Saturday, April 19

Vera Nazarian – Cobweb Bride (Cobweb Bride Trilogy #1)

Many are called...
She alone can save the world and become Death's bride.
Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth, about Death's ultimatum to the world.
What if you killed someone and then fell in love with them?
In an alternate Renaissance world, somewhere in an imaginary "pocket" of Europe called the Kingdom of Lethe, Death comes, in the form of a grim Spaniard, to claim his Bride. Until she is found, in a single time-stopping moment all dying stops. There is no relief for the mortally wounded and the terminally ill....
Covered in white cobwebs of a thousand snow spiders she lies in the darkness... Her skin is cold as snow... Her eyes frozen... Her gaze, fiercely alive...
While kings and emperors send expeditions to search for a suitable Bride for Death, armies of the undead wage an endless war... A black knight roams the forest at the command of his undead father ... Spies and political treacheries abound at the imperial Silver Court.... Murdered lovers find themselves locked in the realm of the living...
Look closer — through the cobweb filaments of her hair and along each strand shine stars...
And one small village girl, Percy—an unwanted, ungainly middle daughter—is faced with the responsibility of granting her dying grandmother the desperate release she needs.
As a result, Percy joins the crowds of other young women of the land in a desperate quest to Death's own mysterious holding in the deepest forests of the North...
And everyone is trying to stop her.

Digital copy received from the author in exchange of an honest review.

I had a really hard time with Cobweb Bride, for starters I fell in love with the blurb completely, and I was so exciting to review this book. Then I started to read it, and it wasn’t what I’d been looking for… well it was kind of boring and the worst part was I had to pay attention very carefully to understand and follow what is happening (maybe this was a problem because I’m not a native English and the language of this challenged me). After a while I started to adapt to this strange, archaic writing style but I still couldn’t get why are there so many storylines… there were four or sometimes even five in the same time which was quite confusing, I didn’t see how these would connect in the end. BUT I have to congratulate Vera Nazarian because she did it! She made a very interesting story out of a weak start and she made all the characters come together without making it unbelievable. 

As I mentioned the book starts slowly but considering that this is the first novel in this trilogy I think it’s main purpose was to gave us an insight into this new world and introduce us to the characters. This book is written with difficult language that won’t be suitable for everyone, but if you are interested in the story and wouldn’t be disappointed if there aren't a lot of action at first, don’t give up on reading it because you’ll definitely get used to the writing style, I did and my English is far from being perfect.  
The author gives us a lot of characters right at the very beginning which was quite overwhelming but as I kept reading these characters and their lives met at some point and then there were very few problems with this novel.
I have an advice for those who’d like to start this book: keep track on the characters, write down all the names with just two words beside them to remember everyone because sometimes it will get messy as hell (when we met Grial the second time, I didn’t remember her, I realized who she was later when I was searching for a part in the book).
There wasn’t "real" romance but everyone can probably guess all the future couples even without reading the blurb of the second one (I want them to be together, like right now *-*). In a lot and lot of stories I miss the romance so much but while reading Cobweb Bride I didn’t even think about it, I just enjoyed all the action and stranger than strange things, okay not at the beginning but still it’s a major thing for me to like a story without love.

They were well-made in so many levels but most of the time I couldn’t relate to them and they didn’t get near to my favorite characters from other books, hope this will change in the sequel.
I’ll try to start with characters who were the most important in their own storyline.

Percy: Since the beginning of the book it’s obvious how she deeply cares about others, be her grandmother or a random girl from town, and would sacrifice herself for the good. Most people would be angry or depressed if their mother would rather send them than their sister, not Percy, she takes the place of her sisters willingly without complaining.
Even if she is very quiet there’s something in her personality what makes her somehow more charismatic than the others. She suffered a great deal in life but she never whined about anything… not when she had to leave her loving father nor when she had to fight for survival or when she had to put up with Jenna.
Everything considered she was an amazing heroine who made sacrifices in the name of saving others.

Beltain: At first I didn’t like him he seemed like a coward who’d rather follow orders than choose the hard path and make his own decisions. After a while his character grew on me, of course he did so many things badly but that was because he was taught to follow his father’s, his leader’s orders even if they weren’t noble. He sworn to his father and he wasn’t a man who’d break that oath easily so he did what he must but he never meant any harm by it.

Claere, the Infanta: When I first saw into her pathetic, little life I immediately felt sorry for her. She seemed so fragile and because she was brought up in a shelter, lived nearly always in her room she was naïve, too. After what happened to her she broke out and started to choose her own path in life, being the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read or not, I respect her for this. She made this decision because she thought she has to do ii to save other people. Come on… you have to like her, what kind of girl would have exposes herself of so much suffering in order to save other nameless people? I don’t even has to say what a royalty she was, in her place what are the chances of such a sacrifice? You say she didn’t have anything to sacrifice, maybe but than what about all the things she knew she'd have to go through, hmm?

Duke Hoarfrost: I wish I couldn’t get why he did all those things but I kind of can. I liked his character because even if he was the villain of this story he was quite ordinary if you take a closer look. He got a deadly stab from a man who should have been dead… he thought he would die and that would be it… but life or more like Death had other plans so he stayed alive. Imagine dying and then getting a “second chance” you wouldn’t want to let it go, would you? I suppose he was used to getting what he wants so it must sounded unbelieve to him that he could loose this new life that easily as he got it. This is why he did anything to keep himself alive, I'm not saying he isn't wicked, because damn he is, I just see his reasons. 

Vlau: Again, a totally and utterly relatable character, he did a terrible thing but he did it because this was the only way he saw to respect his father and elder brother.
After, when everything got complicated and he was on his way to North with the others I started to really like him, he was so amazing as he tried to take care of (…) and did a pretty good job so far.

Grial: I couldn’t quite figure out her character yet, I hope in the next book I can. At our first encounter with her she was really obnoxious… the whole send girls to become cobweb brides was her idea in the first place. Then she came into the picture again, and provided everything what was needed… she really was kind, too kind if you ask me so I’m rather suspicious of her, but everything will be figured in the next book.

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 3/5
The characters: 4/5
(The cover: 2/5)

I have one last problem with the book, which is the cover. If I would browse through Godreads and see this cover I’d never click on it. I know you can’t judge a book by it’s cover but like it or not, if there are a lot of books before me I’d first check out the one with the more impressing cover.
Though, you can see I didn’t include it to my rating because if I find a very good book I’ll never give it less stars because of its looks. :)

I’d recommend it to those who are looking for a mythology book where the story builds up slowly but when the picture becomes clear you'll see everything in another perspective. Do not read this if you're just looking for a sweet romance or are afraid of blood. 

Will I continue this series?
Yes, yes, yes! 

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