Friday, December 27, 2013

Doug's Review of A Breath of Winter by Hailey Edwards

Title: A Breath of Winter (Araneae Nation) Book Four
Author: Hailey Edwards
Author's Website: Hailey Edwards' Website
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Genre: Fantasy Romance with Intrigue and Suspense
Length: approx 232 pgs
Buy Link: A Breath of Winter (Araneae Nation) Book Four


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

Araneae Nation, Book 4

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.

Doug's Review:

While this was on the surface a very slow romance of Zuri and Henri, it was also another excursion into the work of The Araneae Nation and the overarching story that Hailey Edwards has crafted in this series.

The opening starts much like the others with a bit of action resulting in an injury to Zuri but then things start to slow down a bit .... well they slow down a LOT for a majority of the novel. We are watching this whole story unfold through the eyes of Zuri and we get her feelings and thoughts but nobody else (there is a reason for that we will see). So while the romance slowly builds a bit at a time the more typical fantasy plot of the approaching enemy hangs in the background always letting you know that things are not going to remain calm for much longer.

There is a major break at about the 65% mark in this story, just when you start to think "this may be getting a bit boring" things happen to remove any such thoughts from your mind . One of the major points in this story seems to be to bring the reader up to speed on the enemy and the purpose for many of the things you have seen in the previous books. The action picks up significantly and the ending while somewhat satisfying still leaves you with several questions that I have to assume will be revealed in subsequent novels.

Bottom Line: A very good installment into the series but left me feeling like it was more of a bridging novel for the next one since a lot of the novel felt like an information dump. The ending was good but I felt like I needed another chapter or two for a better look into Zuri's future. My only real disappointment is that the most colorful character in this whole series is Isolde and we get to see none of her in this novel. 4 Stars and while a very enjoyable reading experience, it left me wanting a bit more than this novel delivered, the next novel needs to have a bit more meat to it and move the overarching story further down the line. Make no mistake, this is not a book you can skip and by the end you will not want to, trust me :)

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