The particulars: Fantasy Romance, Samhain Publishing, available as e-book and in print
The Source: review copy from the author.
The Grade: C
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.
Through a pure coincidence, I requested an review copy of this book, and then shortly after it became a freebie from Samhain :). I am glad I requested it, though.
I fell in love with Erania from the first page. This world, was detailed and believeable. From how the locations affected the living of the different clans, to the intricate relationships between the different clans. I also liked how the author used traits of different spiders to distinuish the clans, and how that in turn affected the relationships.
I enjoyed followed the relationship between Rhys and Lourdes. From the wariness the first time they meet, and how they gradually started to trust and love each other. I also liked seeing how Lourdes and her clan struggled to adjust to the fact that she was Maven now. It was also intresting to see how close Lourdes and her siblings were, which showed in so many different ways.
The story was told from Lourdes POV, which meant the reader found out about the events at the same time as Lourdes did. I liked Lourdes, she had a strength to do what must be done, no matter if she liked it or not. The plot was well crafted, and I enjoyed Lourdes and Rhys journey. It gave the reader a glimpse into the world. But also raised the stakes by hinting of more, severe trouble coming in the future.
While I liked the book, I missed Rhys POV.The were times when his actions baffled me, and I think if the scenes had been from his POV, it would have flowed better. Also, I wondered how he reacted when he found himself married.