Silver

Silver

by Rhiannon Held

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Overview

Urban fantasy takes a walk on the wild side with Rhiannon Held's remarkable debut.

Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He's the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke's territory. But the lone Were he's tracking doesn't smell or act like anyone he's ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn't get any better. She's beautiful, she's crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she's lost her wild self and can't shift any more. The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent. Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power…and passion for each other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765368157
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Series: Silver Series , #1
Pages: 291
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

RHIANNON HELD is the author of Silver and its sequel, Tarnished. In her day job, she works as a professional archeologist. "Unfortunately, given that it's real rather than fictional archeology, fedoras, bullwhips, aliens and dinosaurs are in short supply. Most of my work is done on the computer, using data bases to organize data." Held lives in the Seattle, Washington, area.

Read an Excerpt

1

 

The lone werewolf smelled like silver and pain. Or maybe it wasn’t pain, maybe it was fear. In human form, Andrew Dare’s nose had missed that undertone altogether, and even in wolf it was elusive. Her trail wove beneath one of the power line towers straddling this strip of grassy, undeveloped land, and the metal bar clipped the top of Andrew’s ears as he padded under. He twitched his ears, checking again for any nearby humans, but he remained alone for the moment.

Pain and fear or not, she was a Were carrying silver, and that could mean only one thing: she was a European. Only European Were used silver on each other and would therefore have reason to carry it, and damned if Andrew was going to let any of them cause trouble in his alpha’s territory.

The lone’s trail had followed the power lines for several miles but now it diverged into a suburban development probably close enough to be considered part of Nashua, New Hampshire. Andrew stopped where the tangled unmown grass met a path into a cul-de-sac and considered, panting. The summer sun was low now, the heat was easing, and the scents he got from the development were fogged with car exhaust as everyone returned home for the evening.

Risky, to follow any farther in wolf form. The human scents Andrew found on the wind were few and far between, suggesting an upper-middle-class neighborhood with big lots. People in those neighborhoods didn’t ignore strays, they called animal control. And animal control knew the difference between a dog and a wolf, and a wolf and a creature that massed much larger than any natural wolf.

Andrew sniffed again and allowed himself a growl when he smelled no humans close enough to hear it. Damn that European. It was one of the oldest tricks in the book to stick to heavily populated areas so cars would drive away one’s scent and pursuers would have to sacrifice their wolf form’s superior nose, but knowing it didn’t make it any easier to counter. He’d have to push himself running back to his clothes and his car to not lose any more time. He was already—Andrew put his nose to the trail again—half a day behind as it was. But standing here debating would waste as much time. He started back.

It was good to run. Andrew had spent too much time stuck in traffic driving up here from Virginia. His muscles protested the pace at first, an aching commentary on how much time he’d been spending in human lately. Why bother shifting when he had no real pack to hunt with?

His nose caught a rusty tang and he jumped a few wires remaining from an old fence as he turned his thoughts instead to what the European Were might hope to accomplish here. Was she scouting the territory for the rest of her pack to follow, or did she plan to challenge and replace one of the sub-alphas in the larger Roanoke pack herself? He’d chased another silver-smelling lone last year, but that man had disappeared over the Mississippi into the Western packs’ territories long ago. Much as Andrew had hated to let the lone go, he trusted the Western packs to deal with him.

Andrew doubted this lone was after him personally, either. If so, she was long overdue. He’d escaped back to North America a decade ago. Still, the fact that she had brought silver suggested she was looking to punish someone. Andrew didn’t intend to allow that. Once he caught her, he’d drag her back to explain herself to his alpha. If she didn’t have a good enough reason for her failure to ask permission to cross Roanoke territory he’d have the pleasure of shoving her on a plane and out of Roanoke for good.

When he reached the bush where he’d hidden his clothes, Andrew crouched low and drew in a deep breath. Shifting at this moon phase was an effort, though at least the moon was waxing rather than waning. Andrew concentrated, eyes closed, pushing, pushing, until he felt the blessed tipping point. Everything fell into the new configuration: sight and scent and arrangement of muscles. He stretched his arms to settle his mind into it, and then pulled on his clothes.

