Review: A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation # 1) by Hailey Edwards

January 2, 2015 Review 0

Review: A Hint of Frost (Araneae Nation # 1) by Hailey Edwards

"Hope dangles by a silken thread. "

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.

Title: A Hint of Frost
Author: Hailey Edwards
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Dog With A Bone, A Feast of Souls, A Time of Dying, A Breath of Winter
Published by Samhain Publishing
Source: Purchased for Self
Published: 17 April, 2012
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Pages: 256
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: three-flames

Every now and then I want a change from contemporary or historical romance, and the buzz on this series was intriguing, so I bought the books for my own library.

Araneae Nation series by Hailey Edwards is a fantasy romance, which has a touch of everything you could hope for in that genre: action, compelling characters, humor and world-building that draws you in, being utterly unique but somehow familiar.

I’m so not a spider fan, but the arachnid-influenced features and some behaviors of the characters is well integrated and isn’t nearly as icky as it sounds.  Lourdes is instantly tasked with trials and tribulations with her parents’ poisoning and her ascension to the position of Maven.  Her clan, the Araneidae are a peaceful lot, but the world is not and with Lourdes as the Maven, she and her clan could fall prey to a more aggressive clan.

Rhys is the youngest son of another clan’s Maven, but his status and reputation are as Rhys the Cold, a mercenary for hire with a fierce demeanor and warrior’s reputation.  Maven is in need of his services to protect her clan, and a deal is struck: find and avenge her parents’ murder and marry, or remain and protect the clan, without a marriage.

Their relationship was intriguing, as the two start to rely on one another more frequently, the feelings and sexual tension amp up.  In the middle of everything, with Lourdes dealing with threats from everywhere and the possibility of more danger threatening her clan, her sister disappears and Rhys’ responsibilities and tasks have to adjust.  Gripping and intriguing, this story had me reading long after I expected to.

There were a few hiccups for me – while the characters were superbly developed, their particular ‘talents’ and clan associations were often difficult to fix in my mind, so many different and unique names, talents and associations that it took quite a while to get everything straight.  Edwards does a lovely job of introducing and explaining the differences, and it never feels like an info dump, but I did find myself a bit confused until all of the pieces fell into place.  While not a familiar genre for me, I am going to pick up the next in the series to see what happens.

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