top of page

A Light in the Flame by Jennifer L Armentrout

A Light in the Flame

by Jennifer L Armentrout

Published by Blue Box Press

Book 2 in the Flesh and Fire Series

The only one who can save Sera now is the one she spent her life planning to kill.

The truth about Sera’s plan is out, shattering the fragile trust forged between her and Nyktos. Surrounded by those distrustful of her, all Sera has is her duty. She will do anything to end Kolis, the false King of Gods, and his tyrannical rule of Iliseeum, thus stopping the threat he poses to the mortal realm.

Nyktos has a plan, though, and as they work together, the last thing they need is the undeniable, scorching passion that continues to ignite between them. Sera cannot afford to fall for the tortured Primal, not when a life no longer bound to a destiny she never wanted is more attainable than ever. But memories of their shared pleasure and unrivaled desire are a siren’s call impossible to resist.

And as Sera begins to realize that she wants to be more than a Consort in name only, the danger surrounding them intensifies. The attacks on the Shadowlands are increasing, and when Kolis summons them to Court, a whole new risk becomes apparent. The Primal power of Life is growing inside her, pushing her closer to the end of her Culling. And without Nyktos’s love—an emotion he’s incapable of feeling—she won’t survive her Ascension. That is if she even makes it to her Ascension and Kolis doesn’t get to her first. Because time is running out. For both her and the realms.




#Adult #Romance


I am OBSESSED with this book. Hell, this whole series! But this book ... THIS BOOK ... oh my heart.

It was intense.

It was emotional.

I laughed.

I cried. I CRIED!

The ending had my jaw dropping.

But let's discuss, shall we?

I think Jennifer did a superb job with character growth and their arcs this book. One of the reasons I enjoy Nyktos's character so much is that he has always felt layered. Yes, we know he cares for Sera. He thinks of her often. But we know he cares about other things. It's not all about Sera, and in these types of books, very often I see the male character orbit around the female. It's nice that we still get their connection, but it's not all Nyktos is. Sera felt like more than a fiery, "stabby" woman, and we get a much more emotional journey with her. Sera's turmoil, her feelings of being undeserving of love, or not good enough, and her admission of almost killing herself, it really added more layers to her character that felt relatable. I cried a lot for her. Jennifer's words describing her pain reminded me of the times I felt that way. Who knew one could relate to a fantasy character?

Now, I will be honest. I felt there was a small chunk of this book that felt a bit slow. I'm sure some will see it as filler. But I actually think it was necessary. While it didn't further the plot all that much, it did deepen our understand on just how dark Sera's inner feelings are, and how low her self-worth is. It makes the journey we take with her, where she finally feels happiness and wants to live richer, but also makes the ending more heartbreaking.

I think Jennifer made it clear in this book that while Nyktos may have been angry at Sera after finding out her plans in the last book, he never hated her. He was just hurt, but he understood why. But Nyktos ... my man ... you love her. Obviously there is a loophole when he had his ability to love taken from him. Because its so obvious. HE TASTED CHOCOLATE AND BERRIES! The only reason I can get past how ridiculous it is that they haven't realized this yet, is that despite all the growth, they are so emotionally traumatized from their past, they don't recognize love when they see or feel it. Despite their growing love and respect for one another, we still get Jennifer's classic magic touch when it comes to tension and banter. And we get a lot of it. And it's hot.

One of the things I loved about this book was Sera's growing power. From her accidently raising the bones of a dead person, and it recognizing her as queen, accidently blasting Nyktos with eather, and to her almost tearing the castle apart in reaction to the pain and heartbreak of THAT scene (if you know, you know), she is growing insanely powerful. I can't wait to see her at full level.

Speaking of THAT scene, while I knew that there was a why to what was going on, it still hurt. BRUTALLY.

As for the other characters, here are my thoughts:

  • Odin's beef with Sera is hilarious

  • Daddy Nektas indeed. *Drool*

  • Jadis taking a temper tantrum in draken form is freaking adorable.

  • Victor!

  • Bele is one of my favorite characters now. That "oops" before shooting the arrow? Wonderful.

  • Veses is a huge cunt and I hope she dies a miserable death. But for now, I am content with Sera stabbing her in the eye and with her being imprisoner.

  • Kolis is definitely a psycho.

  • Attes surprised me in the end there. I did not expect that.

  • Ector. :(

So tell me, what did you think of A Light in the Flame? Did you love it as much as I did? Did you cry? What are your theories for the next book? Speaking of theories ... did any of mine pan out? Here are my theories (below my review for A Shadow in the Ember) And heads up, there are spoilers for both Flesh and Fire and Blood and Ash below.

