A HINT OF FROST
The author weaves an action-packed story of intrigue and betrayal. The dialogue is strong, the storyline compelling and the prose artful. The fantasy world setting is vaguely familiar in a brutal, medieval sort of way — but still satisfyingly foreign — and the concept, along with the culture, is handled with elegance. Lourdes is a competent and relatable heroine, counterbalanced by a keen hero you’ll be happy to root for. Edwards also juggles a number of adolescent secondary characters, and volatile sibling relationships, with a deft authenticity.
When the head of the Araneidae clan is poisoned, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes the clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. That male is Rhys the Cold. The youngest son of an impoverished maven, all Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, and their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. While Rhys is torn between loyalty to his clan and his fascination with his future bride, he and Lourdes pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging the southern clans. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang. (SAMHAINPUBLISHING.COM, $5.50)