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Cobweb Bride [NOOK Book]

Overview

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.

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Cobweb Bride

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Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The ruritanian kingdom of Lethe, nestled between Spain and France, is denied Death’s services until he is provided with his Cobweb Bride. Death’s absence does not mean freedom from those things that should kill, only from the release of mortality itself. As the mortally sick and grievously injured languish, women from all over Lethe reluctantly offer themselves as Death’s bride; unloved Percy is one such volunteer. Not everyone dislikes the deathless state of affairs; the “reeking corpse” of the late Duke Hoarfrost has no intention of abandoning his power merely because he should be dead, and as the migrating brides soon discover, the duke is willing to go to great extremes to keep Death retired. Norilana-owner Nazarian (Mansfield Park and Mummies) writes clean and true prose, but despite Percy’s pluck and the laudable zeal with which the grasping duke chews the scenery, the story is a bit too familiar and not especially engaging. (July)
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940044600089
  • Publisher: Norilana Books
  • Publication date: 3/8/2013
  • Series: Cobweb Bride , #1
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 2,300
  • File size: 781 KB

Meet the Author

VERA NAZARIAN immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at the age of 17, and since then has published numerous works in anthologies and magazines, and has seen her fiction translated into eight languages.She made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed arabesque "collage" novel DREAMS OF THE COMPASS ROSE (2002), followed by epic fantasy about a world without color, LORDS OF RAINBOW (2003). Her novella THE CLOCK KING AND THE QUEEN OF THE HOURGLASS from PS Publishing with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2005. Her debut short fiction collection SALT OF THE AIR, with an introduction by Gene Wolfe, contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated "The Story of Love."Recent work includes the 2008 Nebula Award-nominated, self-illustrated baroque fantasy novella THE DUKE IN HIS CASTLE (2008), the Jane Austen parody MANSFIELD PARK AND MUMMIES (2009), and NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS (2010).Vera lives in Los Angeles and is working on a number of book-length projects including LADY OF MONOCHROME, a sequel to LORDS OF RAINBOW, a new Compass Rose milieu novel GODS OF THE COMPASS ROSE, the AIREALM trilogy, and medieval-gothic COBWEB BRIDE. 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 and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.Official website: veranazarian.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 13, 2013

    I thought the premise of this story was really interesting. I lo

    I thought the premise of this story was really interesting. I loved the play off of the Greek myth of Hades (Death) and Persephone (Percy). I also thought the concept of death being frozen quite intriguing. I've never really thought of the ramifications that would stem from that. You see, Death wants his bride, whom he cannot find, so he doesn't take anyone in death even if they physically are dead. This means that their spirits or living essence remains in their defeated bodies. This will not change until his bride comes to him. The story tells of him visiting the land and proclaiming his decision and search, the effects this has, and the characters responses. We get a wide view, but then also follow a few groups of individuals on their separate journeys and also as they meet up with each other at one point or another.

    So now that you understand the general gist of the story, I have to say that it is a rather macabre and gruesome one, especially the first third or more through. It was so outrageous and gory that after I had read about soldiers that should be dead with missing limbs and whatnot, but were still living and fighting, I just couldn't take it when I read about a farmer whose pig wouldn't die as he was slaughtering him and the pig kept squealing and his daughter ran from the house screaming. I actually started laughing. Weird response, I know. But the story was so crazy! If I would change one thing, I would have appreciated a condensed version of these types of events in the book. I think after getting the gist, I could pass on any further descriptive gory details. Now for someone who enjoys this type of thing or who is really into zombies, this might be great reading. Not so much for me. There were also some crass comments as well about the situation and about girls' bodies that were too much for me.

    Here is one example of the situation in the book and how one character felt about it:

    "No," the Infanta repeated. "It is a portion of my final will that this man first come and speak with me, so that I can understand why he did this deed. Besides, you know he literally cannot die now. You can only ruin his body, with him still inhabiting it, a macabre horror that I beg you not to enact. Thus, instead, I must take the chance to understand him."
    This almost immediately connected me to the Infanta. I really liked her thoughts and her decisions after what happened to her. This was in great contrast to another character whose body was dead, but who decided to fight Death's search so that he could live forever, and if he had to kill others so that they would be in the same state as him, so be it. That is just so wrong to me. I had debated stopping at a point just before this, but I did want to know what happened and if Percy was Death's Cobweb Bride. I struggled on and then after about half-way through the book the story didn't contain as much of the macabre situations or descriptions as in the first part. The characters and their journeys also come to the forefront of the story. This part of the book I actually really enjoyed. I really liked Percy, the Black Knight, the Infanta and her companion, and Death himself. I liked their actions and the small moments of thoughts, meaningful looks, and conversations.

