Check out our episode here! The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
♩♫Adrian♫♩ starts out Fiery Heart because now we get dual POVs and everyone should be super excited about it. He and Sydney are spending a tiny bit of time together enjoying their secret relationship before she goes to join Ms. Terwilliger's coven, the Stelle. When she leaves, taking Hopper the Dragon with her, Adrian privately struggles with the negative and depressing effects of spirit magic. He and Sydney made promises to each other that they would work to give up the vices in their lives - Adrian cigarettes and alcohol and Sydney coffee and extreme calorie counting. After being unable to muster any energy to work on his self-portrait art assignment, Adrian goes to pick everyone up for dinner (Jill, Eddie, Angeline, new British dhampir Neil and Zoe) and it's awful because Zoe is there and she is just like Sydney a few months ago, back when she was a stick in the mud and not a vampire kissing witch. Zoe gets a call from her dad while they're at Clarence's and Adrian immediately worries about Sydney, but Jared Sage tells Zoe that he and their mother are getting a divorce.
Sydney's initiation goes well, except she accidentally leaves Hopper behind, but Adrian will pick him up later. She chooses the name Iolanthe because it's a purple flower and it reminds her of the purple Adrian mentions she has in her aura. She's finally decided that her being a witch is a good thing because she will always use her powers for good instead of evil and for nonviolence unless someone she loves is in danger. She learns of another powerful witch, Inez, who has fought Strigoi and was bitten just like Sydney, and just like Sydney, the Strigoi couldn't stand her blood. She needs to find out more! At the end of the ceremony, Sydney gets the same phone call Zoe got, but from their mom instead. She tells Sydney that she wants to take Zoe away from the Alchemists and let her live a normal life, but she knows their father will fight her and he might win in court. She asks for Sydney's help.
The next day, Adrian meets up with a friend, Rowena, from art class to work on a project involving heavy cement blocks. Rowena's hand slips and is crushed under a block. Without thinking, Adrian heals her and then compels her because it's not like he can let his friend suffer with a smashed hand. He goes home, completely forgetting about picking up Hopper, and makes a ton of self portraits, feeling awesome from the high of spirit. But then he crashes. His artwork is terrible, he's forgotten about buying Sydney a birthday present and he's running low on allowance, everything he does is terrible and he's awful. Then he starts drinking. And then Sydney arrives, which makes him feel 1000x worse. She's upset with him, but she understands why he's spiralling. She wishes he would understand that he's great and powerful enough to fight off spirit.
Sydney's upset when she gets back to her dorm and Zoe thinks she's crying about their parents' divorce, but don't worry, she'll never let anyone take her away from their father! (Insert eyeroll here.) Zoe complains about being near vampires and feeding dhampirs because it's not their job, and Sydney just nods along. Sydney has plans the next day to go with Ms. Terwilliger to meet Inez, so she offers her brand new giant SUV, Quicksilver, (RIP Latte) to Zoe and the group when they go to Clarence's. Zoe talks wistfully about cars, reminding Sydney that Zoe is her little sister and that maybe there's still enough of their mechanic mom in her to keep her from being completely brainwashed by their father and the Alchemists.
The meeting with Inez goes decently well after some bribery with roses and tire changes, despite the fact that she compares Adrian to a hot pool boy, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s not exactly polite. Inez tells Sydney that Strigoi can't drink their blood because it's imbued with life magic. Since witches pull their magic from outside forces instead of it coming from within like with the Moroi, it coats their blood, making it incompatible as Strigoi sustenance. Sydney asks about her Alchemist tattoo and kind of explains how she recently broke the compulsion it holds over her, but oh no. Inez says the moment Sydney started working with magic, the tattoo would have lost its power. Sydney and Ms. Terwilliger talk about spells that could potentially keep the tattoo broken without having to get the indigo seal. They think they'll be able to do it and Inez might have some books that can help.
Adrian takes Jill out to dinner and Neil comes along. Jill and Angeline have fake crushes on Neil because they can’t like who they actually like, Eddie and Trey. Adrian strategically puts Neil down while lifting Eddie up, but not in a bad way. While Neil is away ordering cake, Jill tells Adrian to make dinner for Sydney instead of buying something expensive because it'll mean more and she'll appreciate it. In a dream, Adrian and Sydney meet up with Marcus and tell him about Sydney's ability to make her own version of the indigo ink. They plan to meet again later to see how it's going. The next day, Sydney works with Ms. Terwilliger planning out what elements or stones she can charm to make the ink. They go get coffee, of course, and Wolfe is there. And he asks Ms. Terwilliger on a date. And she says yes!
