A battle has been won, but the war still wages on . . .
Roper, the Black Lord of the northern people, may have vanquished the Suthern army at the Battle of Harstathur. But the greatest threat to his people lies in the hands of more shadowy forces.
In the south, the disgraced Bellamus bides his time. Learning that the young Lord Roper is planning to invade the southern lands, Bellamus conspires with his Queen to unleash a weapon so deadly it could wipe out Roper’s people altogether.
And at a time when Roper needs his friends more than ever, treachery from within puts the lives of those he loves in mortal danger . . .
It is books like this that make me so grateful I got the push into book blogging. My very good friend Jo at Over the Rainbow book blog, got me reviewing properly and helped me no end in starting my own blog. She also introduced me to Tracy who has organised this blog tour. It is books like this that make me so glad I did.
As per usual my review will contain no spoilers. However, this is the second book in the Under The Northern Sky series and as so, I will be mentioning events that happened in The Wolf. You could read The Spider as a stand alone but I would highly recommend you don’t.
If like me it has been a while since reading The Wolf, have no fear. Leo Carew provides details which come up naturally in the characters conversations. It is very cleverly done, jogging your memory but not making you want to scream at the book ‘I know! I read the first one!’
The World Building
This book is beautifully written. The flow of the words superb, you feel everyone of them is picked purposefully, nothing is wasted here. I became fully immersed in this book, able to visualise exactly where the characters where and what was happening. From the wilds of the North to the more tamed South. If you are someone like me who appreciates good world building, you’ll be hard pushed to find a book that does it better.
The Spider focuses more heavily on the Anakim. I loved learning about the intricacies of their lives. I especially loved the scenes that take place in the two schools. Although the descriptions of the girls schools gave me vertigo at times.
Lord Roper is really growing into his role in this book. Thrown into the role of Black Lord, he has really made it his own. He faces incredible challenges, both personal and political. His assessments of the situations he faces are masterful.
Roper’s relationship with Keturah I found fascinating. A marriage of convivence that seems to have developed into a relationship where they genuinely rely on each other and appreciate the others input. They are navigating the political landscape together and are both incredibly intelligent, a perfect sounding board for the other.
I was slightly worried going into this book. Sometimes, I find, that the second book in a series is often a filler, just moving events along to get ready for the main finale. I needn’t have been concerned. The Spider is just as thrilling and just as packed with action as The Wolf.
Leo Carew’s books have been described as epic fantasy and they are not wrong! They are fully immersive and incredibly well written. The Spider leads you though a landscape of political alliances, intrigue, back stabbing and treason.
As with The Wolf there are some heart stopping moments, fear inducing ones and lighter times, chats around the camp fires were my firm favorite scenes. If you like epic historical fantasy you are going to love this and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Many thanks to Tracy to inviting me onto the blog tour and to the publishers for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The third of four children, Leo Carew grew up in the centre of London, in the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Inspired by audiobooks, he developed a late interest in reading and began trying his hand at writing soon afterwards. It was at this time that he also developed a sneaking suspicion that the city was not for him and spent as much time as possible exploring remote areas. After school, this led to two formative months spent on expedition in the High Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard.
Three years followed reading Biological Anthropology at Cambridge University, most of which was spent staring out of the window, dreaming about colder climates. Obligatory time with serious studying done, Leo returned to Svalbard – Old Norse for “The Cold Edge” – where he lived in a tent for a year training and working as an Arctic guide. During this time, he revisited a novel he had begun at the age of 12 and began reassembling it in the considerable space offered by 24hr darkness. A reluctant return to London to train as a doctor and pursue a career as an army medic followed, during which time he completed his first novel, The Wolf.
Leo currently lives in London, writing, studying medicine and breaking off as often as possible for an adventure somewhere cold and wild.