Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Uk cover of Shield of Winter

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Title: Shield of Winter (A Psy-Changeling Novel, 13)
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gollancz (5th June 2014)

‘The alpha author of paranormal romance’ (Booklist) draws us back into her extraordinary Psy-Changeling world, a world torn between violence and peace, passion and ice . . .

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:

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 a screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness . . .

Rating: ***** (5 Stars)

SHIELD OF WINTER is the thirteenth addition to Nalini Singh’s brilliant PSY-CHANGELING series. I would not advise reading this review unless you have read the series because although I am going to try to keep it spoiler free, there is the possibility that I might accidentally reveal something. This time we follow the story of Vasic and Ivy. Being an Arrow means that Vasic has blood on his hands, and he has lost all hope for the possible future that his fellow Arrows hope for. Ivy meanwhile has had to rebuild herself after her mind was violated during medical ‘treatment’. The appearance of Vasic offers Ivy the chance not only to help her race, but to protect herself.

SHIELD OF WINTER follows in the footsteps of the twelfth book in the series HEART OF OBSIDIAN (review) and focuses on a relationship between two Psy. In fact the whole of SHIELD OF WINTER is very Psy focused, as it sets about answering the question of whether the Psy can survive or not. The plot of SHIELD OF WINTER is typical of any of the previous books in the PSY-CHANGELING series – there are two main areas of plot, the possible romance plotline and the events in the world where the series is set plotline. As always, Singh does a brilliant job at balancing these two elements – weaving the two plotlines together to create a great narrative which makes the book difficult to put down.

I think that Ivy and Vasic start the book off as really strong but flawed characters, who have survived against the odds. So it was really interesting and entertaining to watch their journeys through the book. It was also fascinating to see how their journey affected those around them. I also enjoyed the return of a few familiar faces to the series, and the way Singh used them to help drive the plot of the book forward.

SHIELD OF WINTER is a great addition to the PSY-CHANGELING series. The plot was a riveting read, and Vasic and Ivy were good main characters. If you follow the series and haven’t got to this book yet, then you should!

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