Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Description: 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 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 screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…
Review: The 13th installment in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series follows the mysterious teleporter Arrow, Vasic and his relationship with empath, Ivy Jane. It was nice to return to an empath psy. While we were introduced to empaths in the first book, Slave to Sensation, with Sascha Duncan, much was still unknown about the hidden designation “E”. In this book, the death of the Psy-Net has begun to speed up and Kaleb Krychek, the ruler of the Net, is attempting to find ways to save it. He enlists the Arrow Squad to protect a group of empaths in their experimental battle against the disease poisoning the net. Aden, the leader of the Arrows, places the protection of the empaths in the hands of his best friend, Vasic. As Vasic and Ivy Jane, one of the empaths, work to discover a way to combat the sickness of the Net, they begin to form an unbreakable bond, one which is threatened by Vasic’s attempted self-destruction.
Arrows & Empaths- I loved seeing the relationships bloomed between Arrows and empaths, especially Jaya and Abbott. I never would have expected peaceful empaths and Arrows to get along so well. And yet, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. I totally love that the empaths are the secret to saving the Psy-Net and it was great to see more into their designation. I also liked the glimpses we get into the Arrows, which sets up for Aden’s book.
Vasic & Ivy- I loved Vasic and Ivy Jane as a couple! Watching their relationship blossom, even in the midst of the Psy-Net turmoil and violence, acted as great counterpoint to the story-arc Nalini Singh has taken the series. It becomes clearly early in the book that only empath can break through the shields, the guilt, and the self-destruction which surround Vasic. And the protectiveness of Ivy which Vasic displays is keeping with Singh’s alpha heroes- all of whom I love! I especially loved, and cried over, the parts of the book with Zie Zen and his Sunny. 😥
Vasic & Aden – I just wanted to include a shout-out to one of the series’ best friendships! Nalini Singh describes their relationship best: “To Vasic, Aden had helped him stay sane. To Aden, Vasic had helped him stay upright when he would’ve fallen. One lost boy helping another.”
“You’re my hope, Ivy, my beacon home on the darkest night.”
“He has a heart so huge, it’s kept pumping, kept going long past endurance—even though life has bruised it to a pulp.”
“We all have to live with our past, but it doesn’t have to define us.”
“It was too late the first day we met. You’re inside me, and I ‘m inside you. It’s done.”
“There’s a kind of secrecy in the world at this time of night, as if I’m allowed to see mysteries hidden in daylight.”
Rating: 5 out of 5.