One Book Two Views – April

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One Book Two Views this month brings together two of the Book Charmers to read Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost, the last of the four book Night Prince series, spinoff of the fabulous Night Huntress series.

Here is what we thought:

afgypsysoul: Into the Fire is the 4th book in the Night Prince series and I wouldn’t recommend reading it as a stand alone. It takes place right after the events of the 3rd book (which in hindsight I should have re-read because it’s been a while and it took me a bit to remember exactly what had happened and reorient myself).

In the 3rd book a spell has linked Leila with Vlad’s step son, a powerful necromancer named Mircea. Mircea hates Vlad and yet craves his attention/approval which he never got as a young boy. Vlad and Leila are trying to find Mircea because whenever he is hurt or hurts himself Leila suffers the same. Vlad will stop at nothing to make sure Mircea can’t hurt Leila and to find a way to break the spell so that he can kill Mircea and stop the threat to Leila once and for all.

I did enjoy this book but I was also a little disappointed. This book was very violent. I expect that from Vlad given his past experience and the time frame he lived in but Leila also ended up being really violent in this book as well and I just didn’t expect nor am I sure I liked the degree of it coming from her character. I had a bit more trouble with her level of violence/cruelty, not to mention it didn’t give the reader a “rest” from it. There was a ton of action and fighting and really very little romance.

In this book we learn more about Leila’s past although I would have liked even a few more details. Vlad was who I expected and really I wouldn’t have believed it if his character had any major changes since he has been around so long and his time with Leila is very short compared. However, Vlad and Leila as a couple didn’t seem to grow in this book and maybe even regressed. There was a lot of secret keeping from each other and although it was clear that they would do ANYTHING for each other it didn’t feel romantic or even loving to me (maybe because I didn’t like that each was willing to sacrifice long-term relationships/loyalty to family) but more like obsession.

Ian was a great addition to the book and brought at least some lighthearted moments to break up the darker aspects. I’ve always enjoyed his character and I’m looking forward to more from him. This book was obviously part set-up for his books which will be next and there were plenty of plot points/questions that were left open to drive his books. There is more to Ian then the facade he presents and I’m looking forward to reading it.

This entire book was a big lead up to the final battle between the necromancers and Vlad/Leila and friends but it seemed just a bit anti-climatic. The epilogue was written as if to be a “romantic gesture” from Vlad but it didn’t seem to be a “big” thing to me and was a bit too little to balance the amount of romance versus action. So while I very much enjoyed it – I was also just a little bit disappointed but then I have high expectations for these books. That won’t stop me from looking forward to/reading The Night Rebel books coming next! I give this book a solid four charms.

Cocktail Phoenix: As far as finales go, this was leading up to a great one. I expected a big fat boom at the end, but that didn’t exactly happen. There was a lot of great fighting – wow, I did not expect Leila to become this cruel this fast – and some interesting reveals about Leila’s past, which I would have loved to hear more about. I’d go into more detail about this latter part but that would unfortunately ruin the surprise for those who haven’t yet read the book.

Ian was a great addition to the cast of this book, as long as he kept his mouth shut. He was too crass for his joking and leering to still be considered even borderline tasteful. What I loved however was the opening of a lot of plot material for the Night Rebel books (with this much to go on, it will have to be at least two books) and I enjoyed catching a few glimpses here and there from underneath his façade.

Vlad and Leila drove me nuts at times. All this secrecy and not-telling-each-other things… I mean, come on, either you trust your partner or you don’t! I know that several centuries of doing things one way isn’t going to make anyone change from one month to the next, but at least Leila could have stopped keeping secrets from Vlad. I got the feeling that she developed backward, returning to her former self, rather than growing as a person. She also developed a somewhat frightening tendency for violence and this in a very short time. I can understand the need to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love, but Leila stepped way past that line in this book.

All the violence did serve a purpose plot-wise though as it was all leading up to the final fight with the necromancers who worked against Vlad and used Mircea, with his link to Leila, to make them all suffer.

I missed the big boom at the end though – fight-wise and romance-wise. The fighting fell a bit flat despite the action. (Frost definitely manages to keep the action going at all times!) It felt somehow anticlimactic after the huge build-up. In addition, Vlad’s final words in the book somehow weren’t enough for me to consider them a big fat romantic boom. There was precious little romance in this, truth be told, and the last few pages seemed to be tacked on just for the sake of having a “romantic” scene.

Despite all the above though and despite the distinct lack of typical Vlad-snark, I did enjoy the book quite a bit. Four charms from me.

 

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