For centuries, Dethan has been trapped in a fiery inferno for defying the gods and snatching the power of immortality. Condemned to have his battle-hardened body licked by flames only to regenerate and be consumed all over again, Dethan has lost all hope—until the Goddess of Conflict appears. She will release him from torment—if he’ll use his power and strength as a warrior to raise an army and defeat a fierce enemy faction of gods.
Free to live as a man once again, Dethan meets Selinda—heir to the throne of Hexis—and his thoughts quickly turn from the conquest of cities to the conquest of this headstrong beauty. Betrothed to a cruel, calculating powermonger, Selinda needs a champion, and so Dethan enters into another bargain: If she will share her bed—and her body—with him, Dethan will save her city from destructive forces within and without. As the lovers ignite a searing passion, Dethan will risk all—even the wrath of the Goddess of Conflict—for a chance to make Selinda his forever.
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he heat was unbearable, searing and constant, burning his skin until it crisped. He could smell the aroma of cooking flesh and knew it was himself that he smelled. It was all too familiar, singeing and sinking into his nostrils, a vile stench he would never forget. Would never be allowed to forget. As usual, the metal around his wrists burned first, glowing a hot red . . . as though it could melt away or be smelted along with his flesh. But it never melted away; it held true time and time again. He had torn at his manacles, strained against them. Every time the fire came, he prayed it would melt his hands away first, allowing him to slip free.
But that was not how things worked here. There was never going to be freedom for him. His was an eternal damnation. He had sinned against all the gods and they, who usually warred amongst themselves, had come together to see him punished. That was how deeply he had sinned.
Dethan and his brothers had been chained, entombed in these forsaken caverns, and their immortal lives, the ones they had dared to wrest from the secrets of the gods, were now their curse as they died again and again. Death by fire. Or rather, as near to death as was possible for an immortal. Dethan suffered and singed and crackled to a crisp until his lungs could no longer breathe in the flames, until his marrow boiled within his bones and until his chains held only a desiccated corpse turned mostly to ash.
And then the flames would subside, and slowly, ever so excruciatingly slowly, his body would heal. Flesh would rebuild itself along the lines of his bones, cell by cell, one healing piece of sinew after another. Immortality repairing itself, birthing him new again, making his skin supple and whole, and preparing him to be fresh and healthy, and ready to be burned all over again.
The chains he wore went around his forearms in gauntlets from wrist to elbow, and for good measure a bolt had been shot through them, spearing through the flesh and bone of each forearm from one side to the next, making certain there was no way he could slide free. Not that it was necessary. These were chains forged by gods. If you were dressed in the chains of the gods, there would be no freedom from them until the gods decided to set you free.
He laughed, the sound hollow in the echo of the abated flames. But the flames were growing again; he could hear them with his newly healed eardrums. He had long ago ceased begging the gods for mercy. They had not heard him, although he had screamed it for hours. For days. For decades. For centuries. He no longer knew how much time had passed, and it had ceased being important to him. Nothing was important to him. His lot in this existence was merely to burn and to suffer. Again and again, over and over.
You thought you deserved eternal life. Now see what your ambition has won you. See it. Feel it. Deserve it.
No. No one deserved this. True, his crimes had been brash and arrogant, but they had been crimes of hubris, not unabashed wickedness. He had never been evil incarnate.
But he dared not think that he was blameless for his lot. No. Nor did he dare blame the gods. Oh, he had cursed them. Screamed their names and damned them. Renouncing them one moment and yet pleading to them with utter devotion mere hours later. Such was the nature of torment like this.
But he had not tried to bargain for his release or promised to be the most devout of men should they set him free. No. He knew that freedom would now be wasted on him. His mind was so scorched, so torn, it was nothing but a wasteland.
No. He would simply sit here and burn. He did not even think of his brothers any longer. How often he had wished he could turn back time, wished that he had heeded Garreth, who had tried one last time to recall them from the task they had set for themselves. But by then they had almost reached the mountain’s pinnacle. By then they had already fought and killed two manticores, vile powerful creatures with the head of a Sholet lion, the torso of a man, and a powerful cat below the waist. Its tail was that of a Bytwyte scorpion. Its massive arms were capable of great strength, and each of its wings was tipped with savage talons meant to rip the flesh from a man.
But more alarming than the frightful creatures Dethan and his brothers had faced was that they had almost frozen to death, exposed on the face of Mount Airidare. Garreth had been dying at their feet from the crippling cold, and the only way to save him had been to continue onward in hopes of finding their prize.
At the heart of it all had been nothing but selfish desire for the power of immortality. As warriors, they had faced death every day and without fear, but what they had wanted was the glory of being invincible. Like the demigods, the gods’ own children, or the special heroes that had been awarded immortality as a prized gift for their service to the gods.
