Review: Immortal Fire - Annette Marie

Immortal Fire by Annette Marie
Series: Red Winter Trilogy #3
My rating: {★★★★★}

YA Fantasy
Published April 11th 2017 by Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
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—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

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.
This is the third and final book of the Red Winter Trilogy. I loved this series so much that even writing this final review is making me sad!

I'll let you in on a little secret - I received this book as an ARC from Xpresso Book Tours and I read it and I loved it. The unfortunate thing about the ARC though, was that because it was an advance copy not all of the artwork was complete... So I just HAD to purchase the published version. I plan on buying the complete set of these beautiful works of art for my bookshelf. How can I not?

And just so you know, purchasing this book just for the artwork? #WorthIt

Once again, Annette Marie manages to raise the stakes and sends her characters on a breakneck adventure that keeps the reader completely engaged. As with Dark Tempest, this was so unputdownable that I read it in one sitting and ended up closing the book at 3am in the morning with tears in my eyes and happiness in my heart, but also sorrow because it was all over.

It's just so easy to get deeply involved in this series. The writing is immersive, the world building throughout the entire series is amazing and there's always something new to be discovered; there's nothing stagnant about this book.

The pacing is ideal; there's a brilliant balance between tension, adventure, romance and action. The character development is perfect - poignant, consuming and meaningful.The dialogue is just so interesting and involving, the interactions between the characters both purposeful and significant and weighted with emotion, both for the characters and the reader!

...she threw her arms around Yumei.
He staggered back a step, holding his hands away from her as though he had no idea how an embrace worked. She pressed her face against his shoulder, tears streaking her cheeks.
“Thank you, Yumei,” she choked.
“She’s crying,” he growled at Shiro.
“Try returning her embrace,” Shiro said with a snicker. “That might help.”
With obvious reluctance, Yumei closed his arms around her. She stifled a watery giggle and held him, knowing it was the only hug she was likely to ever get from the stoic Tengu.

I found each character's vulnerabilities endeared them to me even more and seeing that they weren't invincible and untouchable made them even more irresistible, which, considering the swoon-worthiness of Shiro in the first place, that's saying something. :) I may or may not have fallen in love with a kitsune... Fox ears and all!

Emi was, again, a wonderfully relatable heroine to follow with skills and traits that real world girls can realistically aspire to. She is gentle and demure and yet shows such fierce bravery, resilience, passion and loyalty.

She didn’t allow herself to consider that her life would end in less than two days. Any soldier stepping into combat expected that day to be his last. This was no different.

Emi's relationship with Shiro is definitely one of my favourite bookish couples. Another OTP for my ever growing list! They really and truly support each other and I loved that even though Emi is human and therefore considered weaker and definitely outgunned in the supernatural department, she is never looked down on for this. In fact, most of the characters respect her and look at her as an equal. Every character has their strengths and no one really outshines the other.

Something that I really appreciated throughout this series was the fact that even with it being so heavily infused with Japanese mythology and foreign words and terms, Annette Marie manages to make this transition for the reader almost completely seamless. I didn't have to flick to the glossary unless I really wanted to.

I feel like I just can't gush about this series enough, and this book was a really worthy ending to it all. I just don't have enough adjectives to describe the brilliance of this series. I'm so sad that it's over.

Actions change our course, influence our futures, but intentions define us, empower us. Without intent, we are nothing.

This series hasn't got a lot of hype surrounding it and hasn't been read by zillions of people, but really, you should do yourself a favour and pick this one up. It's definitely worth it. This has become one of my favourite series EVER.

Dark Tempest (Red Winter #2)

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