Poppyhawke (Poppy and Hawke)
From: Blood and Ash Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
*** Assume spoilers for From Blood and Ash and A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire ***
Huge thank you to Jennifer L. Armentrout and her whole team for letting me be a part of the blog tour for AKOFAF! Giveaway at the end!!!
I know we still have four months left in the year, but this new JLA series is seriously going to be one of my favorite series of all year and all time. I can already call it. Why? So many reasons... so so so many reasons. One of which is this ship. I am going to apologize in advance for another really long post, but there are headings which should make it easier to navigate, and I'm talking about Poppyhawke, so it should be fun to reminisce with me and I couldn't cut more details out. :) (If there is a more official ship name for these two, please let me know! Poppyhawke seems like the most popular one on Tumblr from what I've seen...)
Also, I will definitely have a review for A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire up later this week, and if you think this is long... well, phew! You have no idea because my head is happily still spinning in circles from this book!
Last little side note: I will refer to him as Hawke for most of this post. I feel like we've gone through so much with the characters at this point we've earned the right to call him Hawke, right?
After knowing Hawke was really Casteel, I revamped my shipping of Cas/Hawke and Poppy at the very end of From Blood and Ash when Hawke bites her. It was a rocky start to this second launching of the ship. The fact that I needed a second launching is a little concerning in and of itself, but it all worked out. I was really hesitant all of a sudden when Hawke randomly announced that the two of them were going to get married. And of course, that was the end end of the first book and I had to sit on that final scene for half a year before finding out what Hawke was actually planning. Turns out, it's all good. I was able to breathe again and feel confident in this ship when Hawke and Kieran kept evading Poppy's questions about being used as ransom. To me, that was all I needed. Hawke's explanation of how the marriage would lead to Poppy's free will and choice also sealed the deal.
Favorite Canon Moment:
Oh my God there are literally so many amazing scenes in these two books. I'm just going to pick three from each because they each draw out different aspects of the relationship that I love. And clearly the wedding scene takes the cake.
The Walk Back from the Duke's LibraryAfter Hawke finds Poppy reading Lady Willa's Diary and is walking her back to her rooms, I don't just love that there is witty banter between them and teasing about the sexual content of the diary. That was all great, but what really made my heart give a sad smile was when Hawke shares that he was originally just going to ask Poppy if she wanted company. Because, remember, the whole lead up to that scene is that Poppy was in her room bored out of her mind and left through the secret door to go find the book. And no guards, not even Vikter, would ask her if she wanted to pass the time talking with somebody because she was supposed to be isolated from everyone. But Hawke knocked on her door anyway because he was concerned she was lonely. :)
The Blood ForestYes, this is a favorite scene for the obvious reason. BUT, it is also a favorite for me because it's the first chance Poppy really gets to just be Poppy. She's not the Maiden on this trip and she gets to experience traveling as a normal girl would. And Hawke makes sure of that and I love how he would get so protective of her, not just physically, but psychologically protective of that mentality. No one was allowed to address Poppy as the Maiden, and he made sure of that, so then Poppy was able to ride along as Poppy only.
The Hidden Cavern OasisShifting into the second book now, I really liked the time Poppy and Hawke had together in the hidden cavern and pool. They're playing "pretend" because there is still a lot of contention between them about if they are actually emotionally attached to each other or if they are only using each other. To ignore all of that, it's almost like they're role playing who they knew each other as back in the start of book 1. It was lowkey painful to read because at this point, we all knew that they were completely and seriously in love with each other. But neither would outright say it. They couldn't just say it! It was like they were allergic to saying, "I LOVE YOU." ***SIGHS*** But in this scene the let themselves be completely gooey lovey with each other because they're "just pretending," (rolls eyes at them) and it makes the whole thing so sweet.
ONE OF THE MOST SATISFYING MARRIAGES I'VE EVER READ.
I will admit to crying tears of happiness in this moment.
