Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

May Contain Spoilers

I am in the home stretch!  Only two more books until I’m ready for Silver Silence! The Psy-Changeling series is one of the longest I have ever read. I usually get bored with long series, and quit part way through them. Nalini Singh has managed to keep me engaged for 13 books, and that’s quite an accomplishment considering my attention span.

Cold, Silent Vasic is the hero of Shield of Winter.  I have been waiting for his book and I wasn’t disappointed.  Forced to commit terrible acts to protect Silence and the Psy race, Vasic now sees how badly he’s been used.  Powerful men have been using and abusing the Arrows to further their own personal agenda, without a care how many soldiers have died for them.  Now that Silence has fallen, Vasic has been put in charge of Ivy, an empath, and it’s his mission to protect her from all threats.

Ivy has never been Silence.  An E, she has always felt the emotions of others.  To save herself, she turned herself in for reconditioning when she was a teen. She was horribly abused during the process, and it’s been a struggle to find herself again. When Vasic offers her a job using her skills, she accepts. The survival of the Psy race is at stake.  As the E Psy begin the wake, fanatics target them, fearful of the fall of Silence.

I really liked this one.  Vasic has been brutally programmed to hide all feelings, but he still suffers from guilt. He has killed many to protect Silence, and now he realizes that he’s just been wiping out innocent people on Ming’s orders (can he die soon!?).  He puts no worth on his own life, but now that he’s been put in charge of protecting innocents like Ivy, he is determined to put all of his efforts in keeping her safe.  Even if it kills him.

Ivy has been damaged by her reconditioning, and she doesn’t trust others,  but she sees how damaged Vasic is, and recognizes a kindred spirit.  I enjoyed their romance, and how they worked together for the common goal of saving the Psy.  With Psy frightened about the fall of Silence, as well as the revelation of E designation Psy, danger is everywhere. The dark corruption from the PsyNet is also growing, and Kaleb isn’t sure how to stop it. Spreading like a disease, infecting pockets of Psy and turning them into violent, mindless zombies, time is running. There was a lot of pulse-pounding action in this installment, and that kept me rapidly turning the pages.

Shield of Winter, while not as good as Kiss of Snow or Slave to Sensation, is easily one of the best books in the series. All of the components of the story fit together seamlessly, forming a hard to put down read.

Grade: 3.75 – 4 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

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…

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