The Silvered

The Silvered[PDF] ✍ The Silvered Author Tanya Huff – Oaklandjobs.co.uk When wild and mage together come one in six or six in one Empires rise or empires fall the unborn child begins it allIt began with the prophecy made by the Imperial Soothsayer a prophecy that had Empe When wild and mage together come one in six or six in one Empires rise or empires fall the unborn child begins it allIt began with the prophecy made by the Imperial Soothsayer a prophecy that had Emperor Leopald's army bent on conuering the small kingdom of Aydori For Aydori was ruled by the Hunt Pack shape changers who took the form of wolves and the Mage pack masters of the six disciplines air fire water earth metals healingWith its allies defeated nothing stood between Aydori and the invading Imperials but its own troops led by the Hunt Pack and aided by magecraft What no one could have anticipated were the emperor's new weapons from hot air balloons to highly destructive long range rockets to guns loaded with the silver bullets so deadly to the PackEven as his troops wreaked havoc on a broad front the emperor sent a small group deep into Aydori territory to capture the six pregnant mages of the prophecy using ancient magical devices that could nullify their powers leaving them helpless prisoners It should have been a foolproof scheme Captain Sean Reiter and his suad of Imperial soldiers easily captured five women of the Mage pack including the wife of the Pack Leader Yet the prophecy said they needed six magesSo while the majority of the suad headed back to the capital with their prize Captain Reiter and a smaller group continued their search And they came across Mirian MaylinA student at the mages' univeristy Mirian had scored incredibly high in the testing but all she had accomplished after a year of studying was to ualify at the first level in five of the six disciplines when she should have been achieving mastery in one She was told not to return for further schooling So when she witnessed the enemy capturing five women of the Mage pack Mirian had no choice but to head for the battlefront to report the kidnapping to the Pack LeaderOn the way she fell prisoner to Reiter and his men And it was only thanks to the intervention of the Pack Leader's younger brother Tomas Hagen that Mirian escaped Tomas brought devastating news news that sent the two of them on a desperate race to rescue the captured mages before they reached the capitalBut even as they pursued the suad they were being pursued by Captain Reiter While Mirian and Tomas journeyed through progressively hostile lands she worked relentlessly to improve her mage craft and achieve control over her spells leaving an all too obvious trail of incidents that could not be ignoredThe Mage pack captives themselves were doing everything they could to escape before the emperor could implement his horrible plans for them and their unborn childrend but time was running out And even if Mirian and Tomas reached the capital before it was too late what chance did they have against an ancient maic the latest scientific advances and a mad emperor's entire army. I like this book And I don’t like it I enjoyed most of Tanya Huff’s previous works and think her one of the best writers in the fantasy genre Besides she is my fellow Canadian So I had high expectations for this book but instead it disappointed me The plot is simple A big aggressive empire attacks the small country of Aydori the country ruled by wolf shifters and mages The empire doesn’t have mages but it has science dirigibles muskets explosives gas light and the like approximately on the level of mid 19th century Europe During the attack a detachment of imperial soldiers under the command of Captain Reiter penetrate deep into Aydori to carry out a special order from the emperor to kidnap a group of local top level mages all pregnant women for the emperor’s scientific experiments A seventeen year old girl Mirian who considers herself a failed magic student witnesses the kidnapping and decides to liberate the mages Together with a young wolf shifter Tomas she follows the soldiers and the mages into the heart of the empire On the road she tries to get control of her wayward magic and her magical fumbling leads them into one predicament after another until finally she and Tomas succeed in their self appointed task Kind of The above is just a dry summary The book itself is deeper and disturbing than its plotline suggests Its prose is strong gripping the readers from the start and not letting go until the end The world building is solid and original The author weaves together three interconnected story lines each with its own leading character I wouldn’t even call them subplots because each of the three protagonists embarks on hisher own inner and outer journeys and confronts hisher own demons The first story is the story of Danika the leader of the kidnapped women mages With their magic neutralized by ancient artifacts the women are practically helpless The only resistance available to them is passive but they do all they can to thwart their enemies including the emperor himself The author paints him as a rather scary guy an all powerful scientifically minded fanatic He believes that shape shifters and mages are abominations less than humans something like rats with the ability to talk For him