In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.
When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.
Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.
New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older.
*Digital copy provided by Trisha Wolfe for the blog tour and an honest review*
Steamy romance. Adept action. Trisha Wolfe has brought light to the New Adult genre in my eyes. Of Silver and Beasts blew me out of the water. Yet again, I fail to fine myself disinterested or disappointed in the works that Trisha presents me. Her novels are pure art, and her diction and worldbuilding will sweep anyone away by the pictures painted with her descriptions. Truly marvelous job with the beginning of this series.
Kaliope has struggled with keeping a deadly secret that flows through her veins: Mercury. A precious element that is greatly guarded by Cavan, the queendom of which she lives and fights to protect. After being graced with the title of head of the Nacture Guard, Kaliope is set with a task to protect the last living heir of the Perinya, Prince Caben. Cavan is seized by the creatures of the Otherworld, stealing a sacred relic that holds the life force of the queendom, as well as enslaving Kaliope and Caben to fight for their lives in an underground caged arena. It is up to Kaliope to keep the ones she loves safe and return Cavan to it’s original glory right before the Otherworld shook it from the pedestal of which it sat.
Kaliope is the epitome of bravery and heroines with a strong backbone. She never runs from a fight and values the bond of a vow no matter what. As a Nacture Guard and a protector, Kaliope hits the mark. I was astounded at the depth of character development found in this heroine. Though brash with her emotions and tends to get aggravated fairly easily by the ideal of men because of the female-dominated society that she has grown up in and also the horrible encounters with her father back when she was younger, Kaliope does grow from her time spent with Prince Caben. The two feed off each other, stubbornness and all. The interactions between the two really tested their abilities for a relationship and for the bonds of love to naturally occur. I was happy to notice that there were no love triangles in the making of this novel, and I appreciated the homosexual relationship between Willa and Lilly. It really brings in a nice breath of fresh air and some diversity throughout.
Some parts of the novel when Kaliope and Caben were fighting over their lands views of male and female roles in society I felt as if I was getting a feminism lecture. I clearly understood the ideas and the reasoning behind it (Cavan is a matriarchal society; Perinya is patriarchal), but I could see some of the wisps of subliminal messaging being woven in through the scenes. Not that I’m not a fan of women fighting for what they believe, doing what they want to do (I am a girl after all pursuing my dreams), I just didn’t think I needed a lecture going on in the middle of this great story.
I will always have to say this about Trisha’s writing: her worldbuilding is phenomenal. Never could I bat an eyelash without catching a glimpse of these realms that Of Silver and Beasts set forth for me. I especially loved the natural beauty described and the bathing scene in the pool with Kaliope and Caben was too beautiful for words. Definitely scroll below to catch a sneak peek of that very scene taking place through the POV of the Prince of Perinya himself, that is not a scene you want to miss anytime soon my dear readers.
Final Summation: I’m glad to have partaken in this blog tour. Not only had Trisha Wolfe blown me out of the water with another one of her astounding novels, but I just have to put her down as one of my favorite authors. I just have to. Her writing is just too fabulous, and OF SILVER AND BEASTS caught me from the very first page with the introduction of Kaliope. Her strength just permeated through the pages. I highly anticipated the sequel to this wonderful new addition to the New Adult subgenre, and recommend this book to anyone who loves steamy romance scenes and so much action that you don’t know what to do with yourself. It’s a well-blended combination.
First Line: The mercury in my blood nearly boils.
+ + +
The cool sensation of the fresh water on my skin helps me forget my nerves and I lie back, floating just below the top of the water. My body dulls, the cold soothing my sore muscles, and I welcome the numbness. The ceiling of the cave is sprinkled with tiny clusters of white lights, dotting the canopy above our heads like stars in the sky. I feel as if I’m sitting on the rooftop of my apartment, staring at the night sky, not here in the Otherworld, awaiting my death.
The water rolls, rocking my body, and I glance over as Caben floats up beside me. He’s on his back also, and points to the lights dusting the cave ceiling.
“Diamonds,” he says.
“Really?” I don’t know much about any minerals other than mercury. And somehow, diamonds as our stars makes my chest heavy. It’s too beautiful. “How can you tell?”
“The ultraviolet light shows the impurities,” he says. “The imperfections actually absorb the dark light, causing the diamond to emit a visible glow.” He chuckles. “A very expensive lighting effect.”
I laugh. “Quite expensive.” They twinkle as they reflect the rippling water. “But almost more heavenly than the stars.” I lower my voice at the end, hoping he didn’t hear my spoken thoughts.
Caben doesn’t speak, and the trickling of the stream and lap of the pool becomes the only sound as we float in compatible silence. I could drift off, fall asleep in this peaceful place, but I know we still have a mission to complete before the Reckoning.
This thought awakens me, and I touch my feet to the bottom of the pool and begin to wade toward the edge.
I hear Caben’s heavy groan. “No you don’t,” he says, and captures the bottom of my tunic. He tugs me through the water, back to the pool’s center. “Not yet. This could be our last reprieve, and I plan for us to enjoy it.”
As I turn to face him, his fingers slip from my shirt to my waist, grazing my stomach. My skin prickles, and I shiver, matching the trembling water around us. His deep blue eyes meet mine, and he swallows, his Adam’s apple working. Slowly, he begins to inch up my tunic—
“Wait.” I place my hand on top of his.
He cranes an eyebrow. “It should really have time to dry before we go back.”
Logically, that makes sense. But the heated look he’s giving me says so much more. And regardless of the attraction I may feel for the prince—a woman would have to be blind—and whether or not we actually escape this hell … what then? We share an intimate moment once, and go back to our stations in life, simply pretending nothing happened?
Or maybe I’m reading too much into his gaze. He’s a man, and physical desire is self-serving. He may die … and he probably wants to bed a woman one last time. Everything about his character screams he’s not one who thinks past the moment.
I could lose myself for now, give in to the pulse quickening my blood with need, but I’ve never shown a man the clamp over my heart. It would have to be something I did for a different reason if I ever chose to do so. Not merely because I may die soon.
As I push his hand away and start to swim off, he grasps my waist, encircling his firm arms around my stomach, and pulls my back to his chest.
“Don’t run from me,” he breathes into my ear. “I’m not asking for anything. Not even whatever it is you’re hiding. Just stay here.”
Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY’S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE’S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.
She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWWand The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.comfor more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfeand like her Facebook pagefor updates.