“You get what’s coming to you.”A Demon in Silver by R.S. Ford
In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war.
When a young farm girl named Livia demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century, there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. Duke Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: All are searching for Livia and the power she wields.
But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places…and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.
Fantasy, War, Magic, Mercenaries, Assassins,
Others in Series:
Book 2: Hangman’s Gate
Book 3: The Spear of Malice
Why This Rating?
There were some high hopes going into this read. It seemed to check off a lot of the things I am always looking for in a book. Fantasy, magic, adventure, blood thirsty bad guys, and a group of guardians for the ‘treasured’ individual/thing. There are other things too, but those are the big items that made it for this book. Yes, all of these are in the book – sort of. What I was not prepared for was the direction the author took this story. Also on a side note, the title sounded cool before I read the book but now the title doesn’t make any sense to me. I understand where it comes from in relation to the story after finishing the book. But why that title? It could have been so many other options or brought in Livia a bit more since she is the one everyone wants.
Just starting with R.S. Ford’s writing choices. The introduction to the characters was odd. The first time meeting them, we are hit with vague and limited understanding about who they are. Or at the very least, why they are important to the story at this current moment. Then Ford chooses to jump away from that brief encounter to drop us off into a completely different situation that is occurring. We stay with this group for a while only then to jump back to that barely introduced character and THEN we get the proper character introduction we’ve been waiting for. It was a different way of writing characters into the story, but all that jumping around seemed a bit much. This way did give the reader a bit deeper of maybe not full backstory but understanding where they are each character is coming from at the very least. As a whole not a fan of this writing choice.
The story as a whole felt like everyone was playing an adult version game of Hot Potato. If you aren’t familiar with this game, it is a children’s game and the objective is to toss whatever object is considered the “potato” around in a circle to music. When the music stops, the goal is to not have the “potato” and if you do you’re out. There are tricks to make the game more fun or even strategies to getting people out too. Sometimes, people will hold on to it and toss it at the last moment to get another person out which is a gamble because you never know when the music will cut. It can be really entertaining to watch and play despite how simple the game sounds.
This book is that game. Just life and death version. Instead of sitting off to the side waiting for the next game, you could end up dead or struggling for survival in you are caught with the Potato. Livia Harrow is the Potato and everyone else is just passing her back and forth (willingly or not) hoping that the music doesn’t stop while they have her. Not at all what I had in mind for the whole guardians protecting this crazy once in a hundred years individual, but it is genuinely what is happening. No one can hold on to her very long, she’s taken from them or they die/get severely hurt. Yet, no one wants to hand her off to another because they want to hang on to her because of her possible worth. Once I made this connection, the whole plot became so predictable and way less enjoyable.
Wow, I was so underprepared for the depth of adult this book got. Not in the world lessons and wisdom levels but the language, gore, and (granted only a few popped up) erotic scenes. I am not opposed to any of these in a book. If an author does them well and you can tell them weren’t just tossing it into the story for no reason, it can be tastefully done. The language fit really well with these mercenaries, farmers, and traveling, road-worn individuals. Loved this! The gore – while not necessarily my cup of tea – was warranted considering this whole book was taking place during a time of war and unrest. I expected some of the bloodshed parts because of this. However, I would not recommend this book if you get queasy from such scenes. Ford doesn’t let up and is detailed till the end with this stuff. I usually read while I was eating. I made that mistake only once and I’d like to think myself pretty strong willed with that writing. As for the erotic scenes, there are maybe 5 quick moments throughout the whole book. They didn’t hide much for the imagination either. I am not shy about this stuff at all. (My reading preferences takes me all around the reading genres out there.) I just didn’t know this book would have any at all. It caught me more by surprise than anything. I want to prepare you for this stuff in books I read.
Then after all of that, the ending just left me with a ‘Meh’ feeling. Is there a set up to keep going into the second book? Sort of, it brings out a new character that we might want to know more about. Did I feel like it helped heal everything that was done and make me want to continue the series? No. I didn’t feel like I had to keep going with the series. Things happened to some of my favorite characters. Stuff got turned around so quick at the end it was really hard to follow who is on what side of the story. There were more moments of jumping around in the story. And then nothing but desert at the very end finishing up the first book. (I know vague but don’t want to give anything away to those who wish to read this book.) Honestly, those last 50ish pages pushed the book over the edge for me.
I am glad I gave the book a try. All books should at least be attempted. It is okay if you don’t finish them because you at least tried. But I don’t recommend this book to you guys. If you want to brave it out and give it a shot, go for it! I would love to hear your thoughts about it and to see if you agree with any of the things I said above.
Time to get lost in the next story!