They just might survive…if they don’t kill each other first.
Once the future Segestriidae maven, Kaidi lived a privileged life. Now she spends her nights haunting cities ravaged by the plague. Spade in hand, she stalks rows of freshly dug graves for corpses…and then she takes their heads.
Her new life is caked in blood and spattered with gore, but it’s hers. At least until—to her fury—she’s caught napping.
A plague survivor by the skin of his teeth, Murdoch risks his neck to solve the mysteries left in its wake. Bodies have gone missing. Guards have left their posts and never returned home.
When he rouses a female dozing among the dead, he’s unprepared for the violence of her response. Or his. Beneath the grime, she’s lovely. Too bad the blood under her fingernails belongs to his clansmen.
He has no choice but to follow this alluring creature deeper into her world of winged beasts and flesh-eating monsters. She holds the knowledge he craves, but the price is high—and they may both pay for it with their lives.
Warning: This book contains one heroine in desperate need of a bath and one hero willing to wash away her sins. Expect threats, swears and general cursing. Love is a slippery slope, and these two are sliding.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
In April of last year I was browsing Samhain’s list of weekly releases and noticed a story called A Hint of Frost. I read the blurb and found myself intrigued by the description of the world and the characters. So I started reading and immediately found myself even more intrigued because the characters had some spider-like tendencies among them possessing fully functioning spinnerets. I mean you don’t encounter such characters unless they are the villain normally. I couldn’t put the book down through its various twists and turns and immediately started looking for information about future books set in the same world. Happily Edwards has continued writing because I have enjoyed each installment. As a result when we received the request to participate in her blog tour/review I leapt at the chance. This latest installment has continued on Edwards’ path of keeping me both intrigued and entertained.
This thing called the Yellow Death has spread quickly across the country killing animals and people alike. Although, men and women aren’t dying or even getting infected at the same rates nor is this disease hitting all of the different enclaves with the same force. The remaining leadership has been scrambling to determine causes, prevention, and even cures against what seems to be a losing battle. Add in politics, secrets, tradition, mistrust, events that are so farfetched they must be seen to be believed, and a great mixture of strong personalities and I couldn’t stop flipping the pages.
Kaidi’s life took a very drastic turn away from the life she grew up expecting with the arrival of the Yellow Death and its aftermath. She discovered a secret kept by her promised husband and ran in fear of her life to some distant relatives. As the Yellow Death spread, she also stumbled upon an ugly aspect of the disease yet when she tried to convince those who knew her of the additional problem no one believed her. So Kaidi decided she would do everything she could to save other cities from what she discovered by beheading fresh corpses. As I am sure you could imagine this was a bloody, gruesome lone task and I had the impression that as time passed Kaidi was having a hard time holding onto the memories that she once had a different life. It was so fascinating to see bits and pieces of her personality start to emerge from the horror her life had become yet she never lost sight of what she was trying to prevent and her duty to her people. The way she was able to give on some things and yet continue fighting on others despite her obvious fears. How innocent she was in the game of politics and yet how fiercely she tried to play the game for what she wanted.
Murdoch was also dealing with a lot. He survived the Yellow Death but lives in a city where most of the women died and some of the surviving men are randomly vanishing. He was tasked to solve the issue of the disappearances but based on concerns about raising fear among the populace had to remain very discreet about his mission. I loved seeing this strong man struggle between his loyalty to his rulers, the worsening menace, and his growing attraction to Kaidi. Even when his suspicions about certain things were proven correct he meekly accepted his punishment without knowing how harsh it would be because he had done it for his people and his ruler. Seeing him shift from being so incredibly by-the-book into someone who was willing to take a chance for the greater good and yet pay the price was pretty amazing.
Edwards also threw in some very interesting side characters. I really hope one, well, make that two in particular get their own stories because they fascinated me. Both had some unexpected depths and secrets. In addition to new side characters, some previous ones made their appearance and played some significant parts. I enjoy seeing the stars of previous installments because they add a sense of connection to the world as well as allowing a glimpse into their evolution. Responsibility can change people to a certain extent so seeing the results of that weight on Murdoch’s rulers from their story just showed how Edwards isn’t letting her characters stagnate even when their time under the spotlight is over.
I haven’t really talked much about the plot here because I think discovering the twists and turns in this particular installment are crucial. If I say much beyond the blurb, I think it will spoil the story. I did really enjoy how Edwards introduced a few new aspects and how they seemed to tie into a suspicion voiced by a character in an previous installment. I am curious to see how this discovery will play out and the resulting chaos. I really enjoyed reading A Time of Dying and I look forward to what Edwards brings to this world next.
I give A Time of Dying a B+