Oh, where to begin with Richelle Mead’s latest installment of the Bloodlines series… If you are Vampire Academy fan and not on board with this series yet, what are you waiting for?
No, seriously. Bloodlines is looking up to be just as good or even better than Vampire Academy.
The Fiery Heart picks up not long after The Indigo Spell ends. It starts with our first real look into Adrian’s head, and that alone completely brings you in. While I was apprehensive when Mead first announced that The Fiery Heart would alternate between Sydney and Adrian’s perspectives, any doubt immediately erased after I read that first chapter. Sydney’s connection to Adrian is strong, and we’ve known him for about nine books so far, but finally being in his head makes you understand him in new and fascinating ways. This book may not be swiftly moving or take us too far down the line in terms of plot. But what it does with its characters, especially Sydney and Adrian, is beyond captivating. Their relationship is one of the most romantic I’ve ever read and probably the most jealous I’ve felt for a fictional couple.
Anyway, now that Sydney is working against the alchemists, sans Marcus Finch and his ragtag team, she finds life getting complicated. Not only is she hiding her romantic relationship with a Moroi vampire and her recent joining into a witches’ coven, but her Alchemist-in-training sister, Zoe, is now rooming with her. If the Alchemists were to find out about anything that she’s really up to, it would be devastating. And that scares the shit of Sydney. Fear can do a lot to a person, so can love. For Sydney, it doesn’t change who she is but how she comes to her decisions. For one thing, she becomes a bit more impulsive, but she’s still manages to be thoughtful and calculating. It’s great to see Sydney full on in love, and you love the person she is around Adrian.
When it comes down to it, I truly think The Fiery Heart is Adrian’s book. I absolutely loved where Mead takes his character, explaining his spirit magic and personal nature in surprising ways that make so much sense. I loved how she linked his spirit use to bipolar disorder. Lots of authors can shy away from mental illness, but Mead is responsible about how she takes it on and makes it work for the character and story at hand. I just thought it was brilliant, and it immensely helped me begin to understand Adrian’s spirit use and his sometimes out-of-control behavior.
Sydrian is much more fully realized couple than I ever felt Rose and Dimitri were. (Don’t hate me, Romitri fans!) Not to say that I dislike Vampire Academy; it still remains as one of my all-time favorite YA series. But after VA, Mead had the chance to take a world she already established and do something more with her characters. That’s what she does with Sydney and Adrian. And their relationship develops so wonderfully and realistically. Their conflicts aren’t clichés, and the two don’t even bother with jealousy, misunderstandings or any other typical hijinks that tend to get in other YA couples’ ways. And how can I forget, how SEXY these two are. I’m still fanning myself after a few of those scenes.
Unsurprisingly, this installment leaves us on a terrible cliffhanger, but it’s not so bad that all feels hopeless. It is the most amazing thing about Sydrian. You never stop believing in them. You know they’re strong enough to beat it all. The center will hold.
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead is now available wherever books are sold.
Publisher: Razorbill (November 19, 2013)
Length: 438 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Bloodlines – Book 4
Source: Hardcover, 1st Edition (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Vampires, Magic, Romance, Mystery
Completed: November 2013