My definition of a 5 star book is one that I am racing to read even as I dread to see the story come to an end, followed by an intense desire to start reading it again to see what I missed during my first mad dash. This definitely fit my criteria. This story was a fantastic new twist on a theme that has been thoroughly explored and presents a society of shifters that is well organized and actively participates in military action and cultural interaction with non-shifters even as it continues to defend its borders against those who would subjugate them. This author is always so expert at world-building and creates such realistic characters that it is impossible to avoid feeling empathy with them and one gets drawn into the drama and awe that is conjured up by her magical words which weave a compelling tapestry. There are extremely grisly and horrific scenes that are contrasted with the intense relationships and wondrous developments that are depicted so one should be forewarned. This is a chilling depiction of the impact of prejudice and megalomania which mirrors some of our own historical events but is conveyed in a very imaginative fashion. I can only be glad that this book wasn’t longer than it actually was since I lost quite a bit of sleep while I explored this incredible world but I REALLY would like to see more stories added to keep company with this volume on my keeper shelf!
“The Silvered” by Tanya Huff is a mesmerizing fantasy novel that hopefully is the beginning of a series. The Aydori and their allies the Hunt Pack are struggling against the Imperial army but do not expect to deal with the new advances that change the tide of the war. The capture of some of their most prominent mages reveals that the Emperor has even more nefarious plans and circumstances cause the young Wolf shifter Tomas Hagen to meet MIrian Maylin who has ambitious parents but does not share their goals. The youthful pair must find the skill and courage to face countless horrors and discover a way to join forces to achieve potentially unattainable goals but they must also find a way to identify and recruit allies in their fight...if they survive that long.
From the author of the bestselling Blood books, a brilliant new tale of shape-changers, mages, soothsayers,and a power-mad emperor.
The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. But with every step the odds against their survival, let alone their success, grow steeper...