Lisa Hendrix's paranormal medieval historical romance, Immortal Champion, was rated a January RT Top Pick! RT Senior Reviewer Kathe Robin praised Hendrix's "talent for seamlessly blending magic, myth and romance." So it is no surprise that the Vikings of Hendrix Immortal Brotherhood series suffer from a curse that would make us give up all hope! Discover what this author considers to be the ten worst curses that can be cast on a man or beast.
In the early days of the Viking raids on England, one chieftain heard rumors of a great treasure, and he sent his best men to steal it. Unbeknownst to the raiders, however, the treasure was guarded by a powerful sorceress named Cwen, and when the warriors killed her son in the ensuing battle, she spun dark magic to curse them. She condemned them to live as were-beasts, changing back and forth between man and animal at dawn and dusk every day. And in her fury, she also made them immortal, so that their torment would go on and on...
Each man among the crew takes the form of his spirit companion, or fylgja, each a different beast—eagle, lion, bull, stallion, wolf, dog, hart, raven, and bear—some being beasts by night and some by day, depending on when their creatures are active. Gunnar the Red, hero of Immortal Champion, must spend his days as a great bull and his nights as a terribly lonely, guilt-ridden, utterly drool-worthy man.
In honor of these cursed heroes, Hendrix shares her top ten worst curses of all time:
THE 10 WORST WAYS A MAN CAN BE CURSED
1) To never know love. I think that would be the unkindest curse of all.
2) To never lose. Ever. This might seem like a blessing, but it’s actually a terrible curse that I saw in an episode of The Twilight Zone. A down and out gambler asked for a permanent winning streak, but once he was a constant and sure winner, he hated it. You see, the game lies not in winning, but in the uncertainly. If you already know the outcome, there is no game at all. It is, quite literally, hell.
3) Life in prison. While this is the sort of curse a man usually brings on himself, it’s another situation that makes for no game to play. It’s essentially the inverse of the never-ending winning streak: one huge loss that goes on and on until you die.
4) To never feel the sun on your face. I get cold just thinking about it.
5) To be trapped inside some inanimate object or form. I’m thinking of something from which you can’t interact with the world around you, e.g. being a fully-aware statue. A particularly hellish curse, to my mind.
6) To never be believed. What if you told the truth and no one believed you, ever? (A corollary, never being able to lie, even to save someone, would be awful, too.)
7) Being turned into a zombie. Ick. And that goes for the “real” (drugged slave) kind as well as the horror movie, rotting-flesh kind.
8) Midas’s touch. Imagine killing your own child because of your greed.
9) Endless labor or endless torture. From Sisyphus rolling his stone up the hill only to have it roll down to Prometheus having his liver torn out by eagles on a daily basis, knowing you’re doomed to repeat your worst day ever, over and over, has to be a dreadful curse.
10) Anything from Dante’s Inferno. He pretty much covered anything I might have missed, and he was particularly good at matching the curse or punishment to the crime.
For Gunnar and the other men of my Immortal Brotherhood, the savagery of Cwen’s curse lies less in being an animal—although that’s bad enough—and more in the pain, both the wrenching twice-daily change from beast to man and back and the terrible isolation that goes with it.
Living on the edges of a society that believes magic to be of the devil and burns those who traffic in it, makes it next to impossible for the warriors to enjoy human company, find love, or make a home in the world. Some of the men are also condemned to never see the sunlight with human eyes. In other words, they suffer from several of my ten worst curses, my poor, tortured Vikings.
And it never ends.
Can you see why I find them so delicious to write about?
Before I go, I’d like to take a moment to invite readers to come over to my website for excerpts, contests, freebies, and extras like readers group questions and interactive maps of the locations in the books. I also have a list of bookstores that have signed copies of my books available.
Thanks much for having me here.
- Lisa Hendrix
PS: Can I sneak in an eleventh curse? It’s the most vile curse of all, one that sends shivers of fear up every thinking person’s spine...The Mother’s Curse: “If you ever have children, I hope they act just like you!”
We agree, these eleven curses are awe (and good behavior)-inspiring! Which of these curses would you hate the most?