I always enjoy coming back to this series. The world building and the cultures represented are so unique and fascinating! This wasn’t the strongest romance the Araneae Nation books have featured, but overall, I did like the story.
Remember that harbinger who was locked in the caves by her son, the villain in A Time of Dying? You know, the one who ended up eating him? Well, our heroine Zuri and her brothers are transporting the beastie to Erania as part of a mercenary job. It’s a difficult task; one made even harder when Zuri is injured on the journey.
Waiting for her is Henri. We met him back in book one. He is brother to the Araneidae Maven, Lourdes. He is a healer and an herbologist, and he is hoping to study the harbinger in order to understand the plague destroying so many. He even hopes to find a cure. But he fears for the safety of his people –and keeps Zuri and her brothers in the underground rooms around his lab. After all, they could be exposed to the pathogen. Right away, there is an attraction between Henri and Zuri, but at first that must take a backseat to a doctor patient relationship. Henri works to heal her injuries –and to study the harbinger– as the pull between them gets stronger.
Both Henri and Zuri have secrets they keep from one another, but it’s more than that. I really didn’t see them getting to know each other. Yeah, they dig each other, and Zuri learns he works tirelessly, while he sees she pushes herself too hard to take care of the people she cares about, but it’s just not enough. By the end of the book, even I didn’t really felt like I knew much more of Henri beyond his commitment to his family and his work. Zuri, I knew better thanks to her first person POV, but my investment in their relationship just never ran deep.
The part of the storyline following the harbinger –and the surprising developments surrounding her– well, that was pretty cool. The mystery of who was sabotaging the tunnels and what Henri was hiding… all good stuff. I liked the book. I was just kind of meh on the romance this time around. (Plus –there was a thread about Zuri’s brothers and their sign language I was sure was going to go somewhere and it never did. It kind of bugged me.) I will definitely continue with the series though. I am curious to know more about Marne and Eden.
*ARC provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Breath of Winter
by Hailey Edwards
Release Date: December 10, 2013