  • That a) Isbeth isn't the big bad in the Blood and Ash series, but Kolis is and b) that the God's all going to sleep was connected to keeping Kolis entombed until the prophesized couple could defeat him. *************** Well, after reading A War of Two Queens, its confirmed by Nektas that it IS Kolis who is the one who needs defeating. As for the rest, I guess we will find out in the next flesh and fire book.

  • I did say if things go to shit in the battle between Poppy and Isbeth, Sera is going to get involved. I can't help but notice both predictions I have had so far were more Blood and Ash centered ... but knowing they intertwine I will forgive myself.

  • We'll see about my Tawny/Jadis theory

  • Sorry Ector :(

Do I have any new theories? hmmm.

  • I think Sera somehow restored Nyktos' kardia. Towards the end of the book, it was mentioned a lot that the embers were humming in her moments with Nyktos, when he is expressing how much he cares for her. If she can heal, and bring people back to life, why couldn't she heal this missing part of Nyktos?

  • When Nyktos and Sera made love, after they found out the only way to transfer the embers to Nyktos was by draining her, and he dying, not only do I think his kardia was returned to him, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is when they conceive their twins

I honestly don't have very many theories. The full prophecy, while making more and more sense each book, has my head spinning.

Nyktos: "Did you seriously just try to run?"

Nyktos's breath stirred the hair on the top of my head.

Nyktos: "From me? Why? Why would you do that?"

Sera: "Why not?"

I shot back, cringing at how utterly childish that sounded.

Nyktos: "Are you fucking kidding me right now?"

he snarled. A tremor ran through me as I strained against his hold .

Nyktos: "You fled the safety of the palace and r an straight into the second place I warned you never to enter. Was my very short list of rules that confusing? Or are you just that incapable of following rules meant to save your life?"

Sera: 'Fuck your rules,"

I spat, tremors skating through me.

Nyktos: "And my sanity right along with them."

Nyktos: "Or what?"

One side of his lips curled up.

Nyktos: "You're going to slit my throat?"

Frustration and hopelessness crashed into a bitter tide of desperation and anger.

Sera: "If that's what it takes."

Nyktos: "Then do it. Slit my throat."

He wrapped the braid around his hand, putting just enough pressure on my neck to force my head down towards his.

Nyktos: "Just make sure you cut deep. To the spine. Otherwise, all you'll accomplish is getting us both bloody."

Nektas: "You should probably avoid touching anything dead until you get a handle on those embers."

My hands fell into my lap.

Sera: "I'll definitely try to avoid doing that. It'll be hard because I do like to touch dead things."

I halted when the horse whipped his head in my direction. He pawed at the ground once more.

Nyktos: "He's not that happy with you."

Sera: "What did I do to him?"

Nyktos came up behind me, dipping his head as he said,

Nyktos: "You held a dagger to my throat, and you hit me with eather."

Sera: "Yeah, but I didn't do those things -"

I cut myself off. Primal magic.

Sera: "He's an extension of you. Got it."

I sighed, eyeing the horse.

Sera: "I'm sorry."

Odin huffed, turning his head from me.

Nyktos; "He'll get over it."

Nyktos gripped my hips and lifted me into the air before I even had a chance to react. I grasped the pommel, seating myself before I was flung over on the other side. Nyktos swung into the saddle behind me.

Nyktos: "Eventually."

Odin shook his mane.

Sera: "Do not order me around as if I'm a child."

Nyktos: "I wouldn't if you didn't behave like one."

I saw red.

Sera: "You sure as hell didn't think I was behaving like one when you had me in your bed and your fangs in my throat."

Suddenly, I was hanging from his shoulder - his actual shoulder - and staring at his back.

I was stunned speechless.

Then Nyktos turned.

Sera: "Let me down!"

I screamed, my braid slipping forward and smacking the side of my face.

Nyktos: "Nope."

Sera: "Put me down!"

I went to kick my legs, but his other arm folded over the backs of my knees, trapping them.

Sera: "Nyktos, I swear to the gods -"

Nyktos: "You shouldn't swear to the gods. It's blasphemous."

I screeched, swinging a fist back as he opened the door that adjoined our chambers. I froze, staring into the dark corridor of the short hall. The door ... had it been unlocked? Or had he used his power to unlock it?

Nyktos: "I have a feeling you're about to punch me in a kidney,"

Nyktos said as he carried me down the passageway and into his bedchamber.

My fist opened as the scent of citrus - of him - increased.

Sera: "No, I wasn't."

Nyktos: "I don't think I've ever met someone who lies as much as you do."

Nyktos turned sharply, dumping me on the bed.

