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VERA NAZARIAN is a two-time Nebula Award Nominee, award-winning artist, and member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a writer and reader with a penchant for moral fables and stories of intense wonder, true love, and intricacy.
She is the author of critically acclaimed novels DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE and LORDS OF RAINBOW, as well as the outrageous parodies MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES and NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS, and most recently, PRIDE AND PLATYPUS: MR. DARCY'S DREADFUL SECRET in her humorous and surprisingly romantic Supernatural Jane Austen Series.
After many years in Los Angeles, Vera lives in a small town in Vermont, and uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art.
Her official author website is www.veranazarian.com
I like to read novels that start hard and fast so I struggled in the first chapter to stick with it. I experienced a sort of hesitation in that chapter, almost like a mechanism struggling to come to life after sitting for untold years motionless and waiting. I persisted. See, I knew this author was good -- just rusty from a few too many years away from her keyboard. I persisted. Rightfully so.
Once underway the story gained the momentum of stories that are fun to read, wit sliding neatly beneath the illusion of formula, deftly trimming off the fat to reveal a thoroughly enjoyable read. I had to keep myself from sneaking off to the back of the book to see which of the assorted young women might be the Cobweb Bride. I resisted but struggled not to speed read, caught between the desire to know and the desire not to miss anything. Pesky writer.
I refuse to give you plot spoilers, unlike the other reviewer.
What I will tell you is this -- the entire book is filled with a motley group of terribly flawed characters who are uncertain of themselves but willing to keep on struggling forward in spite of the problems hounding them. The worse thing about this book is that it's a trilogy and the damn writer has not even written the other two books yet. I'm being forced to wait -- again, for probably months.
The cover isn't my favorite, I really wanted to see that damn cart and the frying pan.
If you haven't ordered the book yet - ORDER IT! You really need to meet Percy and her peculiar sense of humor. You need to see how she collects people. And, after you order and consume the book whole, be sure to race over to Facebook and type in Vera's name, and then BUG HER for the other books. I mean it - REALLY bug her. I'm going to. How could she do this? How could she leave me hanging for who knows HOW LONG? (Yes, I'm posting this review on the other version too.)
I received this book for free from Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My Initial Reaction...
For me this book has two parts: the first half, which is very slow moving, overly descriptive, and yet so promising; and the second half, which is page-turning, perfectly paced, and exciting. This is a book you have to stick with to get to the good parts, but if you do, you will be rewarded.
Amongst the many characters in Cobweb Bride, for me, two women carried the story: Persephone (Percy) Ayren, and the Infanta Claere Liguon.
Percy is the star of this story and I absolutely fell in love with her. As the less-attractive and unwanted middle child, Percy has gotten used to being ignored and unappreciated by all in the family, except sometimes her father. But when she sets out for death's keep in the north, to possibly become his Cobweb Bride, she grows into a strong, confidant young woman and it is beautiful to watch. Percy stops hiding in the shadows and starts being an assertive leader, even as she struggles to understand herself and her place in this mess.
The Infanta is a fascinating character. We meet her on her birthday, a sickly heir to the throne, barely able to handle being in public for a few hours. That all changes with her death; because she cannot move on, death for Claere is a release from a life of pain and weakness. Suddenly she finds her purpose - to be the Cobweb Bride - and she is resolved to make it to Death's keep, dead or not. In fact, one of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the way dead characters grew and changed in response to their death.Read more ›
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I received a free review copy of The Cobweb Bride via Netgalley.
The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian is a fantasy novel which tells the story of Death's demand for his Cobweb Bride. The premise of the book is that Death has refused to take any more dying people or animals until his Cobweb Bride presents herself to him at his hidden fortress. It follows the journeys of several potential Cobweb Brides as well as those interested in aiding as well as thwarting them.
What I liked
I DEVOURED this book. The premise was excellent and well written, and I especially enjoyed the impact that the livestocks' not dying had on the food supply. This added an extra layer of tension to the novel.
In general, the characters were well written and engaging. It was fun to speculate about which character might be the Cobweb Bride. I especially enjoyed the character development of Percy. The author was skilled at providing each character with a very personal and believable reason for their involvement in the quest for Death's Cobweb Bride, which adds to the reader's engagement in the characters and therefore the story.
There were some interesting distinctions drawn between those characters still alive and those whom Death had refused to claim. It was interesting that the dead characters continued to develop emotionally, most notably Claere Liguon, even though physically they had been essentially frozen at the point of death.
The pacing of the novel was slow but steady, which gave plenty of time to be invested in the characters. Some people may feel it was a little too slow for their liking.
Magic in the novel is what Brandon Sanderson would describe as a "soft" magic system.Read more ›
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