Title: FEATHER AND FLAME
Series: ENA OF ILBREA #4
Author: MEGAN O’RUSSELL
Publication Date: MAY 26, 2020
Some battles cannot be won.
The time has come to fight.
There are no allies left.
There is nothing but flames ahead.
The end has arrived.Have you ever read a story so depressing?
I’m not even sure how I will ever recover from this. My heart felt so heavy when I finished reading this book earlier today. There are lots of books I’d read that ended up with a sad and heartbreaking ending, but none of those books are like this. This was an extremely heartbreaking but beautiful story with an ending I didn’t see coming.
Megan is truly an amazing and phenomenal writer. She’s so talented, I admit it. I’m not even kidding, she knew how to tell a story and make it good. The way she wrote this story from the beginning until the end was very impressive. I would read any books written by her because she never disappoint. I loved what she did with the Ena of Ilbrea series.
There are lots of things happening in this book, all the good and the bad in one book. I’ve been wondering how this would end and how the conflict between the Black Blood clans can be settled. There are so many surprises that I didn’t expect, and everything are so unpredictable.
It was time for Ena, Liam, Emmett and the rest of the Black Blood members to go out and find out who’d been selling informations about the Black Bloods to the Guild soldiers. Despite having to go through the ups and downs together, the ending left Ena feeling betrayed by those she loved and cared about. Her story might end here, but her journey isn’t over yet.
First of, I want to say that the traitor’s identity wasn’t who I thought it would be. It surprised me to know who it was and yet I do feel like it would’ve been much better if the traitor is someone who are close to Liam’s clan but doesn’t act shady or suspicious. Someone who interacts with them a lot but no one—not even the readers—can suspect at all. But I can do with what was revealed in this book.
Secondly, Orla doesn’t make an appearance at all which I find to be a bit suspicious. I knew why she suddenly doesn’t want to show her face anymore, but would’ve been better if she does even for a bit. I expected her to do something since she is the Elder of the Duwead clan (Liam’s clan), and don’t just left all the task to her soldiers and Liam. I feel like as an Elder she should do more. It was kind of sad that she didn’t get to at least say goodbye to Liam since he was leaving with the others.
Thirdly, I was expecting a battle between the Duwead and the Brien against the Hayes. Colm did a good job by trapping the Hayes, but trapping them for so long and just sitting outside waiting for the Hayes to make a move before they attack doesn’t sound that ideal to me. And the other clans had gone quiet so suddenly too while in the previous book they were about to battle each other. I wish I get to see at least the clans in action together, imagine how epic it would be.
I wasn’t disappointed at all, I was just expecting a lot from this book and luckily it turns out great. I truly enjoyed it, especially the action parts. The plot was so engaging and the story intrigued me from the start until the end because it was straight to the point, and no fillers at all. Also, the flow of the story was quite intense and smooth, it was perfectly balanced to me.
I knew not everything can be solved in one book, and there is no way for the main characters and their people to defeat all the Guild soldiers because it was just impossible to do so. If they want to, they need to recruit more people and that will takes time. So I knew the story would eventually ended with a lot of things still left hanging, but all I hope is for the main characters to be in peace and have a happy ending they truly deserved since they’ve been through too much already. What I didn’t expect was for the story to have a depressing ending, leaving me in tears and praying for Ena to have a better life. The ending really destroyed me and I was speechless with how the story took a huge turn like that.
Also, I was glad for a lot of actions in this book. The fighting with weapons and the fighting using magic. It was fabulous, and so intense that I was nervous for the main characters’ lives. Seeing the sorcerers using their magic and Liam showing his true potential using his own magic was mesmerizing. I can see how their magic literally drained their energy and made them weak, I didn’t know it works like that at all. Out of all the books in this series, this one has got to be the one with a lot of actions in it.
Now…let’s talk about the characters, and I will talk more about the ending after that.
Liam has been stepping up as a leader a lot more while Orla locked herself in her room. He became a lot wiser and has been showing his true potential as the Trueborn of his clan. I wasn’t really fond of his character at the start of the story here because he’d been asking Ena to stay in his room and in Lygan Hall for the sake of protecting her. I get why he did that but Ena can defend herself, and her brother along with her guards can protect her in case things are taking a dangerous turn if she go out. I do liked Liam, truly. I liked how later on he doesn’t doubt Ena and just let her do things her way (even though it took Ena awhile to get him agree with her decisions). He is a kind man with a good heart. I’ll be missing him a lot after this.
Emmett was a lot different than he was before when he first appeared. I can spot the differences between the Emmett in this book and the Emmett in the previous books. Here, he was a man in love with his wife, and a man who is more of a brother to his sister. He would do anything to protect Ena and his wife from the harsh world controlled by the Guilds. Thankfully, he finally opens up about how the legend of Emmett Ryeland was born—I’ve been waiting for this since the first book. There is no doubt that the man is a living legend, he’s a great warrior and no wonder the Guilds are scared of him when he showed his terrifying side. I’m sure going to miss him a lot.
