A Shadow in the Ember: Flesh and Fire, Book 1

A Shadow in the Ember: Flesh and Fire, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 12,941 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 25 hours and 7 minutes
Author Jennifer L. Armentrout
Narrator Stina Nielsen
Whispersync for Voice Ready
Audible.com Release Date October 19, 2021
Publisher Brilliance Audio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
ASIN B092P12K71
Best Sellers Rank #1,089 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#13 in Paranormal Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#21 in Fantasy Romance (Audible Books & Originals)
#262 in Fantasy Romance (Books)

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
12,941 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2021
118 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2021
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2.0 out of 5 stars PLEASE STOP Using "distrust" as a plot point
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2021
How can anyone give a 5 STAR rating and review to a book that takes that moment where it's time to "flip the table over" and up-end the characters world and insert a heaping pile of distrust (where the author own "storyline setup" suggests this couldn't be the case)...??? This writing "plot-ploy" was done to exhaustion in the book *A Kingdom of Flesh & Fire* with Poppy & Casteel, but I forgave it in them because a lot had happened between them and Poppy's world had been seriously jacked-up... so I road out that melodrama! Yet it sure a heck did not leave me hoping that I could read more books with new characters that have an ounce of that same nonsensical distrust.


I will think twice before buying future books by this author because she is lazy when building complex characters with stability in their rationalizing. Which is sad because this book does have it's charms and I feel the author does a lot of subtle "Hat-Tipping" to the book A Kingdom of Dreams which surely inspired her to write From Blood and Ash in the first place (and do a terrific job at worldbuilding and expanding a 'similar basic premise' into it's own JUGGERNAUT kingdom!)

I feel like Jennifer Armentrout responded with the same feeling that I had (wanting more from the characters in that book) and made the From Blood & Ash Series to show 'how it should be done' (by allowing the readers to keep on living inside a multitude of books featuring the same great characters...) and I am totally on board with that! I will even read spinoffs!!!

But don't write characters that have the emotional intelligence of a 12 year olds (unless the median-age of your readership is 12)

I took away 2 STARS for being forced to endure the "Distrust as a plot point trope" because it has officially become cliché or trope-like - which is shameful to do to readers who want to enjoy well-written books!
I took away 1 STAR for the ungodly amount of "Info-dump" dialog and expository. The book is mostly a large worldbuilding info-dump delivered in an interesting manner - THAT would have caused me to give a 4 STAR review... (so if you are cool with the Poppy/Casteel characters-arch where they were "pretending" but "not pretending" exhaustively... this book is for you!)

BUT **SPOILERS AHEAD** ...I expect an author to do better/try harder in granting characters functioning communication skills, including the ability to think critically! Especially if the characters have been around for several decades, are presented as PRIMALS or GODLIKE BEINGS (who can supposedly sense emotions). In this book "Sera" had fallen for "Ash" and had feelings for him before she knew who he actually was... So later in the story it is absolutely absurd that (when he basically has hurt feelings over learning that she was trained to be an assassin) the plot tension is hanging on him feeling "distrust" and "betrayal" and resorts to accusing her of having somehow tricked him by faking her emotions. I for one was thinking "WTF? She didn't know who he was and believed he was ASH when they started hanging out... So why wouldn't her feelings be real?"

There is an older term in in literature called "torturing the connections" and that seems to be what happens to some really good storyline epiphanies that this author employees. Don't insult your readers by creating emotional discords that must be resolved in addition to a great story arch. It's like building a modern-day mansion that relies on an outhouse.
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Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2021
31 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2021
A Shadow in the Ember is the start of the prequel series to From Blood and Ash. Taking place many years before From Blood and Ash, A Shadow in the Ember follows Seraphena as she is the chosen consort to the Primal of Death. However, she has been trained her whole life to kill him to save her people.

Reading this book made me feel like I was reading FBA again, in the way that I was so gripped and into this book. This was just an extraordinary book, as I knew it would be, that's set in a magical fantasy world. I was a little worried it might be to similar to FBA but even though it is set in the FBA world with similarities it's it own book, with its own characters. As always it was so well written, and I struggled to put it down. There's so many unexpected moments that you think you've worked out then BAM there's another twist and you were wrong.