Sydney practices charming things in Ms. Terwilliger's classroom, trying to put and keep magic inside different minerals when Zoe comes in. Zoe is very judgemental of how much time Sydney spends with Ms. Terwilliger, saying that Sydney is not at Amberwood for school, because their dad taught them everything they needed to know, and she's not there for friends. She's there to be an Alchemist, nothing more. Sydney explains that they have to keep up appearances and Zoe reluctantly agrees. It sometimes seems like Zoe isn’t so terrible and that she just wants to spend time with her sister, so they go shopping.
Adrian, distraught about basically everything because he’s in a dark mood, gets a call from Lissa. Another Strigoi, Olive, has been restored by her sister, Nina. He goes to Dallas along with Rose and Dimitri to investigate. He uses a lot of spirit looking into Olive’s blood to see what makes it different now that she’s been restored, so much more than he's used to, but he sees that the spirit magic is lingering there. He charms some silver rings and gets a vial of her blood, using the rings to keep the spirit in the blood from escaping. It's an amazing feat and something that no other spirit user could do. Meanwhile, Angeline destroys human body models trying to break into a classroom to retrieve her homework and then Trey comes by. They have broken up since Trey still has his Warrior of Light beliefs, but oh my is the sexual tension high and the scene is ridiculous. They go to Clarence's that night and Zoe talks about needing a Shakespeare book for class, so Clarence offers to lend her one. She and Sydney look through his books in his garage and, while Zoe is distracted, Sydney discovers she can charge rock salt with magic and does so perfectly.
Adrian is in the throes of spirit. Up and down up and down. He paints and hates his work and decides to cook for Sydney but can't afford the extravagant ingredients he wants to use so he pawns a ruby from his Aunt Tatiana's cufflinks. But then she appears to him as a ghost and tells him he's fine but clearly nothing is if he's seeing the ghost of his dead aunt. When Sydney calls him on their secret love phones to tell him she can't come over because Zoe overheard Ms. Terwilliger talking about her date with Wolfe which means she can't use her as an excuse, he bottoms out again and goes out drinking with Rowena and her girlfriend.
Jill comes to Sydney and Zoe's room near midnight claiming she's so hungry for blood that she might start eating her classmates and begs Sydney to take her to Clarence's when really she wants Sydney's help with Adrian. He's belligerently drunk at the pawn shop trying to get his ruby back when Sydney finds him, talks him down, buys back the ruby and takes him home. They have an in depth conversation in which Sydney tries to convince Adrian to take medication to balance out his rapid mood swings. He takes her advice and sees a doctor who believes him to be bipolar. When he gets home, he struggles to take his medication. What if he loses his entire personality? What if he loses everything special about himself? Finally, thinking of Sydney, who has recently started taking a medication of her own, birth control!, he takes the pill.
Sydney's dad comes to visit and he's literally the worst. And then Zoe is even worse than usual too, trying to get attention from him, which means telling him every non-Alchemist terrible thing Sydney has done, including spending time with a teacher, feeding the dhampirs, and being friendly. He wants them to testify against their mother in the divorce unlike their older sister Carly who was on their mom's side. As they're leaving dinner, which ugh, you don't even want to hear about because it was so awful, Jared video calls Keith and he's basically a dead eyed robot after Alchemist reeducation and reinking. Sydney decides she's got to act now with her magic plan.
She runs into Trey and asks him to be a tattoo guinea pig in exchange for her keeping Angeline from dating anyone else while he struggles with really wanting to date her but also really wanting to get back into the good graces of the Warriors of Light. Sydney, Trey, Adrian and Wolfe meet up at Ms. Terwilliger's where Wolfe uses his tattoo equipment that he unsurprisingly has and traces over Trey's Warrior of Light tattoo. Later, Sydney will have to find Alchemist tattoo materials and tattoo him to see if the compulsion in the tattoo will stay broken, but this is a start. If she can tattoo Trey with Alchemist stuff later and nothing happens, she'll know she was a success. Adrian, Sydney and Marcus meet in a spirit dream that night, which takes awhile and doesn't work very well on account of Adrian's new medication that he hasn't told anyone about, but they tell Marcus what they're doing with the tattoos. He plans to meet up with them in a week or two.
