Author: Hailey Edwards
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Available: $5.50 from 17th April 2012 Samhain Publishing
Rating: 4.5 stars
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.
Product WarningsThis 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 is a beautiful fantasy with a sweet and sensual romance woven through it. A great deal of attention has been put into the world-building, and the other-wordly nature of the 'human' inhabitants is compelling - something a touch out of the ordinary. The characters have depth, and the story left me hooked into reading the other books of the series whilst still feeling this one was complete in itself.
Some of the word choices and phrasing made me stumble on occassion. I think it's a style thing though.
I liked this book. I liked how the central female's character developed, and felt her male partner was a good match but their relationship still stirred plenty of sparks and uncertainty at the start.