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Monday, June 30, 2014

Fireborn by Keri Arthur

I've been a big fan of Keri Arthur's for quite some time. She's a wonderfully talented writer who consistently delivers engaging stories, strong characters, steamy sex scenes, and interesting worlds. In FIREBORN, the first book in her new Souls of Fire series, we're back in Melbourne, in a world where vampires and werewolves are out but other supernaturals, including phoenixes like Emberly, our heroine, are still hiding from humans. I was so excited to see Arthur develop a series around a phoenix since we so rarely see them in stories, let alone as main characters in a series, and it makes FIREBORN a really fresh, exciting book.

In the Souls of Fire mythology, phoenixes have been cursed to never find happiness in love. They have a bonded partner that they spend all of their lives with (phoenixes get reborn every 100 years) but they can never be in love with their mate; instead, they seek love with humans or other beings, but are destined to never have a happy relationship. It's a terrible fate and you can see how it would wear someone down. But Emberly and her mate Rory stay strong, supporting each other and taking turns leading the more dangerous life; if one half of a a phoenix pair dies before their allotted 100-year span is over, the rebirth is painful and can only happen if their partner is still around. I particularly liked this aspect of Arthur's mythology because it creates a true sense of danger for Emberly and Rory, in a way that wouldn't have happened if the phoenixes could be just fine after each death.

Emberly is a very typical Arthur heroine: she's confident in all of the professional and sexual aspects of her life, though she does have a muddy romantic life. Like Riley and Risa before her, Emberly has multiple potential/current/previous lovers: Rory; Jackson Miller, a fire Fae; and her ex, Sam, who's presented as human but is probably something more. I have my suspicious about where Arthur will go with Sam but we'll see what happens -- Arthur has a way of surprising me even when I'm looking for it!

The overarching plot is an investigation into the death of Emberly's boss, which is being led by Sam and his team. There are mysterious vampire-like red cloaks who are after Emberly's boss' research, which means the Emberly is forced into the investigation even though she's supposed to be laying low this rebirth. We don't get a lot of resolution about the red cloaks since this is the setup for a mystery that will likely span several novels, if not the entire series, but we do get a nice bit of information about their origins and potential goals. They're still a creepy hive-mind baddie without really clear motivations but there's enough of a tease in FIREBORN to have me completely intrigued.

If you're looking to start a new urban fantasy series with a compelling plot, fully realised characters, steamy romance, and standout worldbuilding, look no further than FIREBORN. Keri Arthur has kicked off what's sure to be yet another amazing series and you won't be sorry you've given it a shot!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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4 People left their mark' :

  1. I've never read any of Arthur's books but this does sound good. Plus, I like that it's a new series. I hate coming onto a series after it's full swing into things because there tends to be so much hype and I wind up being the odd man left out. I will have to add this one to my list.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

  2. I'm also new to Arthur, and this is not necessarily something I would pick up, but the interesting twist on phoenixes and mates sounds really neat. I'll add it to my tbr list :).

  3. Can't wait to see what you think of it. :)