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 bind 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.
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Title: Immortal Fire
Series: Red Winter #3
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Source: Friend [Amazon Loan]
This was such an amazing trilogy. It’s been a while since I found a trilogy with amazing pacing and story-telling, and considering my love for anime, this was so easy to love. There were so many times when it felt like I was watching something amazing in my head rather than reading a book. My patience is only so much, however, so of course there were times when my eyes glazed over when it came to the fighting scenes. But I really enjoyed myself. Maybe a handful of things were predictable and it reminded me of my time with the first book, but a lot of the other things were so entertaining, I never wanted it to end. And I definitely cried a few times in places I didn’t expect to.
Emi was a sweet character who was easy to love. Years of being groomed as a poised, serene figure with PURITY tattooed across her spiritual ass made her character interesting to me because she then had a lot of room to make mistakes and have the privilege of taking every single one of them as experiences worth keeping. She came a long way from being that pampered, sheltered soul who never bothered to think about the things she’d do after the solstice, and I thought Marie did an amazing job in showing that transformation. Her time with Yumei and Shiro were fun because who doesn’t want to go on dangerous adventures with hot yokai lords who make you a tolerable exception?! Jokes aside, though. Yumei was a constant figure of rigid power, and I loved getting a sense of other from his usual, expressionless motto. Watching his and Emi’s relationship grow into what it is now made me cry a little.
Then there’s Shiro, the flirtatious kitsune. I wasn’t too worried about him actually changing, but it still hurt all the same when I read of Emi’s concerns and fears. Their time together was pretty fast but I liked it. It made sense, it matched the pacing, and it’s hard to not like Shiro. I especially love that the author put in some serious PDA in here, something that I’m not too familiar with when it comes to the anime I watch. Usually, hand-holding and kisses are as hot as it gets, but we actually get some suki suki in here and I just-
This book held all the gooey amount of anticipation, bittersweet farewells and reluctant acceptances to the things we cannot change. I just can’t get over how great Marie’s writing was and her ability to focus on what was important and what wasn’t. If this was a song, it’d be something only the sweetest birds could whistle, my feels are this strong. And this left me with an ending I didn’t. Want. To end.
I wanted more, damn it! I wasn’t ready to let go. It’s so infuriating when you find a book or a show or a movie you fall in love with and when it ends, you know it should because this is the way it’s meant to be, but then it gives you just that much more, and then it ends, and it feels like you’re being left behind in a dark cavern and they’re taking the only source of light with them. This is exactly how I felt at the end.
The Red Winter trilogy was greatly paced, something I thought others struggled with, as there aren’t many I can name at the top of my head who, in my opinion, do a great job at it. I was reminded when necessary, allowed to linger when I could, and I was always entertained
when I wasn’t being annoyed by outside forces. Marie’s antagonist was among my favorite because of how complicated she was. They wanted to stop her because she’d destroy mankind in her descension, but as the active god of the Earth, she couldn’t continue to let the Earth’s pain go unheard. It was in the moments when I had to pause to think about what she was trying to do that I really got to enjoy the ending bits of the trilogy. It was a thrill that questioned your beliefs and made you think twice about the other person’s side to the story.
It’s a definite recommend if you ever come across this trilogy or author. These books were lent to me by a friend but the moment I can, I am so going to buy the physical copies for us. That’s how grateful I am to my friend for recommending this to me. She always got me, and now I got you, girl!