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review 2017-11-16 00:00
Branded by Fire
Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh,Angela Dawe Another great piece in the psy changeling series! I loved the bits of info about the council, the human alliance, and even some new changelings! Mercy and Riley weren't my favorite couple. I had a hard time really getting into them as a couple (which is weird-half the book was them having sex and I just didn't buy them as a couple!). But, like always, Singh adds so much depth to her world that you can't wait for more!
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review 2017-02-20 23:31
Branded by Fire (Psy/Changeling #6) by Nalini Singh
Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh

A Changeling research is captured – and it falls to DarkRiver Leopards and Snow Dancer Wolves to bring him back. They suspect, as always, the involvement of the Psy


But the Human Alliance is back in San Francisco with their very high risk, ambitious plan. While the Chanagelings may not be their direct target, the fallout can consume all of them


Which is leopard Sentinel Mercy and wolf Lieutenant Riley’s job to work together and solve. And work together without killing each other. And work together despite the increasing pressure of their mutual attraction despite the differing clans, differing shifter type and differing loyalties. And a whole lot of old fashioned ideals to be conquered.




I love the ongoing world building of this series, especially the focus on the complex issue of Silence and the Psy


This has been something that has been touched on before in previous books but the focus has been very much on threats to the Changelings. To them and the Psy defectors, the broader societal implications of Silence are less important than surviving the latest shenanigans from the Council


But in this book the prime antagonist is the Human Alliance and their prime target is the Psy. The fact the Changelings are not the centralised target (though they are certainly are involved because it’s happening on their doorstep and something can’t happen in their territory without getting involved) means we can examine the broader implications of Silence falling for the Psy. Rising violence rates, the fact the race was desperate when it adapted Silence, the fact that there are a lot of Psy genuinely terrified of the damage they could cause without Silence. Silence is way more than just a threat to conquer, it’s complicated and involved.

And this book really brings home how important Silence is – and how collected the Psy are. Because of the Psynet, thing that individual Psy do can actually affect the Psy as a whole. We begin to address some really interesting ethical debates about whether the Psy should be forced to quit Silence, whether Silence is a viable choice, especially when we consider that for some Psy with genuinely dangerous and need Silence to function in society and to survive, or the fact that crime rates spiking can affect everyone, or that the Psy falling could literally destroy society. What about personal choice? What about if that choice is being affected by scare mongering rather than just reality?


On top of that we have a nuanced look at the Council itself rather than just seeing them as the antagonist with a few decent members. From the nuance of Nikita to simply acknowledging the integral role that the Psy play and even if you hate the system, burning it all down isn’t that helpful to anyone.



We’re also seeing more involvement from the Human Alliance; again we have nuance. We acknowledge that the humans are frequently seen as the weak ones, the extras, the forgotten of society excellently following on from previous books. I love how they find their strength and capability, how they work to match the more powerful races


I love the meta of this series. The complexities of the world and the politics, how the three different races relate to each other and how all of this is developing over the world. I like how the packs are growing, uniting and changing. I like how we’re seeing characters reoccur since too often in long running Paranormal Romance tend to fade into the background: there’s definitely still some element of that in this series which annoys, but it’s still good to see that Sasha is still around, her powers and abilities still helping shape the characters and story.


So we come to the relationship in this book. And this is usually the point when talking about this series where I curse and stomp and hate how this wonderful world setting and amazing metaplot and excellent twisting world building and politics all unheld by some intriguing characters is dragged into the utter mud by retrograde, rigid gender roles and romantic “heroes” to whom consent is beyond and alien concept.


And this book… well it does several things better.

Our love interests are Mercy, leopard sentinel and Riley, wolf lieutenant. They are both soldiers, both dominant, both in control. When he tries to treat her like a fragile flower, she vehemently rejects this. When he tries to make decisions for her, she’s beyond furious. When he tries to protect her she nearly calls of the entire possibility of a relationship with him




Read More


Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/11/branded-by-fire-psychangeling-6-by.html
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review 2016-06-18 00:00
Branded by Fire
Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh 4 stars

Riley and Mercy are the featured couple in Branded by Fire. Both are dominant and rank high in their packs. Mercy is a leopard, and Riley is a wolf. I have to admit that I have a thing for the ShadowDancer wolves. I just love them. While I like the DarkRiver leopards, they can't hold a candle to the wolves, so I'm always happy when they are prominently featured in the stories.