They had first tried to obtain the gift through their deeds—winning battles and waging war, overtaking heathen lands and building monuments to the gods, teaching their ways to the untaught. They had converted land after land into the lands of the shield goddess or the god of peace and tranquility. But the gods had been unimpressed and had offered no reward for their service.
And now he knew why. He knew it was because they had never really done any of it in the name of the gods. They had done it for their own ends and no other reason, and the gods had seen through them.
The four brothers had grown tired of waiting for the gods to get around to rewarding their so-called faithful servants and instead had researched a tale, told to them all through their lives growing up, about the hero Gynnis, who had climbed a great mountain and had found atop it a fountain of gold and gems, and within that fountain had been the waters of immortality. One sip of these waters and they would be gifted with youth, health, and life everlasting. The waters would heal all wounds, new and old, they would erase the hardest years from face and form, and again . . . bestow life everlasting.
And through much work, much research, much capturing of holy scrolls from holy cities, Jaykun had finally concluded that the fountain was on Mount Airidare. It could not be anywhere else, for all other mountains had reportedly been conquered by other men and there had never been tales of success of finding the fountain. No mortal other than Gynnis had ever gained immortality by drinking its waters. So by process of elimination and by the use of many signs and landmarks in those holy scrolls, they had known it would be there.
After days of deadly progress, days when they could have and should have failed dozens of times, they had seen the pinnacle and there, running free and gleaming of gold and gemstones, had sat a fountain where water should’ve been frozen solid, but was not. They had been in the thinnest air the world had to offer—that was how far up near the field of heaven they had climbed. They could barely breathe, it was so thin.
But laying eyes on that fountain had been like a bolt of pure oxygen and exhilarating, revitalizing energy. Just from the sight of it.
And still Garreth had tried to stay them. Upon seeing it, he had hesitated and asked them to rethink this, had claimed a sense of foreboding. But they had ignored him and had pressed on, and in the end all four of them, even Garreth, had drunk deeply of the fountain’s waters.
It had truly been the most miraculous thing Dethan had ever known. His battle-scarred and weather-frozen body had healed before his very eyes. Frostbite that had claimed at least three of his fingers had reversed itself, revealing warm, pink flesh once more. Old battle wounds, like the one that had nearly dismembered his left leg from the rest of his body, had healed, the tightness and pain he had dealt with every day since evaporating with alacrity. The scar had disappeared from beneath his many layers of clothing. He had not needed to see it because he had felt it. And in the reflective surface of the fountain’s waters he had seen the years melt away from his face, until he looked as he had looked fifteen summers past, a younger man in the prime of his life, no more than thirty, no less than twenty-five, from what he could see. Garreth, previously near death, had sprung to his feet, laughing and full of life once more.
And then . . . then the gods had come. With a mighty storm of fury, clouds full of lightning and thunder, snow driving them down to the ground, the ground itself hauling and shuddering with rage. Oh yes, they had come.
You dare steal this reward when you have not deserved it in our eyes? You dare to do so without permission, without honor? You will pay for your folly, foolish, arrogant worms. You will pay for your immortality with blood and bone and flesh. We cannot take this gift back, but we can see to it you wish you had never dared to think you could push the hands of the gods to your will and your liking.
Then Dethan had been thrown down from that mountain and into the deepest chamber in the eight hells and had been left there to burn. He did not know what had become of his brothers, Garreth, Jaykun, and Maxum. He could only assume they had been thrown into similar caverns and were suffering similar fates. He had been alone ever since, day after day, with nothing to keep his interest and nothing but the fire for company.
So Dethan was not prepared when, just as the fires were about to roar to life once more, the softest waterfall of sparkling light appeared before his eyes. It started small, with just a falling dot of light, then two, then twenty, then hundreds. The sparkling bits of light began to form into the shape of a woman. Then, in a flash, a woman of dark hair and blinding beauty was standing before him.
He blinked hard several times, trying to rid himself of the vision. It would not be the first time he had hallucinated under the stress of his torment. But there she stayed and there she stood, wearing a dress so glittering and beautiful it refracted the firelight like diamonds might do. Or perhaps kitomite, which was harder and more brilliant than diamonds. Yes, that was it. The dress, he realized, was a suit of chain-mail armor, fitting her form with perfection and looking as stunning and impervious as it must be if made from kitomite.