It took a frustratingly long time to find the right cul-de-sac by car from the other side, but when Andrew finally returned to the spot he’d left off, traces of the Were’s trail still remained. He jogged a little to make up time as he followed the scent on foot in human form. At least the Were hadn’t been running. Her scent was thick, suggesting she’d wandered.

Andrew grew more cautious as the trail turned into a yard. He couldn’t say for sure with his human nose that no one was home, but the windows were dark and no car was in the driveway, so he strode up for a quick look. The sun’s angle made the window reflective against a faint background of blinds. A complete handprint stood stark against it. The placement—Andrew matched his hand to it—suggested someone trying to look through. He peered, but the blinds had no crack big enough to see anything beyond.

But the air held no hint of Were other than the lone anywhere in this neighborhood. A werewolf in human form eating garlic would have been able to tell that.

The trail wound away from the window through front yards until it reached some trash cans beside a garage. The lone’s scent was on them as if she had poked through after knocking them over. Looking for something?

Two women approached, pushing strollers, so he righted the cans to look like a good Samaritan. This house was blocks away from the first one where she’d been looking in. That made no sense, even if the Were had a grudge against some particular humans. What was this woman after?

*   *   *

Silver had been running for a long time. It began with the monster. The monster poured fire into her blood and smiled as she screamed and her wild self fled. He’d thought her so far gone in burning, he’d not watched her closely, and she’d escaped. She sensed him distantly behind her now. Following her trail. She couldn’t let him catch her, or it would begin all over again.

The monster chased distantly, but Death followed close behind. He stalked her with endless patience, waiting to claim her when the monster’s snakes of fire finished their task. She glimpsed him behind her when she could no longer run and had to walk. Her ears strained to hear the forest’s voices beneath the padding of his feet. They had something of an unspoken accord, she and Death—she did not run too fast and he did not catch her just yet. Instead, he padded in her footsteps, tongue lolling out in canine laughter as she tried to ignore him and strained for the scent of her wild self. If only she could find her wild self, then perhaps she would be whole again. But the fire made her head pound so much it was hard to think.

At night, sometimes Silver would invite Death to sit with her. He hulked there opposite her, smug and black. He was blacker than night or a raven’s wing or anything Silver could remember when words and memories wiggled and twisted from her grasp. But then, he was Death. That was description enough.

Sometimes at night the wind tossed the branches of the stately columns of trees around Silver, and the small monsters at the light’s edge shrieked and warbled, making the forest’s voices whisper in concern. Then Death would howl to the Lady’s round, shimmering disc and make the fire burn in Silver’s veins. Your death is in you, his howls told her. In your blood. You cannot fight what is in you.

Silver screamed and begged the Lady to make it stop when the fire burned bright. She curled around her useless arm as the fire pulsed. Each time Death called to the fire, the snakes engraved on her skin grew longer and twined their hissing, traitorous way from the cup of her elbow ever closer to her heart. Silver begged the Lady to protect her from Death, begged the Lady to help Silver find her wild self.

Sometimes the forest crooned a comforting counterpoint to her screams, and sometimes it drew back in shocked silence. Death panted and laughed. The Lady did nothing, as she had done nothing when the monster poured the fire into Silver’s arm.

This day, as Silver trudged through the forest, calling her wild self and searching the trees for a gray flicker of muzzle or flank, she wondered if the Lady still loved her. The Lady had given Silver her wild self from love—perhaps She had taken that wild self back when love waned. Maybe Silver had lost that love by taking the Lady’s gift for granted.

But the Lady had not waned. She was full and luminous above Silver, as always. And surely it was a sign of the Lady’s favor that the monster had not caught her yet?

Coming upon a stream, Silver found a still place with few ripples and looked into her eyes, searching for her wild self inside as well as out. Her wild self could as easily have hidden deeper rather than running outward from the fire, but Silver saw no sign of her. Dimness made it hard to see, since though the Lady’s light fell all around her, it did not touch Silver except indirectly.

Even in dim light, Silver’s hair showed nearly all white now, brown chased away. She blinked in surprise. The fire had burned the color from it, of course, but only the new growth. New growth was old now, and she wondered at Death’s patience. She pressed her hand flat against the stream’s cold surface, printing it before Death shattered everything into ripples as he lapped at the water.

