Title: Shards of Hope
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #14, Psy-Changeling Season One #14
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
5th sentence, 74th page: It was why the pack had never made any aggressive moves against him.
The smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome actions of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…
Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.
And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.
This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough – because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken… like Zaira.
This is a great way to round out the arc of the “first” Psy-Changeling series. The Arrows start out as the bogeymen of the story, but as characters are slowly introduced, their story seems to be the epitome of Silence and the tragedies of their race. So, to finish a tale with the leader of the Arrows and his lieutenants just seemed to me to fit. It provided a happy ending for the breaking of Silence, but also hinted at many more battles to come in the future…
Where Shield of Winter opened up the stories of the Arrows and their own rebellion, it isn’t until Aden and Zaira’s story is told that the true tragedies of not embracing every aspect of oneself are shown. Specifically in the history of Zaira’s upbringing and shadowy past. The horrors inflicted on children seem to be a cornerstone of Psy history throughout the series, and this story is no different. However, the joint trauma of their past and their willingness to create a future in which no more children will be forced to suffer left me feeling warm, gooey feelings at their tale. Rather than horror at the creation of such a terrible past.
Although, as with all of the other Psy-Changeling stories, this is, at its heart a love story about two people healing and becoming one, I loved the creation of family within this. Primarily through changing the way young Arrows are taught and taking a leaf out of the Changeling book – to create a large, mutli-faceted family that is always willing to support and protect its young. Something I think is important (and sometimes lacking) in today’s society.
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