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The Silvered
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
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 humorous.

Huff 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 be.

Mirian, the story's protagonist, and Danika, the Mage-pack's Alpha, were both incredibly clever. They were level-headed, quick thinkers who did everything possible to avoid being at a disadvantage. They possessed all of the qualities that made them ideal heroines.

The 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 all.

Mirian, 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 casualties.

One 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 consequences.

Another 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 more 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 motivations.

Overall, 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.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
Absolutely wonderful - riveting worldbuilding from the first few pages! One of the best books I've read in a long time. Very sorry to reach the end & hope to see more set in this world again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2012
I've long been a Tanya Huff fan. I enjoy the depth she paints into her stories and this one is no different. A bit of a different approach to the werewolf/mage theme and I throughly enjoyed it. It definitely earns 5 stars in my book. Hope there's a sequel in the works as this world definitely deserves more!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
Silvered was an excellent and complex book. It is clearly set up to have more to follow. However, the editorial reviews called it a paranormal romance. It was definitely paranormal, but not so clearly romantic, though there were a lot of seeds placed for a complex romance to follow.

The story was about Mirian. Mirian is about 19, just through with her first year at the institute, or their equivalent of college. It did not go particularly well and she isn't planning on going back, despite her parents hopes and expectations. Her country, Aydori is ruled by wolf shape-shifters, or "pack". The ruling class is pack. They are attracted to and intermarry with mages, who each have one of six magical abilities. The strongest mages are attracted to the strongest pack members and take on the characteristics of their spouses, becoming the "Mage pack". The empire, a nearby technologically advanced country, has just conquered their two neighbors and is presently attacking Aydori. Our story opens as the ruling pack members and their Mage spouses descend on Mirian's town to be closer to the fighting and to reassure the population of their protection. Mirian's family sees it as a great match-making opportunity. Mirian sees herself as not in the market. Although she has widespread Mage skills and tested highly, she ended up being a low level Mage in training and therefore not desirable to pack. Our first clue that all is not as it seems is that a high ranking single pack member finds Mirian unexpectedly entrancing, but his attention comes just as the war takes a bad turn and wipes out the front line defense of the pack. The "Mage pack", or Mage wives of the ruling pack members are sent back to safer territory with the general population as all remaining male pack members head to the front lines.

From here things become more complex as we watch multiple story lines at once. We see the front lines with Tomas, the younger brother of the pack leader, as he is present as the advancing army destroys their front lines, including blowing his brother and cousin (the pack member interested in Mirian) to bits. Stunned, he is trying to find what is left of the pack as he runs into Mirian. They spend the rest of the story together. Although they are close and there is sexual attraction (more by Tomas than Mirian), they are not clearly a couple. They work more like brother and sister.

Now we also begin to follow another group. A detachment sent by the Emperor to capture the Mage Pack. We follow the leader of this group through the rest of the story as he has to come to grips with his Emperor's genocidal plans. The other members of his detachment weave in and out of the story.

Mirian's family end up being in the couch just in front of the Mage pack. They witness the Mage pack getting caught by the emperor's men. With all the troops away and no others close, Mirian takes it on herself to get to the front lines to alert the pack leader his wife has been taken. On the way she runs into Tomas who tells her the pack leaders are dead and with no one else to help, they decide to rescue the women. The rest of their story has Mirian discovering unexpected strengths and unexpected consequences of her magic use. It is a road trip, with her and Tomas having to travel into the heart of the Empire to free the women.

In the meantime, we also follow the fate of the five Mage Pack women, who are now unknowingly widowed, pregnant, and captured for the Emperor's dark purposes as they struggle to free themselves.

And in the heart of the Emperor's dungeon, we find another dreadful secret.

Anyway, a complex and interesting story, but no clear romances, only several potential and a prophecy. I will watch for the next book, but this book has a darker and grittier undertone than I usually like and without more promise of a more happily ever after, I may not follow the next book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Kingdom of Aydori is home to the Pack, a social structure of wolf shape shifters, and the Maqe Pack, their partners and members of their own magical hierarchy.

The Empire, guided by the scattered words of its soothsayers, makes Aydori its next target, specifically six pregnant mages that will either be the downfall or the saving of the Empire. The Emperor wants to control that power, and to do so, kidnaps the pregnant members of the Mage Pack. But there are only five.

The sixth mage is Mirian, a girl who considers herself to be of no magical distinction. Ignoring propriety and physical constraints, she sets off after the Mage Pack and their kidnappers, intent on setting them free.

The Silvered is riddled with spectacular world building. The culture Huff builds up around her shape shifters is utterly fascinating, and makes them breathe far beyond what the genre generally has to offer. Humor, horror, romance, magic, and violence- The Silvered has a little of something for everyone.

