CURSED BY FIRE (Immortal Brothers 1) by Jacquelyn Frank-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: February 24, 2015
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.
REVIEW: 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.
Copy supplied by Edelweiss.
Reviewed by Sandy