Review: Branded By Fire by Nalini Singh

A Psy-Changeling Novel (book 5)

Branded By Fire by Nalini Singh, UK edition cover.

Title: Branded By Fire (A Psy-Changeling Novel)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: 14th April 2011.


Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to posses her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problems is that he’s a wolf, and she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped in DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man – before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it could leave them both branded by fire . . .

Rating: *** (3 stars)

This is the sixth book in Nalini Singh’s A Psy-Changeling Novel series, and its plot follows pretty much the same plot arc as set out in the earlier books. So if you’ve read the previous books in the series (which is advisable, as the plots of the series are interwoven) then don’t expect a change in formula.

I finished reading this book a little over a week ago, and I’ve been debating how to write this review ever since. I am a fan and follower of this series, in fact I cannot wait until the next book in the series Blaze of Memory comes out later this month, but I found this book difficult. It follows very much the conventions of the earlier books with the romance of the story interwoven in the dramatic plot – you can’t say Singh doesn’t acknowledge that life goes on around us whilst we fall in love, how ever much we want it to stand still. But for me it lacked something … I just can’t put my finger on what.

One thing I did adore about this book, is that although it followed the conventions of the series in Mercy Singh created a female character who was from the word go, a very passionate and determined one who was not haunted by past events. It was nice to have a female character in this world on center stage who was not … damaged, in some way.

Outside of the romance plot, Singh shows the repercussions of the events in past books as the world slowly changes: as the balance between the psy, changelings, and humans is in flux. There are so many plots and counter-plots in this series and in this book, that I found it difficult to guess who was behind what – and when it was revealed (though not everything) I was surprised. This book left me with as many questions as it did answers. It was a real mystery.

If paranormal romance is your thing, then I recommend this book and this series to you. But before you pick it up, please be aware that there can be a lot of graphic sex on the page.

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