Title: Sealed by Fire
Author: A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder
Publisher: Loose Id
Pages/Word Count: 269 Pages
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Blurb: Vanya is a sorcerer’s apprentice who finally achieves his goal, initiation as a sorcerer – only to find that he, himself, is the intended sacrifice in their ritual. When the ritual goes wrong, his master flees and he is left with the creature that his master summons.
Stranded on this side of the portal, Nash is a powerful being with only one desire – find the sorcerer who stranded him and wreak his revenge. Vanya agrees to help, and in the process, he and Nash find more than they ever bargained for: love, friendship, and belonging.
Can they protect themselves against the sorcerer’s growing power, or will he destroy all that they hold dear?
Review: Sealed by Fire is the first in a new series from authors A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder. While this is a M/M paranormal romance it reads like an urban fantasy story, so there is a fair amount of world building, character set up, and as much story as there is romance.
Vanya’s day doesn’t start out on the best circumstances. His master, King, tries to sacrifice him to bring Ignatius into this realm. Ignatius is able to come through the veil and attacks King, saving Vanya in the process. Vanya believes Ignatius to be a fire elemental; little does he know that Nash is a much bigger creature than an elemental. There is an almost instant connection between Nash and Vanya, but Vanya has been kept a virgin by King, and isn’t quite sure at first what he’s feeling.
Nash and Vanya end up working together to set things to rights. Nash enlists the help of a very large seethe of snake shifters. Yes, you heard me right, snake shifters. Normally I’d be squicked out by a real snake, but these snake shifters are utter badasses and very sexy. They also play a very large part in helping Vanya and Nash chase down King, and also protect Vanya. After all, King is still after Vanya to complete the spell to force Nash to be under King’s control.
This was a very good introduction into a new series, although it did have a few slow spots along the way. I expect that, though, with a first book in an urban fantasy series. With setting up the world, the characters, and what magics or otherworldly creatures are going to be a part of the storyline, it won’t be all action or love story in that particular book. The story itself was not lacking in any sense, it was very detailed and rich in texture and backstory on many of the characters.
I have to say that I loved the snake shifters almost a little more than the main characters, though. They had very distinct personalities and histories that stood out and were very enjoyable. I adored Nash as a protector and as part of a couple with Vanya; however, Vanya alone was a little too weak for my taste. That is part of his character, though, and toward the end of the book he had started to find his direction and was a stronger character.
I do look forward to the next book in this series, especially if we get to see more of the snake shifters, or even more of Nash’s world. This is one to definitely check out if you’re an urban fantasy reader or like a good solid dose of shifters, magic and world building in your M/M romance.
You can buy Sealed by Fire here: