Last updated on February 1st, 2024 at 11:47 am

Helfyre book review: Spiciest read of the year?

A good balance of demons, world-building, and smut. If the synopsis confused you and felt overwhelming, it had the same effect on me. Don’t let this deter you, the flow and pace of the book makes the plot intriguing and scene’s intense, which makes it really difficult to put the book down! 

Mariel Pomeroy has created a world with dark hidden secrets and mythical powers you’ll get addicted to. I 100% recommend this book if you’re into the enemies-to-lovers trope, spice and a court of messed-up demons.

Book rating & bio

Four Star Rating/5

Heyfrye book by Mariel Pomeroy on a dark brown console table

Title: Helfyre
Author: Mariel Pomeroy
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance, Dark, Demons, Erotic fiction
Publisher: Mariel Pomeroy on 21/03/2022
Format: Paperback
Pages: 446
Buy on: Amazon | Amazon Kindle edition

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 – Aljira.

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 Milthra who has 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 Crace each other, between sharp words and angry exchanges in an increasingly passionate bond that threatens to shatter the delicate balance of everything. Powerful, dominant,

Arioch and Aheia…

Kelpseros and Aljira…

Even life and death.

Content warning: Graphic violence, dark themes, swearing, sex scenes – some of which include dubious consent, not a depiction of a healthy relationship. 
Diversity: Bisexual characters, m/m relationship (not MCs).
Spoilers: This review is mostly spoiler-free. I’ve placed all spoilers within an accordion, leaving the choice to you if you fancy reading them. 
Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through those links.

Overall thoughts

For me, this ticked all the boxes for a dark romantic fantasy – enemies to lovers, smutty scenes, tension, violence, multiple POVs* and the right touch of moments that make you shout ‘OMG HE DID NOT JUST SAY THAT’ (chapter 10!). The magic system and world-building were intriguing, leaving me wanting to know more about this world. Bring on book 2! 

To help immerse you in this dark new world, at the start of the book there are pages listing the different types of gods, monsters, religions, languages, terminology and pronunciations of the main characters – YES! I’m always so thankful when authors include pronunciations as I struggle with names in person.

What I liked

Writing style & tension of spice and smut

  • Spice and smut was 10/10. This erotic novel is very explicit, but it’s written so that the scenes are hot and gripping and not cringe or awkward. The book wastes no time, you only have to wait a few chapters before the spice starts. Less of a slow burn, and more of a bomb waiting to go off. 
  • All I can say is expect shadow bondage, savagery, foul words, public intimacy and indecency, choking, etc. Everything you’re looking for in a dark romance.

Our main characters (MCs): Aheia and Arioch

  • Aheia – FMC*: She is strong, fierce and not afraid to say how she feels and show her emotions. I love this. It makes her more relatable and helps you understand her actions. I adore the nicknames given to her by Arioch – ‘Ruh’ and ‘Little Goddess’. When you finally find out what Ruh means, aaaaa so good!
  • Arioch – MMC*: Sexy, hot and unforgiving. His very dark, do not expect ‘nice’, those moments are fleeting. but he compliments Aheia perfectly. I love how undone he gets around her by the slightest things, such as the nickname ‘Ari’ she gives him in chapter 8 (and what a chapter that was…).

The scene where we finally meet Kal was so loaded and there was so much to unpack! Screw Kal! For anyone that’s read Fourth Wing, he challenges Dain for mayor of Dicks Ville. We hate him. I’m so glad Aheia managed to leave a nasty mark on him in the final chapters. 

Arioch's court

  • Loved the different powers – shadows, shapeshifters, emotion/mind readers and more. However, it would have been good if they were spoken about in more detail. 
  • Arioch’s court added so much to the storyline for me. They’re savage, bloodthirsty, and get into all types of trouble. They’re one of the main reasons why I’m so glad there’s another book to learn more about their characters. I was so shocked when we got POVs from characters other than the 2 MCs.
  • I really want to know more about Luc and Shiron. Luc is so vicious, but sexy and has a soft side which shines through in his devotion to Arioch. Shiron is a bit of a mystery, there’s still so much more to find out.
  • Karyme!! Favourite female character outside of MCs. 

Luc’s scene where he tastes Aheia’s blood and then has a heated interaction with Tariq was short but HOT! And when he winks… I can’t take it!

I’m really intrigued about the ‘no name’ demon who is saved from the Blood Trade in chapter 7, and who Emryn tells Arioch to recruit. I think she’ll be significant in the next book with helping Aheia. Not sure how, maybe as they’re both new to the court and been through trauma they’ll be able to relate to each other. I’m also adamant something will happen between her and Shiron in the next book! 

What I thought was missing

I wish there was more explanation about Aheia’s power of light. I assume she was quite powerful, but due to the lack of detail, I found it hard to feel bad that she had to give it up. 

When Aheia fled Keloseros she also had to give up her immortality. Why was this? Was it just because she left, or because she murdered someone and left, or was it the cost to get passage across to Aljari? If you know, leave a comment! 

Right I know Aheia is with Arioch of her own free will, but the scene when Arioch hosts a party to show his allies that Aheia is only in Aljira as his ‘pet’, the lines got blurred for me. In chapter 24 Aheia ends up dancing and kissing another guy because she was frustrated that Arioch left her. Arioch ends up tying Aheia up in shadow bonds and kills the guy in front of everyone. Knowing Aheia, would she of let him get away with that so easily, it was blown over pretty quick due to members of Ophion’s emissaries turning up and the events that followed. But still.. I felt that was just forgotten. Though she did end up liking it, so that’s probably why.

The final fight scene felt a little rushed to me and disjointed, but maybe that was the point.

Whilst reading I noticed 2 paragraphs were double-printed in scenes with a lot of tension. It slightly ruined the pace of reading and it took me time to reorientate myself in the chapter. However, this did not affect the overall read of the book! 

Closing thoughts

Reading this book was an entire experience, if you’re into dark romance, demons and emotional struggles then I recommend you trying this book. When writing this review I had little rereads of chapters and it’s just so good that I wish I could read it for the first time again. It’s gripping, but be warned major cliffhanger at the end! 

The book will be part of a trilogy, so a lot more of the story to come.  

Happy reading!

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*MCs = Main characters, FMC = Female main character, MMC = Male main character, POVs = Point of views, 

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