A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review and as part of the Fiction Addiction blog tour. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
Cobweb Bride is one of the best fantasy books I've read all year. Yeah, you read that right. I knew from the second I read the blurb and saw the cover that I had to read this book. It just sounded so unique. I keep coming back to that word when reflecting upon the story. Unique.
Like many hugely imaginative fantasy novels, theres a lot to explain and a lot to establish in the first half of the book. There were a lot of names, places, and things to remember. I think that's why the first half took longer to get through. It was really interesting, it just sometimes felt like a lot to remember because we were following different people in different areas of the realm. The realm was a fictitious country wedged in between Spain, France and Germany. Without even glancing at the map on the first page-- you'll be able to gather this. The names, styles, titles, and mannerisms reek of European Renaissance. I had it's own unique twist though, and truly did feel like another country. Actually, it may be more correct to say it felt like a European country in a parallel universe. Sounds super cool-- doesn't it? Well, thats because it is. You'd think that perhaps it'd be difficult to invent a new European country without making it seem like a replica or just an amalgam of euro cultures. I don't know how the author accomplished it, but she did. There was just the perfect amount of familiarity mixed with a completely new feel to the world. I loved it.
Like I mentioned before, it was hard at first to keep up with all the different characters and their relationships with one another. But about 1/3 of the way in I felt completely invested in not only the story but the characters as well. My favorite was Percy; although I also loved Claere and Vlau, oh and the Black Knight. But more on his royal hotness later. The fact is, there were many different relationships in the book and I cared about every single one of them. Very important, for me anyway. If I deeply care for the characters in a novel-- its safe to say I loved it. There were two couples, in particular that I was (and still am) exceedingly anxious for. I want to see what happens and I want them to be together! For a book with this many characters; it was so natural and easy to feel so attached and protective of each of them.
Another one of my favorite things, besides the world building and characters, was the writing. The prose was absolutely beautiful. There were so many sentences I highlighted just because they were perfection. The prose was full of imagery to the point that you can easily forget you're reading at all. Does that ever happen to you; you're so engrossed in the book that you don't realize you're reading because you feel as if you're actually witnessing/living the events? I'm sure there's a name for it....great writing? Whatever it is, I love when that happens and Nazarian made it happen, baby.
Oh yeah, I said I'd come back to discussing my literary boyfriend, erm..i mean, The Black Knight. Ok I admit it; something happened these past few days while I was reading this book. I found a new crush. I know, I know, I should be a little embarrassed. I mean, were just from different worlds. *snort* anyway, the Duke of Hotness Smoldertown was a really fun character to read about. He's hot, like...hellooo you can snuggle next to me every night (when you read the book you'll get it). *fans self* ok, sorry, I just had to warn you ladies that he's MINE (although I'll share him with Persephone, but that's it!).
Claere kinda freaked me out. Don't get me wrong I adore her; especially at first. But with the other girls she just got kinda weird. I love her and her man though. I mean, how messed up was that? The concept of falling in love with the person who killed you. (It's in the blurb, so I didn't allude to a spoiler). In a way it makes sense, killing is a very intimate act. It's definitely not the first time I've heard this idea that the act of killing creates a bond (Anne Rice/Lestat, Harry Potter, etc). However unique to this story is the fact that's it's a romantic bond; despite the individuals trying to deny this tie/desire. I actually really loved this idea and it's one of my favorite things about the book. I don't want to say more about it, because I feel like unless you're reading the story it's gonna sound really messed up and repulsive. By the end, though, you may just be rooting for a murderer.
Cobweb Bride is like a big budget epic movie. Imagine reading this book is watching the first half. You have to know what happens after intermission or the first movie! Gah! I NEED to read Cobweb Empire, ASAP. This book would make an awesome movie. It's so detailed and elaborate. Although I'm not sure it'll beat the movie that played in my brain when I read it.