Adrian is woken from the crumbling spirit dream by a phone call from Lissa who has summoned him to court to assist Sonya with the Strigoi vaccine plans, but luckily, she needs Sydney there, too. They think a tattoo with UnStrigoied spirit infused blood might make turning Strigoi impossible. This is very similar to the Alchemist tattoos and the magic tattoos Sydney is currently working on, so the ideas are sound. It might just work, so Sydney, Adrian and Neil take off almost immediately for Court. After meeting with everyone - Lissa, Rose, Dimitri, Olive, Nina, Sonya, Abe and some other guardians - Sydney tells them she needs alchemist tattooing supplies, but a double set just in case. (Yeah, just in case you need to take all this stuff back home with you to create non-indigo-Alchemist-charm-breaking tattoos later. Good plan, Sydney.) Abe goes off to get supplies and Sydney declares she needs to go to sleep. Adrian of course does, too, since he's also on the Palm Springs human schedule. Rose escorts Sydney to her room thinking that she's the only person there that Sydney is really comfortable with. Oh if she only knew.
Adrian comes by a little bit after Rose leaves and the two are finally alone and do some heavy making out. For some reason though, Sydney is still hesitant to have sex with Adrian even though she definitely wants to. They end up just sleeping together instead, which is also nice. The next day, they go out for breakfast and run into some of Adrian's old party buddies who want to drink from Sydney and talk to Adrian about when they used to dabble, which, Adrian explains to Sydney, is finding humans to drink from. That's not what it is though. It's drugging humans and drinking from them, which is essentially blood rape. Sydney is appalled when she finds that out and condemns Adrian even though he only drunkenly drank from a drunk girl once a long time ago and never, ever drugged anyone. She thinks that she can never trust him again. When Abe arrives with the supplies, Sydney makes the tattoo ink and then they try it out on Neil. They can't really tell if it will work though because he has to be bitten by Strigoi to test it and nobody wants to do that.
While the tattooist was tattooing, the spirit began to leak out of the blood and Sonya realized that Adrian didn't help to keep it in like she, Lissa and Nina did. He confesses to everyone that he can't use spirit anymore because he's taking mood stabilizers because he has more important things in his life now instead of spirit and it's awful for them to think any less of him. Sydney is astonished. But why didn't he tell her? She leaves the gathering to go back to her room to sleep but is met by Adrian's ex-bros who attack her. She uses Wolfe's teachings to try to get away, but that's really for human attackers, not for vampires. Then she summons magic and causes a tree branch to collapse on one of the attackers. She screams for help and then Adrian arrives, brandishing his own branch. The bros don't back down until Adrian hits one in the face with his tree limb. Mikhail and another guardian arrive shortly thereafter and take everyone in for questioning, soon realizing that the drunken bros are to blame and giving them a night in jail and a fine.
After this fight, Sydney realizes that Adrian is everything she ever wanted. He's not a drunken bro anymore and he's learned from his past. He's a great person and she loves him more than anything. She invites him to her room that night, but then he's summoned by the queen. Damn!! She makes them leave Court immediately because if Sydney tells the Alchemists what happened to her, things are going to get ugly. Christian promises to make the bros pay and we can all hope that he sets them on fire, even if it's just a little bit.
Sydney, Adrian and Neil have to drive to Philadelphia to catch their flight but they get hit by a blizzard and slide off the road and into a tree. After nearly freezing in the car while they wait for a tow truck, Sydney gets fed up, gets out of the car, and sets a magical fire to keep them warm. Adrian threatens Neil that if he ever tells anyone what he just witnessed, he'll be sorry. The tow truck arrives and takes them to a bed and breakfast, luckily not full of weird bunnies, and they each get rooms, but Adrian and Sydney spend the night together and have sex for the first time. And second. And probably third. And maybe fourth.
