A New Fantasy Saga Not To Be Missed!
Spark of the Everflame Book Cover Spark of the Everflame
The Kindred's Curse Saga, Book One
Penn Cole
Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Epic Fantasy
Penn Cole
June 1, 2023
Ebook, Paperback, Hardback

When old secrets catch fire, everything will burn.

In a mortal world colonized by the gods and ruled over by the Descended, their cruel offspring, Diem Bellator yearns to escape the insular life of her poor village.

Her mother’s sudden disappearance—and the discovery of a dangerous secret about her past—offer Diem an unexpected opportunity to enter the dark world of Descended royalty and unlock the web of mysteries her mother left behind.

With the dying King’s handsome, mysterious heir watching her every move, and a ruthless mortal alliance recruiting her to join the growing civil war, Diem will have to navigate the unwritten rules of love, power, and politics in order to save her family—and all of mortalkind.

Spark of the Everflame is the first book in The Kindred's Curse Saga, a four-book epic fantasy romance series that follows our fiesty, bad*ss heroine Diem Bellator in her fight against injustice and oppression, her struggle to survive in a royal palace full of betrayal and intrigue, and her journey of self-discovery and finding true love. This slow burn, enemies-to-lovers series is perfect for fans of unique magic systems, dragons and other mythical creatures, angst and romantic tension, and hilarious banter. This book will appeal to fans of plot-heavy, character-driven romantasy such as A Court of Thorns and Roses, Throne of Glass, From Blood and Ash, Gild, Shadow & Bone, and The Serpent & the Wings of Night.

Content warning (MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS): death (including on-page child death), references to SA (off-page), brief thoughts of suicide, violence, sex, swearing. This book contains adult themes and is intended for readers 18+. This book ends in a cliffhanger.

The Kindred’s Curse Saga is now one of my new favorite fantasy series.

Listen up, everyone. There is a new “don’t miss” fantasy world out there, and it can only be found in Penn Cole’s debut series called The Kindred’s Curse Saga. In it, Cole introduces the reader to Emarion, a continent where mortals and demigods (the Descended) live side-by-side. It is a world where loyalty to the old gods (the Everflame) fights for traction against the colonization of a new godhood called the Kindred. Each realm of Emarion is governed by a distinct group of the Descended based on whatever Kindred god is their patron. For example, there is Lumos, Realm of Light and Shadow, whose Descended all have blue eyes and whose powers control the light and dark. Or there is Fortos, Realm of Force and Valor, whose Descended, with their blood red eyes, have the ability to heal or kill. In total, there are 9 realms of Descended who rule in cities, castles, and fortresses that are the centers of wealth and power in Emarion. The mortals, on the other hand, are either banned from the realms of the Descended or allowed to live adjacent to their luxury in spaces of poverty and squalor. I could go on for pages about the mythology of the Kindred, the Descended, and the mortals that Cole recounts in the book. It is utterly fascinating and ripe with more stories to tell. But let’s move on to some of the characters entwined in this immortal/mortal saga.

Image courtesy of author press release kit

The heroine of the series is Diem Bellator. She is a healer in Mortal City in the realm of Lumnos. In the first pages of the book, her mother — a healer not only for the mortals but also for the Descended in Lumnos City — goes missing mysteriously. The secrets about Diem’s past that unfold after her mother’s disappearance begin to turn her world upside down. Diem has always been a bit of mystery in her community since, from a young age, she began to develop white hair and gray eyes rather than the mortal brown color that everyone else has. Yet her talents and compassion as a healer earned her community’s trust and, eventually, helps her gain the trust of the Descended. She becomes a reluctant new healer to the Descended royalty in her mother’s absence and, in her services, meets the dark and powerful heir to the King, Prince Luther. As she finds her way deeper in the Descended palace, she is recruited by mortal rebels who are ready for a civil war (one of the leaders of which happens to be her childhood friend and current lover). Throughout the book, Diem must navigate dangerous games of power, politics, and love if she is going to see herself and her family out alive.

What makes Diem a unique heroine in my mind is how the mystery of who she is and what she is capable of unfolds within her. Diem is a feisty, kicka$$ heroine with a short fuse. I’ve seen plenty of those in books before. In fact, I can sometimes disengage with a story if an author writes a heroine with “over-the-top” anger. A heroine that gets angry seemingly just for anger’s sake. Or a story with a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers romance with banter that gets too angry and too aggressive without being balanced by reflection or self-awareness. It’s just not my thing. Cole writes Diem’s struggle with her anger in such a way that I saw Diem’s pain. Her burning. Her sense of something taking control that is “other” — something terrifying, persistent, and powerful.

“I stared at the depthless midnight sky, my thoughts as turbulent as they’d ever been, and I burned and I burned and I burned. And I wondered how long I had until the fire in my soul burned me alive.”

And the romantic tension between Diem and Prince Luther? Perfection. I wouldn’t quite call it a fated mates situation, at least not how I’ve ever read it before. Their connection seems more powerfully linked to their potential as players in the fate of Emarion. Cole describes it beautifully:

We both froze in place as something ancient, something profound passed between us. It was a primal force that transcended word and thought, as powerful as a crack of lighting, a child’s first breath, the endless depth of the sea. It was not of this world but entirely woven within it. It warmed by blood with a calming peace I’d never know, yet filled me with a terrible dread of a fate I could not avoid.

I could gush even more about this book, but I’m forcing myself to stop here so as to not include any spoilers. You’re going to want to read this book and to read it through to the end. It concludes with one doozy of a cliffhanger. Just — wow. Trust me, you are definitely going to want to meet Diem Bellator: “Devourer of Crowns. Ravager of Realms. Herald of Vengeance. Daughter of the Forgotten.”