At her midday meal, Silver did not invite Death to sit with her. Alone, she forced down the foul-tasting carrion she had found. She drew off her shirt to trace the snakes’ path on her dead arm, tickling their diamond-scaled backs with her fingertip. They writhed in pleasure and hissed to her. Silver frowned, trying to understand Snake. If she could speak their language, perhaps she could persuade them to leave her.

Surely this could be solved by cleverness. Perhaps it was even a test for her to prove herself worthy of the Lady’s gift. Silver considered this. Death must be outwitted somehow. She frowned at him. Invitation or no invitation, he sat on his haunches nearby, nose tipped to test the air. When he felt her gaze on him, Death turned to face Silver.

“Let go,” he said in her brother’s voice. Her brother was dead, so Death had his voice. He had all the voices of Silver’s pack. “Please. We miss you, Silver. Come back to us.” Silver knew that it was not her brother speaking, and Death knew she knew, but he liked to taunt her.

Silver sat up and threw a rock at Death, missing him by a wide margin. She needed to keep moving, and not let him distract her, or the monster would catch up. Thorns curled up to bind her feet and hands, trying to hold her there until the monster arrived. She tore free before they could take proper hold, though they rustled triumphantly at the blood they had captured from her. Time to run faster again. Always running.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Rhiannon Held

