(Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One)
by Vera Nazarian
Release Date: July 15, 2013
Publisher: Norilana Books
$24.95 US / 20.00 UK
$14.95 US / 12.00 UK
Many are called… She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.
COBWEB BRIDE (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One) is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death’s ultimatum to the world.
What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?
In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary “pocket” of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill….
Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness… Her skin is cold as snow… Her eyes frozen… Her gaze, fiercely alive…
While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war… A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father… Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court…. Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living…
Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars…
And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.
As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death’s own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North…
And everyone is trying to stop her.
I have to admit that this book was a bit weird for Pink. I didn’t get in to it at first and since I don’t read fantasy, I was a little lost in the world building, too. I know what you are thinking? Did you even read the book? Yes, I did and once I finally wrapped my head around the fantasy element and remembered that this story is based on Hades (Death) and Perisphone from mythology, I really got into it.
Imagine a world where no one and everything around you can’t die? All because Death needs his bride and until he gets her, death stops. Again, weird but this is where the book gets really interesting for me. Why? Because it gets scary. Yes, scary, frightening, haunting, beautiful and mysterious all at the same time. With legions of girls on the quest to become Death’s bride, Percy stands out from all others. Mocked by her mother, she is her father’s right hand and has an older and younger sister that are more beautiful than she. What different about Percy is that even though she is young (16), she is a very strong female character. Compassionate but no pushover, smart, brave and above all genuine. I fell in love with her instantly.
There are plenty of twists and turns in the book and the opening sequence is gory and bloody, so be warned. This isn’t your childhood fairytale and its told in a beautifully, lyrical style that flowed. Ms. Nazarian can write a book that no matter what you think at first, she just grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go of you until the last page. Only then, can you breath. I’m still trying to process it and form an intelligent review for you. Again, the book was a completely different book than I’ve ever read but in the end, I rather enjoyed. The characterizations alone will have you begging for more and while the setting is fantasy, it is richly described.
A couple of other things that I though of:
1. The violence is rated PG13 but its still there. Someone IS trying to stop Percy from meeting Hades.
2. There is very little romance in the book but the element is woven in. I heard that the romance is heavier in the next two books.
3. The villain is OMG…and that’s all I’m going to say… 🙂
4. Even if you don’t like fantasy, take a day or two and read Ms. Nazarian. With her lyrical writing style, you will get lost in the fantasy.
5. Also, Ms. Nazarian talks about death, life and the beyond so watch for it. It will make you think about it. 🙂
I truly hope that you pick up this book and read it. It can be read by anyone over the age of 13 and be enjoyed. I look forward to the next book and seeing how it all plays out. 😉
Vera Nazarian is a two-time Nebula Award® Finalist and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at 17, and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, honorably mentioned in Year’s Best volumes, and translated into eight languages.
Vera made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed Dreams of the Compass Rose, followed by Lords of Rainbow. Her novella The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the 2005 Locus Recommended Reading List. Her debut collection Salt of the Air with an introduction by Gene Wolfe contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated “The Story of Love.”
Other work includes the 2008 Nebula Finalist novella The Duke in His Castle, science fiction collection After the Sundial (2010), The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (2010), and four Jane Austen parodies, Mansfield Park and Mummies (2009), Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (2010), Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret (2012), and Pagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency (forthcoming), all part of her Supernatural Jane Austen Series.
After many years in Los Angeles, Vera now lives in a small town in Vermont. She uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art. In addition to being a writer, philosopher, and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.
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Praise for Other Vera Nazarian Books:
“…a clever concoction of vignettes and short stories knitted into a morality tale about the temptation of illusion and the price of truth…. an exotic setting reminiscent of Tanith Lee’s Flat Earth series…. The author’s sumptuous language will resonate with Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith fans…. Nazarian’s vital themes and engaging characters are sure to entertain.”
— Publishers Weekly on Dreams of the Compass Rose
“Nazarian’s story cycle treads the borderline between the episodic novel and the short-story collection, recalling the work of contemporary fantasist Charles de Lint, early-twentieth-century fantasist Lord Dunsany, and even, reaching way back, The Thousand and One Nights….her imagery is rich, vivid, and memorable, not to mention being remarkable because she realizes it not in her native language, Russian, but in English…. Indeed, this is a singularly appealing book by a new voice in fantasy.”
— Roland Green, ALA Booklist on Dreams of the Compass Rose
“In a world devoid of color, the woman warrior Rahne swears herself to a mysterious nobleman traveling to the exotic city of Tronaelend-Lis, the City of Dreams, where a decadent brother and sister rule as co-regents in the absence of the land’s true ruler. When an evil being representing true Darkness threatens the safety of the colorless world, Rahne is drawn into a spiritual journey in search of a legendary phenomenon known as Rainbow in an attempt to find a way to defeat the dark. The author of Dreams of the Compass Rose brings to life a unique fantasy world in which lost colors hold the key to salvation. Nazarian’s fluid storytelling and vividly drawn characters make this unusual fantasy a good choice for most libraries.”
— Library Journal on Lords of Rainbow
“Nazarian creates a unique civilization and populates it with heroic archetypes who stand on their own. Extravagant language reminiscent of Dunsany and even Tolkien adds to the legendary feel…. an innovative premise, consistent world-building, and appealing heroes mark this as the work of an emerging talent… readers may find themselves heralding a new star of fantasy fiction.”
— Romantic Times Book Club on Lords of Rainbow
“Sixteen cautionary, sensual stories of love, reversal and revenge upend fairy tale conventions in Nazarian’s lush collection (after 2003’s Lords of Rainbow). Some pieces retell classic stories: “Absolute Receptiveness, the Princess, and the Pea” compellingly subverts the cliché of the tender princess into a disturbing rape fantasy. “Beauty and His Beast” recasts the beast as an ugly but perceptive princess. Other stories approach myth. In “Sun, in Its Copper Season,” the avatar of the sun falls in love with the man who brings the four seasons, and in “Lore of Rainbow,” a wife seeks her missing husband, only to discover that he is the personification of a color. Adventure stories skirt the edges of the expected: in “The Slaying of Winter,” a woman seeks revenge on a god for her family’s destruction, only to find forgiveness; and in the near-future “Rossia Moya,” a woman and Russia itself both rediscover their heritage. Sumptuous detail, twisty plots and surprising endings lift these extravagant tales.”
— Publishers Weekly on Salt of the Air