Silver
by Rhiannon Held
(Tor, $14.99, PG) ISBN 978-1-4299-9109-4
****
Looking for a new paranormal or urban fantasy author? Rhiannon Held has just hit the scene with Silver, and it is well worth your time, especially if you're looking for something a little cleaner than average (no sex scenes and little graphic violence), though the subject matter itself lends some disturbing images.

After the death of his wife and the loss of his child, Andrew Dare went on a rampage through one of the Spanish werewolf packs. Ever since, not wishing to tie himself to a pack, he has acted as the Enforcer for the Roanoake pack, the largest in North America. When a lone wolf wanders into Roanoake's territory, Dare is sent out to retrieve him or her and punish as he sees fit.

The tang of silver - a feared and loathed method of torture among werewolves - makes this less of a retrieval and more of a rescue mission, especially once Dare locates an obviously crazy woman who only recognizes the name Silver. She's clearly been tortured and still has some form of liquidized silver running through her veins. She can no longer shift, and trying to recall what has happened to her drives Silver into convulsions.

When Roanoake fails to do his duty regarding the injured but very strong-minded woman, Dare takes her west in the hopes of finding somewhere to stash her while he tracks down the person who tortured her and, from the sounds of it, killed much of her pack.

Silver doesn't want to be left behind, though, and her lucid moments provide much more insight than what little help he manages to get from the pack to which she once belonged. Silver involved the actual tracking of the madman - mostly it was about Dare protecting Silver as Silver made it clear that, even crazy and separated from her wolf self, she could handle about anything - the story moved right along. Silver and Dare are both extremely well-wrought, and without going into too much detail, Rhiannon Held managed to make many of the peripheral characters just pop. Silver seems to be the beginning of a series, though the ending wraps up enough loose strands to not leave readers in agony until another novel comes along.

--Sarrah Knight


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