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Silver 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
BoekieBookReview More than 1 year ago
Silver by Rhiannon Held is a unique and refreshing take on Werewolves in present day. I enjoyed the mystery behind the story and the well developed characters. I found Dare to be a wonderful main character and Silver although seemingly insane is strong and feisty. The premise of the story exciting and well worth the read. It is a great dark/urban-fantasy story filled with plenty of mystery for those of you who love mysteries. I couldn't help but like the character 'Death.' He was almost like the character's conscious and guide. There were some things that I didn't like about the book for one, the pacing was really slow, you have a lot of build up toward the question of who's the monster after Silver and yet it wraps up in what seems like 3 chapters. I guess I expected more. The blurb on the cover is a little misleading about the romance between Silver "Selene" and Dare. Although it was nice that it didn't strong-arm the story, it would've been great if the romance between the two was developed earlier. Overall, I did enjoy this story and I think if you're looking for a great story involving werewolves and not so much on the romance, than this is it! I look forward to reading more from Rhiannon Held.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick catching of my attention. The storyline was fast paced and takes you directly into the action. Solid characters Andrew and Selene aka Silver. I wouldhave loved a lit more of a wrap-up to finish the story but if this turns out to be just the beginning of the story for these characters, I can't wait to see the next segment/installment. I'll definately be waiting to see what else Ms. Held will produce.
PanolaJD More than 1 year ago
Silver by Rhiannon Held Rating: 3.5 Genre: Paranormal Romance | Dark Fantasy | Mystery Andrew is a werewolf who has never really been content with his current Virginia pack due to his rocky history in Madrid, Spain where he acquired the nickname "the Butcher of Barcelona." He is charismatic, very quick, has a strong sense of honor, and enough strength to become Alpha of his very own pack, but he considers that to be too much work. Thus, he follows orders as his pack's enforcer. While on a mission to uncover the lone wolf on his Alpha's territory, Andrew discovers a tortured and mentally-broken werewolf in human-form. Having no clues as to where this madwoman comes from or which pack she belongs, Andrew takes on the responsibility of discovering her tortuous past himself since her erratic disillusions and cryptic babel, if true, could be detrimental for werewolves everywhere and needs to be stopped! Silver is scrawny, white-haired, some what brain damaged due to silver exposure, and very reluctant to be around anyone but the ghost of Death who follows her closely and acts almost as a pessimistic spirit-guide. Mostly, she is forlorn, distraught, and confused about her past and speaks in her own daffy language (ex. angry snakes that live on her arm, a glowing lady that lives in the sky, losing her name and wild-self, and a monster that is hunting her) that few understand. When her silver-tainted scent rail is discovered by Andrew (who she refers to as the Warrior), she confidently follows only because Ghost approves and tells her to trust him. She understands she "can't run forever", but is continually haunted by tainted memories. And, when her blood-poising problem lessens, Silver becomes more lucid in ability to fight her gruesome past. This was an interesting book. Firstly, I really appreciated the development both of the main characters went through from beginning to end. Andrew grew from a unaccomplished loner to a more authoritative figure while Silver went from being incomprehensible to knowing she had been and can be again. Together they made a "formidable team." Secondly, The crackling tension between Andrew and Silver was really satisfying since their interactions showed that there is indeed a thin line between infuriating and irresistible. Their relationship slowly matured into a romantic one without coming off as forced or implausible. Thirdly, the psychotic murder mystery aspect to the story was well written with Silver's Mother's pack resolving much of the confusion and secrets, but it definitely added a gruesome and uncomfortable tone to the overall tale where bloody vengeance was the name of the game. Likes: I really enjoyed the various packs introduced throughout this story. The different cities (and there are lots of them!!) where the packs resided really kept the story interesting by displaying a different Alpha/power-figure, scenery, pack formality, and even changing family environments--so there was always something new and refreshing to read about since these numerous settings opened up a broader picture for the reader.. Plus, the Roanoke ancestral history was fascinating, especially considering how very traditional they were in passing on names from the original settlers into the modern day. Dislikes: I would have enjoyed a better conclusion to Andrew's lost teenage daughter in Spain since he misses her "like a physical pain sometimes." The reader was left
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
refreshing with delightful twists
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read. I shall look for more books by this author. Strong characters and storyline. Well done
Readit_57 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, read it in one sitting. The concept of a werewolf living with the amount of silver in her body as the title character is a new one for me. I will definitely read more by Ms. Held as soon as it is available.
SmalltownSR More than 1 year ago
I love a great werewolf book.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Held¿s debut novel and is basically a paranormal werewolf type book. I got an advanced reading copy through the Amazon Vine program for review. It¿s an okay story, but that¿s about it. The characters never really drew me in and the plot was fairly predictable. Not my favorite werewolf book, but not horrible either. This is the first book in a trilogy.Andrew Dare is the enforcer for the Roanoke pack. One night he stumbles upon a woman/werewolf poisoned by silver; she is barely sane. When he does get her calmed down she says her name is Silver and that a monster is hunting her. Andrew must unravel the mystery behind Silver¿s Monster or his whole pack could be in danger. The viewpoint switches between Andrew and Silver.Andrew is your typical I need to feel like part of the pack but don¿t want the responsibility type of guy. He is the enforcer for Roanoke, he could be the alpha but he doesn¿t want that type of responsibility. So he stays on the fringe and tries to support Roanoke¿s not-all-that-great current alpha. I didn¿t like Andrew much, he comes off as standoffish and is hard to relate to...I know he has issues but I wish he would have grown