By a Thread Book Cover By a Thread
Trueborn Heirs Series, Book 1
Nyna Queen
Paranormal Urban Fantasy
May 1, 2019

“I’m a spider, sugar. My shaper kind doesn’t bear that name for nothing.” – That's not something Alexis Harper dares to say very often. If she did, it might just get her killed. Not that she is an easy mark, but even fools get lucky once in a while. In a world where the magically gifted trueborn rule and the magicless halfborn slog away in the slums, half-blood mongrels like Alex are outcasts—feared and shunned. For most of her life, she has lurked in the shadows, trying to keep her true nature a secret. But the secrecy ends abruptly when she saves two trueborn aristo children from a group of hired killers.

Accused of a crime she didn't commit, Alex suddenly finds herself running from powerful enemies, with no one around to trust. Or what about the mysterious stranger who has been following her? He is one of Death’s Servants, born and bred to kill at the country’s command. Not the most preferable ally, but then, her choices are limited. Soon she has to decide whether she can trust him or not—it’s a gamble she might not survive either way. And before Alex knows what is happening, her life is hanging by a silken thread…

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Alexis (Alex) Harper is a spider shaper and works at Jester’s Inn a rundown bar in the halfborn territory. All her life she has had to look over her shoulder always running because as a shaper she is considered a mongrel and a killer who eats their prey. One night she agrees to take an extra shift for her colleague Darcy a shift that would change her life forever.

Out of nowhere two young aristo kids appear in the center of the bar being chased by men who appeared to be officers but Alex’s first instinct was to save these kids who are frightened and in danger. She manages to get them to her apartment and although the boy Max seems unafraid his sister Josy recognizes Alex for what she is and refuses to let her guard down. In spite of the fact that Alex killed the men after them and brought them to safety the mere fact that she is a shaper is enough for Josy to fear her.

Alex knows that they are aristos but she has no clue just how important they are or how important their family is because Josy is willing to give a first name but not a last. On the run Josy begins to feel safer with Alex while Max is in awe of her and her abilities. Finding an abandoned house to rest in she finds herself confronted by a man, no ordinary man but a man she had seen at the bar before all the chaos, he is a Soulhunter, death in human form, a state-licensed assassin. Her attack was nothing compared to his power and magic and it wasn’t until the kids began to call him Uncle Darken screaming that she saved them and wasn’t their kidnapper did the fighting stop.

Darken knows that the only hope for Alex is to get to his brother and use his influence to get her free from the charges against her but first they have to get to him and there are a whole bunch of people chasing them. Alex is wanted for murder, the murder of policemen in spite of the fact that they were imposters, she is wanted for kidnapping even though she is bringing them home and now she has no choice but to agree with Darken and follow him.

Darken fights the hunger for death he faces every day since the Order took him from his family to a life of servitude and solitude. He was supposed to sever any ties to family but his brother saw to it that he was allowed visits and it was his niece and nephew that helped keep his humanity in place or he would be lost. It is Alex’s acquaintance that gives them the means to escape but that doesn’t keep the evil from following them.

Darken finally sees Alex in a new light and realizes how much he owes her and when he gives into his feelings the result is horrific, a result I won’t go into in this review. If they all get away, if Alex finally finds peace is another thing I won’t reveal. I will say that as much as I wanted to love this book I just couldn’t give it a higher rating. The book was almost five hundred pages, slow moving at times and with a cliffhanger, a cliffhanger that left me with absolutely no answers and as I write this review it is shortly after this book was released and I have no idea how long I will have to wait for answers. I did love the characters especially Alex and Darken who both have suffered in their lives even though for totally different reasons.