Book Review & Giveaway: Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian @norilana

cobweb brideReview

I loved the idea of this story.  And I can honestly say, the way the author implemented the concept was absolutely brilliant.  I mean, the initial scenes, when Death has chosen not to take the dying, brilliant.  Clear, vivid, haunting, and borderline traumatic.  I spent the time when I was reading it with my jaw dropped, devastated by what those people would end up going through before their times finally came.  Imagine, people in unbearable pain, but unable to get the release they so needed.

And there was one part I didn’t see at all.  I don’t want to say what it is because I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but it threw the entire situation into an entirely new dimension.  It was a part of Death doing his job I would have never foreseen, and it was brilliant.
There were, as with most books, parts I didn’t like.  For one, it takes hours for Rigor Mortis to set in, not minutes.  Also, the author makes comments about people starting to stink, when I’m not sure they should have yet.  Bodies can take several days to stink even in warm weather.  It’s ice cold.  A body wouldn’t even start to decay and stink until the weather warmed up again.  Also, there was an element involving food I found confusing.  They were concerned about food running out, but in those times, they would rely on the previous harvest all through the winter.  Why would there be a food shortage?
I liked all the twists in the book.  There were quite a few times when I thought I knew how things were going to go, and was pleasantly surprised.
My main problem with the story, however, was with the ending.  The author keeps the momentum going straight up to the very end.  Which I kind of liked, up until the moment when the book just suddenly stopped.  I hadn’t been paying attention to how far in I was, and felt jipped when it just ended like that.  I felt like I was only halfway through.
When I thought about it, the book really did have an ending, which is why I say it was likely the momentum which was the problem.  It didn’t feel like it was ending any time soon, but it did.  There was a conclusion, and it did complete a story arc.  I will give her that.  I’ve read quite a few novels and novellas where I felt like the author just left me hanging.  This one was a cliffhanger, and clearly part of a series, but it had an ending.
Overall, I enjoyed the book.  There were some spots that nagged at me on the details of death, but I enjoyed it, and the pace kept me reading along at an alarming rate.  Definitely worth a read.


Many are called… She alone can save the world and become Death’s bride.

COBWEB BRIDE (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One) 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.


Praise for Other Vera Nazarian Books


Trade References:

“…a clever concoction of vignettes and short stories knitted into a morality tale about the temptation of illusion and the price of truth…. an exotic setting reminiscent of Tanith Lee’s Flat Earth series…. The author’s sumptuous language will resonate with Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith fans…. Nazarian’s vital themes and engaging characters are sure to entertain.”

Publishers Weekly on Dreams of the Compass Rose


“Nazarian’s story cycle treads the borderline between the episodic novel and the short-story collection, recalling the work of contemporary fantasist Charles de Lint, early-twentieth-century fantasist Lord Dunsany, and even, reaching way back, The Thousand and One Nights….her imagery is rich, vivid, and memorable, not to mention being remarkable because she realizes it not in her native language, Russian, but in English…. Indeed, this is a singularly appealing book by a new voice in fantasy.”

Roland Green, ALA Booklist on Dreams of the Compass Rose


“In a world devoid of color, the woman warrior Rahne swears herself to a mysterious nobleman traveling to the exotic city of Tronaelend-Lis, the City of Dreams, where a decadent brother and sister rule as co-regents in the absence of the land’s true ruler. When an evil being representing true Darkness threatens the safety of the colorless world, Rahne is drawn into a spiritual journey in search of a legendary phenomenon known as Rainbow in an attempt to find a way to defeat the dark. The author of Dreams of the Compass Rose brings to life a unique fantasy world in which lost colors hold the key to salvation. Nazarian’s fluid storytelling and vividly drawn characters make this unusual fantasy a good choice for most libraries.”

Library Journal on Lords of Rainbow


“Nazarian creates a unique civilization and populates it with heroic archetypes who stand on their own. Extravagant language reminiscent of Dunsany and even Tolkien adds to the legendary feel…. an innovative premise, consistent world-building, and appealing heroes mark this as the work of an emerging talent… readers may find themselves heralding a new star of fantasy fiction.”

Romantic Times Book Club on Lords of Rainbow


“Sixteen cautionary, sensual stories of love, reversal and revenge upend fairy tale conventions in Nazarian’s lush collection (after 2003’s Lords of Rainbow). Some pieces retell classic stories: “Absolute Receptiveness, the Princess, and the Pea” compellingly subverts the cliché of the tender princess into a disturbing rape fantasy. “Beauty and His Beast” recasts the beast as an ugly but perceptive princess. Other stories approach myth. In “Sun, in Its Copper Season,” the avatar of the sun falls in love with the man who brings the four seasons, and in “Lore of Rainbow,” a wife seeks her missing husband, only to discover that he is the personification of a color. Adventure stories skirt the edges of the expected: in “The Slaying of Winter,” a woman seeks revenge on a god for her family’s destruction, only to find forgiveness; and in the near-future “Rossia Moya,” a woman and Russia itself both rediscover their heritage. Sumptuous detail, twisty plots and surprising endings lift these extravagant tales.”

Publishers Weekly on Salt of the Air


cobweb bride authorAbout the Author


Other work includes the 2008 Nebula Finalist novella The Duke in His Castle, science fiction collection After the Sundial (2010), The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (2010), and four Jane Austen parodies, Mansfield Park and Mummies (2009), Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (2010), Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret (2012), and Pagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency (forthcoming), all part of her Supernatural Jane Austen Series.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera now lives in a small town in Vermont. She uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art. In addition to being a writer, philosopher, and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.


Vera’s links:

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Norilana Books:


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Vera Nazarian’s Amazon Author Central page


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