July 5, 2014

Shield of Winter. Nalini Singh

Shield of Winter.
Shield of Winter
Nalini Singh
Published: Gollancz
Date: 5th June 2014
Format: Hardback
Pages: 416
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Own book
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Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…
My thoughts
Shield of Winter is # 13 in the Psy/Changeling series.  I liked it every bit as much as the previous ones.  I continue to be amazed at the world building and writing of Nalini Singh.  

This is the story of Vasic, one of the Arrows.  We have met him in other books as he carried out his job of teleporting people very fast, whenever needed.  Like many of the Arrows he has a dark background, having trained under the ghastly Ming LeBon.  Fortunately he and Aden became fast friends from an very early age, and Aden has always kept an eye out for Vasic.  Vasic doesn't have a very good view of himself and has volunteered for a gauntlet that has become biologically fused with him.  The only problem is the inventor has disappeared, and as it was never actually intended to be used yet, it has faults.  While Vasic does not value himself that much, Aden does and so does Ivy Jane as she becomes more and more involved with him.

Ivy Jane is one of the empaths - those that were despised and during the time of Silence, were kept hidden, or killed off.  Now as Silence has fallen, everyone is aware of a black, mad darkness that is threatening the Psy net.  All those emotions that have been denied and not allowed are destroying the health of the net.  Everywhere there are outbreaks of Psy going mad and killing themselves and others.

Vasic and Ivy Jane, along with others must work together to find a solution.  There is no easy solution, yet they will not give up. Ivy is a strong heroine, and at no point does she allow herself to be dictated to.  She is always ready to go to the extreme to work to save the Net and to show Vasic what a wonderful Psy he is.  However there is another problem at the more personal level,  Ivy Jane and Vasic may lose one another because of that pesky, problematic gauntlet.  And time is running out.

A strong romance develops between Ivy and Vasic, and this moved along at a very good pace, giving new meaning to the 'steamy' in romance.  I loved Vasic questioning Judd, to get pointers!  As an Arrow and TK-V passionate love making is going to have some side effects that can be just a little disconcerting for your partner.  However during the exploration Vasic comes up with a solution of his own. 

Great science fiction, paranormal and romantic elements all came together to bring me hours of pleasurable reading.  Now I am looking forward to Aden's story.   For anyone who thinks this series might be ending, read Nalini Singh's reassurances that she has more in store! I for one look forward to the next step in the journey.

5 stars
Published in 2014 book

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