Quick review for a quick read. “Fireblood” on the whole was quite the journey. I would say that from an overarching perspective that the execution of the novel was a bit shaky to start – with some formulaic turns that I’ll admit I had to struggle through to see where they would go, but the last part of the novel was absolutely stunning, thrilling, and a great point to end on for the next book in the series to begin. I was impressed with Ruby’s journey on the whole here. Granted, she’s more self-aware than many YA protagonists, and while she makes critical mistakes and missteps, the novel actually shows how she grows from the decisions she makes and learns from them – showing a nice character arc that compliments her journey.
“Fireblood” does feature a small (somewhat less emphasized) love triangle, but it doesn’t feel empty or pushed for the sake of drama. Ruby has genuine affections for both Arcus and Kai that don’t go to one or another side of “shipping”, and while they may have their clashes and disagreements, they aren’t without weight or compromise. “Fireblood” does a fair job of balancing action and peril with romance if you consider it as a whole, but there were moments where the weight of the novel sagged because of pacing issues. I definitely saw this towards the beginning of the novel, but by the end, the plot had become more front and center. On the mention of the final parts of the book: the twists and revelations that were made were absolutely stunning – I was not expecting anything that occurred there. It was harrowing, stakes filled, and I was impressed with how the building of the world, the clashes between realms, the connections of the characters and Ruby’s role intertwined. It was well worth the time taken to read and I’m really eager to see how this series progresses with “Nightblood.”
Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.