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I just finished this series and it was an utterly wonderful and satisfying ending. The only bad thing is that it left me wanting more. Annette Marie, please write another series in this world! Maybe one focusing on Yumei! All the characters are wonderful, with their own distinct personalities that remain consistent throughout the entire story. That’s not to say they don’t grow, they do, but their choices remain true to their core values and mindsets. The main character herself is someone anyone can respect and admire. She is one of my favorite female leads of all time! So humble, so selfless, so smart... you can see how she can earn the respect and admiration of the gods.
The story moves at a fast pace, except for somewhere about three quarters of the way through the book, where it seemed the main characters took a holiday break that didn’t really add to the narrative. Oh well, I see why the author did it and it was a nice thing for Emi, the main character. The plot kept me guessing through the entire series as to where it was going and how Emi could help surmount each escalating obstacle. The spirit world and the world of the gods were portrayed clearly and logically. You can easily imagine how this complex and mystical world was structured.
This book is like a novel form of the best sort of manga. If you like shojo manga, read this. If you like movies like Spirited Away or anime like Inuyasha, read this. (Honestly, I think this story is better than Inuyasha.) If you simply like fantasy with romance, like the Lunar Chronicles, definitely read this. This story will get you hooked and have you daydreaming about it after you’re done. It’s that good.
"Tomorrow is my last day in this world. I am not afraid."
Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity's only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality. Despite the looming threat, Emi can't escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—as the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.
"If I am your fire, then you are my light."
I cheered. I swooned. I cried. My heart broke and mended and broke again.
The battles were intense. The self-discovery angsty but well worked through. The love strongly bittersweet. And after the war? I BLEED. I BLEED FOR THIS BOOK.
"To find true makoto no kokoro, you don’t need to be in harmony with a kami. You need to be in harmony with yourself."
A 1-click read. Strongly recommended for fantasy lover fans.
I just adore this series and this finale was the whole nine yards and then some. Seriously, more people need to read this.
I can’t get over of this riveting, action-packed, adorably romantic and hope-inspiring story. If there is one way to end a series, this is it and I loved everything about it.
The transformation of the main character, Emi, is on point in this series. It’s a realistic progression from a meek, obedient girl to a fierce, powerful woman, but it never feels rushed or inappropriate. We gradually see Emi become more confident in not just her powers, but herself, which is a huge plus.
And with confidence comes more conflict. Immortal Fire, similar to its predecessors, is filled with action and thrill. You think you’ll be bored? Think again, because before you can catch your breath after a particularly grueling suspense scene, you’re thrown into another life-or-death situation. There are emotionally-packed moments as well. The fear of losing yourself and loved ones, and farewells to friends brought the fast paced down to bring light to the relationships between the characters.
And Shiro. Shiro, Shiro, Shiro. If there ever was a troubled man, it was Shiro, but his humor was kept alive even in the darkest of times. #TeamShiro.
I loved every moment of Immortal Fire. I don’t have any complaints though I should warn some of you, the romance can get a little heavy in this one, but don’t be dissuade. It’s a wonderful book and I’m said to say goodbye to these characters, but the ending was perfect so I’m happy and ready for Annette Marie’s next series.
Immortal Fire was a book I was greedily anticipating and also dreading because I didn't want to see this series come to an end. Even though I am sad to see this series end, I thought the author did a great job wrapping up this story. Immortal Fire had a wonderful balance of romance, action, tension, and world building. This book was a book that sucked me in and didn't let me go until long after it ended.
Throughout this series, I really grew to like the main character, Emi. Emi developed into such a strong, cunning, resourceful, caring, and noble woman. I admired the way she mature through this series, and how that really shined in this book. The only thing about her that kind of bothered me in this book was how many times she needed to be saved. It became a little tedious in my opinion. I understood that she wasn't as powerful as the other characters, but it would have been nice to not to have the repetitive plot point of her needing help getting out of mortal danger.
Shiro was just as swoon-worthy as ever in this book. Even though I never really got over the fact that he had some fox body parts, I still fell completely in love with him and was incredibly attracted to him. His personality really shined in this book. I sympathized with him throughout this book because we went through a lot. It hurt my heart to see him go through some of the pain he experienced. My only big issue with Shiro was that sometimes he was a little too "macho alpha male" for my taste. I thought his protectiveness was cute, but at times it was a tad overbearing.
The romance in this book killed me. Shiro and Emi are freaking perfect together. I thought the author did a great job balancing the romance with the other plot points. The tug and pull of Emi and Shiro's relationship tugged at my heartstrings. I wanted them together SO BADLY. Shiro and Emi are adorable together, and I thank the author for bringing such a cute couple into my life.
The plot of this book was exciting and action packed. A lot of questions were answered, and I thought the author did a great job at tieing up loose ends. The ending of this book made me feel all the feels. I really liked the way the author ended the story for all the amazing characters in this book. Even though I was sad to say goodbye to the characters, I was happy with where they all ended up.