Danika and the other women mages are not people but living material for his brutal scientific experiments which remind the readers of the Nazis’ medical tinkering Faced with such horror Danika demonstrates outstanding leadership abilities and bottomless compassion She wouldn’t submit but her defenses are subtle and her main goal is to keep the hope alive in her fellow mages and not let despair claim them Her courage determination and wit lead the captives to their eventual escape Straightforward and satisfactory Danika’s tale is a tale of a heroine and her friends in captivity fighting for their freedom Their travails pull at the readers’ heartstrings and keep the tension high until the victorious denouementThe second story is the story of Captain Reiter He is the most interesting character of the book Starting out as a loyal imperial officer capable and smart always following his orders no matter how distasteful he goes through the deepest transformation in this novel He is the one who changes Revolted by the emperor’s atrocities the captain can’t accept torture for the sake of science As a soldier he killed and watched his mates killed but he knows a difference between killing in war and murdering innocents in cold blood Even though in the beginning he shares the emperor’s conviction that mages and shape shifters are inferior after a while he starts seeing people in them His conscience wouldn’t condone his emperor’s bloody research but he can’t oppose his ruler without turning a traitor His road to betrayal is agonizing and complex but utterly logical In the end helping the captive mages to escape becomes the only possible the only humane choice for himThe third story is the story of Mirian and here I ran into trouble Mirian is the most important character in the novel or she should be according to the number of pages devoted to her But I couldn’t understand her motivations Why did she decide to free the mages herself She is absolutely unsuitable to the job and she knows it Unfortunately the only answer she could give to this uestion and people do ask her several times during the course of the novel is that she was the only one there I didn’t believe it And my disbelief colored my perception of the girl and her senseless unexplainable escapade At the start of the novel Mirian is a pampered daughter of a banker Her mother wants her to make an advantageous marriage to one of the wolf shifters But for Mirian this seems like a dead end Oh she doesn’t mind a wolf shifter for a husband; they are the elite of their society after all and charming men to boot But she wants to make something of herself as well I believe it and sympathize with her sentiments Then the war starts the empire attacks and Mirian dives headlong into her adventure with no reason at all None of the kidnapped mages is her kin She has nothing to discover No revenge is involved No one of her friends is involved Logically she can and should choose a different path She doesn’t need to go after the mages As I don’t understand what drives her I stop believing her story Besides even after she undergoes much suffering and danger and turns herself into a heroine she still faces a dead end although of a different kind Before she was a useless society girl Now she is a super mage not entirely human and responsible for a bunch of damaged wolf shifters Her future seems just as hopeless now as it was before What did she achieve Well she didn’t free the mages – they freed themselves – but she did free the rest of the emperor’s experimental menagerie and killed the crazed emperor Good for her I suppose and that should be enough for one novel but Mirian’s exploits still left a bad taste in my mouth Why did she do it Mirian Maylin is young bright and failing at university Her powers were tested and expectations on her from parents were very high Father's banking and Mother's social life both sat waiting for her to marry into the Pack But Marian was failing and didn't have the heart or time to tell her parents Suddenly the border war was here and the Mage pack stolen by the Emperor No one else alive saw the kidnapping so Marian feels it is her duty to follow and help save the five magesThis was a beautiful strong opening to the series by Tanya Huff I feared another teen series but was happily immersed in a amazing world of shape shifters magic and folly The best point I think I can make s that it passes the Bechdel test The Bechdel test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man Many contemporary works fail this test of gender bias This book is full of women that act like real women do and this includes the heroine of the book It seems like this is going to be a good series I have read other Tanya Huff books and like them This one has a very interesting world where mages and werewolves are on one side of a conflict and technology is on the other The Emperor who leads the tech side is crazy and has decided that the mages and their werewolf consorts are abominations and therefore not human While practicing magic is bad the Emperor uses Soothsayers prophecies to guide his decision to capture all the high level mages and then experiment on themOur heroine Mirian is mage who flunked her university courses and has no mage marks in here eyes even though she tested high for mage power Tomas is the younger brother of