Cursed by Fire
Blood & Magic, #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Danielle Annett
Date of Publication:
Number of pages: 202
Word Count: 52,830
Cover Artist: Regina Wamba, Mae I Design
It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.
Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.
When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.
Minutes later I was finally relaxing under the warm spray when a loud banging had me jumping out of the enclosure. I swiped one of my daggers from the bathroom counter and made a dead run for the front of the apartment, ignoring the throbbing in my ribs. My adrenaline was pumping as I raced across the carpet floors listening to bodies crash and glass shatter in the room ahead of me.
I skidded to a halt when I found Inarus and James rolling across the floor, the furniture in shambles all around them.
“What the hell is going on?” I shouted over them. When they stopped to look in my direction, the expressions on their faces went from anger to dumbfounded shock. Unsure why they were suddenly staring at me with strange looks on their faces I looked down, realizing I was stark naked and dripping water all over the floors.
In my haste, I’d run out of the bathroom without clothes or even a towel. I gave a shriek before running back into the safety of the hallway. Opening a random door I pulled a large sweatshirt out of what ended up being a small hall closet. Throwing it on, I went back into the living room, chin held high as if I hadn’t just been naked. Ignoring the fact that I was still very wet and very naked beneath Inarus’ oversized hoodie. Thankfully, it came down to my knees.
“Do either of you want to explain what the hell is going on?” I asked, making sure to fill my tone with authority and irritation.
James and Inarus were exactly as I’d left them, locked in one another’s grip on the floor as if they’d been frozen in place. At my comment they released one another, but both their expressions said they weren’t finished.
“Well?” I asked again, tapping my foot.
I have admitted before that I am a sucker for a good cover. Add that to an interesting blurb in one of my favorite genres and I am all over a book. It wasn't until I started putting together this post that I realized the book was self-published. That's right, totally didn't catch it. The editing was that tight. I was in for a bigger shock when I saw on Amazon that the author was none other than a blogger that I follow for their weekly discussion: Coffee Shop Talk.
The story is set in an alternate world. One where shifters, vampires, fae and other creatures of the night decided to come out of hiding. In the six years since that happened, the world has changed. Humans are no longer at the top of the food chain, and many it seems aren't happy about it.
The main character, Aria, is what's called a pysker. Her particular talent is pyrokinesis - think Firestarter, but all grown up. She is a mercenary, working for a small firm when the story opens. She was hired to find a small boy, thought kidnapped from home. When she finds him with his throat slashed, and his small body mauled, Aria wants to hunt down the Rogue that did it to him. When it turns out that the boy was a shifter, fear of war between the Shifters and Vamps becomes a frightening possibility. Even though her father has trained Aria to always hide what and who she is, she finds herself taking a stand and ultimately choosing sides.
Though the book didn't end on a cliffhanger, it did end with a note of suspense and set up some hard questions and situations for the next book - which I really want to read. This was a magnificent start to a world that I can't wait to find out more about. Especially for a rookie author on a first time book.
I saw quite a bit of parallels and influence from the Kate Daniel's world. It's not a copy cat story just set in another city/state. But with the similarities, it made me feel comfortable right away - like visiting a distant relative and finding familial traits to bond over. Ultimately, for me this was a 4 star read.
Thanks to the author and Netgalley for the chance to review the book.