Format: Kindle | 358 pages
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Fantasy | Magic | Young Adult
Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate... or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.
With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.
3.5 Cauldrons, leaning towards 4
"Silver in the hand, Silver in the Blood, but Steel in the Bones."
New to me author Jessica Day George's SILVER IN THE BLOOD tells the story about two cousins, Dacia Vreeholt and Louisa Neulander, who travel from New York City to their families home in Romania. Upon arrival by two different paths, the girls will discover a family secret that turns their entire lives upside down. They will have to stand up and make a difficult choice: stand with family against a King, or take a stand against them to save the King. The story is told in the third person narrative and alternates between Dacia, the rebel, and Lou, the shy, quiet type.
Dacia is definitely the more livelier of the characters, but one should never disregard Lou, especially after the families secrets are revealed in all their glory. Dacia doesn't mind being a social butterfly, and capturing the attention of men from NYC to London, or mouthing off to family if she doesn't like where things are heading. Dacia's antics with Lord Johnny Harcastle is the reason why she's been sent to Romania. Or, so she's told. The bond between Dacia and Lou is strong, not unlike the one between sisters.
As I said before, Lou is not a character who should be taken lightly. She's in a difficult situation with having two brothers and a father who adores her but have no place within the Florescu family hierarchy because they are human. She actually has a father who gives her a choice if she feels uncomfortable, unlike Dacia who is basically shoved out the door and told to go away. I really found Lou more appealing once the families secret comes out and she finds herself feeling free for the first time in a very long time.
She takes her change in full stride, whereas Dacia fights tooth and nail against it and turns inward until she realizes she has the power to change things. I do appreciate that the friends/sisters/cousins never found themselves at odds with the other. They never fought over men, not once. They supported and backed one another against a family that is about as devious as they come. Lou even became more of a support mechanism when Dacia is being chased by Prince Minai who wants Dacia at his side.
World building for SILVER IN THE BLOOD is a bit on the Historical side, along with some paranormal aspects as well. The Florescu family falls into three separate shapeshifting categories: Claws (Dacia), Wings, and Smoke (Lou) which is extremely rare. The matriarch of the family is as devious as they come and has supported the Dracula family for centuries. One doesn't cross Lady Ioana unless they have the guts to do so. She knows where all the bodies are hidden away, and isn't afraid to kill off family members to keep her place at the top of the food chain.
Plot-wise, SILVER IN THE BLOOD was slow at first but, thankfully picks up the pace and action rather quickly. I've always wanted to visit Bucharest, and am glad to read that the author visited there as part of putting this story together. Gives it more of a personal aspect to the story. I'm happy that the romance angle isn't blaring in my face, or love at first sight, nor does it have a love triangle. It only really appears later in the book once Dacia and Lou make a stand against their family.
I'm actually eager to read the next installment in this series. I want to know more about the Society of Saint Michael the Archangel, which Lord Johnny and Theo Arkady belong to. Lord Johnny and Dacia obviously have a past, but Theo and Louisa have a rough and rocky start to theirs. Miscommunication was the primary stumbling block in the way until the four become allies, but desire to protect a Kingdom unites them.
|Follow Me: Gizmo's Reviews Blog | Facebook | @GizmosReviews | Goodreads|