That was when he knew it was Weysa, the goddess of conflict. The shield goddess. He had erected statues of her above her altars, where spoils of war were frequently laid in homage to her when an army or fighter was victorious. He had prayed to her before every battle and he had seen her fury when he had drunk from the forbidden waters and subsequently banished him to this place in the eight hells, so it was no wonder that he recognized her once he had seen past the blinding brilliance of that armor. He shuffled about on his hands and knees, rolling himself into obeisance, his forehead touching the scalding hot rock, his palms doing the same, his flesh searing against the stone like a cut of fresh junjun beast being seared in a pan.
She regarded him in silence, and as she did so, the fires remained completely abated for the first time since he had come there. He was grateful for the reprieve, no matter what the reason, no matter what further curses she might rain down upon his head.
“Low beast,” she said after long moments.
“The lowest,” he agreed with her, fearful that she might grow angry with him for speaking aloud to her.
“What have you learned here, in your time spent?”
He did not know how to answer her. He did not know what she wanted to hear. So he fumbled for the most honest of answers he could come to. “Never to cross the mighty gods, for their will is the only will.”
“Do you beg for mercy?”
“No, mistress,” he said, “For your will shall be done, and there is nothing I can do to change it.”
“Good, because we have been merciful thus far. Your fate could have been much worse, but we took into account all that you have done in our name.”
Merciful? This torment had been the gods’ idea of mercy? Dethan felt a wash of rage overcoming him, and he struggled to fight it back. What if she could divine his thoughts? He would anger her and then she would show him what it meant for a god to be unmerciful.
“So,” Weysa said, “your time here has not cowed you completely.”
Dread filled him. Surely she would become angry with him now. What would she do with him?
“Good,” she said then, surprising him. “I need a true warrior. A man loyal to me who will fight in my name.”
She wanted him to fight for her? Yes. He would fight for her. Anything. Anything to be free of this hell.
“Fortune has told me that you are my one true hope in this matter. And so you will be. Rise.”
He did so, leaving strips of his flesh behind, burned to the floor, all the while keeping his eyes cast downward. Partly to honor her, partly because her armor was too brilliant for his eyes to bear.
“I have grown weak,” she said, again surprising him. “Things have changed greatly since the times when you fought for me. My strength lies in those who worship me, and so many have fallen by the wayside, worshipping false gods instead or . . . following my enemies and giving them the strength I need. You see, the gods have split into two factions, low beast. We war. We war violently. But we cannot win or find advantage unless we have devotion to us. I need you to find me that devotion, to win over those who do not believe and those who would choose my enemies over me.”
Dethan remained silent as she relayed this, but all the while his mind was racing. A war between the gods? This did not surprise him. They had always been a contentious lot. But things must have grown desperate if she was coming to him for help.
“I will give you these gifts and you will not squander them or you will pay dearly for it,” she said. And suddenly a suit of plated armor appeared at his feet. It seemed to be made of hedonite, a black, shining stone known for its lightness of weight. It was far too fragile to be of use in armor.
“Do not let the look of it deceive you, for this is god-made armor, forged by my own hands and imbued with my strength. It will protect you against any weapon. It will make you invulnerable. Invulnerability coupled with immortality will make you nigh invincible. But be warned: You can die if your head leaves your shoulders by way of a god-made weapon, and my enemies will make gifts of such weapons to stop your progress. Do you understand?”
“Yes, mistress,” he said.
“Good. Then there is this.” A sword also appeared at his feet. It too seemed to be made of the black hedonite. “This is a mighty weapon. In your hands, be your intentions true and just, it will cut down your foes, of which there will be many. It can pierce god-made armor, no matter how strongly imbued. This was forged with the strength of six gods. All of our faction together.”
“Mistress, may I ask which six gods?” he asked, knowing there were twelve gods in all and this meant they were split exactly down the middle.
“Our faction consists of Hella, the goddess of fate and fortune; Meru, the goddess of hearth, home, and harvest; her brother Mordu, the god of hope, love, and dreams; Lothas, the god of day and night; and last is Framun, the god of peace and tranquility.”
“So you war with Xaxis, the god of the eight hells; Grimu, the god of the eight heavens; Diathus, the goddess of the lands and oceans; Kitari, the goddess of life and death; Jikaro, the god of anger, deception, and storms; and Sabo, the god of pain and suffering.” He swallowed. That Kitari had sided with five of the darkest gods did not ring true to him; she was the queen of all the gods and demanded much respect.
“Your thoughts do you justice, low beast. Kitari has been swayed by these other gods. I believe she is held hostage more than she has sided with them. They together have the power to subdue her in spite of her great powers. And that is part of your goal. You will be gaining worshippers for me and the other gods who side with me. By doing this I believe I will be able to rescue Kitari from their influence. Such a coup would no doubt turn the tide of this war. And there is something else . . .”
