Cursed by Fire is the first book in the Immortal Brothers series by Jacquelyn Frank. It is currently scheduled for release on February 24 2015. Dethan has been facing a punishment by fire for two hundred years, trapped in a fiery inferno for defying the gods and snatching the power of immortality only to heal and suffer the agony again. He has lost all hope, until the Goddess of Conflict appears. She releases him from his shackles as long as he promises to use his power and strength as a warrior to raise an army and defeat a fierce enemy faction of gods. Free with a nightly return to fire and flames Dethan sets out to fulfill his promise. Betrothed to a cruel, calculating powermonger, Selinda needs a champion. Dethan enters into another bargain in order to win a city and slack his desires. If Selinda will share herself 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.
Cursed by Fire is a good start to another powerful series from Frank. As usual, her mythology is strong and unique and her characters are strong despite (or because of) the troubles they face. Bethan’s troubles are fairly obvious, walking into a world and facing it down with nothing after spending two hundred years burning and healing in a seemingly endless cycle makes for a hard day. However, he is smart and cunning, and quickly has the late of the land. Selinda suffers the hardship only women seem to face. Her intelligence is ignored and she is set to marry an abusive and controlling man because it is best for her. Of course, nothing is that cut and dry, but it gives you a good feel for the world. I really liked Dethan, he is smart and powerful in the right way, looking to protect those with less strength or power than himself. A hero always gets extra points for respecting a woman’s mind and will rather than just pushing for her to agree with him. His faith in Selinda, even when she lacks faith in herself, was great. I did think that the wrap up was a little too- ‘oh we have to get this done and set up the next book’ rather than feeling natural. However, it worked with the larger story arc even if it did not wow me.
I would recommend Cursed by Fire to all fans of Frank. I fully admit to loving most of what I have read from Frank, but I seem to lose track of her series. I start offering each on strong, then as the series progress become less proactive in finding the next book. Perhaps I am just too interested in what is coming next to actually complete a series.