So I started Soul of Flame before it was even released. I was one of the lucky few that Rebecca Ethington gave an advanced release copy to, wahoo!!! So why am I just now writing about it, almost a month later?Several reasons. #1 this has been one of the busiest months I’ve had in years! #2 (and this one hurts to admit) I’m like a spoiled little brat when it comes to reading what I’m “supposed” to. See Rebecca never asked me to post at a specific date. She never asked me to read it quickly. She really didn’t ask for anything but an honest review once I finished it, but I still felt pressure as though I was “supposed” to read it (like an assignment in school). So what did I do? I procrastinated. Even though every page was gripping and I LOVED the whole thing… I threw my little 4 yr old tantrum at being told what to do and procrastinated. There. I admit it.
Now to be honest, I did write a blog post when I was about 30% of the way through. I just didn’t post it because by the time I was done it didn’t really apply anymore…. But I think I want to include it here so I can discuss what I learned:
I should probably start this with **SPOILER ALERT** but honestly I haven’t finished the book so it seems a little weird to do it that way. Will I finish this book? ABSOLUTELY!! But right now I have to take a little break because my imaginary friends are making me angry and sometimes you just have to take a breath and walk out of the room for a little bit.
But, see, that’s the thing… when you take a break, you walk out of the room for a little bit – you don’t leave the entire building when it is surrounded by the enemy. You don’t pull your heart and your essence away from the one you love, just when she needs you most! Darn it, Ilyan! You are the best protagonist to come along in - I can’t tell you how long, and now I’m mad at you! You stood by Joclyn when she was weak, when she was dying, and you told her you were so proud of her when you saw her strength growing… but now that she is strong enough to stand up to you does that all change? You know that the things she said were not her own words but the words of Edmund, Cail, and Ryland. You are wise enough to realize that her mind has been twisted until she doesn’t know what’s right anymore – so how can you leave her so completely that she can’t even reach out and apologize. What she said was completely out of line, and mean, and spiteful, but you should be man enough to work through it. You can’t possibly think that just because you waited so long to find her life would be a bed of roses once you did.
Sorry, I know you (the reader of this) are not Ilyan so I apologize for breaking off into my little rant to him. But that’s where I stand right now. I put down the book for a little breather, but I haven’t left the building, so to speak (the Kindle is right here beside me and I am willing to listen to an apology, lol).
I must be honest and admit: I think what upsets me most is that the Ilyan in my mind was perfect and this temper of his shows weakness. I don’t want him to have a weakness, but honestly this just makes him more real. Only pretend people have no weaknesses and Rebecca has made him even more authentic in letting this be seen… but I still don’t like it, because if his heart and Joclyn’s heart are breaking, then so is mine.
So the reason this didn’t apply anymore is that after I wrote this I picked the book back up and within a couple of pages was the SWEETEST REUNION SCENE EVER!!! They totally made up and, even better, they realized how important they were to each other. I was in tears! I just love them so much.
So now that I have reached the end of the book I want to include that old post because I do think I learned a valuable lesson about heroes. They are flawed (in real life and in fiction). If they aren’t flawed they aren’t believable. Why does it work this way? Because we are all flawed. There has only ever been one perfect man and He walked this earth over 2,000 years ago. The people who are around us now are going to fail us. They are going to mess up, hurt our feelings, get angry and make us angry. We don’t need to by cynical about it, but we need to know that at times we will need to forgive and at others we will need forgiveness. This is a beautiful picture of that! Thanks, Rebecca!
Oh, and also… the rest of the book is INCREDIBLE and deserves to be read (more quickly than I did) but I’m not pressuring you to read it because... well, I just don’t want to be hypocritical.