ASITE was teased as an Hades and Persephone retelling without the kidnapping which is one of my favourite retellings to read so I was extra excited. JLA did not disappoint! You had the elements of Hades and Persephone, but it wasn't the main story of the book. You have the widely loved 'I was supposed to kill you' trope which I loved and an epic slowburn romance.

Sera has become one of my favourite heroine's. She's a badass character that has been given the task of saving her people, even if it wasn't her choice. Sera is a kickass and impulsive characters but she is also caring and wants what's best for her people. She's been trained her whole life in the art of killing and seduction to seduce and kill the Primal of Death and you can tell she excelled at that. She definitely has similarities to Poppy from FBA and the same stabby trait (which I loved) but she is also her own character. Her childhood and family made me so sad for her, she's been made invisible to everyone and shut out and I really felt for her. She wasn't treated like a daughter or a sister or even a friend but instead, a weapon and a means to an end, and made me want to get stabby for her.

Enter the holy hotness that was the Primal of Death, Nyktos. He was just WOW. JLA just has the amazing talent of writing super hot, alpha males and I am in love. He's super mysterious from the beginning and very infuriating but so powerful you don't want to get on his bad side. There were also times makes he made my heart-strings melt, with his acts and words. From the minute Nyktos and Sera meet, you can feel the attraction, the pages practically steam. The snark between the both of them is hilarious. They both are hotheads and they make Poppy and Casteel look soft. Now this was definitely a slowburn and with the chemistry they both had once they finally gave into the tension there was fireworks. The spice was explosive, JLA defiantly amped it up for this book.

As for the plot, you will learn so much more about this world, if you have read the From Blood and Ash series (which I do recommend reading before ASITE) there's so many questions we get answered and new information, which is amazing but also leaves you with more questions. everything starts to make sense and connections are formed, your jaw will be dropping to ground, many times, I was breath taken and shocked by some of the conclusions and twists it gave me so many chills and thrills. You meet new some amazing new characters that i'm excited about and old characters that you've heard of before. I loved finding out more about their lives beforehand, especially the characters that we have met before. and DRAGONS, I loved dragons and I am just obsessed.

As always JLA never disappoints and writes incredible stories, and from that ending I am left wanting more. I can't wait for book two and to get more of Sera and Nyktos!

Thank you JLA for sending me this ARC.
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11 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than From Blood and Ash
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2021
5 people found this helpful
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Gem s
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect embodiment of escapist literature!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2021
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Gem s
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect embodiment of escapist literature!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2021
Book 1 in the prequel series to From Blood & Ash, A Shadow in the Ember follows Sera (Seraphena) as the Chosen consort to Nyktos, the Primal of Death.

This book obviously takes place many years before FBAA, with different place names & characters... but I felt like I'd been thrust back into the same world. This book was simply *exceptional* It expanded a world we have already dipped our toes into, introduced characters we have heard of - & made us fall in love with them.

Sera is the badass female we all wish for in our stories. But she's not without her flaws. I had so much empathy for her story as she was always treated as a means to an end and JLAs writing really was brilliant in bringing out her emotions when all was revealed towards the story's finale. It really was heart wrenching.

Nyktos...Well. I never thought anyone would take over Casteel as my fabourite book boyfriend. Amazing. The subtle actions and words to show he truly cares for Sera are impeccable and melted my little heart. The chemistry & banter between them is unreal & the slowburn was just, *chefs kiss*

If you enjoy a twisted retelling of Hades & Persephone, this is a perfect one for you. Honestly this book destroyed all my expectations, leaving me a puddle of book hangover mess that I don't know how I'll ever recover from. Well, I do... But it'll have to wait until March when TWOTQ comes out. Time for a reread already I think!
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3 people found this helpful
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Patricia Ryan
3.0 out of 5 stars I feel somewhat disappointed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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Miss Hayley Watts
1.0 out of 5 stars Never again. these characters are dreadful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2021
2 people found this helpful
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