I totally liked the red winter trilogy! It's a great fantasy story, and being based in Japan, there are all sorts of fascinating spirits &creatures I'm not as familiar with. I realized at some point in the 1st book (I think from some description of how characters moved in fights or landed and slid exactly like in the cartoons) that it's written in the style of anime. When I first noticed, I was a little afraid it might be kind of hokey. But this is a dang good well-written story, & so those "anime" aspects end up being very very cool :-) By the third book I was afraid the writing might veer off into romance-novel land, but it did not go quite so far.* Rather, there was a very excellent broad spectrum of emotions, both light and deep, happy and not. It is a good novel that builds the characters from barely introduced acquaintances to profound well-rounded people who we feel like we know through and through, yet still grow & sometimes surprise us , and who's emotions and experiences we feel deeply. All that analysis is something I hardly noticed happening (aside from the occasional chuckle, eye roll, or tear) while caught up with the exciting gripping plot and the vibrant action and really fascinating characters . (* sidebar - I am not against love stories and entanglements in novels- many if not most good stories involve romantic relationships, because any real person's story usually does. But there is something about the tone or style of romance novels that is specifically identifiable somehow, and - in my opinion - just does not work when applied to other stories. I once read friend's first novel, and while it was a cool and interesting fantasy tale, something about the writing just seemed off to me. I couldn't figure out why, until I remembered she was a fan of romance novels, and this fantasy epic was written in that style. Just not good.) The Red Winter Trilogy is not that at all, it is excellently written and the characters have real relationships that evolve in varying directions and degrees, some of which are a bit sappy, and that is okay, some of which are poignant or fun or heartbreaking, and that is beautiful. And finally, while not every great story starts next to a single person focused on their daily mundanities and keeps expanding to god/ world/ epic scale, I think most of the best ones do. This one does, in such a natural way that is great.
Ok, this book kinda knocked my socks off. It had all the elements that I loved in her previous series, yet more and better. This being a trilogy, I was a little wary but by this point the world building is pretty rich. Instead of plot lines centered around one powerful artifact/wielder there's a great blend of impossible tasks, powerful myths, and colorful players. I laughed, I cried, then I cried some more!
I wouldn't say the series is perfect, but to be honest, I've always felt that to create something beautiful, it has to have inherent flaws- and there was so much beauty in this. For instance, since the author crammed detailed world building and action into 3 delectable books, I felt there were a couple things sacrificed. I didn't feel Emi's personality was very well developed- just missing a certain something I couldn't put my finger on. But that's not to say she isn't likeable or that I'm not a fan. Her incredible courage and determination is part of what makes this book special. My darling Shiro makes up the difference, (as he seems to have an extra dose of personality than the rest) so it isn't very noticeable. I also wish the ending would have been slightly extended. The struggle and the obstacles soaked up a lot of page time, that I felt at least an epilogue was in order. Emi and Shiro have this whirlwind courtship, and we never really get to see them function as a couple. I did notice that like her other series, she left the ending kinda open. We'll see if she will repeat her pattern and do a continuation. Heck, I'd even take a novella!
This finale gave me everything I wanted and some things I would've wanted if I'd only thought of them. As always the world building and mythology were enchanting and even more engrossing than in previous installments. I enjoyed Emi's growth as a character. All the supernatural creatures around her began to treat Emi as an equal, and I daresay she earned it. There was a bit of a "do this thing, then do that thing" flavor to the middle of the book., but by the beginning of the end the pace was so breathless I barely noticed the brief slow down. The romance was sweet and satisfying without taking over the plot entirely. I wasn't sure Annette Marie could pull off an ending satisfying enough to please readers without shattering the internal consistency of the plot, but she did it. Boy, did she ever! I loved this book. I loved the series. And I cannot wait to find out what she writes next.
Absolutely Fantastic!! I have enjoyed this series immensely and this final book really brought it home. I laughed, shed some tears, got frustrated and sighed in blissful joy. I loved getting to know all the characters and watching Emi and Shiro's relationship grow but I also adored Yumei. Here is one of my favorite scenes from the book.
She threw her arms around Yumei. He staggered back a step holding his hands out away from her.... "Thank you, Yumei," she choked. "She's crying," he growled at Shiro. "Try returning her embrace," Shiro said with a snicker. "That might help."
You'll have to read the book to find out whats happening!
Also I have forgot to mention in my other reviews but the illustrations are fabulous in this series! Brittany Jackson did an amazing job of bringing these characters to visual life!
I cannot say how much I have been enveloped by these books. My heart soared, pounded, and broke won many times that I did not know how to feel. I feel that personally know each character. Emi's character has become a close friend of mine and a heroine that I hold dearly in my heart. Shiro/Inari is the fictional boyfriend of the year for me. Even Yumei, although I wasn't too impressed by him at first, he grew on me and I come to fall head over heels for him. This plot is so epic and unpredictable that in what to listen/read it all over again. Bravo, Annette!
What a roller coaster of emotions! I am floored by the sheer perfection of this series and this book is by far my favorite. And that ending! My heart soared (after it broke into a million pieces of course). Once again the story and characters were addicting. Emi and Shiro make me swoon for their perfect love. The action was intense and vivid. The beautiful added images throughout the story were breathtaking. I just wish it didn’t have to end. This is definitely one of those series I am going to take a long time to recover from and move on from the characters. I cannot wait to read more by this author! I highly recommend this series!!