Sera: "Asshole!"

Nyktos: "You're boots are as filthy as your mouth."

He grabbed hold of the other boot, and that too hit the floor with a thump.

Nyktos: "And while I enjoy that mouth in my bed, I won't enjoy the boots."

He glanced down at my spoiled, bloodied breeches.

Nyktos: "They need to come off, too."

Sera: "Wow. I don't think I've ever had a man ask me to remove my clothing so romantically before."

Sera: "Clever bastard,"

I whispered.

One side of his lips curved up.

Nyktos: "I know."

Nektas: "Watch out for her -"

A wing smacked me in the face.

Nektas: "Her wings."

Nektas finished with a sigh.

Nektas: "Sorry."

Sera: "It's okay.

I leaned my head back as Jadis wiggled closer , her taloned fingers sinking into my hair. Her breath tickled the side of my neck as she made a soft, chattering noise.

Sera: "Just don't breathe fire on me."

Wide, bright red eyes met mine. Jadis chirped.

Sera: "I hope that was an agreement."

Nyktos: "We all need someone to watch over us."

Heat crawled up my throat.

Sera: "Do you?"

Nyktos: "Desperately."

he whispered.

Nyktos: "I'll check in with you later. Until then,"

he said, his eyes meeting mine,

Nyktos: "behave."

Sera: "Yes, Your Highness."

I bowed.

Sera: "I wouldn't want to be grounded."

Nyktos: "You've been injured,"

Nyktos growled low in my ear.

Nyktos: "Again."

Sera: "Barely."

Nyktos: "I can smell your blood."

His palm grazed the side of my breast. I jerked. He skimmed his hand down my side to where there was a burning ache.

Nyktos: "It makes me want to taste you."

Ector: "Daddy Nyktos is not happy."

Rhain: "You know, I think I'll get that stuff for you and then make myself ... scarce."

Rhain backed up, grabbing Ector's arm.

Rhain: "Come, be scarce with me."

Ector: "That's probably a good idea."

Ector pivoted.

Ector: "He's got the scary face again."

He kind of did.

Nyktos: "Most wouldn't attempt to seduce and kill the Primal of Death. Not even if it was a duty drilled into them from birth. Not even for their kingdom. Then turn around and plan to do the same thing to another Primal. I wouldn't even say it would be a lack of courage on their part."

Sera: "Just a lack of common sense on mine?"

I retorted.

That damn eyebrow rose again.

Nyktos: "You said it."

Sera: "Wait. Do you think you took advantage of me after you gave me your blood?"

Nyktos: "I knew what my blood would do to you. I should've been able to restrain myself or left you alone the moment you started feeling the effects."

I stared at him.

Sera: "My reaction had very little to do with your blood.'

Nyktos: "Sera."

Sera: "And everything to do with my attraction to you. I told you that then. It hasn't changed."

His jaw flexed.

Nyktos: "Even so, I should've been able to control myself instead of becoming a man with no control over his body."

I laughed.

Sera: "You are not only a man."

Nyktos: "Just because I'm a Primal doesn't mean my body responds differently."

Sera: "I didn't realize that Primals - or men in general - had such little control over their cocks."

I whirled, gasping as flames crawled across the leg of one of the chairs Jadis was crouched in front of.

Sera: "oh, my gods!"

Jadis jumped excitedly, eyes alit by the flames. I quickly grabbed the pitcher, dousing the fire. Heart pounding, I stepped back -

Nektas walked into the chamber then, coming to an abrupt stop.

Nektas: "I leave the room for two minutes ..."

Sera: "That was not two minutes ..."

I panted.

Sera: "That was two years."

Nyktos: "What have you two been up to?"

Nyktos asked, glancing to where Reaver was already perched on the corner of his desk.

Reaver gave a couple of low grunts, but Jadis was chirping and yipping rapidly. She leaned back in Nyktos's arms, turning her head to Reaver. She hissed at him, and I couldn't help by grin.

Nyktos: "Maybe Reaver will play with you if you don't chase him so much."

Nyktos responded.

My brows shot up. I'd forgotten that Nyktos could understand them.

Nektas: "By the way, she set one of the chairs on fire."

Nektas announced. His daughter immediately planted her head in Nyktos's chest.

Nektas: "So time for a nap."

Nyktos's brows rose as Jadis gave a pitiful, muffled whimper.

Nyktos: "It's okay. I'm not mad."

He rubbed her back between her wings.

Nyktos: "We have plenty of chairs."

Nektas: "It is not okay."

Nektas came around the desk , extricating Jadis from the Primal's arms. His daughter all but threw herself over his shoulder, hanging limply as Reaver eyed warily.

