Tuesday, March 31, 2015

{ arc } review || CURSED BY ICE

Cursed by Ice by Jacquelyn Frank
Publisher: Ballantine Books (3/31/2015)
Series: The Immortal Brothers, book 2 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: NetGalley
Purchase links || amazon || add to goodreads


As punishment for plotting with his brothers to steal immortality, Garreth is suffering a freezing torment until the end of time. Again and again, his fierce fighter’s physique is frozen into a chiseled ice sculpture, his heart hardening like a diamond in his chest—only to thaw and resume the chilling torture. Until, like his older brother Dethan, he is offered a reprieve from a goddess—in exchange for his allegiance in a celestial civil war.

Garreth lives to fight and fights to live. But while laying siege to an embattled city, he finds another reason to go on—a beautiful warrior woman named Sarielle, who commands a mythic beast through a mysterious and powerful bond. Terrified of her strength, the city rulers have kept her captive, and now she refuses to submit to a new master. As Garreth seeks to unleash her passion and melt the icy resistance of her heart, will he become her ultimate salvation—or lead them both to greater destruction?

{ review } .
When ICE opens, we learn that not only is Garreth the youngest brother, but he's also the one who didn't want to go on this journey to the fountain. He went along because his older brothers essentially told him to.

We learned in FIRE that Dethan's hell was to burn over and over and over again, and when the goddess released him to put together an army, he would still burn over and over at night. At the very end of FIRE, Garreth's frozen form was sent to Dethan, and that is where chapter one begins. When Garreth is thawed, we next learn that, similar to Dethan, Garreth is to freeze over and over again at night -- the pain of the freezing and thawing continuing on and on through the night.

As with it's predecessor, Jacquelyn explains the different gods, goddesses, and 'worlds' that are part of this series. She does a good job of painting a picture for the reader, as this is a world unlike any other I've read about. Where in FIRE the world was pretty 'normal' and I pictured it in an almost medeival way, I almost saw the city of ICE as an Avatar-ish land. You know, those blue people? Because in ICE, the people we meet are lavender -- the lighter tones signifying the person to be a slave. Who else would our book's hero fall for but for a slave?

Yet Serielle is no ordinary slave -- she controls a beast (dragon?). Yet when it hurts, she hurts; when she bleeds, it bleeds, and so on and so forth.

This series is most definitely different. Not in a bad way -- it just is. To read it, you need to have an open mind and a willing imagination. Jacquelyn paints the scene well for you, you just have to be open to see it and hear it. The language is a bit different, the names are sometimes hard to follow (I always forget which god or goddess goes with what heaven or hell or ailment), but when you're a romance reader and focusing on the romance aspect, all the other stuff is just background noise. 

I liked the parallels this book had with our world -- skin color a determinant in the slave world being the most prominent. 

I love that he calls her Fira -- meaning fire, which he dubs her for her hair.

However, I was saddened by Sarielle's disbelief that he could want her and only her. When Davine starts in with her ways -- the close talking, the slightly taunting ways (at the word of Dethan, nonetheless) -- Sarielle overthinks things. One moment she's positive that what she and Garreth have will last past the season, and the next, she thinks he has someone else. So she leaves him --

And it nearly breaks him.
She was gone. And for her sake he had to let her remain gone. Had to let her go to live as full a life as she could, one that was free of the danger he represented. Yes, that was the best thing to do. The unselfish thing to do.
And yet... he did not think he could bear it. He had never known love for a woman. Not like this. And what stung the most was that he had held his feelings back from her. He had not told her how hopelessly in love with her he had fallen. Had not told her what a magnificent creature she was in his eyes and in his heart. Had not told her that he had never loved anyone the way he loved her, that she was beyond special. That she was rare and beautiful in his eyes. 
I rather enjoyed the romance aspect of Garreth and Sarielle's story. I felt it tugged more at the heart strings than Dethan and Selinda.

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