Helfyre (Agía Sahnta, Book 1)
Rating: 5 out of 5
"Never again would she smile when she wanted to cry. Never again would she be so weak."
"Lions aren't afraid of wolves."
"She meant nothing. She meant nothing to anyone, and it was that thought that cracked a fine line down her center."
After the death of her mother, Aheia finds herself stained by more blood than she can hide in the perpetual daylight of her home of Keloseros. She escapes the realm but pays the price: giving up her immortality and her powers--once a Mithra with light at her fingertips, she becomes near-mortal. Her desperate search for asylum leads her to the doorstep of the only place out of her abusive family's reach--a realm that deals in death and darkness unapologetically--Alijra. But nothing in this world is free, and to buy her way to dubious safety, she's forced to give up the only thing she has left to barter. Her soul in exchange for seven days in the devil's realm. Arioch, the ruler of the Nephilim, is eager to dangle his new little pet in front of the Mithra who have caused irreparable damage to his life, but he doesn't expect the effect Aheia's soul has on both of them once it's stamped on his arm. The pull between them is all-consuming--they crave each other, between sharp words and angry exchanges in an increasingly passionate bond that threatens to shatter the delicate balance of everything.
This book shattered the delicate balance that is my soul. Dead serious. I was not prepared for this book in any way. The author had no right to destroy me or see me in the way that she did. It was beautiful and I don't think I'll ever recover. Aheia's pain is portrayed so perfectly that you know exactly what the feeling is, even if you wish you could deny it. The fact that this is a dark fantasy should suggest that this isn't going to be a healthy perfect relationship and it's not. But it works because both Aheia and Arioch can give the broken pieces of the other exactly what they need.
I knew from the first time we got Arioch's point of view that I was going to love him even with his flaws... and I did. But not nearly as much as I loved the fierceness that resided in Aheia. She spoke to me on a level that a character hasn't in a long time and it was needed. But to the romance: it's dark, it's twisted, it's full of rage and hate, it's full of banter and tension. It's got it all. Mostly though this book has left me needing more so all I can say is stop everything you are doing and read it. Like right now. Stop reading this and go read Helfyre.