Nektas: "No matter how many chairs there are."

Sera: "Your penmanship is beautiful."

Nyktos: "Thank you."

He filled another page.

Then a third.

Sera: "How ... how do you choose who dies?"

Nyktos: 'I don't."

Another name.

Nyktos: 'The names come to me as I write."

I leaned my hip against the desk, curling my leg just enough that the panels of the gown parted, revealing my leg from the calf to just above the knee.

Sera: "What is you make a mistake?"

He stopped writing, his gaze slowly sliding up the length of my exposed leg.

Sera: "What if you're making up names and don't realize it?"

Nyktos: "I don't make mistakes."

Sera: "Never?"

Nyktos: "Not with this. In other things?"

he muttered, the edges of his fangs dragging over his lower lip as his gaze lingered on the curve of my hip.

Nyktos: "Far too often?"

Sera: "Really?"

Nyktos: "I can think of a few right now."

Sera: "Like what?"

I asked, knowing I was being a brat and thoroughly enjoying myself.

Nyktos: "Like not having Nektas take you with him when he left."

He returned to writing.

Nyktos: "He could've put you down for a nap. I'm sure Jadis and Reaver would've enjoyed the company."

I pressed my lips together to stop from laughing.

Sera: "That was rude."

Nyktos: "Was it?"

Sera: "Yes."

I watched him write several more names. Seconds ticked into minutes. Good gods, how many would die today?

Sera: "Perhaps I should've left with Nektas. I wonder if he would've ... enjoyed putting me down for a nap. He did seem to like my gown."

That got his attention.

The stylus stopped moving. His chin lifted, and thundercloud eyes pierced with lightning met mine.

Very purposely, I placed my hands on his desk and leaned forward. The slight bend of the waist was enough to test the limits of the gown.

Nyktos's eyes lowered. The stylus vanished from his palm. I hoped that meant he was finished.

Sera: "I'm sorry. Am I being distracting?"

Nyktos: "You don't sound sorry at all."

The line of his jaw flexed as he slowly drew his gaze to mine

Nyktos: "And you know exactly what you're doing."

Sera: "What's that?"

Nyktos: "You're purposely being distracting."

Sera: "I would never."

Nyktos: "And seductive."

Sera: "Why would you think that?"

I asked, blinking wide eyes.

Nyktos: "Your breasts are inches from my face, Sera."

His gaze dropped and then returned to mine.

Nyktos: "I don't think. I know. And it's not going to work."

Sera: "Your failure to keep your eyes from straying to inappropriate places is not a reflection on my action."

I told him, tipping my head and letting my hair fall forward onto his hand.

Sera: "But if I were trying to seduce you, Your Highness, it would most definitely work."

Nyktos: "You think so?"

Sera: "I don't think."

I smiled then, bright and wide.

Sera: "I know."

Sera: "Why did you come to my bedchamber last night?"

Nyktos: "Arm's reach. Remember?"

Sera: "I remember, but was it truly that? Or did you sense my need? My want? Of you."

I inched forward, half-expecting him to retreat. He didn't . When I spoke, my lips brushed the corner of his, and I felt a faint zap of static.

Sera: "I was thinking of you when I fucked my fingers. Imagining that it was your touch - before I even knew you were in the chamber."

Nyktos: "Sera,"

he warned - or begged. It sounded like both.

Sera: 'Just thought you should know."

I drew back, stilling when his molten silver eyes locked onto mine.

Sera: "I can take care of my desires, but it only goes so far."

Nyktos: "You better make it stretch as far as it can go."

he ordered softly.

Sera: "And if I don't?"

Nyktos: "What I did to those gods in the throne room will pale in comparison to what I do to whoever satisfies your needs."

Sera: "I know when to be reserved and not reckless."

Nyktos: "Good. Just don't forget how to be so exquisitely reckless later."

Attes smiled, revealing straight teeth and fangs.

Attes: "This one has bite."

Nyktos: "You have no idea."

Nyktos murmured, and my head whipped toward him. His eyes briefly met mine as that damn hand slipped deeper between my thighs. His thumb gave a swipe, nearly brushing the thin undergarment there.

Nyktos: "Behave."

Attes: "I also hope you're more careful with your tone. I may find your boldness refreshing. Alluring, even. Others will not."

Nyktos: "Those who do not like it won't live long enough to wallow in their insult."

Nyktos responded before I could.

Attes: "Because you'll make sure they're all dead before they can?"

Nyktos laughed darkly.

Nyktos: "Because my Consort will likely plunge a dagger to their hearts before I'm even aware of what has occurred."

Sera: "Did you even think about knocking first?"

