Review of The Silvered by Tanya Huff

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We had only recently finished reading The Enchantment Emporium – see my review here – when Himself tracked down this epic fantasy offering from Huff. He spent a couple of days completely engrossed and then recommended I read it at once…

The ancient mountain kingdom of Aydori is governed by werewolf Packs and their mage spouses, while the nearby Kresentian Empirethe silvered is ruled by a power-hungry emperor, prejudiced against magic in all its forms. When the imperial armies overrun the borders, using silver-seeded cannon which prevents defending Pack members from healing, Mirian Maylin a low-level mage and Tomas Hagen, a scout for the Pack, band together amongst the chaos.

And there you have it. The start of an epic adventure that whisks up the two young protagonists who face prejudice and overwhelming force as they sort out their own relationship and grapple with Mirian’s peculiar mage powers. The other main protagonist is Captain Reiter, who has a secret mission behind enemy lines sanctioned by the Emperor himself. A mission that requires a different skill set from that of an ordinary soldier – a mission he increasingly finds difficult to justify…

Huff has created an interesting world with a clear sense of the rules and how they affect the people living in her worlds, which is one of her strengths. While I enjoy epic fantasy, there are times when the scale of the narrative gets in the way of becoming fully involved in the journey of the protagonists. Not so this time around – Huff once more apparently effortlessly pulls off one of those tricky problems that hobble so many other epic fantasy authors. She manages to create a scenario where the fate of a race, a country, an empire – not to mention the protagonists – all hinge on one particular storyline. This means we are not dotting all over the place, scrambling to figure out who is doing what to whom amongst a huge cast of characters.

So I was completely caught up in the action alongside the main characters, unable to put it down. Huff should come with a health warning – highly addictive author. After being immersed in the book for most of the morning, instead of rolling up my sleeves and getting on with a host of chores, did the denouement satisfactorily round off the story? Oh yes. There was plenty of excitement and surprises. It doesn’t seem that Huff has any plans for writing a sequel – she is busy working on the Confederation series and completing the Enchantment Emporium series. But I would love to see more books set in her epic fantasy setting she has created here – and hope that this prolific and highly talented author continues to produce books of this impressive standard.
9/10

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