When they finally get to go back to Palm Springs, Neil tells Sydney that he wants to go after a Strigoi to test his tattoo so they, along with Eddie, track one and plan to go after it. Sydney hates this idea but is also curious about the tattoo. They also decide to test the salt ink tattoo by using Sydney's supplies she got from Abe. They call up guinea pig Trey and tattoo him with Alchemist ink and compel him to not talk about his feelings for Angeline and his eyes glaze over but then he snaps out of it and is like, why? I want to talk about Angeline! Success! The salt ink tattoo works! Now to test Neil's…
Zoe is pissed about Sydney constantly ditching her and blowing off plans to celebrate Sydney's birthday. She spends it with Adrian instead, of course, and his friends help him cook dinner and make cupcakes. Angeline stops by thinking that Sydney, Eddie and Neil are up to something and tells Adrian. He also hears from Marcus who is about two weeks out from being ready to meet for the new tattoo ingredients. Sydney arrives later and enjoys gumbo and cupcakes and car sex and brings leftover cupcakes back for Zoe. Even if she can't spend time with Zoe, at least she can enjoy a birthday dessert. Except she doesn't on account of the alchemist brainwashing/terrible judgy father thing. Ugh.
Adrian talks to Lissa again who reveals that she’s proud of Adrian for using mood stabilizers. They also talk about how she is close to having laws passed in court that will allow Jill to come out of hiding. Everything is almost all over. Maybe Adrian and Sydney will be able to run away together and live happily ever after! But now, it's time for Strigoi-hunting. They're still tracking just the one Strigoi, no one new has joined up with him, so it should be a simple kill. Eddie doesn't want Sydney to go though, so she reveals her magic to him and he abruptly changes his tune. They thought the Strigoi was a young vampire, but they were wrong. This Strigoi is old and the fight is terrible but then Angeline, Trey and Jill show up, which is bad, but also good at the same time. Trey and Angeline join in the fight and Jill makes it foggy using her water magic. The Strigoi bites Neil according to plan but he tastes too disgusting to finish the job, so then they team up and take him out. The mission is a success! And Jill kisses Eddie! And Angeline and Trey are together! Everything is great despite the fact that Jill was brought to such a dangerous encounter and Sydney is so excited that her tattoo on Neil worked against Strigoi that she asks Eddie to drop her off at Adrian's. She could have died and there are more important things to her that she's really feeling at the moment, so she crawls into his bed and we allllll know what happens next.
Sydney goes back to her dorm the next morning and Zoe is as unpleasant as always, but soon it's time to meet up with Marcus. Adrian contacts Sydney to let her know the plan, but not on their secret love phones that they normally use for their clandestine meetings and sexy texts because, uh oh, he lost it. They're supposed to meet at Ms. Terwilliger's and everyone is there, except for Sydney. At the last minute, Sydney gets a new address for the meetup in a text message, which is normal for meetings with Marcus and totally not a surprise at all. But the text comes on the love phone, which she totally doesn't realize. And then she gets caught in an ambush. Good thing she took Eddie along! They run from the Alchemists who are shooting at them, or, at Eddie because he’s one of them. They get pretty far away and hide, but there are Alchemists everywhere and Sydney knows there’s no way they can escape. She gives Eddie Hopper in his stone form and tells him to chant a special incantation that will activate a spell as a distraction and they’ll both be able to get away. This, of course, is not true. Eddie runs off to activate the spell and Sydney turns herself in to her father and sister.
Eddie escapes and finds Adrian at Ms. Terwilliger’s. He runs in saying that he should never have left her, that it’s all his fault Sydney was taken, but Adrian knows she tricked him into leaving and turned herself in so he wouldn’t get in trouble. Adrian is furious at himself for taking the mood stabilizers because he knew something like this would happen. Something terrible would occur and he’d be unable to wield spirit. He tries and tries to find Sydney in dreams but just can’t, so he stops taking his pills. He asks Sonya and Lissa and Ms. Terwilliger for help, but no one knows where she is. Ms. Terwilliger got close to reaching her, but only found a dark wall. She’s alive, she can tell that much, but she’s not doing well.
Sydney’s not doing well at all, as a matter of fact. She was drugged the night she was taken. Zoe found Adrian’s love phone in the back of the car from the night that they had sex there and told their father everything. Now Sydney’s in a cell in an Alchemist reeducation facility. She’s naked and alone in the pitch black darkness. When she wakes up, she’s greeted by a voice from a speaker in a wall, telling her to confess her sins then shining blindingly bright lights in her cell. Sydney remains resolute and refuses to relent. She’s drugged again and before passing out, she hears the voice say that they will have to resort to unpleasant measures to purge the darkness from her soul. Sydney’s last words before she passes out are, “Let’s see what you’ve got.”