“Her eyes caught the mirror once more, and Vhalla spared another minute. She didn't recognize the woman who stared back at her. Hollow eyes and wild hair were framed by black armor. It was the visage of a warrior and a sorcerer.”
Vhalla is a soldier now, property of the Crown and a means to win the raging war against the North. Haunted by the blood on her hands and her guilt, she tries to put herself back together, to find her place in the world and to figure out the cost of loving the crown prince, the Fire Lord and future Emperor. To figure out how many times a heart can break.
“There was something severed and rough about her, something tainted and, yet, at the same time those jagged pieces were the makings of something fearsome. She'd wanted to become someone the Senate would fear, why not shatter the sky?”
Elise Kova's words hold raw power. The power to create a world so alive, so full of wonder and awe that you forget all attachments to your boring normal life and instead you travel, in jungles and forests and deserts, in battles and taverns, in tents and chambers while secrets are whispered and supressed feelings come to light. The power to sink magic in your pores and in your veins, to become unnaturally aware of the elements around you, to hear the humming of blood. The power to cause you emotional turmoil with the potential to tear you apart, to make you love and cry and sing and FEEL.
And the main source of them?
“Aldrik — the crown prince, the future Emperor, Fire Lord, ruler of the Black Legion, sorcerer — was only a man. And men could be broken.”
The dark, arrogant and cruel prince who at the same time is scarred, scared, insecure and alone, who unwillingly hurt Vhalla but loved her enough to go against his better judgement and defy everything he'd been told, is by far one of the best characters in history of books. Aldrik and Vhalla, they're broken and scared, strong and weak, they're each other's salvation and demise. And they're beautiful, together and as individuals.
“My Vhalla, my lady, my love.”
Yeap, my insides are turned into goo. I savored every moment they had together, I tucked these moments away in the corner of my mind so that I can replay them and relive a love so consuming that made all the hurt and the frustration worth it.
“Vhalla, I need her in so many ways, Mother help me.I need her as my redemption, I need her kindness, I need her forgiveness, I need her smiles, I need her humanity, I need her ignorance, I need her innocence, and, yes ... Mother Sun, yes, I need her as a man.”
If you don't like nasty cliffhangers, don't read this book. If you don't like epic romance and heroines strong in their weakness and war and characters with depth and poetic landscapes and wonderful friendships, do not read this book. But if you want one of the best YA fantasy books out there, Fire Falling is a reading experience you can't miss!