The romance is fiery, and as both characters are stubborn and tough, there is a lot of headbutting between them. Both Mercy and Riley are hard wired to protect those weaker than them, and this leads to a lot of conflict. Riley has always imagined a future with a submissive mate, while Mercy has resigned herself to never having a mate, as she fears her leopard will refuse the mating bond. Then there's the question, after it looks like she and Riley might have something special between them, about which pack they will be a part of. They are each deeply bonded to their packs and pack members, so again, there's a lot of justified strife over this.

The Human Alliance is up to no good, along with the Psy Council, adding suspense to the story line. This was a very enjoyable installment of the series, and again, I loved revisiting past characters from the previous books. This is a very fast read - throw it in your beach bag for a fun summer read.
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review 2015-05-12 05:22
Et tu, alpha?
Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh

I've been reading these as the books between more serious stuff, as dependable girl pulp. I think Singh is ahead of the curve in terms of her plot construction and overall prose style, and the mythology, while occasionally underdeveloped, is nevertheless ambitious enough to keep me well on the hook. The relationships so far, not so much. I'm not going to launch into bitching about mate-for-life tropes and the whole alpha pack thing, which scientists have determined is so much Victorian bullshit, because it's dumb to attack emotional fantasy from some airless roost of logical superiority. The Psy-Changing world contains those things, and they have an emotional reality there.


So. This was the very first novel in this world where the central couple actually had conflicts I recognized as real, underneath all the in-world machinations I don't recognize as real, exactly. Maybe it's just that the enemies-to-lovers thing has more heat to me than rarr, me alpha, you Jane, which is largely the basis of couple conflicts in precious novels. Either way, nice to see a couple evenly matched. That said, everyone's family is the worst, and if my family acted like that with me, I would get a fucking restraining order. Unhinged proprietary violence is not respect. 

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review 2015-04-05 00:00
Branded by Fire
Branded by Fire - Nalini Singh
"You want to claw at me, kitty-cat? Come on."

"Sorry, I don't beat defenseless puppies.”



2nd read - 7 March to 9 March 2013
3rd read - 27 April to 28 April 2014
4th read - 5 April to 8 April 2015

I really enjoyed these two, I love both the Kincaid boys but Riley has that strong silent thing going on that I like. Mercy is proper kick ass and a smart arse to boot so what's not to like? I love the banter between them and how Mercy manages to push Riley's buttons and make him lose control. It was fun to read.

From the get go 'Branded by Fire' is hot and heavy and this is the first time we have encountered two changelings getting it on. Goodness they don't hold back, just....wow.

A big part of both SnowDancer and DarkRiver packs is hierarchy and as Mercy is a Sentinel for DrakRiver and Riley a Lieutenant for SnowDancer the issue of dominance and in particular the way the males become a bit mental and behave like neanderthal's during the mating dance come up throughout the book. Riley did do very well and only managed to make a complete balls of it the once, the problem was when he did he did it bad. Mercy and Riley are supposed to work together as partners acting as liaisons for both packs and while working in that capacity Riley cut Mercy out of the loop as he thought to protect her because of their developing personal relationship. He actually uttered the words:

"I made the decision. Deal with it."

I found that Mercy was actually the more reasonable of the two and handled it all rather well considering. I for one would of behaved a lot less gracefully.

Some interesting developments happening with both the Psy and the Human Alliance. Pure Psy are out to ensure that Silence will not fall and we learn that they will go to some pretty extreme and sad lengths to ensure that it doesn't.

The Human Alliance look to play with the big boys and by doing so manage to piss off everyone.

And there is some good news for DarkRiver.

This is a really good addition to the series, it's not one of my favourites but there was lots happening and after some gut wrenching drama it was great to see Riley and Mercy get a HEA!!

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