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Silver in the Blood

Review

Silver in the Blood

I can't resist a period drama or a story about werewolves, so when I read that SILVER IN THE BLOOD combined both, I knew I had to check it out --- and thankfully I wasn't disappointed. It's fairly easy for a historical fantasy to miss its mark, but SILVER IN THE BLOOD is a compelling, character-driven story that worked well in its setting. 

Told from the perspective of two cousins, Louisa and Dacia, via letters, diary entries and third person narration, SILVER IN THE BLOOD is the start of a new series from bestselling author Jessica Day George. Louisa and Dacia were born and raised to be high-class society girls in New York City in the late 1800s. As close as sisters, Louisa was always the quiet, nervous cousin while Dacia was boisterous. When they take a journey to visit family in their native Romania, the cousins realize their family is hiding a dark, dangerous secret --- that they are shape shifters --- everything changes for them, quite literally. 

SILVER IN THE BLOOD is an exciting setup to a new series, and I'm really looking forward to the next installment.

While the story creeps along at the start --- mostly describing the elaborate society events, fashions and gentlemen that Louisa and Dacia are interested in --- once the story picks up, it's difficult to put down. Once Louisa and Dacia discover their family's transformative secret, the girls become completely different, intriguing and introspective characters. The character development drives the story, and of course I always appreciate strong female characters. 

The fantasy aspects worked well in the Romanian setting. I appreciated that the story's main antagonist, Mihai, was a relative of Dracula, but not "Dracula" as pop culture would have you think. Mihai was a completely new character that made sense with the historical context provided by the author, and there was even a mention of Bram Stoker's eponymous DRACULA novelIt's clear that George did her research when creating this story and was not afraid to cite her influences. I also appreciated that the family members weren't classic, unoriginal werewolves and that the author put a twist on this often overused trope. 

If you find this story boring at the beginning, I would advise sticking with it. SILVER IN THE BLOOD is an exciting setup to a new series, and I'm really looking forward to the next installment so I can learn more about Louisa, Dacia and their family. 

Reviewed by Katherine Szabo on July 7, 2015

Silver in the Blood
by Jessica Day George

  • Publication Date: July 19, 2016
  • Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1681190249
  • ISBN-13: 9781681190242