Friday, May 10, 2013

Of Silver and Beasts (Goddess Wars #1) Event: Book Review & Excerpt

As part of the Tuff Girl Legion, I, Emily, am happy to be a part of the Of Silver and Beasts Event. The goal is to reach fifty reviews for the book on Amazon. If we can do it, Trisha Wolfe will release a scene from Prince Caben's point-of-view!

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 19, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
305 Pages

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.

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.”

Of Silver and Beasts was a truly engaging story. Ms. Wolfe has written another fascinating tale that provides near constant entertainment. Though I wasn't sure what to expect at first, I applaud Trisha Wolfe for gifting readers with another imaginative tale.

Kaliope, or Kal as she is affectionately referred, is head of the Nactue, those who guard the empress of her homeland, Cavan. She would do anything to keep her empress, kingdom and people safe--including babysitting another kingdom's prince as his own home is destroyed by Otherworlders. When a surprise attack on Cavan leads to not only Caben, the prince, and Kal's capture, but unravelling of her homeland, Kal plans to do everything in her power to keep Caben safe and save her home. This includes protecting Caben (and maybe, just maybe falling in love with him), fighting to the death in a caged arena, battling inhuman enemies and stealing back the relic that gives her empress power and life. 

While over time I grew fond of him, Caben was not originally a character for whom I cared. He's selfish, arrogant and, a times, pretty sexist. His relationship with Kal is a trigger for character growth and as the novel continued, you could see him changing for the better. Kal was a strong character. Her devotion and determination make her a very relatable young woman. We didn't see into the lives of the minor characters too much, but I am fond enough of them to hope they play a larger role in the future of the series.

The world-building was pretty dang good. Though here and there I had difficulty imagining some elements of the story, the author handles this fantasy excellently. The settings and background of the story were absolutely brilliant. There were several themes that I hadn't often read before that were intriguing, including a society where women play a more dominant role than men. Ms. Wolfe handles this with grace. Not only is her story fantastical, but her writing style will draw in its readers very quickly. Time will pass by faster than you thought because you will be sucked into the story until the very end! 

Alas, I must admit that Of Silver and Beasts did not have my full attention immediately, but rather I gradually warmed up to the story and its characters. The plot moved a bit too slowly at points--which is the main reason for the "near constant entertainment." I also was eagerly anticipating the romance of this story as I am especially fond of the relationships Ms. Wolfe creates and when it didn't appear in the very beginning, I was somewhat disheartened. As the story progressed, so did my enjoyment of the story and by the end, I was sad that it was over. I can say with full honesty that I am looking forward to the next installment. So many things are left unanswered… I can't wait to see how everything unfolds!

As there is some mature content in this, I would recommend this to older young adult/new adults fans looking for a fantasy. Of Silver and Beasts is sure to draw its readers in and have them more than ready for the sequel once they reach the end--because really… WHAT THE HECK! 

I received an e-copy of this novel from the author for my honest opinion and review.

1 comment :

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