And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she's too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.
This time, even Aden's passionate determination may not be enough - because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken . . . like Zaira.
Rich, dark, sumptuous and evocative . . . bestselling author Nalini Singh is back with a stunning, dark and passionate new tale.
Comment: The Psy/Changeling series by author Nalini Singh is, without a doubt, the best well built and developed world I've read about in terms of fantasy/paranormal fiction. Although some books can have better romance stories than others, they all delivery an amazing story based on the author's imagination and writing talent. Therefore, I was certain I was going to have a great book to read. This is the latest installment and it features a psy-psy pair again.
In this book, which starts slightly after the happenings in the previous one, Shield of Winter, we follow Aden and Kaira, two Arrows that have always had a connection since they met as children in the Arrow training.
Aden is the current leader of the Arrows, not only for his natural skills and experience but also because of his dedication and magnetism. Zaira is one of his Arrows but she knows a part of her is unstable. Their connection started of as innocent and has progressed until the point where, now out of Silence, they can try to see where their emotions and feelings take them.
However, someone wants do discredit the Arrows. It will take a lot of courage and proof of Aden's abilities and those that are with him to finally send the message that all psy need about the safety of their people...
I was impressed again by how intricate is the world ms Singh has created. If one were to set the romance aspects apart, what would be left is a world and communities and a society that, even with its members' flaws, it would still be well thought and captivating. I think this is one of the reasons why so many readers like them. Sure, the romances are good, the characters interesting, but everything that surrounds them, the way things work, they way their communities are shaped, the way they live... I find all of this fascinating and it's one of the best things about the series.
In this book, we keep seeing the development of several arteries in the psy world, something that needs to be addressed after the fall of Silence two books ago. Since Aden is the leader of the Arrows, in his book we also see how the Arrows - as a group - start to mobilize themselves to be a close community and that the methods of teaching small children is going to change. I really liked how the Arrows looked up other species to see how they could change things and start developing a way of letting their members be useful and happier but still with a certain sense of discipline their psychic powers require. In fact I'd have to say I much preferred the plot and world building in this book than the romance.
The love story between Aden and Zaira is as beautiful as all the romances before, but it didn't felt as magical, as "inevitable", you know? I think part of it could be because of their relationship as children so they knew each other previously and because they are psy there's also a bit of coolness in their handling of things. I don't think this ruins the romance but it's part of how they were educated. I think I'd have liked more spontaneity and surprise in their finding that love is strong instead of just approaching it as something they thought about but now they realize it can happen.
Despite all this, much of the joy of reading a book in this series is how important a couple can be and the fact they were together and happy and trying to be strong together for the ones they considered their family was as beautiful and vital to this story as was their relationship.
I liked this book and, for me, more important than the little details piled together it's the global idea of what this world is and how special the connections between the characters are that really grabs me and keeps captivating me to read the series. Thankfully, the author knows what she's doing with the PSy/Changelings.