Author: Hailey Edwards
Page Count: 193 pages
Genre: fantasy romance, first in a series
Copy for review was purchased by me
Hope dangles by a silken thread.
Araneae Nation, Book 1
When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.
This book was absolutely amazing to read. I had heard great things about it from other reviews and the premise grabbed me right away, and it took having some free time over the holiday weekend for me to sit down and read. I'm so glad I did! If you love fantasy romance and if you're looking for something that's definitely not the same old same old, look no further than this.
I should mention, though, that if you have a thing against spiders, be prepared to have your paradigms adjusted. The elements of silk weaving and the people in the book having such spider like characteristics was super unique, but it meets you right at the front door, so to speak.
Anyway, where do I even start in talking about the fun I had while reading this book? The setting is as good a place to start as any- it's lush and vivid, with just enough detail to grab your attention and keep you salivating for more. I freely admit that there could have been another hundred pages just of world building and background on all the different clans in the world of this story and I would have gobbled it right up.
The characters, too, are dynamic and engaging. The use of first person narrative here was an excellent choice, as we got a really good sense of Lourdes and her motivations for doing things. She's a heroine whom I absolutely love- she makes a decision and goes with it and doesn't dither or apologize unless she's genuinely wrong. She does what she thinks is right and is guided by her strong principles. She also doesn't hide from things that are right in front of her face- like her feelings for Rhys.
As a partner to Lourdes, we couldn't have gotten a better hero than Rhys. He's deep and has a lot going on, and he's so enamored with Lourdes from the first moment he meets her. It's very sweet. He doesn't think Lourdes will really care for him, and when he realizes she does, he's overwhelmed. Alpha without asshole. It's nice!
I love the tone and banter of writing and between the characters as well. Take this exchange between Rhys and Vaughn, his brother:
Vaughn stifled a yawn. “Is there a point to this bedtime story?”Speaking of Vaughn, he's an interesting character too, and one I hope we learn more about in future books.
Rhys picked the fork from Vaughn’s plate and drove it into his brother’s thigh. “There. I’ve made four points for him.” He yanked it free. “Show him respect or I’ll make four more.”
Vaughn spoke through clenched teeth. “A warning would have sufficed.”
I could seriously go on and on about this book and how much I enjoyed it. I'm a definite fan of this series now and will be reading the next book when it comes out. I highly recommend making room for this book in your summer reading schedule- it's one of my favorites of 2012 so far.