Literally Every Time They're in Battle TogetherOne of the things that I love in this relationship (and any relationship tbh), is how fairly and equally Hawke treats Poppy. I think this is best seen whenever they have to fight. The fights between the two of them are hysterical and adorable, but I'm talking about the battles. When they fight the craven in the woods or the vampyrs outside the town. For example, when at the start of AKOFAF Poppy tries to run away and the craven come up on her and Hawke in the woods, here's what Hawke says (page 48):
Make me feel incompetent and kill more than me, Princess.You gotta love when the couple kills evil zombie creatures together. And even at the end when Spessa's End is under siege, there's a brief moment when it seems like Poppy is going to be sidelined, but she ends up right in the thick of things and kills the Duchess. Hawke's big thing was just to stay near her so they could keep track of each other.
On a rational, empathetic level, I understand Poppy's complexity and reservations with everything surrounding Hawke. However, the irrational shipping part of me wanted to shake her and get her to open her freaking eyes to know that Hawke was legit in love with her. Poppy is so strong and stubborn, but she was also always so quick to back down from the idea that Hawke was genuinely interested in her. It takes such a long time for her to truly open herself up to the idea that their relationship is legitimate, but once she does, I was so profoundly happy for her. For Poppy to have gone through such turmoil in her life and then be on the emotional roller coaster of figuring out Hawke's feelings and her own self-doubt, it was too much. She deserved that peace so much it isn't even funny.
What's great about Poppy in the relationship is that she is completely unbending toward any of Hawke's orders or actions. She wouldn't leave Spessa's End. She questioned his thought process. She just never stopped being herself and letting herself hang onto the idea of individuality and personal freedom. And she's not afraid of Hawke either, which, why would she? But on a more serious note, everyone else is afraid of Hawke on some sort of level. Poppy however was never afraid of him, or anyone else for that matter, and it matches that intensity of Hawke so well.
Somewhat random... I am so envious that the emotional taste of Hawke's love is chocolate-covered strawberries. Take a second to truly imagine that. Poppy gets to taste chocolate-covered strawberries whenever she senses Hawke's love for her. Great taste. Zero calories.
From the first book I have appreciated beyond measure how much support Hawke gives Poppy. Whether it be emotional, physical, or giving her a kick in the butt to motivate her, he is always looking out for her best interests. In AKOFAF, we get to see that support so much more. It's not an obvious trait necessarily, but if you look closely enough at what exactly he's saying and how he's manipulating the group's actions, you can see how he is so careful to make sure Poppy isn't trampled by the new world around her or by her own uncertainties.
Hawke is over the top in his come-ons, which is great, but I don't really think he's over the top in getting what he wants from Poppy-- the real relationship and marriage. You can tell early on that Poppy is the world to him, but he sets up the whole arrangement so that Poppy can back out when she wants to, and that makes it all the better. And it's Poppy that calls off the "pretend" bit of their relationship. He gives her that space and lets her figure out for herself what she wants and he gives her the time to trust his love for her. He never gives up or backs down, but he doesn't barrel over her either.
AKA, one of the top power couples of YA fantasy of all time. The chemistry and emotional bond is off the charts and my soul would be ripped in two if anything would every happen to one of them, but I have to acknowledge the end of AKOFAF. There's no way I could cover this ship and no talk about how much of a power couple they are. First, without the end, Hawke is the next King of Atlantia and Poppy glows silver and can magically heal just about anything. Like, that alone would have been bada**. But then we get the end of AKOFAF, and Poppy is descended from the king of the gods or is his daughter or something (which is yet to be determined) and the Queen hands over her crown because Poppy then is the rightful ruler.
I can't even fully wrap my mind around that. And Hawke is still this amazing Elemental Atlantian with the ability to compel people... friends, I love this ship. I love this ship so much and I really cannot wait to see Poppy and Hawke navigate their new marriage together and continue to support each other they way they do while also wanting to stab each other.
There were so many more moments I could have included in this, like the nightmare scene! And the scene in the mountains! And the way the Duke was killed! Jeez there are so many more things I could talk about!!! That just shows though how much there is to love about Poppyhawke and I am OBSESSED with how they will lead Atlantia and grow in their newlywed relationship.
Below is the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway so you can win a copy of the AMAZING first book and get to see the ship for yourself!!!
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Thanks for reading!
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