Review of Silver – Book 1 of the Silver series by Rhiannon Held

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With my customary lack of organisation, I read the second book, Tarnished earlier this year – read my review here. Immediately I silverwas struck by the strong characterisation and immediacy that Held managed to evoke with her werewolf society. This sub-genre has some strong authors who set the benchmark for newer arrivals – the likes of Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs and Gail Carriger leave a long shadow. Does Rhiannon Held’s debut trilogy hit the mark?

The girl is running. She’s alone, a werewolf without a pack, a shape-changer who cannot change, an intruder in Roanoke’s territory. It’s Andrew Dare’s job to catch her, expel her, or kill her. He’s the enforcer, after all, in charge of security. But when he catches her at last, he finds someone he wants to protect, not kill. A tortured stranger who needs him… and who warns of a threat to all the packs of North America.

So there’s the blurb – Tor gets a gold star from me for a thoroughly good example of how to tease the reader without lurching into spoiler territory, other publishers please note…

Held pushes the envelope with her characters, particularly Silver. She has long conversations with Death and laments that the Lady has left her, right at the start of the book when we don’t know all that much about her. She doesn’t seem to be much more than a very damaged, mentally compromised stray from Andrew Dare’s viewpoint, either. At first…

The narrative arc is very well paced – the story grabbed me from the first page and wouldn’t let go. Even though I’d already read the second book, so had some idea of how the plotline progressed. Held kept events moving on, but still managed to give her characters time to develop so that we got to know their strengths and vulnerabilities and above, care about them. I’m a simple soul and although I can cope with protagonists who are revoltingly repellent, given the choice, I’d far rather read about someone who I have bonded with emotionally. Held gave me two strong, reasonably complex characters – one with an interestingly dark backstory that was revealed only in hints and allusions. I enjoyed the fact that Held didn’t see the need to tell her readers everything about the world or her characters right at the start of the story – or even at the end. This is the beginning of a trilogy, after all.

If you are feeling a tad jaded at the plethora of werewolf tales, give this particular series a go – it is different and thoroughly enjoyable. You may even find yourself reading the whole book in one greedy gulp, like me…
9/10

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