I have been dying to read this book so I absolutely jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour! Make sure to click on the banner above to check out all the other amazing posts.
About the Author.
Jennifer Gruenke is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, where she studied communication and writing. She grew up among the redwoods of Northern California, and now lives in Charlotte with her books and the houseplants she hasn’t killed yet. If she’s not writing or reading, you’re most likely to find her in a cafe, music venue, or the aisles of Trader Joe’s.
About the Book.
Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: February 16, 2021
Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.
Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.
But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.
Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/of-silver-and-shadow/9781635830545-item.html?ikwid=jennifer+gruenke&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=6245dfd413e8248491aa7c639d1bd3df IndieBound: https://www.bookdepository.com/Silver-Shadow-Jennifer-Gruenke/9781635830545?ref=grid-view&qid=1607112122807&sr=1-3
Big thank you to Flux publishing and TBR and Beyond tours for having me on the blog tour for Of Silver and Shadow. I can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Of Silver and Shadow was a fun and fast paced read, filled with relatable characters and plenty of plot twists to keep you invested. Ren is a thief, but after living on the street since she was 9, has had to rely on her pick pocketing, as well as her skills in the fighting ring to keep her alive and fed. She also carries a secret, one that if anyone found out would likely end in her death. She can wield Silver, something only the Royal Family are allowed to do after they murdered the other Silver users in a purge years ago. Ren is quite happy living the life of a criminal, that is until she runs into two brothers who have a proposition for her, become the face of their revolution and help them take down the Lyandors and they will pay her handsomely. Ren wants nothing to do with the revolution, but the money is too good to pass up on, as is the chance to anger Darek with her nonchalant attitude towards life. But Ren soon finds herself becoming far too invested in the revolution and the boy who is the face of it. Unlikely alliances will be forged, secrets will come out into the open, and Ren will soon find herself risking her life for the revolution she wanted nothing to do with.
I loved so much about this book. From the intricate and well described magic system to the wholly relatable characters, Ren being my favourite of the bunch. The story is told from four perspectives; Ren the thief turned uninterested revolutionary, she has had to live her life in the shadows, afraid that if anyone found out about her magic she would end up dead. Because of living her life on the streets from such an early age, she is incredibly resilient and headstrong, more used to looking after people than being looked after. She may come off as aloof and uncaring, but underneath is the heart of a scared little girl whose magic got her parents killed, and she keeps people at a distance for their safety as much as her own.
Darek is the leader of the revolution. Ever since his mother died for their cause he has been determined to carry on her legacy and dethrone the Lyandors, and he sees Ren as the perfect way for that plan to succeed. At first he is put off by how little Ren cares about the revolution, but the more time he spends with her, the more he see’s past her harsh exterior to the girl she is underneath. But Darek is keeping a secret, one that could strengthen their relationship, or rip them apart.
Kellan is the Prince, the spare, the one that won’t take the throne and a true thorn in his fathers side. He spends more time in the fighting pits than in the palace and would more than happily give up the life of a Prince to live in peace. He is too caring and weak for his Father to see him as anything other than useless, but his weakness is also his strength, a strength he will have to draw on before the story is over.
Adley is a King’s Child, a street kid taken in by the King to train as an elite army. They are incredibly skilled in all forms of battle, as well as torture, and are feared on the streets of Erdis. But it’s not the life Adley envisioned for herself, or the one she wants, but you don’t leave the Kings Children… not unless you die and Adley has something to live for, something forbidden that will see her loyalties tested before the end.
As well as our main POV’s we also get treated to a wide breadth of well developed side characters, some that you will love and some that you will hate, but they all have a part to play in the story as well as furthering the plot.
If you’re a fan of an intricately described magic system, then you’re in luck. Though there is only one kind of magic in Of Silver and Shadow, the author does a brilliant job of bringing it to life. We see magic being used by both Ren and the Royal family, though Ren’s is slightly more dramatic, whilst the King’s magic is used to instil fear into the people. He regularly use’s his magic as a, quite graphic, execution technique. Some of the scenes in this book are not for the feint of heart, they are quite descriptive in their torture techniques as well as the King’s forms of execution, but it really add’s to the atmosphere to fear and makes you a lot more invested in the revolution.
The romance in this book was well written, if a little predictable, but if you like your tropes then this one is for you. We have a f/m enemies to lovers, both snarky and hard as nails on the outside, and on the inside they’re both little cinnamon rolls. I did like the progression of this relationship, it was by no means instalove. Both characters learnt to respect each other before any feelings were acted on. We also have an f/f forbidden romance that was just SO good. The Kings Children are not allowed to love anyone, let alone each other under penalty of death, and seeing these two hiding in the shadows, desperately trying to play down their feelings gave me all the angst.
Filled with plot twists, some of which were a little predictable and others that came out of nowhere! There was one right at the end that completely threw me for a loop, but not in a ‘where did that come from’ kind of way but more of a ‘how did I not see that coming.’ This is a book that can easily be read in one sitting, the authors writing style makes for a really fast and flowing read and I found myself flying through the pages. Of Silver and Shadow ends on just enough of a cliffhanger to leave you wanting more ( the author has stated this is a standalone) but she has left enough to work with if she ever wanted to write a sequel in the future…. I would definitely read it! An easy 4*