I received a free review copy of The Cobweb Bride via Netgalley.
The Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian is a fantasy novel which tells the story of Death’s demand for his Cobweb Bride. The premise of the book is that Death has refused to take any more dying people or animals until his Cobweb Bride presents herself to him at his hidden fortress. It follows the journeys of several potential Cobweb Brides as well as those interested in aiding as well as thwarting them.
What I liked
I DEVOURED this book. The premise was excellent and well written, and I especially enjoyed the impact that the livestocks’ not dying had on the food supply. This added an extra layer of tension to the novel.
In general, the characters were well written and engaging. It was fun to speculate about which character might be the Cobweb Bride. I especially enjoyed the character development of Percy. The author was skilled at providing each character with a very personal and believable reason for their involvement in the quest for Death’s Cobweb Bride, which adds to the reader’s engagement in the characters and therefore the story.
There were some interesting distinctions drawn between those characters still alive and those whom Death had refused to claim. It was interesting that the dead characters continued to develop emotionally, most notably Claere Liguon, even though physically they had been essentially frozen at the point of death.
The pacing of the novel was slow but steady, which gave plenty of time to be invested in the characters. Some people may feel it was a little too slow for their liking.
Magic in the novel is what Brandon Sanderson would describe as a “soft” magic system. It is present, but at this point it is not meant to be understood by either the characters or the readers. I look forward to reading more about Grial and her involvement.
What I didn’t like
There were a few subplots and minor characters introduced which didn’t seem to lead anywhere – an example of this is the mutual spying in the Silver and Sapphire Courts. The Cobweb Bride is just the first in a planned trilogy, so perhaps this will be explored further in subsequent books.
I didn’t feel the connection between Percy and Death was described clearly enough. Again, this may well be explored further in subsequent books, but I struggled to get to grips with that particular aspect of the novel.
Despite these minor quibbles, I loved The Cobweb Bride and give it five stars out of five.