    Here is a quote I really liked from Death:

    "Since the dawn of existence, you mortals have feared dying, feared the unknown and the pain of it, and yet, pain is a part of life, not death. And I–I am the first moment after pain ceases," he pronounced. "It is life that fights and struggles and rages; life, that tears at you in its last agonizing throes to hold on, even if but for one futile instant longer. . . . Whereas I, I come softly when it is all done."

    This was like a nugget of wisdom among a crazy situation. The ending about killed me because, of course, this isn't a stand-alone, so there will be two more books to finish the story. There were the beginnings of a couple of love stories, but I don't know how they will turn out and who Death's bride is. I thought I knew, but I was wrong (unless there is a serious twist later).

    If you don't mind the macabre content and you would like to read a very unique Gothic tale, then I would recommend picking this up.



    Content: Quite a bit of violence, some crass comments/descriptions, and some innuendo.


    Source: I received a copy from the tour host, which did not affect my review in any way.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2013

    A powerful story along the lines of Death Takes a Holiday. As cr

    A powerful story along the lines of Death Takes a Holiday. As creepy and disturbing an opening as one can hope for, the story could easily be classed as horror. Yet, it is a story of redemption and second chances, of finding oneself under circumstances that are as strange as they possibly can be. The author touches upon themes of how the desire to hang on to power corrupts not only psychologically but physically as well, the desire to be accepted and useful, and that overriding desire to love and be loved. The politics are complex but not overly so. I liked the descriptions of what can happen should people be unable to die. And the ending will surprise as well as whet your appetite for the second in this trilogy. Highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2013

    I loved the idea of this story.  And I can honestly say, the way

    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.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    I did not know what to expect when i started this book. But foun

    I did not know what to expect when i started this book. But found an opulent and detailed world, where death has ceased his function. He will no longer take those who have earned in valor or sickness, in weakness or strength the reward of ending of a life. It has come to pass that he has lost his Cobweb Bride, and that in his longing he has asked the world to help him find her.  Percy (Persephone) is a young peasant girl, who is not beautiful or comely, but hides her intelligence and curiosity behind a shroud of misdirection. Only loved by her father whom she helps work on the farm. Her grandmother has be left stuck between the living and the dead. And her death rattle has echoed through the house for days, when an announcement comes to their little town that Death is waiting his Cobweb Bride, and that all eligible girls are to attempt to reach is castle and attempt to become his Cobweb Bride.  This all occurs in the first chapter of this book. And a reader will find that with in its pages is a great love story, and a great story of loss, fealty, and compassion. 

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2014

    I loved the whole trilogy.  Unique and kept me turning the pages

    I loved the whole trilogy.  Unique and kept me turning the pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Sorry

    I hate the writing style, I can say that I tried to endure it for 175 pas because the plot was good but I sometimes got confused.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Not a big fan

    I do not care for the writing style.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2014

    This book is well written and unique. I loved how it kept me gue

    This book is well written and unique. I loved how it kept me guessing. I hate it when I can predict the plot. This author has me so excited to see where the story is going.  It is a bit gory, but not too bad. Loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2014

    was very unhappy

    I loved the title and was hoping for more. The book didn't flow for me. I couldn't follow along. sadly disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    This book was a departure from what I normally read, but I reall

    This book was a departure from what I normally read, but I really enjoyed it! If you like historical fiction with a twist, you should give this book a try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Jrt

    What a good book had you guessing who the bride was going to be. I would recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Unique and compelling!

    I LOVED this book! The story was so different from anything I'd ever read...it's refreshing to come across a new idea for a change. Yes, there are some graphic scenes, especially early on, but I think that was done purposely by the author to illustrate how lack of death is actually a curse and not a blessing. I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. This is more of a fairy tale for adults. This story was very well written, and was quite thought provoking. It'd be a good book club pick. I never was quite sure what was going to happen next; this book held my interest because there was nothing predictable about it! As stated by another reviewer, the book did end kind of abruptly. There was a definite conclusion, not just a cliffhanger ending, but it came so suddenly in the story that I was a little shocked. Part of the problem was that there are about 30 extra pages at the end, so you think there is more to come, and part of the problem is just the way it's written. All in all, this was a great read. I plan on purchasing the sequel and checking out other works by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2013

    Death has stopped visiting those whose time is up. No one and n

    Death has stopped visiting those whose time is up. No one and nothing will die until Death finds his Cobweb Bride. But who or what is a Cobweb Bride?