“Yes, my mistress,” he encouraged her. His mind was racing. If she was rescuing him from this fate worse than death, then things were as dire as they appeared. He would fight for her, as he had done in the past. This in spite of the rage he felt toward all the gods for the suffering they had subjected him to. Especially if it meant freedom from this torment. It was the only choice, really, because there was nothing he could do in the face of their power. But perhaps . . . perhaps he could convince her . . .
No. He would not try to manipulate his goddess. That was a slippery slope and he would not risk angering her. But he would ask . . . he would beg . . .
“There is a great weapon that can be used against Xaxis’s faction.”
So it was Xaxis leading the faction, Dethan thought. That figured. Xaxis had been trying to wrest power from the other gods for time immemorial.
“This weapon is surrounded by a great city, a city that guards the mouth of the eight hells.”
“Olan?” he asked.
“Olan,” she agreed. “I need you to conquer this city and to wrest control of this weapon.”
Suddenly she looked over her shoulder, as if she heard someone coming. She turned to him quickly. “This is Xaxis’s territory and he is beginning to sense that I am here. I must leave before I am captured by him. But you are freed. I will take you above the hells and you must begin your work. But be warned: You do not go freely. You are cursed ever after, to make you remember where you have come from and where you will return should you fail me. Every night, at dusk, you will conflagrate and burn until the juquil’s hour. If you perform well for me, I will consider lifting the curse. Do you understand?”
Dethan’s fists clenched in anger, but he controlled the emotion with an iron will. So he would be made to suffer this same hell again and again, even while he worked for her honor and ends. But the rest of the time . . . the rest of the time he would live in reprieve, and that was far better than what he suffered now.
“Yes, mistress, I understand. But . . . if your humble servant might ask . . . my brothers are great warriors. If you were to rescue them from this torment as well, they too could fight for your faction.”
“Your brothers, unlike you, are not here in the hells. However, like you, they are made to suffer in the territories ruled by the other faction. I have risked all coming here and cannot do so again. The only reason I was able to come at all is because the others have distracted Xaxis in order to free me to do this. Your brother Garreth is chained to the very mountain where you found the fountain, freezing solid again and again. The territory is controlled by Diathus. Jaykun is chained to a star and, like you, burns again and again. This is Grimu’s territory and I have no access to the heavens. Maxum . . . I do not know where Maxum is. He was given to Sabo to be dealt with and Sabo never shared with us the punishment he meted out.” She looked over her shoulder again and this time Dethan saw true anxiety on her features. “I must go now. Fight, warrior, as you have never fought before. Find an army. Fight to take my name to the people. Fight until the day I deem your worth restored. And never forget who has set you free and who can set you down again.”
“No, mistress. Never.”
“The fires will see to that. Remember, dusk every day. It will do you well to make sure no others are nearby when this happens or they will be consumed by the flames as well. Now, we are off.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have several of Frank's other series on my shelves unread (just haven't had the time to read them yet) but as this was the first in a new series, I thought I'd give it a shot even though I'm more of a vampire/shifter book reader. I've never been particularly drawn to the Gods/Goddesses books. Mainly because they don't seem to have a set of rules you can depend on. In a vampire/shifter book if you're dead, you generally stay dead or at least a vampire or shifter. When Gods and Goddesses are thrown into the mix, everything can change at their whim, so just not as fond of these worlds. That said, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I did enjoy the story-line and the world building. I enjoyed the banter between Dethan and Selinda and loved that the story was told from Dethan's POV. There's not a lot of paranormal romance told from the guy's POV and I loved it. Probably the only thing I didn't like was Selinda's lack of backbone. I like a feisty heroine and fortunately Selinda found hers before it was too late. I loved the flow and pace of the book. I started it in the afternoon and read straight through to the end. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the books in this series and will dig out her Nightwalker series as I know I'll love it based on how well I enjoyed the world of mythology that I normally avoid.
First let us start with the story/plot. A group of brothers decided they would like to become immortal. O.K. Why not? So off they go in search of an immortal fountain of youth, so to speak. At last they succeed and drink freely from the immortality stream. Well, this angers the Gods and each brother is cursed. Dethan is cursed to burn for eternity. He is chained in hell and burned daily by hellfire, only to be allowed to heal just in time to start the process all over again. You know…burn, rinse, repeat. Well as Gods are known to do, they begin to quibble and war amongst themselves. Dethan is tasked with conquering cities in the name of a particular deity in order to give her more power. This is where he meets Selinda. Selinda the grandina a.k.a. Selinda the doormat. Selinda is promised in marriage to a cruel man. Her father doesn’t listen to her pleas and doesn’t believe the truth about her bethrothed. I love using that word. There are just not enough opportunities to use the word bethrothed. Anyway…..Dethan and Selinda strike a bargin. Dethan gets rid of the big meanie and Selinda will marry him and give him her territory. I think the part that bothered me is Selinda. She is just so weak. She is relying on everyone else to fix her problems. While I do not advocate violence, I’m sure a well placed blunt object would have cured all that ailed her. But no. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if she had a bit of a spine. One thing I did enjoy was the writing style. Each pov melded easily into the next one. I really like how seamless the transition was between Dethan and Selinda’s pov. Her writing style and word usage was very nice and quite enjoyable. Overall, I’m giving the book three stars. I didn’t hate it, but it will not be one of my favorites. I may try the next book in the series just because I enjoyed her writing style and the different story line. I just hope the next heroine has a backbone.