the Pack Leader and the last survivor of the battle to hold their border against the Emperor They find themselves thrown together when each of them sets off to save the captured mages and they themselves are captured by a very determined army captain Captain ReiterThe beginning of this was a little slow but it picked up and never stopped after about the first uarter of the book Lots of action not too much political intrigue and a villain you have no problem hating made this a thoroughly enjoyable read Huff is a well known author in the speculative fiction community While she’s best known for her Blood series which was later adapted for television under the title Blood Ties her other works span from epic fantasy to space age military science fiction The Silvered is her most recent releaseAydori is a small country that used to be separated from a massive empire by two duchies Problem is that empire just gobbled up those duchies in record time and is now camped on Aydori’s border While the empire bases its society on science from the age of the industrial revolution Aydori is protected by classes of shapeshifters and elemental mages Under the cover of invasion the Emperor sends a small elite team of men to kidnap six mages and bring them to his capital Except Mirian Maylin the sixth mage has no intention of sitting on her hands and eludes capture with the help of shapeshifter Tomas Hagen Together they set out to rescue the other five mages from the clutches of a mad emperorA richly built taleTanya Huff has been publishing full length novels since 1988 She knows not only how to world build but how to build magic systems and do phenomenal characterizations Her experience shows on every page of The Silvered Aydori and its neighbors have a steampunk inspired feel even if technology is the purview of the protagonist’s enemies Society has a very Victorian feel to its etiuette both in Aydori and in the empire Not only are the characters fully fleshed out but they fully interact with their world on a level that many authors doen’t use Mirian isn’t let to go wandering across an empire without having narrow escapes dirty clothes and blistered feet She has to steal fresh clothing find ways to blend into the changing lands around her and constantly strategize She’s mired in the realities of her world and this really makes the story live and breathe The system of magic Mirian uses seems like it’s not a thoroughly plotted system a la Sanderson once you really get going But don’t be fooled the magic is complicated than most mages know and there are conseuences for breaking the rules in the way Mirian does I love the fact that here is a magic system where you can break the rules yet the magic still works and doesn’t just fizzle or go boom The conseuences are subtle and perhaps pricier than thatA word of warningDo not expect to be able to do anything else while reading this book The Silvered really got into my head and refused to let go The back and forth banter between Mirian and Tomas is believable and endearing The time spent from the point of view of Danika Hagen one of the captured mages and Captain Reiter one of the men sent to capture Mirian are well spent informative and also entertaining I never wanted to put this book down and I stayed fully invested in the story from start to finish Unfortunately it’s also a standalone book If Huff ever decides to write a seuel it will likely land on my most anticipated listWhy you should read this bookBooks this good don’t come along that often The Silvered is a well planned well executed adventure tale I loved it Completely I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t or even might not want to read this book 45 Stars A powerfully emotional story that draws you in and doesn't let you go It's perfectly balanced with scenes that are heartbreaking triumphant brutal and occasionally humorousHuff has an exceptional talent for creating remarkable three dimensional characters And her female leads are strong not because of what they can accomplish physically but because they symbolize bravery selflessness determination and are as alpha as any leader could ever beMirian the story's protagonist and Danika the Mage pack's Alpha were both incredibly clever They were level headed uick thinkers who did everything possible to avoid being at a disadvantage They possessed all of the ualities that made them ideal heroinesThe story's plot was complex and layered with multiple points of view that kept me engaged in the story From the very beginning we're thrown right into the middle of a war We learn about the wolf packs Mage packs and one power hungry emperor's plan to control them allMirian a seemingly low level mage finds herself on a journey to rescue five women who were taken under the emperor's command She is joined by Tomas the Alpha's brother who has suffered an unbearable amount of loss during the war and refuses to add the women of the Mage pack to this increasing number of casualtiesOne of the most fascinating aspects of this story was the progression of Mirian's talents She has spent her entire life believing herself capable of only first level abilities but finds that during intense highly emotional situations her mage craft is elevated What she becomes capable of is astounding and in an interesting twist is also not without conseuencesAnother pleasant surprise during this story was Captain Reiter the man tasked with capturing Mirian It was a pleasure experiencing the story through his point of view and I enjoyed his character's transition He was given depth than I had expected and his role in the story was one that I didn't anticipate He is also responsible for most of the insight we are given into the mad emperor's decisions and motivationsOverall I would have to say that The Silvered was everything that I enjoy in a fantasy novel This is now one of my top reads of 2012 Although I've mostly read Huff's earlier works I've come to trust her for sensical plots and characters So although I rolled my eyes to hear of yet another werewolf based premise I picked this one up anywayIt must have been a while since I've read an intelligent fantasy because the first few pages were a little tough for me to get through trying to remember names and relationships and getting confused in the setting Eventually I adjusted Aydori is ruled by a werewolf Pack members of which seek mates among mages There's a rather Regency like feel to the way mothers desperately fling their daughters into the path of eligible bachelor Pack membersMirian's apparently a mage of great potential but university tests showed that it was spread out among different areas keeping her from developing meaningful power in any one Matters of marriage and studies are set aside though when the neighboring empire attacks Losses are horrendous; Tomas sees his fellow Pack mates ripped to shreds and alone survives out of his groupA special unit of the imperial forces then captures five mages from the fleeing Aydori The sixth Mirian escapes And here's where I first stumbled although I picked myself back up and kept reading there have to be six mages because of a prophecy that the emperor is following ConvenientMirian and Tomas encounter each other and since he knows the Pack Leader's dead and she knows the Pack Leaader's pregnant mate one of the mages taken prisoner has been abducted they join forces to try to recover the womanTheir journey is one of the highlights of the book Mirian's a practical sort with the intelligence and grit to keep going not just through blisters but also the need to kill a man; Tomas is a military man with bestial instincts who has just had his sense of order shot out from under him They gradually build their trust in each other through a series of dangers and uieter moments Their relationship isn't even necessarily romantic although Tomas notes that she smells amazing Do enjoy this partbecause I started tripping often as the story advanced past here One big issue was that certain characters were unambiguously stupid or evil Mirian's mother for example states outright that a potential betrothal catch is important than the impending invasion And the emperor who captured the mages is a madman who claims he's all about science yet listens to soothsayers and is the sort who tortures people in the name of experimentation Even as I found him abhorrent as a character he annoyed me for being so one noteThe other problem was Mirian herself sadly I loved her attitude but as she began to discover her powers were far greater than anyone at the university could have guessed I got a sinking feeling Sure enough she eventually develops into a veritable superwoman who can blast her way through anything There is a significant price to her power but I didn't find it proportional to what she gained By the end I was almost bored because I knew she wouldn't really encounter any difficulties and Tomas almost faded into becoming a mere secondary character next to herSo I don't know There were parts I really liked about this but I am decidedly uninterested in seeing where Mirian goes next I'll have to check what else Huff does in this world though A true high fantasy featuring werewolves Sharing very few tropes with the urban fantasy sub genre this book is properly a fantasy featuring shape shifters mages and an invading army The main character is brilliantly strong and courageous but don't expect the classic love triangle the standard waffling or the pat ending of an urban fantasy arc This book is stronger fiercer and far gruesome Battles and choices have conseuences for the characters and the reader I found it tough going at times but well worth the journey Tanja Huff has enjoyed a varied career in science fiction and fantasy literature She has written very popular urban fantasy novels with her 6 book Blood series and also written the science fiction Valor military series She now turns her fine creative instincts to mixing traditional magical fantasy with shapeshifters set in a war torn world dominated by a mad emperor who is using science and military might to take over the worldAydori is a country in Huff's new world It is led by members of the Mage Pack powerful female wizards with skills in fire air healing among others and by members of the Hunt Pack powerful shape shifters who can change into huge wolves Aydori has managed to stay independent in the face of the aggressive EmpireThe Empire however has a new plan There is a prophesy that one of the Mage Pack could destroy the Empire They plan to capture the 6 mages in the prophesy using ancient magical artifacts They attack Aydori and at the same time send a secret strike team deep into Aydori to capture