    There are multiple points of view in the story, however, the narrative comes back to Persephone, nickname Percy.

    The characters are all authentic with realistic goals for their situations.

    Dialogue helps to define characters and their development.

    A detailed, vivid narrative helps drive the story and place the action.

    Reality and unreality blend together throughout various settings, characters, and occurrences with a natural rhythm.

    Overall, a fun read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I read this book in one sitting, and was left speechless. I love

    I read this book in one sitting, and was left speechless. I love Vera Nazarian's previous novels, but they pale in comparison to the utter perfection that is Cobweb Bride. It is quite simply one of the most beautifully written stories I have ever read.

    The eerie descriptions paint a wintery world of shadow and breathless anticipation seemingly without effort. You know how in some books you find yourself skimming over the descriptions to get to the interesting part? Not in this book, you don't. The world is a living, breathing character.

    In many ways, this story is a fairy-tale. A dark, shivery fairy-tale with an intensity that grabs hold and doesn't let go. I am having trouble describing the atmosphere, it is so different from other books. It is macabre and wondrous, beautiful and frightening, all at the same time.

    I generally dislike books with multiple main characters and story-lines, but it didn't bother me for a moment in Cobweb Bride, so skillfully were they woven together. The murdered princess unable to die, the unappreciated daughter who finds purpose, the conflicted young knight...their unconnected lives suddenly inextricably bound together. I found it fascinating to watch everyone react to a world where people were suddenly unable to die. Wonder, horror, revulsion, fear, grief - everyone reacts differently.

    The author does a wonderful job in explaining how important death is, in ways both obvious and unexpected. When suddenly no one and nothing dies, the world becomes, oddly enough, a scarier place. It is rare to find a fantasy novel of such depth.

    I would recommend this book to pretty much everybody. I honestly can't think of a single complaint or flaw. This story can be enjoyed equally by men and women, teens and adults. It's the closest to a perfect book I've come across in a long time.

    I received an advance e-galley through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2014

    I love how this story centers around Greek mythology. That's wh

    I love how this story centers around Greek mythology. That's what first pulled me into getting this book. I did feel, however, that there were many sections of the book that seemed to go on and on and on. Some of the battles were so drawn out that I found myself skimming through them. As much as I'd like to know the end of this storyline, I'm just not sure that I want to buy the second and third books in this series.

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  • Posted September 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Death has decreed that he will stop taking souls until his Cobwe

    Death has decreed that he will stop taking souls until his Cobweb Bride returns to him. This means no one will die, even when slain in battle or deathly ill – they will continue to simply be. Horrible, right? Even worse, this applies to every living thing, including the plants and animals that all living beings need to survive! (A reviewer seemed confused by this, I will explain shortly.) So if the Cobweb Bride does not return to Death’s side soon, every living being in the world will eventually fall victim to this in between world of life and death. But who or what is a Cobweb Bride?

    The premise of this novel is absolutely horrifying – I LOVE IT. The depth of this plot is brilliantly woven into the details of the ramifications of Death’s proclamations. This curse will affect everyone equally.The people of the kingdoms and their surrounding villages are quick to work together to find a solution as to right the world’s imbalance, but there are some that see advantages to being neither alive nor dead, and will fight to keep the world as is. A complex and ingenious narrative is enriched with characters you grow to love and connect with.

    We are given several in depth point of views from a few central characters. Each character develops their own philosophy on Death and Life that gives them different purpose. I came to love each character for their strength and their flaws, especially Percy. Her sad existence of being unloved and uncherished doesn’t affect her ability to love and care for others – this constantly tugged on my heartstrings!

    This novel is the first in a trilogy which is the reason for its seemingly abrupt ending. But I am so engrossed in this story and so attached to the characters that I need to know what will happen next! I will definitely continue reading.

    One reviewer mentioned this “Reality and unreality blend together throughout various settings, characters, and occurrences with a natural rhythm.” This is very true. It read much like historical fiction, with a supernatural vibe. If you came across this novel because you are interested in supernatural fiction, be warned that this is not written like contemporary fiction. I hate that some rated this book poorly because of this. This book is an excellent example of its unique blending of genres, (Horror, Romance, Historical Fiction, and Fantasy) and I can’t wait to read more!