I am particularly fond of stand-alone novels in the middle of a genre that heavily favor series. The Silvered tells a complete story, start to finish. I would love to see more stories in the world Huff has created, but I am so very content with the story she wove this time around.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
(Originally rated on Goodreads)
I'm new to Tanya Huff's writing, but I have to say she got me enthralled with this story and its characters. I enjoyed the interactions (and playful flirtations) of Mirian and Tomas. It was interesting to see how their society works and differs from the empire. I also enjoyed the multiple character perspectives as to see all the sides of this story and not just the main characters (like the kidnapped mage women, Captain Reiter, the imprisoned alpha, etc.). *Slight spoiler* I only wish there were more details on the Hunt/Ghost pack characters that were saved such as Dusty or the mysterious "Nine". And also the one mention of another mage named Hayla helping Mirian. With all these new details and the meeting of the Captain makes me wonder if another books is in the works (a sequel?). I certainly hope so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon November 6, 2012
The powerful Kresentian Empire invades the Aydori Kingdom with brutal force as they loathe their enemy's ruling species, werewolves. The Aydori and its allies expect their were-prowess accentuated by the mages to defeat the invaders. Instead, the Kresentian military use silver weapons to kill the courageous werewolves.

With the Kingdom falling into chaos and a genocide campaign underway, the Kresentian know only one thing could defeat them based on the prophecy of an unborn child leading the counterattack. To prevent this from happening, they capture five high-ranking Aydori women including the wife of the Mage Pack leader. Untested were Tomas Hagen the leader's younger brother and underachieving mage Mirian Maylin who begin a rescue mission inside the Kresentian Empire to rescue the females.

This is an exciting romantic quest fantasy starring two individuals in a coming of age entertaining storyline while the prophecy will remind readers of Moses. Though the impossible odds are so overwhelming against their success that Vegas would refuse to take bets, fans will enjoy the trek of the werewolf and the mage into the heart of the enemy.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2013
To start off, when I began reading this book, I was pretty low on expectations. I've never cared for third person stories, but I stand corrected with Tanya Huff's "The Silvered".

First, I was thrown into this intense setting of war, and was kind of confused. But, as I continued reading reluctantly, I began to understand things and really get into the world of the book. There were moments when I had tears and my eyes. Manly tears indeed, and I now announce this as my favorite book of all time. Please buy this if you love werewolves, magic, and overall, a brilliant plot. I spend $30 bucks for this at Barnes and Noble. It's fantastic, and I have no regrets. <3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
"The Silvered" by Tanya Huff is a mesmerizing fantasy novel that hopefully is the beginning of a series. The Aydori and their allies the Hunt Pack are struggling against the Imperial army but do not expect to deal with the new advances that change the tide of the war. The capture of some of their most prominent mages reveals that the Emperor has even more nefarious plans and circumstances cause the young Wolf shifter Tomas Hagen to meet MIrian Maylin who has ambitious parents but does not share their goals. The youthful pair must find the skill and courage to face countless horrors and discover a way to join forces to achieve potentially unattainable goals but they must also find a way to identify and recruit allies in their fight...if they survive that long.

My definition of a 5 star book is one that I am racing to read even as I dread to see the story come to an end, followed by an intense desire to start reading it again to see what I missed during my first mad dash. This definitely fit my criteria. This story was a fantastic new twist on a theme that has been thoroughly explored and presents a society of shifters that is well organized and actively participates in military action and cultural interaction with non-shifters even as it continues to defend its borders against those who would subjugate them. This author is always so expert at world-building and creates such realistic characters that it is impossible to avoid feeling empathy with them and one gets drawn into the drama and awe that is conjured up by her magical words which weave a compelling tapestry. There are extremely grisly and horrific scenes that are contrasted with the intense relationships and wondrous developments that are depicted so one should be forewarned. This is a chilling depiction of the impact of prejudice and megalomania which mirrors some of our own historical events but is conveyed in a very imaginative fashion. I can only be glad that this book wasn't longer than it actually was since I lost quite a bit of sleep while I explored this incredible world but I REALLY would like to see more stories added to keep company with this volume on my keeper shelf!

submitted to Night Owl Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
Huff creates a fascinating world in which the Empire is creating an industrial revolution, with gaslights and double action pistols alongside horse drawn trams, while Aydori is ruled by a combination of werewolves and mages. The Emperor, a morally bankrupt rationalist, invades Aydori in order to bring about a meeting between him and six female mages from Aydori which, it has been foretold by his Soothsayers, will have untold consequences for his rule. The relationships between mages and wolves and standard humans are fascinating. Huff has always had an offbeat approach and this book is no different. My only complaint would be that the ending is abrupt and not altogether convincing (in particular the Empire is unduly reasonable at the end) but in compensation there is clearly room for sequels. I normally hate series, since there is always the risk that they will do a Robert Jordan or a G R R Martin on you and keep on churning out worse and worse books as long as the public is stupid enough to keep on buying them, but in Huff's case I look forward to the future development of her characters (especially the triangle of Tomas, werewolf, Retter, Empire soldier, and Mirian, mage and pack alpha)
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