Mega-bestselling author Richelle Mead writes exclusively for Booktopia about her new book The Fiery Heart.
The Fiery Heart is a book I’ve been waiting to write for a long time. Whenever I sit down and start a series, I know how it’s going to end, and I know what the big moments along the way will be. And The Fiery Heart? Well, it’s one of the big moments in the Bloodlines series. BIG. So many factors in the series have been building to this point, and the events in this book will in turn set the stage for the final two books, which are also going to have some pretty major twists.
I’ve never been a fan of predictable books or series, where you pretty much know how everything is going to turn out. My favourite books are the ones that pull the rug out from under me, that make me question everything and wonder how the characters can weather the storm. Now, do I always enjoy the discomfort and squirming that comes with watching my favorite characters go through ordeals? No, it’s torturous, and I definitely feel for my readers who have to ride those ups and downs. But when happy endings do come, I always feel like they’ve been earned if the characters had to fight for them. And I think a lot of my readers feel the same way (eventually).
A friend of mine recently read The Fiery Heart and said, “This is to Bloodlines what Shadow Kiss is to Vampire Academy. ” Readers panic when they hear that because they automatically assume it means tragedy. What it means, though, is that this is the center of the series, the part that really tests the characters, shows them what’s important, and helps them become who they’re destined to be—for themselves and each other.
Because that’s the other thing I love in books: characters who grow. I have no interest in characters who can’t learn or evolve. People who’ve read the Bloodlines series so far know that Sydney and Adrian both have gone through some major changes.
The twosome who started Bloodlines was different from the couple who ended The Indigo Spell. They’ve become stronger, deeper people, and they will find both themselves and their love tested. Consequently, readers will find that The Fiery Heart is a lot of different things. It’s at times deeply romantic and—dare I say it—hotter than its predecessor. At the same time, it’s a very dark book, examining tough issues like trust, tolerance, and mental health. It’s become one of my very favorite books that I’ve ever written, and I hope that readers will love it as much as I do and be excited to join in on this next stage of the journey with Sydney and Adrian.