Every now and then I come across a book that is sure to be an instant classic, and Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian is definitely a book that falls into that category. And dare I say it? The cover is to die for.
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.
This book grabbed my imagination at page one. Percy is a genuine, caring girl. She is practical, and is brave. She uses her common sense to good advantage. She is compassionate even to those who would harm her, but she is no pushover. She is a memorable, strong female character. Beltane Chidair, the Black Knight is also strong, loyal to a fault and is caught up in the plans of his undead father, Duke Hoarfrost, because of his faithfulness, and his high code of honor that demands he honor his father’s wishes, no matter if his father is dead or alive.
Vlau Fionmarre is also a wonderful character as is the Infanta, Claer Liguon whom he murders in cold blood at the beginning. They are tied together with bonds that are unbreakable and their story is quite touching.
Duke Hoarfrost is a fabulous villain. The intrigues of the court, the open rebellions, all combine to make a rich tapestry against which the story of the group of would-be brides and their terrifying journey to Death’s Keep is played out.
The atmosphere of this tale is deep and brooding. There is no happiness waiting for the girl who is chosen the Cobweb Bride, but each girl is determined to save the world by offering herself to Death as his bride, and despite their wishes to the contrary, the men are committed to helping them evade those undead who would stop them.
Vera Nazarian is an author whose work I will be following, and I will be reading the next volume of this trilogy on my vacation this week as my secret, selfish bit of yumminess in my Kindle.