophecies run rampant in this one, and if you have a way better memory than myself, you might be better at connecting the dots between the two series, but since I am not that kind of person, I found everything to fresh and exciting and shocking! It's fun to be surprise when you have a poor memory! Lol.

The book was not without its romance either. Armentrout is known for her smoking hot heroes and lovable heroines and the two having absolute chemistry together. Well, nothing has changed here! I positively loved the banter between Sera and Ash in the beginning before we officially knew who he was. I felt like it was pretty clear who he was just based on the book's description so it wasn't all that surprising. And naturally, since we know what Sera has always planned to do, that a confrontation to end all confrontations would be forthcoming!

Mixed with a bit of predictability and surprises, this book was thoroughly entertaining from start to finish! Every time I start an Armentrout novel, I am always prepared for laughs, swoons, and jaw dropping moments of action and I've never been disappointed! At this point I feel like I can write any review for her books as simply, "it was a GREAT read! Read it!"

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

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