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.
4 stars- Something totally different and completely captivating!
My first love in books is fantasy. I love the new world and the mysteries it holds. The first book I remember reading and loving in elementary school was A Wrinkle In Time. I haven't read much fantasy for a while. Urban fantasy or paranormal, yes, but fantasy not so much. It was long overdue and I'm so glad it was Of Silver and Beasts that reawakened that love in me.
A totally different world, the Caven are a matriarchal society governed by an empress and guarded by female protectors. This world satisfies those fantasy craving inside of me. I love piecing together how this new world works as I read each page, discovering the importance of mercury and the structure of the court. What I really liked about this world is that it had some elements that parallel our own making it easier to keep track of everything.
Kal is a protector who is promoted to head the Nactue Guard. She's head strong and stubborn with secrets she must protect. Fighting for her mother and her country, her choices are not always smart but she fights nonetheless. I enjoyed her fight, her energy. Typical of Trisha Wolfe's heroines, Kal is her own women. She was easy to love.
Caben seems to be the spoiled princely type but there's more to him than we see at first. I loved how he was really very much like Kal, stubborn and determined. He doesn't see the need to follow Kal's orders and she seems to think he should do what she says. It's an interesting beginning for them. There is no instant love going on even if they do see the other as attractive. Really, it takes time forced on them from the enemy to bring these two together. I loved that.
The pages flow freely as I enjoyed the unpredictable story. That is one of the things I love best about fantasy, it's harder to predict. Anything can happen and it does in this book.
The ending had me begging for book two, Of Darkness and Crowns, which doesn't come out until November. Ugh!
This book is clearly new adult and has some yummy scenes because of it. If you love that and a fantasy world is easy enough to keep track of, then this book is a must read.
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.”
bonus material here!
Bio: Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE'S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.
She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies.