Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Size: 318 pages
Release Date: June 22, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Cobweb Bride Trilogy
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. I really enjoyed this beautifully written and creative historical fantasy. It is the first of a trilogy, so not everything is resolved in this book. The second book will be called The Cobweb Empire.
Death has decided to stop doing his job until the humans find him his Cobweb Bride. Soldiers are dealt mortal wounds in battle…but don’t die. Animals slaughtered for food never actually die and nothing living (plants or animals) will cook properly. People are walking around with mortal wounds and illness, suffering endlessly. Then the ruler of the lands issues a degree; all women of marriageable age shall journey to Death’s Keep to determine whether or not they are the Cobweb Bride.
Through this book we follow the stories of multiple characters. The first is Percy, a peasant girl who can see Death and has decided to journey to his keep to see if she is the Cobweb Bride. The second is the Infanta, daughter of the Emperor, who was assassinated but of course did not quite die…she is also determined to journey to Death’s Keep. The third is Beltane, the son of Duke Hoarfrost. Duke Hoarfrost was killed in battle and is determined to make sure Death never resumes his duties, as such he sends Beltane to prevent any of the girls from getting to Death’s Keep.
The writing and imagery are very beautiful. I enjoyed the descriptions and felt like they really made the story come alive. The book was easy to read, it is a bit wordy but I enjoyed the extra description. This is supposed to be a retelling of the Persephone myth, sort of. You can tell that the Myth of Persephone definitely influences the story.
Having the different POVs worked really well for this book, the story flowed well and it was interesting to see things from multiple perspectives. All of the characters were very engaging. Percy is an interesting characters because of her practicalness and the fact that she can see Death. The Infanta is intriguing because of her incredible sickness before death and her stoicness after death.
Beltane was the weakest character of the bunch. He had a lot of trouble standing up to his father, Duke Hoarfrost, as a result he does some awful things. He comes off as weak, despite being a powerful knight. He did start to change towards the end of the story though, so I am eager to see what happens with his character in future books.
The premise was very creative and I enjoyed the idea of Death boycotting his job. The idea of this does get a bit campy at times. For example when all the nobles figure out their meat can’t be cooked and try to eat it anyway…this was pretty comical. There are some parts that made me laugh a bit with the silliness of it all.
I actually wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. It was very engaging and I was dying to know what would happen when the girls all got to Death’s Keep.
Overall an excellent read. The premise is creative, the characters are engaging, and the descriptions are beautiful. The book does a get a bit wordy at times and there are a lot of character names thrown at you. There is an index of characters in the back of the book to help you deal with this. I just found the story incredibly intriguing and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the second book. Recommended to fantasy lovers.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– 100 Books in a Year Reading Challenge