Review: A Cast of Shadows by Hailey Edwards

Posted February 25, 2013 by Vampbard in 4 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating A, Reviews Tags: , , ,

A Cast of Shadows
Release Date: Feb. 12, 2013
Publisher: Samhain
Araneae Nation, Book 2.5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): e-book
Book Source: author

About the book

      Daraja has grown up watching her brothers journey down the river on the traditional Deinopidae rite of passage. Each returned with riches from their travels, and lovers with whom to share their lives.
      Now she has reached the age where she would strike out on her own to seek her fortune—if she were male. Instead, she is expected to sit patiently, weave her nets and wait for the river to bring a husband to her.
      Patience, however, has never been her strong suit.
      Brynmor haunts the forest surrounding the city of Cathis, his disembodied spirit inextricably bound to the wild canis roaming his lands. Until the day he stumbles across a brazen trespasser in his woods.
      Compelled to step in when the canis suspect her of poaching one of their own, Brynmor fears he has lost a piece of his ragged soul to the feisty, adventure-seeking female. And when the canis confront the real poachers, he is forced to choose which life to sacrifice. Hers…or his own.

What VampBards talking about:

      Readers of the Araneae Nation series won’t want to miss this action-packed novella, set after A Feast of Souls, the second title in the series.  Brynmor, former leader of Cathis and father to Vaughn, is running with the canis.  He lives with them.  They are now his family.  We also are lucky enough to meet Daraja, an independent woman looking for what is clearly going to define who she is, upon return to her village.
      Every story has a conflict.  That’s what makes us, as readers, invested in the plot.  I struggled a little with figuring out the main conflict in A Cast of ShadowsOnce I decided to step back and read this little 100-ish page novella for the entertainment value, and for furthering my knowledge of the Araneae, all was good.  There’s enough conflict in this novella that I’m hoping some will bleed into the next novel.
      Daraja was on a journey that many of her clanswomen before her had taken down the river.  She was looking for one of those defining moments.  The clarity of what her future would be.  I’m not going to mince words here.  I really don’t like the fact that women are expected to be married or contributing to the family in order to be valued.  However, Ms. Edwards has established in her other novels that women ARE valued, and they don’t necessarily need to be connected to a man.  This is probably a tribal thing, and doesn’t color my love for this series.  If you’re jumping in at this novella, however, keep in mind that this is **really** isolated.
      Brynmor seems to be searching for some sort of defining moment for himself as well.  Even though we have no idea how long he’s been soul-bound (I think that crosses to a different series…) to Errol, a canis that leads the pack in the woods outside Cathis, Brynmor seems to be searching, and not completely satisfied with his ‘life’ as it currently stands.  Enter Daraja.  Without spoiling the story, let me just say that Brynmor starts off as the creepy stalker dude, but winds up the epic hero.
      I think that anyone that’s a fan of Hailey Edwards’ Araneae Nation series will enjoy this explanation of what happened to Vaughn’s father, Brynmor.  It really does a fabulous job with filling-in that blank, without having a completely disconnected side plot in a longer novel.  I’m glad Brynmor’s story has been told, and I’m excited for the release of A Time of Dying, the third novel in this series, in July 2013!

VampBards Rating:

Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
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