{ARC} Review: A Sorrow Fierce and Falling by Jessica Cluess || Yikes to the nth degree

A Sorrow Fierce and Falling

Kingdom of Fire #3

Jessica Cluess

a sorrow fierce and falling by jessica cluess

It’s time for war.

After suffering terrible losses, Henrietta and Lord Blackwood have led their warriors to Sorrow-Fell, a vast estate where only those invited by a Blackwood may enter–and the ideal place to plan a final assault against the Ancients.

It’s time for a wedding.

Henrietta nervously awaits her marriage to Blackwood, but when the ritual to become his bride reveals a dark secret, she realizes that Sorrow-Fell is not a safe haven; it’s a trap. Convincing the sorcerers of this, however, is not easy. So with Maria, the true chosen one, and Magnus, the young man who once stole her heart, at her side, Henrietta plots a dangerous journey straight into the enemy’s lair. Some will live. Some will die. All will be tested.

In this stunning conclusion to the Kingdom on Fire series, Henrietta must choose between the love from her past, the love from her present, and a love that could define her future. While battles rage, the fate of the kingdom rests on her decision: Will she fall or rise up to become the woman who saves the realm?

It’s time for Henrietta to make her stand.

Publisher: Random House BFYR

Published: October 16th 2018



ARC Netgalley

Possible Spoilers For: A Shadow Bright and Burning; A Poison Dark and Drowning

Trigger Warning



Emotional Abuse, Death, Murder, War Themes


I fought for my life not to DNF this. It came to a point where I wanted to, but my mind went into autopilot and I couldn’t stop. Maybe it was subconscious telling me that I’d made it this far, that I spent money on this series, but I did it and I deserve a damn medal.

This picks up right after the events of book two, with Henrietta and Blackwood’s wedding approaches, she realizes Shadow-Fall isn’t a safe place. With the barriers down, her and a few chosen companions, she decides to end this war by going straight to the source itself.

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My emotions went from uncomfortable, to rage, to disappointment, to finally a lack of caring.

The plot was everywhere. Yes, the basic idea of what was happening was there, but execution was lacking. I couldn’t really follow where we were, yet setting was limited to wandering in the woods and a house. Which isn’t helping my enjoyment of the story when I hate the characters. Sympathy is attempted to be garnered out of me with the death count, but again, I could care less about these characters, therefore leading to my lack of empathy for their situation. Especially the main character.

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Because Henrietta refuses to develop. She continues to make mistakes, which would be fine, if she learned and bettered herself. But because of her lack of thinking things through, problems and deaths and so many bad things happen because one girl can’t calm down and think.

And whose idea was it to turn Blackwood into this abusive man? A complete 180 has been made. And you know what it worse? Everyone excuses him and pities him. Which is not a good message.

It would be fine if a story line was dedicated to Henrietta getting out of this abusive relationship and recognizing that this wasn’t good for her, yet instead we get her talking about how their souls were destined and entwined and how sorry she feels for him because he’s alone. His own family tries to warn you about his nature and you continue to be willfully adamant on you two being in love. I just wanted her to realize that this wasn’t okay and that never happened.

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I know I make jokes on this love… geometry shape… thing, but honestly? The way this relationship turned, I can definitely say the longer I sat on it before I received this book, the more I saw this coming. And it was done terribly. Let’s semi ignore the fact that Blackwood was abusive? But with one of the major themes of this book being how you can love two people in different ways, I honestly wanted a polyamorous relationship. Did it happen? No.

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It just all felt like lazy writing. Eliminating two-thirds of her romantic options by making them irredeemable? No complexity at all, just make one abusive and another unattainable. I couldn’t even root for who she ended up with. But then again, I couldn’t root for much with me rage reading this so…

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The only compliments I could give in here was the emphasis on female friendships, Lilly and Dee’s side inconsequential plot, a few LGBTQIAP+ side relationships and Rook’s resolution. Granted, looking back, it does seem a bit out of place, but I’m pulling for straws here.

This wasn’t the best trilogy, but it managed to entertain me… until this one. I hate how the series gradually declined and ended up here.

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