Featured Early Book Review: Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling #13) by Nalini Singh
Like Heart of Obsidian before it, Shield of Winter is a pivotal chapter in the ongoing Psy-Changeling saga, and Ms. Singh delivers, big-time. This book will have you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails and cheering on Ivy, Vasic, and Sascha and the til-now mysterious squad of assassins known as the Arrows. We get to see a lot of old friends and get to know some new ones, and you will absolutely not be disappointed!
*** This review is spoiler-free! Read on with confidence! ***
One of the things that always sets apart a Nalini Singh novel is her ability to craft beautifully expressive and poignant prose. More than just a reflection of an elegant and extensive vocabulary, Ms. Singh’s stories come alive with vibrant imagery and a seemingly effortless style of character development that showcases deep bonds and exceptional personal traits in her heroes and heroines. Vasic is one of those standout individuals who has been involved in recent storylines but always stood apart, a snowy bastion of incredible strength and loneliness. What better partner for a man who has been brutally trained and molded into one of the world’s most efficient killing machines since the age of four, than Ivy Jane, an emerging leader in the mysterious and long-buried empathic Psy E-designation.
Another brilliant aspect of Ms. Singh’s writing is that even in a series as long as the Psy-Changeling, the couples and their individual story arcs never get repetitive or formulaic. Each book focuses on a different set of characters while furthering the overall storyline and building out the supportive traits for other characters in the story universe. I find it nearly impossible to pick a favorite couple because each book is so integral and unique, and each relationship special and necessary in its own way.
Blinking, Ivy stared at him with those unusual eyes that made him feel stripped to the bone. “Maybe it’s better if you don’t meet my mother.”
“I disagree.” A taller woman, her body rangy, appeared in view a second after that pronouncement. “At least,” she added, “he’s honest.”
Without giving too much away, one of the things that makes Shield of Winter an excellent addition to this series is its focus on the Arrows and who they are as a unit. It really humanizes the elite soldier squad and also provides some insight into their past training and recruitment methods, as well as their capacity to feel and express intimate emotions, participate in personal bonds. Because of how the story falls in the general arc of the overlying plot, there’s no singular big bad here to face and that makes Shield of Winter relatively unique among the Psy-Changeling stories. Vasic’s transformation from stone cold soldier to loving mate is beautiful and so well written.
Ivy licked her lips, slid her hands up to his shoulders, and confessed. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“Neither do I,” he responded, the glittering silver of his eyes on her mouth. “Arrows learn by repetition and practice until the basic skill is honed, at which point we begin to specialize.”
Because of the fairly large cast of characters and the complex twists and turns this series has taken, new readers absolutely need to start at the beginning of the Psy-Changeling series with Sascha and Lucas in Slave To Sensation. Fans already addicted to the series are going to swoon for Vasic and Ivy’s story. Shield of Winter is just as pivotal and intense and emotionally riveting as Kaleb’s Heart of Obsidian. Put this on your ‘To-Read, Pre-Order’ list right now!