I have been a fan of the Araneae Nation series since the beginning. It consistently delivers interesting and unique storylines, set in a fascinating fantasy construct that grows a little bit more with every installment. Each book has its own core couple to find love, but the romance is really secondary to the heroine’s journey. Often, I feel like I would have liked just a little more in the love-department. It seems like every book waits until the very last chapter to seal the deal (not just sexually, but emotionally too.) I’m more than a little ready to break from the formula, but I keep coming back to these books because they are so different from other series out there. And I like them.
This story was a bit of a surprise for me because I thought Marne (the heroine) was already married to another man. When we met her in the last book, she was introduced as Edan’s fledgling-harbinger wife. But as this book begins, we learn that their marriage was only a ruse. They are actually siblings, who pretended to be a couple in order to protect Marne. Our real hero is Asher, the guard who journeys with them as they travel from Erania to Beltania, to get the ingredients for the medication that keeps her alive in her half-changed state.
It’s an arduous journey and the harbinger queen shows constantly that she still has her claws in Marne’s mind. Marne really goes through the wringer here, struggling to find her place, wondering if she could ever really be free of the monster she was created to be. Asher is there every step of the way, and he’s a pretty stalwart guy, but I didn’t find a great deal of depth to his character. He was more the balm to Marne that she so desperately needed.
I like the twists and turns Hailey Edwards has taken with her harbinger storyline. It has definitely gone to places I never expected. I think the world-building is fantastic and plot, engaging. I just wish there was a little more depth to the romance. I miss the feels I got from book one.
This is the fifth installment in the Araneae Nation. I wouldn’t suggest you jump into the series here. Start with A Hint of Frost.
*ARC provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Veil of Secrets
by Hailey Edwards
Release Date: December 30,2014