Not Frank's best work but there is a new world. I have to first apologize to all of Jacquelyn Frank's fans, fanatics, and follower for the two star rating I gave this reading. I am huge fan of her works, especially the Nightwalkers series, but here I have to say I do not get it. First off let me say, this book reminded me a lot of Gena Showalter The Darkest Night from the Lords of the Underworld series. Both of our heroes are cursed to experience a nightly torture one by fire (Dethan) and the other (Showalter's hero) by excruciating pain. Both because of the arrogance they demonstrated before the gods thinking they knew better. Dethan for defying the gods and snatching the power of immortality and Showalter's hero for thinking the gods were wrong to chose a woman over a man to do the job. For me that is where things ended. I was not compelled to invest in either Dethan or Selinda. I did not feel a connection to either hero or heroine. I could not even connect to the world that she so expertly built to go with this new series. I felt some flicker of hope as I got closer to the end of the read. There was something there that made me want to get to the next brother, his story, and his heroine. I would recommend this read to all Jacquelyn Frank's fans, fanatics, and follower for the simple reasoning that she is an amazing writer. An okay read to one reader may be the best read to another. This read has in no way dampened my views to pick up another one of her works. I will continue to read what she offer no matter the outcome. I can always find a connection in there somewhere. Who is to say that book 2 of the 'Immortal Brothers' series will not just blow the socks off my feet?
Great new Series by Ms Frank- Exotic yet Hot, Entertaining. Cant wait for Book Two!, ***A gifted copy was provided by Net Galley for an honest review*** Hexis is a large city ruled not by the royal family, but a powerful enemy to the crown, the people and Dethan. Selinda is the Grandina of Hexis and is a loyal and sweet daughter, one who doesn’t like to see bad in anyone, especially her father. She does suffer- suffer horrible Mental and physical abuse from a murderer, yet she maintains an inner strength and concern for the welfare of her people. She tries to protect them from Grannish but she does it for her people. Dethan has been trapped in a fiery inferno for centuries for defying the gods in a quest for immortality. For this severe infraction, Dethan was condemned to have his body engulfed by flames only to regenerate and have the process start all over again. The Goddess of Conflict offers him a get out of jail free offer-she’ll release him - only if he’ll raise an army and defeat the faction of gods that has turned against her. Selinda & Dethan finally meet- the chemistry between them is thru the roof- and panty melting. Dethan comes booming into her life and offers her a bargain: if she’ll share her bed with him, he will save her city. The chemistry between these two is HOT and Dethan is willing to risk everything in order to be with Selinda. I kept waiting for my kindle to melt. That is how hot it was. I will say at first the book was a bit slow. I was hoping the book would speed up and get to the good part and when it did, WOW. Boy, did it get hot and good!! I cant wait for book two to come out and to get to know more about Dethan’s brothers. My rating: 4.25 stars ****
So I got the privilege to read the first book in Jacquelyn Frank’s Immortal Brothers series Cursed by Fire. Now I’m a huge JF fan so I devoured this book as soon as I could. Let me tell you this book did not disappoint. But not in the way you may think. You may look at the cover and think that this book is about sex. Guess what it is not. Now don’t get me wrong there is sex in it, but thankfully JF knows how to use it to add to the story rather than just throwing it in on every other chapter like some authors are known to do. In Cursed by Fire Jacquelyn Frank catches and holds the reader’s attention with well a well written story line and characters that have their own identity. The premise for this series is four brothers who feel that they have fought for and conquered cities in the name of their gods and having grown tired of waiting for the gods to reward them went to seek and capture immortality for themselves. So you see where this is going right. The gods were enraged to know that the brothers had stolen immortality. Cursed by Fire is the story of the eldest brother Dethan who was punished if his own immortality by being burned alive continually. He is given a reprieve, when the gods begin warring among themselves; to conquer more cities in the god Weysa’s name, to gain more people would be devoted to her. If you didn’t know that is where a god obtains their power, from the devotion and belief of their followers. The portion of the book that hooked me from the beginning is when the Goddess Weysa comes to recruit Dethan. Dethan has been chained to the floor by his arms and legs in one of the Seven Hells to have the flesh burned from his body repeatedly. The Goddess Weysa arrives: “Do you beg for mercy?” “No mistress,” he said, “For your will shall be done, and there is nothing I can do to change it.” “Good, because we have been merciful thus far. Your fate could have been much worse, but we took into account all that you have done in our name.” Merciful? This torment had been the gods’ idea of mercy? Dethan felt a wash of rage overcoming him, and he struggled to fight it