    (To the reviewer that was confused about the food source I suppose misunderstood the writing. Food that comes from animals cannot be used, as the animal does not ever actually die. You can’t cook the meat, because even while cooked it will remain raw and will even move and show signs of “life”. Plants that were harvested before Death’s proclamation are fine, but after the proclamation they discontinue their life cycle, so they will not ever reach the point of harvest again.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Great read!

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Excellent!

    Ive only given 5 stars a few times and this book is truly deserving! Its the kind of read where you find yourself checking the number of pages left because you dont want it to end! Read and leave the mundane world while you do!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Wonderful read!

    I was not familiar with the author, Vera Nazarian, before reading "Cobweb Bride" and now can't wait to start another of her novels. Stunning imagination and detail.

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  • Posted December 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian  ¿Cobweb Bride is a history-fl

    Cobweb Bride by Vera Nazarian 




    “Cobweb Bride is a history-flavored fantasy novel with romantic elements of the Persephone myth,
    about Death's ultimatum to the world. 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.”




    This book and I got off on a rocky start. The premise sounded intriguing to me so I picked it up. The problem I had with it was the over description of every tiny detail. I got lost in all the words, they
    were good words, well written poetic words. There was just too much time spent on every detail and my head was swimming with unnecessary words that didn't move the story forward. Three different kingdoms in the Imperial Realm are examined in minute detail.




    In Lethe, the old Queen lies on her deathbed unable to die. Death appears and states his plea for his Cobweb Bride to the Prince. The Prince sends out a decree in search of the Cobweb Bride, all families must send a daughter of marriageable age to Death's Keep that stands in the Northern
    Forest.




    On the frozen lake of Merlait to the north there is a battle raging between the forces of Duke Ian Chidair, known as Hoarfrost, and the armies of his neighbor, the Duke Vitalio Goraque. From a single moment on all the causalities become the walking dead, including both Dukes. Hoarfrost is unwilling to give up his status because he is undead and begins a campaign to capture the jail the girls who have been ordered to seek Death's Keep in an attempt to prevent Death from finding
    his Cobweb bride as a way to keep his dead self undead.




    Death's third stop was a poor dwelling in the Dukedom of Goraque where a peasant woman lay dying. Percy's grandmother, whose whole history is given. Persephone is described as a somewhat dull-witted, slow, sickly anemic, plain, unbecoming, and willful. She becomes our heroine as she leads a band of girls to Death's Keep. This small band of girls is where the story finally gets interesting as we follow them on their trek to Death's Keep. They are joined by her Imperial Highness, the Infanta Claere Liguon, the princess and Heir to the Realm, who has been murdered by Marquis Vlau Fiomarre. The Marquis, in a twisted sense of duty, also accompanies Claere in order to protect her. I found this Stockholm type syndrome to be quite disturbing as they are becoming quite fond of each other.




    Here is an example of one sentence that shows the author’s writing style and the relationship developing between the living Vlau and the dead Claere.




    “And now, here he was, and here she was, and it seemed at rather odd moments that the carriage was closing in on him, on her, and they were sharply aware of one another again, relieving that moment of greatest closeness and intensity, the stroke of death, the drawing of life that bound them together.”




    Hmmm, I seem to have captured a typo here also. I do believe the word “relieving” is meant to be “reliving”. There are a small number of proofing errors that didn't detract from the story overall. What was aggravating was the loose story ends that were not addressed. I can only suppose that they will be picked up and explained later in the trilogy, but with as much jumping around as there is in this book why even bring them up at this point at all?




    My assessment is that as the author became more comfortable with her story the writing improved. I think much of the set-up could have been handled in flashbacks and improved the flow of the story. Ms. Nazarian also took an interesting aspect of death to the extreme by including crops and livestock in her no-death scheme. As the stores of past harvests were depleted the newest grains became tasteless and the meat from the livestock never died or cooked properly. It was all rather chilling to read.




    What will be interesting now is to see how our heroine Percy, who develops a strange connection with Death himself after reaching the Keep goes about finding the true Cobweb Bride. It seems that Death can't see her because she contains a piece of him, however, Percy will be able to. Out of her small group she is the only one who could actually see Death and communicate with him. She is not the incompetent that her family saw her as. She has caught the eye of Beltain, the son of the Duke known as Hoarfrost. The quest for the Cobweb Bride is now on with Percy leading the way and Beltain at her side. 




    **Originally written for "Awesome Trilogies and Series" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** 12/09/2013 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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