Cobweb Empire (英語) ハードカバー – 2013/9/30
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In a world where no one can die, she alone can kill...
COBWEB EMPIRE (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book Two) is the second book of the intricate epic fantasy flavored by Renaissance history and the romantic myth of Persephone, about death's ultimatum to the world.
Now that she's Death's Champion, what will Percy do?
In a world where all death and dying has ceased, and only one person can kill, everyone can only expect a miracle. But what if it's just the tip of the iceberg?
Percy Ayren must make her way south, despite all odds, to the place where the death shadow of the Cobweb Bride calls her. With the help of her companions and the invincible black knight, Lord Beltain Chidair whose enigmatic presence disturbs her in a way she cannot explain, Percy must continue her quest, while the mortal world falls apart around them....
Meanwhile, the Marquis Vlau Fiomarre faces the truth of his impossible feelings for Claere Liguon, the Emperor's daughter. He had cruelly taken her life, and now he must serve her until his last dying breath -- it is no longer a matter of honor but secret passion.
And now, the world itself is changing.... A new dark witch rises, and she will make your heart freeze with her beauty and power....
Empires clash, kings and emperors and gods vie for supremacy, the living and the dead are at war, while love stories play out in amazing directions, and new mind-blowing mysteries are born.
Experience the stunning continuation of the epic story in Cobweb Empire.
There's no leisurely development here; Persephone is a woman on a mission, and she answers to Death himself. Percy is a changed woman too... Death's gift to her is double edged- she can grant what no other can (or will) grant- a true death... it also makes her an extremely desirable person in a not-so-good way. Quite literally, Percy's ability can change the balance of power in the political morass of the Empire. While Percy is practical, level-headed, and strong, she is tender-hearted, and therefore manipulable... and just how useful would it be to have the only person who can grant true death under your control?
The Infanta is an amazing character too... since she's essentially a zombie, you wouldn't expect subtle thought to remain in her skill set, yet it does. She's remarkably astute, and not afraid of using her position as the (deceased) Infanta to protect those she's come to value. She demands what is due to her position without giving others time to consider if she's still entitled to the perquisites normally given the living. She seems to have gotten much smarter in death than her actions when alive led me to expect. Swearing Beltain directly to herself rather than the normal sequence of vassalage shows a genius for politics that I never expected, given how young and silly she was at the time of her death... she also seems to have developed emotionally as well which is, I have to tell you, completely unexpected in a dead woman. It makes me wonder what Nazarian has planned for the Infanta and the Marquis.
I could go on and on discussing this second book in the Cobweb trilogy; it's got such an excellent plot, and Nazarian juggles multiple sub-plots and arcs with grace and flair, each sub-plot and each supporting arc rising to the surface at the perfect time and retreating after subtly making its point. It's intricate but easy to understand, complex but not obscure. This book is damned cool, and I'm really glad to have found this series. I VERY rarely give 5 stars, but I think Cobweb is going to become a part of fantasy canon.
What I enjoy most about this book (and series) is the beautiful writing style of Nazarian. Her writing gives a feel of wonder and magic, complementing the tone of the book perfectly. The way the book is narrated you feel as though you are transported to that time period. The cadence, wording, everything is blended together to create a world that’s sort of part of our history but not truly so. She did a great job of conveying the eerie nature of the “living dead” and the macabre nature of what they’ve become. I am glad to see there is no drop off in the writing from the first book to this second one.
While the first book laid the foundation of the series and therefore took some time for the action to build up, the second book took a different tone. From the beginning, you were not lacking in action. Events moved a lot more swiftly in this book, so your attention was engaged from the start. With that said however, it doesn’t mean that everything was hurried. Even with things were moving at a good pace, it still devoted time to developing the different plotlines involved.
I was really impressed at how Nazarian managed to connect the different aspects of the story’s plot together without making it seem convoluted. I loved how you were introduced to a character or an event without really understanding how they initially fit into the book, but as you read further on everything starts making sense. There were a lot more layers to the story than what you were initially given in the first book. This is more than just death wanting his bride, but a world that’s dissolving and coming to war. And by the end of this book, you come to find that there’s more story to explore. It just goes to show how much depth there is to this book and series as a whole.
I appreciated how this book took the time to show the consequences of Percy’s ability as “Death’s Champion”. Not only the concrete effects of her ability, but the emotional aspect of it. You see the good that it can do, but at the same time it makes Percy an outcast of sorts in her world. To some she is a being to feared, to others she can be a weapon to wield and there are those who see her as a being that bring eternal comfort to their loved ones. I just felt this book had a little more emotional content that wasn’t there as much in the first book.
Just like with the first book, I was enthralled with Cobweb Empire. The beautiful writing, charismatic characters with a very likeable heroine, and layered story creates a wonderful book that transports you to a world of magic and macabre. I was entertained from the first page to the last, wondering what is going to happen next. Just as the first book made me want to read the second, so has this second book made me eager to read the final installment of the series.