Thursday, 20 June 2013

Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

ARC provided by netgalley.

Bring to me my Cobweb Bride. Bring her to the gates of Death’s Keep that stands in the Northern Forest. Only then will I grant relief and resume taking your kind unto me. Until then, none shall die.

As soon as you start reading, you know this book will be amazing.
The use of language is delightful: Death's first appearance, coalescing into form out of smoke, darkness, and garlands of ice cobwebs, is so incredibly vivid and beautiful you can't help being hooked right there. There is talent here, descriptions abound, but they do not show up on the page as the usual scene building for the plot, instead, it's as if the reader's eyes can't help but being arrested by a multitude of singular details that merge to form the most illuminating pictures.

The worlbuilding and characters are fantastic, but not only that, the premise of the story, while being based on the Persephone myth, is wonderfully original. Adaptations of the myth tend to focus on how Demeter's grief keeps the world from flourishing and how death soon ravages untamed. In the Cobweb Bride the dying remain in agony in their deathbeds, or bleeding from gaping wounds in the battlefields, or freezing in the murky darkness at the bottom of icy lakes - but Death will bring them no relief. Not until his bride is brought to him.

In the quest to deliver Death's Cobweb Bride several stories are told: the old queen whose death rattle keeps the castle awake, the three frivolous nobles who decide to make of this quest an amusing adventure, the dead duke's son charged with capturing all potential Cobweb Brides from reaching their destiny so his father may remain undead, the princess and her murderer (my personal favourite sub-plot), and Percy and her carriage full of would-be Cobweb Brides. Each sub-plot is captivating in its own right, and their characters all have the same purpose: to allow the dead to truly die, for, as the book says, "to be dead is not such a bad thing when it is your time to be dead, to be relieved of pain and suffering."

Fans of Patricia A. McKillip will surely love this book, but I recommend it to everyone who likes fantasy.

Susana's review:

"He came to them in the heart of winter, asking for his Cobweb Bride.
He arrived everywhere, all at once. In one singular moment, he was seen, heard, felt, remembered. Some inhaled his decaying scent. Others bitterly tasted him.
And everyone recognized Death in one way or another, just before the world was suspended."

Told in a magical prose, Cobweb Bride is an magnificent tale that will appeal to fans of Patricia A. Mckillip works as well as Juliet Marillier "Heart's Blood".

Set in a imaginary world in the Seventeen century Renaissance, "Cobweb Bride" starts with an earth shattering premise:

Looking for his Bride, Death makes an ultimatum: No one will die, until she is found...
What happens next, is a tale of horror:
Decapitated men that just won't die. Old people waiting for that last breath, that just won't come...animals, that won't be slaughtered...

Unless, the Cobwebb bride is found...

Set against this background, girls of all around the kingdoms start leaving their families, to embark on a dangerous quest. They will go north, searching for Death's Keep on the hopes of being his bride, and as such, ending the never ending nightmare that Death has created.

But if ones are determined to fulfill Death's request, there are other's determined to elude it. And they are determined to remain in the land of the living, no matter that they don't longer breathe...

What follows next, is an addictive tale of a group of girls trying to survive in the cold of Winter. A Black Knight determined to stop them. And a budding love, between a girl that has been killed...
...and the man that killed her....


Looking forward to the second book! September, you can't come soon enough ;)

Vera Nazarian's official site

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