Review – A Veil of Secrets (Araneae Nation #5) by Hailey Edwards

Reviewed by: E

Some secrets are best forgotten.

“Araneae Nation, Book 5”

Fresh from the battlefields of Erania, Marne rides south with Edan, headed for the city of Beltania. Among the Mimetidae guards accompanying them is Asher, who s been a thorn in her side since the day they met. He’s rude and abrasive yet he was the first to volunteer as escort.

Marne dreams of a fresh start where no one knows who or what she is. But first, they must cross the veil. Rumor has it spirits haunt that grim stretch of road, and unwary travelers who enter are never heard from again.

Veil or no veil, Asher is honor bound to see Marne safely to her new home. Though truth be told, Marne leaving Erania is the last thing he wants. This journey is his final chance to convince her distance will only make his heart grow fonder.

When Edan is lost to the mists, Marne is trapped in a strange land with no allies with a man who draws her closer every day. Closer to her heart, and her secrets. Secrets she must reveal if they are to save the one man bent on tearing them apart.
This blurb came from Goodreads

So back about 2 years ago I reviewed installments 3.5 and 4 in Edwards Araneae Nation series and I don’t have any good reasons for waiting this long to pick up book 5 because I enjoy this series. There will be spoilers for previous events so if you haven’t given these a try yet A Hint of Frost is the first full length story. I am still enthralled by a world populated by people who have spinnerets, some with venoms, some who are vegetarian, others who are carnivores and they are all under a multi-pronged attack. Up to this point they have been hit by a plague, faced hordes of ravening zombies (risers), discovered the risers are directed by flying creatures (harbingers) who have a hive like mentality with the ability to sting, enthrall, and infect the Araneae turning them into harbingers or risers. On the positive side, in the series so far they have managed to discover a limited cure and preventative medication for the plague but they still don’t know the origin of the plague or harbingers let alone why they are attacking.

Marne is riding south with her brother posing as a married couple with several guards. One of those guards, Asher, seems to view Marne with hatred and disgust. However, when Marne’s brother vanishes and her secret is revealed, Asher also shows he was keeping secrets. I really enjoyed watching them go from enemies, to reluctant attraction, to something much stronger. I also enjoyed watching them deal with the leftovers of trauma in their past to overcome their fear of rejection, otherness, and betrayal as they strove to rescue Edan and keep safe the source of the cure. Marne had to make some tough decisions and take some chances as she refused to give up on her brother and the chance of a better life. Asher also had to trust Marne’s will and his strength of purpose if they were going to come out of their adventure alive.

One of the things I enjoy about this series is how intertwined the world is. Several characters who played prominent roles much earlier were involved in A Veil of Secrets and it was interesting to see how they had matured/changed over time. Edwards hinted at a secondary romance whose story and heroine redemption I would love to read. It was also fascinating to see how some others have become perhaps a bit darker especially regarding what they were willing to attempt to save their people and way of life.

I really enjoyed reading Veil of Secrets. It was full of action and the multiple sources of tension between Marne and Asher were complex and delightful. Several of my questions were answered with some intriguing developments, which made me continue my speculation about upcoming events. I also developed an intense desire to reread the previous installments and look for clues or threads I missed the first time around. I hope Edwards continues this series because there is so much of this world and their fight against annihilation still left untold. I really enjoy what she has done with the characters, their struggles, and their individual triumphs in love against the odds.

I give A Veil of Secrets an A-

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