Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh


Title: Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling # 13)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 3 June 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters

Author's links: Website / Facebook / TwitterGoodreads

My rating: 4 Stars


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


Contains spoilers for te previous books in the series.

The Psy-Changeling is by far the best PNR series that I've read. I love everything about it - the complex world building, the hot and tender love stories, the humour, the action, the political intrigues, all this is presented in a captivating, sensual writing style of Ms Singh.

The previous book, Heart of Obisian, brought a sort of closure, Silence has fallen and the Psy Council no longer exits but in the new world the Psy race is faced with a dangerous infection spreading on the Net which could mean the end of their race.

This installment of the series focuses on the struggles of the Psy to save themselves from total madness and violence and the unlikely saviors - the Arrows and the Empaths. We got to see more and more of the Arrows in the previous two books and finally, here the hero is one of the most intriguing and damaged Arrows himself, Vasic. Taking the task to guard the empaths brings him to the door step of Ivy - who proves to be his own salvation.

The attraction between them is instant but their romance is slow and their discover sensual pleasure, joy and ultimately lvoe, step by step. Ivy reminded a lot of Sascha, since both are empaths, they have a lot in common - they are both vibrant, full of live, emotions, opposite of the Arrows and Vasic, in particular. He is nothing like Lucas, unfamiliar with love, tenderness, care but with a deep protective instinct. His transformation from total numbness, from deperate to hopeful to joyful was a pleasure to read. 

They discovered touch and pleasure together, using manuals and the sex talk Vasic had with Judd is one of the highlights of the book for me. Like a true soldier - he thought thing s through, studied them in-depth - he applied logic and practice and repetion to love and feelings, since this ws was the only way he knew how to function.

I really lvoed the romance in this book but I was not very happy with some plot developments. I liked seeing some of the couples from the previous books but I expected Sascha and Lucas to be much more involved in this story. I didn't care much about Kaleb and Sahara and since their story was already covered in the previous book, I felt their scenes here didn't add anything new to the story. There is also an episode with Hawke and Sienna discussing the situation with Ming but I felt it was out of place since the Ming issue was not resolved in this book.

I enjoyed the parallel secondary romance between Jaya and Abbott and would have loved it to have been further developed. I also very much liked Aden and his presence in this book as Vasic's best friend, together with Zie Zen who added yet another dimension to Vasic and his past. 

I was not particularly happy with how much attention was devoted to the problems with Vasic's gauntlet and it being presented as yet another obstacle before him and Ivy. I feel more focus should have been given to finding a way to cure the infection in the Net since it posed the main conflict in the story and yet it was far too simply and quickly resolved. 

The ending was all kinds of heartwarming and sweet and I loved it. Despite some issues I had with the plot, I still enjoyed Vasic and Ivy's romance a lot and I think the fans of the series will love this book as well. 

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