I exclaimed.

Nyktos: "No."

Sera: "You should have."

I pressed my palm to my thundering heart.

Sera: "I could've been busy."

Nyktos: "Doing what?"

Sera: "Many things. Use your imagination."

Nyktos stopped, his jaw tightening.

Nyktos: "Not sure it using my imagination would be wise."

Saion: "Thought you were headed to your bedchamber,"

Saion reminded her.

Sera: "I was."

I nibbled on my lower lip as Nyktos motioned another guard forward - one thickly muscled and fair-haired.

Saion: "Was."

Saion sighed.

Saion: "Past tense. Great."

Sera: "Your highness,"

I said, more politely than I had ever said two works in my entire life.

A flicker of eather appeared in his cool, gray eyes, joining the wary gleam to his stare as he faced me fully. He briefly glanced at Saion and then snapped his attention to me.

Nyktos: "Are you taking a walk?"

Taking a walk? Like the fine Ladies of Lasania would stroll through the gardens of Wayfair? I almost laughed.

Sera: "I would like to know if it's possible for Saion to train with me."

Saion: "Whoa."

Saion's head whipped toward me.

Saion: "I told her that wasn't possible."

Sera: "He's afraid you will gut him if he does,"

I continued, aware of Ector's and Rhain's slow approach.

Sera: "Which I'm hoping is an exaggeration to hide the fact that he's simply nervous that I will be far better with a sword than he is."

Saion: "That is not the reason,"

Saion shot back.

Saion: "What you said first was the truth. I'm simply nervous that my insides will end up on my outsides."

Sera: "I have a sword to use."

I announced, facing Nyktos and smiling up at him.

Sera: "There's a multitude of logical reasons for why I should continue my training . But since your guards are too nervous to train with me, then shouldn't it be you?"

Rhain: "Hell."

Rhain murmured.

I lifted the sword, leveling it at Nyktos's throat.

Sera: "Or are you also ... nervous?"

Silence descended in the courtyard as Nyktos stared down at me. Wisps of eather began churning in eyes that had heated to quiksilver.

Nyktos: "Nervous is the last think I'm feeling at the moment."

Sera: "I need something to do."

Nyktos: 'Other than b eing a distraction?"

Sera: "In addition to that."

Sera: "I'm not ogling you."

Paxton frowned.

Paxton: "What does ogling mean?"

Nyktos: "To look at someone amorously, and rather impertinently."

He paused, his eyes meeting mine.

Nyktos: "As if they have no control over where their eyes stray."

The boy grinned before ducking his chin.

Paxton: "Yeah, that's totally was you were doing."

Paxton: "He is a Primal god,"

Paxton said, sounding incredibly exasperated for someone his age.

Paxton: "There is nothing he can't do."

Nyktos: "That is not entirely true."

Nyktos glanced at the bed, a slight frown pulling at his lips.

Nyktos: "There are many things I can't do."

Paxton: "Name one."

Nyktos: "Getting my soon-to-be Consort to follow instructions would be one of them."

Nyktos: "Sera,"

I thought I heard Nyktos whisper my name as I began to doze off.

Nyktos: "You were never a ghost to me."

Nektas: "Your current expression reminds me of Jadis in the moments before she throws herself onto the floor and starts screaming."

Sera: "I'm likely to do way worse than that."

Nektas: "I said he understands, and I'll tell you the same thing I told him when he was younger. Forgiveness benefits the forgiver, and it's easy. Understanding is acceptance, and that is far harder."

His gaze held mine as Jadis gave a little wiggle.

Nektas: "And if Ash didn't understand and accept your past actions, you would not be where you are right now. You would not carry his scent on your body, and I would've never sensed what I did when I found him with you."

Sera: "What did you sense? "

I whispered, my heart stomping in my chest.

Nektas: "What I sensed before."

That odd little half grin returned.

Nektas: "Peace."

Nyktos: "I heard Erlina brought by the clothing she made. Were you pleased?"

Sera: "They are all beautiful."

Nyktos: "Hopefully, they're less distracting."

Sera: 'They are."

Nyktos: "Thank the Fates."

Nyktos: "About the demands you made."

Sera: "I wouldn't say they were demands."

I watched him draw his fingers through my hair.

Nyktos: "What would you call them?"

Sera: "Gently requests."

Nyktos laughed roughly.

Nyktos: "Which part was gentle, Sera? The kicking me, or the holding your dagger to my throat?"

Sera: 'The part where I didn't hurt you."

Nyktos: "Fuck,"

he breathed, his throat working on a swallow. His head tilted. The tips of his fingers grazed the side of my breast.