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June 19, 2018

A Demon In Silver by R. S. Ford ~ A Review

by MK French



If the opening paragraph doesn't quite catch your attention, there's a longer excerpt from A Demon in Silver after the review.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

June 2018; Titan Books;  978-1785653063
ebook, print (400 pages); fantasy
Magic has disappeared from the world, and war had ravaged the continent. Nations are at war, bandits travel the roads, and the average people in the world have little to their names. A young woman without memory and nearly burned to a crisp heals quickly and has skill with weapons. In another area, Livia suddenly performs magic and has to hide it so that she isn't taken against her will to Duke Gothelm. It's a rush to try to seize power before the other nations get it because magic is rare and superstition runs rampant.

There are multiple story threads at the beginning of the novel, and it isn't initially clear how they all intersect. Josten Cade cuckolds the Duke he works for despite being loyal. Silver has no memory of her life before coming to the farm but has nightmares of fighting frightening beings. Livia grew up on a farm and is able to make an entire garden bloom overnight. Her magic flares at erratic times, which gets her caught anyway, and her dreams seem to mirror Silver's. As the novel progresses, the threads start coming together and it begins to make more sense.

Pay close attention to the time stamps at the beginning of the chapters, though. Because the story skips around a bit in the middle, and there are fragments of mythology and poetry at the close of each chapter, it can be easy to lose track of where in the story you actually are. I'm not sure there's a better way to arrange everyone's backstories because it's all important to know. The final third of the book is the most cinematic part, with the epic battles and the reveal as to who Silver and Livia really are and why they know of each other. The very end has a bit of a twist to it, as well as enough loose ends to make me hope that there's a sequel to this.

Buy A Demon in Silver at Amazon

Excerpt:

His head was pounding and there was no light as he opened his eyes. Josten had no idea how long he’d been out – it could have been an hour, could have been a day.

He tried to move but his hands were bound, the wound in his shoulder screaming as he did so. He gritted his teeth, stifling a shout of pain. What came out was a low hissing moan. A tooth was loose at the back of his mouth and he moved his head up from the floor, feeling his skin peel from the sticky stone beneath him – could have been blood, could have just been the damp of the floor.

Even in the dark he could tell one of his eyes was swollen shut. His ribs had taken a kicking – whether any of them were broken only time would tell. Once on his knees, he managed to lift his head, realising how groggy he was. The room span and he wavered slightly before willing himself to stay still. He worked his jaw, tongue probing the side of his mouth to tease at the tooth loose in the gum.

This didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel good at all.

Voices outside the cell. There were footsteps. Someone laughed.

Fuck them and their laughing. He was as good as dead in here and someone still had the stones to find mirth in it. If he managed to get free of these bonds he’d…

What? What would he do? He was beaten to shit. Unarmed. There was nothing he was going to do. Right now, all Josten Cade was good for was hanging till dead at the end of a rope. Best to face these things head on. When there was no hope there was no use in pretending.

The cell door creaked open behind him, letting in a little light. Something scurried into the shadows in front of him as someone entered behind. They left the door open as they walked into the room and slowly Josten turned his head. Harlaw stood there, half hidden in shadow, just watching.
‘I never wanted this,’ said the duke. ‘But you left me no choice.’

Josten heard the words and knew the truth of them. Tied up and beaten as he was, they were still hard to accept. He wanted to tell Harlaw that there were always choices. That he could always untie Josten’s hands and let him go.

Instead he worked his tooth loose from the gum with his tongue and spat it onto the cell floor. There was no way he’d beg.

‘I wanted to avoid any unpleasantness,’ Harlaw continued. ‘But my men are loyal. They may have been a little… vigorous, in the execution of my orders.’

‘Loyal?’ Josten said, then spat a gob of blood from his mouth. ‘You talk about that a lot. Wasn’t too long ago you were saying I’m the most loyal soldier you’ve got. I’m not sure I want the job anymore.’ He laughed a gallows laugh.  Harlaw didn’t see the funny side. ‘Were you loyal when you were fucking my wife?’

Josten let the condemnation hang there. He knew there was nothing else to say, no excuses that might see him get out of this alive. He had always known his infatuation with Selene would see him dead. It was only ever a matter of time.

‘Best just get it over with then,’ Josten said, looking at Harlaw through the dark, staring at his executioner with as much defiance as he could. Not that it mattered; you could be as defiant as you wanted but when you were beaten and bound it still wouldn’t save your life.

‘I won’t be the one to kill you, old friend,’ said Harlaw. ‘We go back too far for that. But you’ll die, of that there’s no doubt. What is it you always say? “Everyone gets what they deserve”?’

‘Still none too keen to get your hands bloody?’ said Josten, wanting this over as soon as he could. There was never any sense in drawing these things out.

‘Oh, I’d like to kill you, Cade. I’d like to throttle you with my own hands. But Selene hates me enough. If she knew I was the one that killed you, things could go badly for me.’

Josten smiled at that one. ‘Frightened of your own wife?’

‘No.’ Harlaw shook his head slowly. ‘But I need her and her family onside. There’s no reason to make her hate me any more than necessary. Don’t worry yourself though. I’ve got men willing to do the job for me.’ He took a step towards the door before stopping. ‘Rest easy that it’ll be quick. I owe you that much.’


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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14 comments:

  1. Sorry, but I'd pass on this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a bit grim in spots, so it's not for everyone.

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  2. Replies
    1. It's definitely intense in a fair number of spots, and can be really grim, so keep that in mind.

      -MK

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  3. Sounds interesting. Hope you enjoy it. Here's the link to my contribution for this week: https://wp.me/p4DMf0-1CS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very intense read, but it does come together in the end. Thanks for reading the review.

      -MK

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  4. What an intense snippet! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The entire book is like that, so it can be a grim but gripping read.

      -MK

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  5. Sounds good but I don't know that I'd have the patience to deal with shifting timelines and multiple threads to keep track of. This week I have a book from deep in TBR mountain - Foolproof by Barbara D'Amato et al.. Happy reading!

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    Replies
    1. That's why I specifically mentioned that in the review! It was a bit hard to go through and wrap my brain around, so I rated it 3.5 stars at Amazon.

      -MK

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  6. It sounds good, but I'm not sure it's my genre. Hope it's good for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's definitely a darker fantasy novel than most out there, so keep that in mind.

      -MK

      Delete
  7. Could be interesting, but it's not really my genre. Hope you enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes a while to get into because of the shifting timelines, but it does come together fairly well at the end.

      Delete

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