back. What if she could divine his thoughts? He would anger her then she would show him what it meant for a god to be unmerciful. “So,” Weysa said, “your time here has not cowed you completely.” Dread filled him. Surely she would become angry with him now. What would she do with him? “Good,” she said then surprising him. That sets the mood for the entire book. Even though he was punished for his hubris, his loyalty was remembered and most of all his prowess as a warrior. This book gives you more than just a city that needs to conquered from the inside and out. It is the story of a city that is set on saving its self with the help of a warrior sent by the gods. This is not the story of the helpless princess who depends on a man to save the day. This is the story of inner power and strength and fate that bring two people together to save a nation. ***Reviewed courtesy Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine through NetGalley for an honest review***
My Thoughts - 3.5 out of 5 Unicorns - I more than liked it!!! ***Received a copy of the ebook for an honest review via Netgalley The cover is okay and steamy, but nothing that grabs my attention. I think I like the cover on the UK site better with the flames, but that’s just me :) Okay when I first started this book, I was lost and afraid this book was going to be one I didn’t much like. I was wrong, and this happens to me sometimes with new worlds and authors I’m not used to…heck sometimes with authors I love. I think I just love when there is a tons of stuff happening or going on, and you can’t always have that when you are building a new world or there will be disconnects. Jacquelyn creates a unique world that I have not read before, and I liked it :) I picked this book because my mom and grandma love her work, and I knew it was a new series so I wouldn’t start behind the 8 ball so to speak :) She adds in flairs with her speaking in the dialects of the world she is creating though it does take a bit to get used to it. I was hooked about 30 percent into the book. I think a lot of people will stop reading a book because it doesn’t grab them from the start, and I think this is a mistake especially in a brand new series :) I think the last 20 percent was the best, and I didn’t want to put it down. If you want a perfect world where there isn’t any issues, probably not the story for you. The heroine and city is like an animal that has been abused for a long time while some would give up, love, kindness, and direction sees them getting stronger and stronger. She had to be cultivated throughout the story into the woman she becomes, and her I liked a lot :) Dethan is rough warrior with a long past, but he is definitely not cruel and made this story what it was. I totally enjoyed the journey, and I think this story will get better especially if the characters that have been built in this story are still part of the next book :) I recommend this story to readers who like mythological type stories with a historical feel. This was an unusual read for me, but I definitely want to read the next book to see if the world grows and the connection with the world and its characters grow as well.
3 - "I'm not sure if you are my salvation or my destruction." Stars. Jacquelyn Frank as an author is new to me, I have seen her books, but never until now actually read one. The Synopsis of book one in the Immortal Brothers series grabbed me when I read it, so I thought i would give Cursed by Fire a go. As a first read, I will be honest it has given me cause to pause. There were parts that made up this book that I really, really liked. For one, the author has an amazingly descriptive narrative. Even though we are taken to a different time and place where Gods, Goddesses and Warriors still roam, it was not a struggle to imagine the places described or picture the people inhabiting them. I also found this writing style particularly bewitching when being told in Dethan's POV, this guy has suffered, is still suffering, and because of it you would think that all trace of humanity would have been literally burnt out of the guy, but given the chance of redemption and release from the Curse that holds him, by the Goddess of Conflict, he is battle ready and raring to go after being left to repent in the most abhorrent of ways for more time than can be imagined. The ebb and flow of the story progresses well, once the scene has been set and the players introduced everything moves along at a fair old pace, with a little bit of everything to tempt the reader. "Your taste tempts me and I will have the whole of it." What lowered the star rating for me as the book progressed was the culmination of three things, The King (or Grand), his daughter; Selinda, the Grandina of Hexis and her evil husband-to-be, Grannish. It was all a bit weak and comical in all honesty. A king who is to blind to see what is in front of his face, a woman who defers to a spineless bully, unless a stronger man is around to stand up to him. Every time Grannish was mentioned, and from the descriptions that were given, the only image that kept springing to mind was a certain animated Lord, who thought size, or his lack of it, is what really matters! I enjoyed Dethan's tale enough to want to read Garreth's, the next book in the series Cursed by Ice, due March 2015. I am hoping that it is more of a case of the characters not being to my liking on this occasion, as the writing was top notch. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.
Dethan is the oldest of four brothers. He is a great warrior and has conquered many cities in his life. He and his brothers go through an arduous journey to find a fountain that will give them immortality. They do find the fountain and become immortal, but the Gods feel that they don't deserve it so each brother is cursed in his own way. Dethan is cursed by fire. He gets burned to ash all the time but because of the immortality, he comes back to life. A goddess comes to him and offers him freedom, with the exception of certain hours of the night when his curse will still happen. In exchange, he has has to conquer cities and get them to worship the goddess. In one of the cities, Dethan meets Selinda, who is engaged to a ruthless, devious man. She turns to Dethan for help. Dethan goes on a mission to defeat a rival tribe and to save Selinda from her fiance.Dethan is a very centered, intelligent and strategic man. His goals have always been to conquer cities, but Selinda has given him a chance to love for the first time in his long life. His skills allow him to be able to succeed at his mission and be with the only woman he has ever loved. Selinda is a very loyal, strong and likable character. Both characters were well written for each other. The book flowed so well that I didn't put it down until I was finished.
Like all the novels I've read by Frank she has held my interest and kept me page turning deep into the night. Great new series.
I LOVED this book. I'm new to Jacquelyn Frank. I was not disappointed. This book had everything: gods & goddesses, immortality, love and steamy sex scenes. My favorite part of this book was the slow ride to acknowledge love between the characters despite their obvious attraction to one another. Once love was acknowledged, everything worked out. Dethan's journey to salvation keeps you turning the page. I cannot wait to read the next one in this series.
Really enjoyed this book.
This was a pretty complex read. It was a little slow at times, but riveting none the less; and while most of the book had slow moments, the ending felt almost rushed. I spent a lot of time sad for the couple due to their circumstances, but things work out which made me happy. I liked the characters. The villain was perfectly hateable, the few secondary characters we saw were great, Dethan was cunning, and while Selinda was a bit of a doormat sometimes she was also quite strong. Overall it was a very interesting world with great mythology. Cursed by Fire is an intriguing start to a new series that combines the feel of the fantasy and historical genres.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 *Complimentary ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I love the Nightwalker series and Drink of Me by Ms. Frank, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to request this title since the blurb caught my attention, and it was the first in a new series. It took a few chapters to get into the story, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Because of the hero. Firstly, I can't remember a villain I've loathed more than Grannish! What's not to love about a fierce warrior forced to endure sheer torture night after night, offered the chance at redemption, and who finds something he never knew he wanted or needed? So many things about Dethan surprised me. He was bluntly honest with Selinda at all times. It was refreshing and quite endearing. As a virgin heiress to the throne, she already had little trust in the people around her, and that honesty helped her open up to Dethan, and it kept them on equal footing. Neither she nor I had to wonder where she stood. I especially loved him during the stolen moments in private with Selinda. The initial attraction was swift and thorough, however everything he'd endured during his punishment had left him almost unable to feel or recognize arousal, lust, or even love. He was honorable towards her but wasn't adverse to coaxing her out of her shell or other things. The other thing I loved about him was his handling of Grannish and seeing his past experiences as a warlord aid him with this new foe. Selinda was feisty and spoke her mind whenever she could. That was in part due to her station but also her only means of venting her frustration and angst. I liked that she could stand up for herself if necessary, however most of the time it was fruitless because of her achilles heel, her father and youngest brother. She wavered a lot between bouts of bravery and absolute foolishness that I didn't really understand why she kept provoking her vile fiancé only for him to threaten her and she'd cower again and again. She was more than she seemed, although we never found out how that came to be, exactly. The romance was a very slow burn - quiet words and promises, a gentle but heated touches and stolen kisses. They didn't come together until the 70% mark, but it was well worth the wait. The romance certainly wasn't the main focus, but it felt believable that they waited as long as they did. Dethan never made grand gestures or proclamations of love for he felt that he couldn't. He felt he had no choice but to be loyal to his goddess. It may have made him seem unfeeling, but I understood his reasons even if he felt torn. The ending wasn't what I had been expecting, but it was perfect for them.
