FICTION

Of Silver and Shadow

North Star Editions/Flux. May 2020. 480p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781635830545.
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Gr 8 Up–The Kingdom of Erdis is under the rule of the tyrannical King Mattheus Lyandor. However, a rebellion is brewing, and wealthy brothers Darek and Markus believe they have just the right weapon in Ren Kolins, a pit fighter who has the rare magical power to wield silver. But the king and his brutal soldiers, known as the King’s Children, are aware of the rising influence of the rebels. Adley Farre, a strong and sharp King’s Children soldier, will stop at nothing to become the King’s Fang, as this is her only chance to eventually escape Erdis and to be with the person who she really loves. When Adley is right on the brink of figuring out the rebel’s main influencers, time becomes more desperate for Darek, Markus, Ren, and their sympathizers. They need to overthrow a king, and they need to do it soon, as political tensions both inside and outside of the kingdom are rising. Then Ren becomes more aware of her powers, the rebel leaders gain unlikely allies, and secrets become unveiled. The rebels begin to feel that they have a chance, although the king and his sons can be unpredictable in their courses of action. The multiple perspectives with morally complex key players make it hard for readers to sympathize with some of the characters, but the adventure story is gripping, and the plot threads come together well at the end. The representation of queer characters and cunning female characters adds to the novel’s appeal.
VERDICT This book will appeal to readers of dark YA fantasy and adventure who also enjoy plot-driven novels.

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