Hawksong: Zane Cobriana

Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This book holds a special place in my heart. The mancandy–Zane–is so splendiferous that my friend and I would go into our school library and just read the really good parts. And then take it out for rereading several times. When I graduated she gave me my very own copy

Which I peruse for the good parts

As a disclaimer: This is the first of a series of books. While I did mostly enjoy the second book Snakecharm (told in Zane’s POV) it wasn’t something I felt the need to read again. The books after that went downhill. So I’ll only be reviewing this book

Hawksong is told through the eyes of Danica Shardae, a princess of the avian race. They are at war with the serpiente and have been for so long that it’s unclear as to why they are fighting. Both races are shapeshifters. They are usually in human forms but the avians can turn into birds and the serpiente into snakes.

Danica wants to end the war, as does (squee) Zane Cobriana, the prince of the serpiente. They realize that the only way to bring their people together is if they get married.

What makes this book amazing is not just the fact that its an arranged marriage with two people trying to understand each other but their cultures are so radically different. The avian race is reserved and formal, their children are raised in isolation and the parents choose an intended mate for them when they are very young.

The serpiente are raised in nests and live in a society where casual touch is common, almost expected. Love matches are the norm and it is so unthinkable that their Diente Zane would marry without love that the pair must act like very lovey-dovey when they are in his lands.

The story revolves around bringing these two people together and their people’s reaction to the match. Attemtped assassinations, culutral wars, it has it all.

And of course…Zane.

Zane’s appeal is..well he’s a bad boy. Please salivate with me over his introduction

Zane Cobriana lounged on a cushion, his back resting against the wall, one leg bent and the other straight. The iridescent shimmer of his black slacks led me to wonder which of his kind he had skinned. His shoulders were broader than those of a common avian man, and in the position in which he sat , the black material of his shirt was pulled taut across his chest.

Skinned his own kind? That’s pretty bad boy. Not to mention the whole dressed in black thing. Sidenote, the part of about the taut black shirt made my friend squee so I’d read it aloud to her just to see her react.

Like most bad boys, Zane is edgy but he’s not really a bad boy. He’s edgy and he is often angry, but more often than not it’s righteously anger. To someone like Danica, used to controlled emotions, his outbursts seem so much more violent than they really are.

He genuinely wants to try to make his marriage with Danica work and is frustrated by how scared she is of him.  Often he is genuinely hurt that she thinks any second he is going to sink his snake fangs into her, and not in the way you and I would like.

“I would be your lover if you would trust me, but I don’t want you to come to me because you feel like it is  an…unpleasant thing. I would rather be your enemy than a meaningless obligation.”

It’s very satisfying to see Danica learn to trust Zane and its also very nice to see a hero with a full range of emotions. He laughs, he’s angry, he even cries and needs Danica’s comfort. That’s what makes literary bad boys work for me. In real life, most bad boys turn out to be douchbags. In books, it turns out that they’re really not that bad. Thank God.

In addition to all of this…Zane is a sexy beast. The casual touch he’s so used to means he kisses Danica several times, sometimes to taunt her bodyguard Rei (who luuurrvess her). The book never goes further than heavy making out but those scenes are better than love scenes I’ve read in more adult books.I won’t quote them in detail because they’re long but I will include my favoritest line in the whole book

“We both need sleep, Danica, something you would not find in my bed tonight”

Ah squee.

My only real complaints are with Atwater-Rhodes’ writing style which an get a little overblown and that the ending comes very suddenly. I was relieved that there were books to follow because I wanted to know more and read more but..I wasn’t as happy with the subsequent efforts. I do applaud the author for making a world I could believe existed with a great deal of depth.

So, breakdown

Looks: Pale, dark-haired, red eyes…it could go badly but it goes very, very well. The snakeskin pants certainly help this.

Personality: So much depth. So much! Sometimes so much that the other characters aren’t as real to me as him and Danica.

Man Grade: A


7 Responses to “Hawksong: Zane Cobriana”

  1. 1 Agidyne December 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I just found this blog (by searching for information on Hawksong) and I just have to comment to say rawr. Zane Cobriana is my favorite male lead, hands down. Only Captain Wentworth comes close (and maybe Mr. Darcy!)

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