With time dwindling, Lia sets out on a journey to locate the missing pages of the prophecy and persuade her sister, Alice, to help—or risk her life trying. Lia has Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James. James doesn’t know the truth about either sister, or about the prophecy. And Alice intends to keep it that way. There are some secrets sisters aren't meant to share. Because when they do, it can destroy them both.
"The gowns are heavy in my arms as I leave my chamber."
This book is one that I've been eagerly anticipating for some time now, and believe me, I was not let down! Circle of Fire had the same mysterious, romantic, haunting quality as Prophecy of the Sisters and Guardian of the Gate. I really admire Lia's character for her ability to be strong and keep forging on, despite all her doubts and all the obstacles she faces. She does her best to unravel the prophecy and fight Samael and the Souls, all the while realizing that maybe she herself is the worst enemy she could have. I also adore how she is breaking free of the constraints of 'proper' society and doing what she feels is comfortable and important, rather than worrying about those who will gossip about her. She has Dimitri by her side, who continues to make girls everywhere swoon with his amazing love and loyalty for Lia. However, the character who really stood out for me in this book was Alice. I've always been fascinated by her "lovely darkness", as Lia puts it, and I really enjoyed seeing different sides of her. Alice isn't just reduced to a role as a flat, unquestionably evil character; she has depth and desires and feelings as well. She made me tear up more than once. The loose ends of several minor characters were also tied up in this book.
Michelle Zink has a real talent for capturing the subtle feelings and nuances in relationships. She portrays Lia's relationships masterfully - Lia and Alice, Lia and Dimitri, Lia and her family, yes, but the most realistic of all was that of Lia and the keys. The bonds and emotions of young girls trying to overcome the betrayals of the past and the uncertainty of the future are perfectly done. You can really understand all of their confusion and anger, and you support them as they try and make their friendship stronger.
The plot continued to be filled with mystery and suspense, as well as some truly terrifying and emotional moments. One thing I love about this series is that the language used isn't overly stylized and complicated in an effort to make it sound like the story is really set in the late 1800's. The language is simple and still perfect for the time period.
I don't want to give anything away, but Circle of Fire really was the exact ending the series deserved. It is an addictive read that is really impossible to put down, and while I am sad that the series is over, I'm also eagerly anticipating A Temptation of Angels!