Ena the bravest heroine of this series, the one who would do anything to save the world, and the one who would burn down her enemies to give people the freedom they deserve. Thinking back to the very beginning of this whole series, she wasn’t that brave and doesn’t even know how to fight and look at her now, she’s a legend just like her brother, and she’s a much better fighter after all the training she had done. I teared up at all the struggles she had to face, all the challenges that was thrown at her, and all the sufferings she had to deal with. It was too much for a young woman like her to go through but she was strong, and her spirit wasn’t broken. She did a lot more in this one, and she was respected by many. It was sad how much she had to lose, and the betrayal was too painful for her. When will she ever have the happy ending she deserve? I don’t know, but I do hope it’s coming because she deserve it so much after everything.
Surprisingly, I have a new favorite character. I find Kely to be hilarious, especially when he first came to Mave’s. His expression and what he said the whole time he stayed there with Liam, Emmett, Ena, and Cati was too funny not to laugh. I liked him, and sad for what happened to him. His time was short, but I was glad to have someone as good as him joining Liam and the others on a mission.
Can we please take a moment to appreciate Ena for never forgetting about Finn. Every time she mentioned his name, I shed a tear. I missed him so much, and his death still feel so fresh that it was a painful reminder that he was gone. It felt so incomplete when the gang are back together on a mission but without Finn with them. Will I ever be able to get over his death? The answer is NO!
Also, I need to talk about how sweet Ena and Liam was in this book. Their love for each other are strong and powerful that no one dare try to break them apart. I won’t forget all the sweet things they said to each other and how romantic they’ve been in their relationship. All the words they said to each other made me cry. They acted all sweet throughout the book and always be there to stand by each other’s side during a battle. They protected one another until the end. These two suffered a lot together and yet their love for one another always wins. I seriously loved their relationship, they’re my favorite couple. I just didn’t see that ending coming for them.
Finally, time to talk about the ending…
Did that just happened? Can I believe it? Excuse me, I wasn’t ready to get attacked like that!
I thought this book would end on a happy note, but I was wrong. Never thought it would torture me so hard. Out all of the characters, I feel bad for Ena the most. Not only was she betrayed for dozen of times before, but the betrayal she felt in this one was huge that I’m sure it would affect her in a big way. I don’t know what will happen next, but I know there will be a change in her character—maybe she would be more wary and won’t be able to trust anyone again.
And..let me just say this, why Liam? Why him? Why Emmett? But still, why Liam? I wasn’t sure if he and Emmett are really dead at the end there or he was knocked unconscious that Ena couldn’t feel the warmth of his magic on the stone pendant he gave her anymore. I refuse to believe Liam and Emmett are gone, like truly gone. No bodies can mean they might still survive, perhaps hiding somewhere. I don’t know, I was just guessing because I was tired of crying and I was tired of seeing Ena ended up continuing her journey alone while everyone seem to abandoned her. If Finn were still alive, he wouldn’t abandon Ena at all. It doesn’t matter what Liam was planning for, Finn wouldn’t let Ena to continue her journey on her own.
I still refuse to believe that Liam is gone. I still refuse to believe that Emmett left Ena alone to survive on her own and also…Marta, the poor woman would be so heartbroken if she ever finds out about her husband’s death. Why do I feel like Liam and Emmett are still alive and that maybe someone saved them after Ena saw a bright light at the end there. The letter Liam left her with sounds like he is truly gone but I don’t feel like it actually. Or am I just still in denial and couldn’t accept their deaths? It was too painful for me to read it that I want to believe they’re alive. I was so heartbroken after that. It was just too much for me to deal with, not only I had to deal with losing Finn in the previous book but now Emmett and Liam too. I really didn’t see it coming!
Overall, I loved this series. Following Ena and the other characters from the very first book until this final book was an experience I was glad to be on. Witnessing the growth of these characters throughout the series made me feel so proud of them. It was an honor to be a part of this journey from the start until the end and seeing all the greatness coming from it. It was a powerful experience to follow the story from the start and never miss a thing. I will miss the amazing characters that appeared in this series, and the joy of learning more about this unique and beautiful world. I want to thank Megan for creating this magical story and I know I would be seeing more of this world but still, the Ena saga will forever live in my memory.
P/S: think this is the end? Don’t worry, Ena still have a mission left to do in Inker and Crown, first book in a new series set in the same world as the Ena saga. Only, this time it will focus on the Guilds more but the story will be told from Adrial’s POV, and perhaps other characters too (I’m saying this after I read the synopsis) because it seems like there will be six main characters. Since Ena will appear in the new series, can she also please have her own chapters where she tells the story from her point of view and I still need to know what happens to her after the ending of this book. I wouldn’t mind if the book will have multiple POVs, I can handle it.
For the love of all, let Ena be truly happy this time whether it be with someone new or on her own or Liam IF he’s still alive somewhere. I’m still hoping he would be alive and Emmett too. Might take me longer to accept their deaths if it were real. Also, the preview of Inker and Crown got me hooked. Adrial managed to make me like him from that small preview. Is it normal to have a crush on a fictional character you just met even without fully knowing them yet? Most importantly, the inker who was talking to him, could that be Ena since she is an inker too or could that be a different inker? I won’t get the solid answer until I read the book, but I have a lot of theory regarding that one.
Well…Inker and Crown, I’m looking at you to give me more of the Ilbrea world. I can’t wait to read it and to find out everything about the Guilds. I can’t wait to learn more about Adrial and to see Ena again. Imagine if these two were to team up together and exposing the Guilds’ secrets and saving Ilbrea. It would be amazing to see what they would do to bring the Guilds down. I need it and can’t wait to read it, for real.