Review: A Breath of Winter (Araneae Nation #4) by Hailey Edwards

January 6, 2015 Review 0

Review: A Breath of Winter (Araneae Nation #4) by Hailey Edwards

There’s no easy cure for a love of epidemic proportions.

Zuri and her mercenary brothers had a simple mission. Transport a captured harbinger to Erania and collect the bounty. But this job turns out to be anything but easy.

Their welcome to the northland is nothing short of frigid. A scuffle with border guards and her prisoner’s attempted escape leave Zuri injured—and she and her brothers stuck in quarantine. Worse, the bounty comes with silken strings attached. Strings held by a scientist with a daring, dangerous plan.

Because Zuri and her prisoner barged in before his fail-safes were in place, Henri had no choice but to lock them all down until he’s sure there’s no risk of spreading plague. He’d planned to study the harbinger, but it’s the mercenary holding the leash who intrigues him the most.

When Henri’s experiment goes awry, they learn they’ve all been pawns in a plan with one goal: bring the Araneae Nation to its knees. Zuri is forced to make a choice that could sign her death warrant—or sacrifice everyone she loves.

Warning: This book contains a chair-bound heroine who won’t let anyone—least of all a man—push her around. Expect tea-drinking, net-tossing, and knife-wielding. Should you feel compelled to indulge in a bear ride, please keep your hands on the reins and your feet in the stirrups. Author not responsible for possible maulings.

Title: A Breath of Winter
Author: Hailey Edwards
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Dog With A Bone, A Hint of Frost, A Feast of Souls, A Time of Dying
Published by Samhain Publishing
Source: Purchased for Self
Published: 10 December 2013
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Pages: 271
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: three-flames

An interesting installment that delves again into the Araneae Nation world, so beautifully created and developed by Hailey Edwards.  In this story, we are treated to the story of Zuri and Henri, all from Zuri’s perspective.

Giving us only Zuri’s view of the events as they unfold, and tapping so deeply into her emotions keeps this read feeling very slow, almost crawling until the midpoint. A bit disconcerting for readers that want a faster pace, but this only serves to build tension for the reader, correlating to the tension of the warring worlds and the rush to an end.

When the action does pick up, there is information that serves as a refresher for readers, providing insight into possible reasons for events long past, and reasserting the background on the enemy. There are still to be answered questions, but the information needed to fix the events and postulate on yet to come trials are very present.

The relationship is slow to develop, but we do have insight into Zuri’s feelings and see some development and growth in Henri, so overall the romance becomes an underpinning to the larger plotting arc focused on the ongoing threats.  I would have liked a bit more perspective than was provided by a story from one character, but I can’t help but feel it was an effective ‘freshening’ of the series to date, and certainly keeps my interest piqued for the next book.

Even with the background layering and information, this is not a series to pick up in the middle, start from the beginning and plan a weekend retreat – you will not regret it.
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