the mages The plan partly works and they are able to capture 5 mages The strike team splits in half and Captain Reiter and a select suad go after the missing mageMirian Maylin is a young mage who has been thrown out of the magical university because she seems to know how to do beginning spells in all the major fields of fire earth air healing water and metals but is unable to advance in one discipline Mirian witnesses the capture of the 5 mages and sets off to thwart their transport to the Empire accompanied only by Tomas a young shape shifter member of the Hunt PackShe is captured in turn by Reiter almost immediately and snared by one of the magical artifacts but escapes with the help of Tomas and is able to remove the artifact is it because she used some resin in her hair or because Mirian is powerful than she seemed We learn the answer on their uest Mirian learns to use her magical skills Meanwhile Reiter begins to uestion his orders as the beastmen are not the abominations he believes in and the mages are human than he was led to believeMirian must learn to use her growing power and learns during her journey that there used to be many magicians with skills in all the magical disciplines but the university came along and switched people into one discipline It seems that there is a price to pay for using all the magical disciplinesReiter is nearly punished for letting the 6th Mage pass through his fingers but the imperial soothsayers have seen Reiter with the Emperor so the Emperor lets him live and lets him witness his experiments on the captured mages and the captured members of the Hunt Pack Reiter is now uestioning his allegiance but is stuck behind linesCan Mirian and Tomas save them in time Will Reiter play a part How powerful is Mirian becoming Its all there to discover in this exciting fantasy novelI expect a next novel in this series and frankly cannot wait I got this book at the dollar store and seriously didn't expect much but I loved it My first impression of this book wasn't the best Every couple of pages we changed perspectives about a dozen times within the first chapter Only four POVs total but with all the names and fantasy locations I was confused and overwhelmed I'm glad I stuck with it Silvered is an epic fantasy with plenty of excitement and great characters Though there's a war going on this is a uest book I don't typically like traveling in books but the relationship between Mirian and Tomas made it enjoyable The magic system was your basic elemental but Mirian's magic was really cool She's flunked out of college so she has no confidence and little control but she learns and progresses over the course of the bookWhile I actually liked all four POV characters when I do a reread I'll skip Danica the mage pack leader She's captured and once they get to the capital it's a bit dark for me Although two of the main characters are teenagers I don't consider this YA There's no sex Though dog boy humps her leg once or twice But it gets rather gorey towards the end view spoilerThe wolves eat people mostly bad guys and the emperor talks about breeding the Mages hide spoiler I loved this book so much it's the kind of tale that leaves you wanting not because it feels incomplete or unfinished but because there's potential for stories in this world and it'll be a shame if this imaginative world only gets one outingThe setting is inspired by the Napoleonic era and the story starts off by juxtapositioning grim battlefield scenes with glittering high society balls Tanya Huff seamlessly introduces werewolves and mages of the Pack into this environment and makes it feel real the frenetic gaiety and matchmaking parents and very civilised evenings at the opera doesn't hide the not uite acknowledged fear that this world is about to be torn apart And as you expect it is and uite brutally too the commencement of war combined with the kidnapping of the most powerful mages of the Pack causes confusion and terror and that's the setup for a most satisfying fantasy In retrospect Mirian and Tomas's decision to go right into the heart of the enemy Empire to rescue the kidnapped mages appears slightly ridiculous how does an almost mage and young werewolf expect to go up against an all powerful emperor But while they're doing it it doesn't come across as stupid or naive It's easy to empathise with Mirian she's caught up in the romance of the moment she wants to do the right thing and at the pivotal moment finds the courage to do so and what's follows through Eually Tomas who has come through the battle through pure luck is shellshocked and needs to rescue the remainder of his Pack It's not all a mad action packed dash for glory there are poignant moments a plenty and while not overt there is some romance I liked how Tanya Huff showed that there was a price to pay for everything and also the bad guys were portrayed as people and not this faceless enemy There's redemption too and it's done in such a way that leaves you feeling optimistic One of my favourite books that I've read this year and as I said at the start I'm left wanting to know what happens next It's a standalone fantasy and how rare is that

Mass Market Paperback  ✓ The Silvered Kindle ¼
  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • The Silvered
  • Tanya Huff
  • English
  • 20 September 2016
  • 9780756408060