Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

44538875.jpgRen Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out. – Goodreads

Is there anything better than a good old fashioned rebellion in a fantasy novel? I think not. Of Silver and Shadow has it all — a tyrannical monarchy, magic, rebels, death, destruction and more.

I’ll admit, the first few chapters were rough to get into. There was a lot of worldbuilding and orientation. The chapters focus on different characters — Ren, a street rat turned rebel; Adley, a vicious (with a sensitive side) King’s Child whose sole job is to protect and torture; and Prince Kellen, the playboy prince who wants nothing to do with his psychotic father and brother. Some chapters also follow Derek, Ren’s love interest and the dude who brought her into the whole rebel mess.

It’s difficult to provide a review without some backstory; essentially, the monarchy wiped out silver wielders (aka people with magic) to retain their power. Ren has magic but she keeps it secret (or the crown would whack her).

Overall, once I understood the setting and story, I really enjoyed the worldbuilding. It was a lot to take in on the front end, but once I got through that, I appreciated the complexity of it.

I also liked the characters — they all had some depth, though a little cliche. It’s a hard world, and there is a lot of violence; several of them bordering on sociopathic. There is violence, blood and some sexual themes. The sex isn’t gratuitous and there are no actual sex scenes.

The book is well written and flows well. It was difficult to put down at the end of a chapter, as something new and exciting was constantly happening. I enjoyed seeing the connections between the characters despite them having no clue.

If you enjoy fantasy, don’t skip this one. I rated it a 4/5 on Goodreads.

I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley. Of Silver and Shadow will be released on May 26, 2020; to pre-order a copy, go here. 

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