Fierce Like A Firestorm (Hibiscus Daughter #2) by Lana Popovic

4.5/5

Fierce like a Firestorm picks up right after the events of Wicked Like a Wildfire. Mara has yet to reveal all she has sacrificed in order to gain immortal life. Iris and Malina have been separated by a Death god and do not know the way back to each other. And a strange evil is coming for the witches of Mara’s bloodline.

I absolutely loved the first book, from the characters, to the magic and the world that was hidden within Montenegro and it’s legends. I was really nervous that Fierce like a Firestorm wouldn’t pull me in as the first book did. I was so wrong!! I was hooked from the first chapter. My love for Iris and Malina knows no bounds. I was kind of sad by how much shorter this book felt compared to the first. It felt significantly smaller too. I think I would’ve enjoyed this more had the ending been like 20-50 pages longer.

Several things happened in the ending and they happened very quickly. I would’ve like to have more time to have the events and consequences of actions more time to percolate and really sink in. One thing I love about this series is that it’s incredibly slow burning. We go through this fantastical mystery and we’re pulled through it by the characters, the world-building and the small hints that are dropped one piece at a time. It reminds me a lot of The Raven Boys in that regard.

Malina really got her time to shine in this installment. This book is narrated by both Iris and Malina, but it felt like Malina got a majority of the time. Which I enjoyed because she was right in the middle of the action and danger. I loved seeing Malina train herself and her other grandmothers to fight. It was very inspiring to see how they could wield the gleam in other ways besides for beauty.

Iris felt a bit muted while she was in the Death god’s realm. She was such a spitfire in the previous book: quick to anger and quick to act. She definitely has grown more, but she also was isolated from her main motivation for all that she does–protecting Malina. I loved seeing her try to figure out what to do with her relationship with Fjolar. It was twisted and complicated on so many levels.

I really loved this sequel, and I’m sad this duology is over. It was seriously amazing and I loved every second of it.

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