Modern Fantasy · Review

Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian

Cobweb BrideVera Nazarian’s Cobweb Bride, set in a fantastical land, is about Death ceasing his function until his Cobweb Bride is found.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

This is a thoughtful historical fantasy, but it’s somewhat lacking character development.

I bought Vera Nazarian’s Cobweb Bride because it was a free ebook. I gave the novel three stars out of five because it kept me interested and ended well.

Nazarian uses rich vocabulary that was in use during that time period. Another plus is that you will always know which character’s perspective you are reading from, but there is a problem with the character development. I found it lacking where Vlau Fiomarre and Beltain are concerned. Percy’s actions and words didn’t match the description (the “telling” about) her. I would have preferred Claere pursuing the investigation into the affair between house Fiomarre and the Imperial family.

At first I thought the plot would be easy to predict, or at least predict who the Cobweb Bride would be. I’m happy to say it was hard. The book is deceptive in that it doesn’t really give away who Death’s Bride is, but it appears to give it away.

I like the examination into why the world needs Death by showing us the devastation of not having an end to life. While the end is interesting, the last few pages don’t seem to fit with the ending of a novel. It leaves too many loose ends. I understand this is to draw the reader into reading the next book, but I believe it would the a good start to another book or as the second chapter in another book.

My final issue with the book is that I feel, without any knowledge of the next two books in the series, that all three or the first two in the series could have been one novel. I worry that this will get dragged out longer than necessary.

I recommend this book to those who like to read historical fiction (particularly the Renaissance), fantasy, or mythology. Most of the major characters are in the coming-of-age category.

Genre: Historical fantasy

3 Out of 5 Stars

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