Thursday, March 6, 2014

*ARC* Soul of Flame - Review

Soul of Flame (Imdalind #4)

By: Rebecca Ethington

Published: February 17, 2014

369 pages

Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review as part of the Good Choice Reading Blog Tour. (and I also rushed to purchase my own copy on Amazon when it went live!)

(Goodreads / Amazon $3.99)

The Time for the final battle has come.

Edmund's armies have surrounded the Rioseco Abbey, trapping the few survivors inside. The sight that Ilyan was given a thousand years ago is about to come to pass.

If only Joclyn was able to fight.

Joclyn is tormented by the hallucinations that Cail’s mind has left her with, her magic an uncontrollable torrent that even Ilyan cannot control. Her moments of lucidity are broken by fears of dripping pipes and bleeding walls, and a desire to kill Ryland that she is having trouble trying to ignore.

The sight has shown her power, shown her success, but it has also shown her death – The end of her life something she is not quite willing to give up on yet.

Even past her death, the sight has shown her love, and that love may be the only key to her sanity, to her strength, and to Edmund's death.

That love may stand in her way, and a single choice may tip the scales and secure their future, or destroy their fate.
Soul of Flame picks up right where Scorched Treachery left off, in a blaze of passion between Joclyn and Ilyan. I find the storyline between Joclyn and Ilyan to be so romantic and gripping. It's not explicit in nature as a New Adult book would be (of course not, these are Young Adult) but yet Rebecca still paints a picture of what it really means to bare ones self completely before another, to show complete vulnerability, all while remaining mostly (so Ilyan prefers to not wear a shirt a lot of the time) clothed. The connection between Joclyn and Ilyan is soul wrenching by how beautiful it is. But at the same time, the loss of what Joclyn feels for Ryland and their broken relationship will break your heart.

Ryland and Joclyn are both emotionally damaged, broken even in some ways by the torture that Edmund put them through. Ryland is nearly completely broken because his heart has literally been shattered. All he sees when he looks at Joclyn is someone he wants to kill. His father put that desire there. He can't help how he feels. Who he was, the boy who was her best friend and first love no longer exists. In the same way Joclyn is battling the demons she now carries because of Edmund and Cail's torture of her mind. Her anger threatens to consume her. When she sees Ryland all she sees is the boy who tried to kill her for 3 months and her anger becomes its own being within her, wanting nothing more than to choke the life out of him. But Ilyan, oh Ilyan, her fierce and strong protector, is working to calm her and help her control her anger. Though he loves her deeply, he won't take advantage of her weakened state, nor will he force a bonding on her but tells her when she is ready they will make that decision together.

Much of the book is leading up to the final battle they will face against Edmund. What Ilyan and Joclyn have seen in the sight, is a battle that will lead to Joclyn's death. Because of what they are soon facing, I found most of the book to be hauntingly beautiful. Though they know what is waiting for them only days away, through all the stumbling blocks in their way of what appears to be a hopeless situation, (Wyn isn't yet strong enough to fight, Dramin is still dying, Ryland has lost his mind and is in no shape to fight and Thom and Sain will have to get them all to safety while Joclyn and Ilyan fight a host of enemies), they still manage to cling to each other, to live in the moment of what is building between them and to strengthen their connection. One song came to mind during my reading of this book. Seriously, it's so perfect.

Eavesdrop by The Civil Wars.


My only complaint, and this is nothing about the story itself, is this book cover. I get what it represents. But something about it I just don't like. The cover of Scorched Treachery was perfect!! It is my favorite cover of the series - I mean, hello?! Of course it is, since it features Ilyan. There is an aspect of Soul of Flame's cover I didn't pick up on until I read the book and I loved that part of it afterward! I guess it's all the redness that I don't like. Total personal taste there. This series is so wonderful, that I'd love to see equally wonderful and eye catching book covers represent them.

A special thanks to Rebecca Ethington for entrusting me with an ARC copy!! I am honored to have been given the opportunity to read this before it came out. This series is still a top favorite of mine! And now, a small plea Rebecca, please don't make us wait long for Dawn of Ash. That would be cruel.

If you haven't yet read this series, and you enjoy books about magic and love and heartbreak and victory - then you will love these!

To view my reviews of the other books in this series in book order:
Kiss of Fire (4 stars)
Eyes of Ember (5 stars)
Scorched Treachery (5 stars)

Favorite Quotes:
...feeling his passion, his commitment, his selfless love - I knew how wrong I had been. This was home. This was love. This was real.

"Without love, you wouldn't have willingly sacrificed yourself for her. Without love, her heart wouldn't have called to you and given you a way to find her. It was always there. It always will be."

I may have lost my first love, but I wasn't going to let Edmund take away my best friend, too, even if it took years to trust him again.

Final Rating - 4 stars
This post is part of the ARC Thursday feature on Words Fueled by Love.


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