I’m a fan of Nalini Singh. I can’t tell you how happy I was to meet her at the Romantic Times Convention. Here was someone who I enjoyed tremendously who had traveled halfway around the world and I got to say thank you to them for being a very good author. I got to thank her on behalf of the many people who have bought her books from our store over the years (By the way she thanks all of you for buying the books too). It was a pretty magical experience for me.
Early June saw the release of the latest Psy-Changling book Shield of Winter and I very much want to tell you about that, but for those of you that haven’t read the series I’m going to do a brief glance at the first book in the series Slave to Sensation as well.
Slave to Sensation
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”—the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…
Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…
If you’re a fan of paranormal romance and I haven’t at least had you look at Slave to Sensation then shame on me. It is a wonderful world that combines romance with a dash of mystery, muddled into a delightful cocktail of characters from shape shifters of all sorts to a Psy race functioning on multiple planes of existance who have renounced emotions, served next to a chaser of what humanity may look like in the future. Oh, and did I mention the serial killer?
Beginning with Slave to Sensation, released in 2006, the Psy-Changeling series has evolved beautifully through 13 books adding depth and color to the world building that only a master of the craft can accomplish. All of which leads us from the beginning of a story arc with the first book to somewhat of a completion and a glimpse at where we may go next in the latest hardback release Shield of Winter.
Shield of Winter
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 suffocate 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…
When writing a review the hardest question I tend to deal with is how do I say enough without saying too much. Where do I go to avoid spoilers? There are so many things I want to talk about, leaving me practically vibrating with untapped energy, yet unwilling I know that it’s unfair to give too much.
Having said that, what I can tell you is that, as with Heart of Obsidian, Shield of Winter helps pivot us into the next arc of the series. How do you build and move on from the ashes of a system that’s fallen. These very concepts are so well suited to the lead characters in this book. By design or happenstance (and I’m willing to bet some really brilliant outlining by Nalini Singh) we are dealing with a hero and heroine who have both been terribly abused by the system yet have come out of all their personal pain devoted to making life better for their people. Within these 429 pages we are lead on a lyrical literary journey of not only what it is to love someone else, but more importantly how do you allow yourself to be loved.
As an ongoing series I remain impressed with the depth of the world building and the attention to detail that Ms. Singh brings to her writing. For all that this is a known series that I can pull around me with the familiar comfort of an beloved childhood blanket, there is still a freshness in the writing that consistently has me running eagerly to explore each shining facet. The only downside to finishing Shield of Winter is the wait for the next book.