3.5 stars-- Lacking something--CURSED BY FIRE is the first installment in Jacquelyn Frank’s adult, Immortal Brothers fantasy series focusing on four brothers who defied the gods and goddesses in the search for immortality. This is eldest brother Dethan, and heir to the throne of Hexis-Selinda’s storyline. Two hundred years earlier, Dethan and his three brothers went in search of the mythological waters that, if drunk, would imbue immortality. The gods were angered, and cursed the four brothers to suffer for all eternity for stealing from the gods. Dethan, the eldest, was sentenced to burn in hellfire over and over. When Weysa, the goddess of conflict, demands obedience from the former warlord Dethan, he is commanded to rise up an army and defeat an enemy of the gods. If he fails, he will be set afire, once again, for all eternity. Dethan is a man who is very sure of himself, his abilities and his power; he is determined to free himself of the endless nightmare that has become his life. The storyline follows Dethan as he enters the city of Hexis, a mortal city, where the scarred but beautiful Selinda catches his eye. As the heir to the throne, Selinda has been promised to an abusive man who hides his true intent from the current ruler; he has set his sights on the crown. With the city on the cusp of war, Dethan offers up his experience as a general in return for Selinda’s hand in marriage and a vast amount of gold. What ensues is a city’s preparations for war, and Selinda’s relationship with Dethan threatening her family and any future happiness when the man to whom she was promised is determined to destroy everyone who stands in his way. The storyline and thusly the relationship between our leading couple is slow to build. Their attraction to one another is immediate but the connection lacked any excitement or palpable energy. The early promise of sexual allure and enchantment never quite reached a breathtaking level. There is a vast amount of detail imparted to the reader as the author puts her own spin on the world of mythological gods and goddesses, fantastical names, retribution and magic. There is no specific connection (that I am able to discern) to any real or historical lore and folk tales; the series is an imagined fantasy world by Jacquelyn Frank. The secondary and supporting players are a mix of peons, slaves, soldiers and sometimes over the top characterizations of evil. Our heroine Selinda is a woman weakened by the knowledge that her father is but a puppet to his number one man; her self-esteem is low; and her self image reflects the emotional and verbal attack against her character. There are moments of physical, emotional and verbal abuse directed at both Selinda and her father, yet neither one breaks character to stop what is happening. Jacquelyn Frank’s introduction to the Immortal Brothers series is well written with descriptive narration and colorful text yet some detail and information seems to be lacking about the world of which we have entered. Frank’s mythological gods and goddesses are an evil culmination of powerful beings that demand obedience and worship. There are moments of betrayal, revenge, hope and love combined with an impending war on the horizon. Dethan must prove himself worthy lest he suffer eternal damnation burning in Hell.
One of the best things about a new series from an author you follow is when she takes that creative turn off her well-traveled path while not going so far as to make her signature style get lost! Jacquelyn Frank’s latest is Cursed by Fire, the tale of one, once mighty warrior who sought one of the secrets of the gods, along with his brothers. The quest for immortality cost them each dearly. Dethan was doomed to an eternal fiery hell, the heat and flames searing him raw, only to heal and have the process start all over. There is trouble among the gods, they have split into two factions and war is imminent. When the Goddess of Conflict offers Dethan a pardon and a return to living as a man for creating a vast army to defeat the rival gods, Dethan never expected to meet Selinda. Will his need to protect her from the evil that threatens her cause him to fail on his vow to the gods? Will he find love for the first time only to lose it? Can Selinda accept him for who he is, or will he be just another warrior vowing to protect her for his own gain? Jacquelyn Frank brings fantasy to life, adds grit to the conflict and completely engages the hearts of all who love the world of gods, myths, magic and love. She has created Dethan as a powerful warrior who has suffered for his hubris, now broken and unsure of what to make of himself as he has finally found something better than immortality, Selinda and love. Full of vivid scene descriptions that feel so real, you may find yourself feeling the infernos, seeing the world that Dethan and Selinda live in. Even the smells will enter your mind! As each layer unfolded and each subplot was uncovered, there was no putting this down. And trust me, the sizzle wasn’t just from the fires of hell, Dethan and Selinda created their own version of a molten lava meltdown. Read it! I promise you, Ms. Frank does not miss on her delivery!
This book was a bit different than some of her other books. I am glad it reads just as good! First I will say this is not a book for younger readers. It is graphic in both fighting and sex. This story is the first in the series of four brothers. DeThan tried to warn his brothers not to try the Gods by drinking their personal water to become immortal. They get caught, cursed and separated to their own personal HELL. DeThan was cursed to be burned by Fire and then do it all over again. He is saved by Weysa who needs him to fight for her. He meets Selinda, the daughter of the city's Grand, their version of King. Of course there is the non-caring father, the jealous right hand to the Grand, Grannish or where else would the story be. There are a lot of twists, turns and spoilers throughout this whole story. Jacquelyn has a great story line and she did a grand, pun intended, job developing her people. I hope you decide to choose this book to read. Remember there are 3 more!