Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart

Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines, #4
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

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I was so reluctant to read The Fiery Heart after being so disappointed with The Indigo Spell. I felt like Richelle Mead had gone off track in The Indigo Spell. There was so much of the story line from the previous books missing in it. I was also really excited to continue reading this series because of how The Indigo Spell ended. Sydney had finally given in to her feeling for Adrian and then Zoe shows up to be a part of the mission which causes a lot of problems. She still continues with her relationship with Adrian, which I was very happy to see, but she has to hide all of her feelings for him from everyone else, especially her sister. And she has to keep her magical things at Adrian's to make sure that Zoe doesn't find it.

I felt throughout the entire book that Zoe was going to be a big problem in Sydney's life, and she was. Not just because of her Alchemist ways, but because she just really wasn't a nice person. She was really bratty and selfish and she was insanely jealous of Sydney. It showed through in every conversation she had with her. All Zoe wanted was to be an Alchemist and be the best and it didn't matter to her how she got there. I DID NOT like that about her at all. It wasn't ambition. It was a weakness: she was insecure and needed acceptance that it was clear throughout the book she wasn't going to gain from the one person she wanted it from. And Sydney wanted so badly to show Zoe that none of those things are important, but it was nearly impossible for her to do because Zoe has been so brainwashed. I just really hated their relationship. Mainly because they both desperately wanted to have a great sisterly relationship, but neither of them could get there because they couldn't make the other understand. Well, mostly Sydney. She had to hide her true self and that caused so many problems with the two of them. I know that a lot of Zoe's attitude and personality came from her upbringing, but Sydney went through that same upbringing and didn't turn out as bad as Zoe. During one of my goodreads status updates about the book, I called Zoe a bitch. And I meant it. She is one. There's no denying that.

Okay, rant about Zoe is over. But now I'm going to talk about how much I hated her father. He was callous, and cruel and showed no sign of emotion whatsoever, even to his own daughters. In fact, at one point he says to Sydney: You look like you've gained some weight too, so it's smart to back off. All of Sydney's insecurities about her weight suddenly makes so much sense. It's her fathers fault. He pretty much called her fat, and clearly he's always been like that if she's had so much trouble eating her whole life. After that comment Zoe made sure not to get anything fattening either which just shows even more that Zoe is desperate for his approval. Gosh he makes me sick. Every time Sydney talks to him he makes me angry. I really hope he's put in his place and SOON.

In the beginning of The Fiery Heart, there was a significant amount of info dumping. I mean, for several chapters I felt like I was basically reading a summary of what had happened previously and a lot of explanations as to what dhampirs, Moroi, Strigoi, Alchemists and the Warriors are. I don't know anything about writing books or book marketing and such, but I feel like if someone is reading the fourth book in a series, and a spin-off series at that, they probably already know all of that stuff. At the very least it could have been explained in a different way, like showing it rather than saying "such and such is this and such and such is that". It didn't blend with the story well. After all the info dumping, the story went so much smoother. I really loved reading about Sydney and Adrian's relationship from both points of view. I absolutely adored being inside Adrian's head! It's no secret I'm a huge Adrian fan. I have been since the first time I met him in the Vampire Academy series. I would have definitely chosen Adrian had I been Rose, but I do think that Sydney and Adrian make such a great couple so I'm glad she didn't choose him.

One thing I was thrilled to discover while reading The Fiery Heart is that the story is finally back on track with all the learning about why Strigoi turned back into their respective "species" (I'm going to call them that for lack of a better word! Lol) can't turn back into a Strigoi, and what Sydney's blood has to do with it. I even have it in my notes about how happy I was. None of that was present in The Indigo Spell, which I kind of understand now that I've continued on with the story. It was all about magic and finding Marcus and Sydney had to come to terms with her magical abilities and be completely okay with it. And she had to learn about a few things before she could truly fight back against the Alchemists and know in her heart that they were in the wrong, not her. However, I still think that a complete absence of the key elements in the story line was a huge deal. They should have at least been mentioned. Luckily we learn a lot about each of those topics, as well as what's been going on at Court. My favorite VA characters made a few appearances in this one and I really liked that, although I hated that Adrian couldn't show them all how much he's changed and why. I really like the person Adrian has become and I hope that what happened at the end of The Fiery Heart doesn't force him back into his old ways.

Speaking of the ending... HOLY CRAP. I am so eager to get Silver Shadows in my hands!! I'm absolutely dying to find out what happens next and I really hope that it is in a dual point of view as well. I think it was a very good choice to add Adrian's voice into the mix. I'm so excited to continue on with the Bloodlines series and after reading The Fiery Heart, I really think Richelle really stepped up her game.

I rate this book:

The Bloodlines Series

Silver Shadows is expected to be published July 29th, 2014


About Richelle Mead

Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


But really, I just had to face the truth: My boyfriend was insanely sexy, vampire or not, and I couldn't keep my hands off him.

"It's Adrian Ivashkov logic. Don't try to understand it. Just roll with it."

It was nice to see one woman finally immune to that accent. That wasn't to say Rose wasn't a sucker for accents. She just preferred hers from the other side of Europe.

We were on the verge of one of the biggest breakthroughs in our race's history, and everyone was looking to me to figure it out. Me! What were they thinking? I was no genius like Sydney. I was just a slacker guy who fought the temptation of his liquor cabinet every day and couldn't finish The Great Gatsby.

"Did you know," she said, "that it's a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?"
I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. "Please tell me you haven't eviscerated someone."

"I had an accident." That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline's antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
"That seems to happen a lot," he said.
"It wasn't my fault," she insisted.
"It never is."
"I just have bad luck."
"Or you're just trouble."
"You got a problem with that?"
"No problem at all," he said in a low voice.

"Easy there, Lancelot," Adrian said. "I don't think bowing is required when she's in jeans and bunny slippers."


  1. I didn't read this one all the way through just because I haven't started the series (though I trust you to warn before spoilers) but yes, I can handle Mead's info dumps throughout the book because I'm used to it, but I can't stand the summary of the entire series at the beginning of every book. Feels like I am reading a book report. I JUST ordered Indigo Spell and Fiery Heart today so I'll have the whole series when I start it in a few weeks. Can't wait to discuss this one too, thanks for sharing!! :)

    1. Yeah, it's probably best if you don't read the review since it does spoil the previous books!! I can't wait for you to start reading them! :D

  2. All of Mead's books in this world are like that - I remember thinking the same thing about the info dumps as I was reading VA. Why would someone be picking up the series on book 4 and expecting to know what was going on??

    I had decided with The Indigo Spell that I wasn't going to continue with this series - it's just not as thrilling as VA and I struggle with Sydney as the narrator. With her relationship with her sister playing a large role in this one, I think I'd find myself even less likely to enjoy her narration. Even though I'd love to see how her relationship with Adrian evolves, I don't think I can put up with her Alchemist angst anymore! Haha


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