more as a character throughout the story.Silver is a complete nut-job. She is pretty much insane because of the torture she underwent under the Monster¿s hands. She talks to Death and hears other voices as well. She also prays and talks to the Lady a lot; which seems to be a personification of the Moon and a religion that some of the werewolves follow.It¿s hard to relate to or even get to know Silver as a character because she only seems present for parts of the story. Other times she is off talking to Death or the Lady or whoever else is in her head. The whole thing gets a bit ambiguous and it is hard to figure out if Death is in her head or if he is actually there.I never really felt any romantic connection between Silver and Andrew. When they do become involved it is actually kind of creepy. Silver obviously has issues and even the fact that she states she is a consenting adult is a bit weird considering how much she talks to herself. There is also quite a bit of discussion of torture, murder, and gore in this book...so just a heads up if that bothers you.The plot focuses on Andrew hunting down the person who tortured Silver. There is kind of a twist to the plot too; at least it is supposed to be a twist but I thought the whole thing was a bit predictable.I also didn¿t enjoy the writing style all that much; it was a bit stiff sounding for me. It is written in kind of a formal sounding way; some may like that but that style didn¿t really resonate with the story for me. I found many parts of the story to be kind of boring as well.The story wraps up some things and leaves others to be solved in future books.Overall an okay werewolf paranormal story. If you enjoy flawed characters, you might enjoy this book. I personally had trouble enjoying reading about Andrew or Silver; the relationship between Andrew and Silver felt kind of creepy to me. It is an interesting take on werewolves, but again I didn¿t really enjoy it. The writing style is a bit stiff and the plot kind of predictable. I personally won¿t be reading anymore of this series. If you are a huge fan of werewolf paranormal romance then you might enjoy this; it is a different kind of werewolf book.
Arconna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every time I read an urban fantasy, I remind myself that I am not the primary audience. After all, much of what I dislike about urban fantasy are the very things I dislike about bad books. Stereotypical characterization, repetitive narratives, and repetitive tropes (if I see one more tramp stamp cover I'm going to blow a gasket). But Rhiannon Held's Silver bucked the trend, taking what should have been yet another stupid werewolf novel and turning it into a rigorously constructed sociological foray into a potential werewolf culture.The novel's focus, oddly enough, is on Andrew Dare, not the character from which the novel draws its title. A werewolf pack enforcer, Dare discoveres Silver wandering in Roanoke territory, seemingly delirious and injected with, well, silver (the connection to her name is explained in the novel). Silver's condition reminds Dare of a past that he would rather forget, and one which wediscover through him as he battles against the memories. Working to uncover those responsible for Silver's torture, Dare must confront the demons that make him anti-social and unwilling to lead.One might say that I'm an unusual reader when it comes to urban fantasy. All those flashy monsters and the like really don't mean much to me if they are substitutes for character development. What is powerful about urban fantasy for me isn't so much that it is the fantastic littered in contemporary spaces; rather, it is that urban fantasy seems like a perfect space for examining the relationships between characters, human and otherwise. Silver is such a novel, with a tangential focus on plot. What centers the novel, and made it work for me as a fantasy, are its characters. Dare is sympathetic and mysterious; reading about his development as a character, moving from a man afraid of responsibility to a man who must take it, was refreshing, in part because it meant the story needn't reduce itself to a long series of random werewolf fights in order to explore a set of themes (in this case: haunted pasts, torture, pack culture, etc.). Likewise, Silver, the second POV (less focused in this novel for reasons that become obvious as you read), suffers from similar traumas. Though her development is less pronounced than Dare's -- it is partly her past that Dare is trying to uncover -- Silver's growth as a character offers a emotional exploration into psychosis and werewolf phenomena. Readers expecting an action-packed novel would do best to explore elsewhere; this is not that kind of story.Perhaps the novel's greatest strength lies in Held's attempt to take a fantastical concept -- the existence of werewolves -- and put a soft science spin on it. Much of the novel draws attention to the dynamics of werewolf packs and the power struggles that exist within them. While the idea is likely not original, it is one that Held handles well. Rather that infodump, the pack dynamics play a central role in the plot, allowing the reader to see the interrelations between packs, the ways in which individuals maintain pack dominance (including Dare's struggles with his own alpha nature), and so on. One might look at Silver and call it anthopological urban fantasy. That would be a fair assessment considering that Held has argued in interviews that the world of Silver is more science fiction than it is fantasy; the werewolves have an implied evolutionary origin in the novel, which will play a more important role in future novels. Whether her universe can be conceived as a science fiction one is up to speculation; regardless, the rigor with which Held constructs her werewolf culture means the story never takes its fantastic elements for granted. That's something I can appreciate as a reader. The werewolves don't exist just for the sake of existing, as is sometimes the case in urban fantasy. They exist because there's a seemingly logical reason for it. I sometime call this "building a world that feels lived in." Silver brings us that worl
ABookwormsHaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I saw this book through the Amazon Vine program and thought it sounded really interesting. It had the hint of a romance, werewolves and a fantasy feel to it so I thought it would be a book I could enjoy.When I received Silver, I was not sure if this book fit into the adult or young adult category and could not find out that information online. After reading it though, I would put it in the adult category. As for the genre, it could fit into a couple of them. It has elements of an urban fantasy, a paranormal romance and a fantasy novel, yet I don¿t think it could be classified as just one of those. It does switch point of views between Silver and Andrew, but the transitions were sometimes rough and did not flow well into the overall story. It also has the werewolves which could be in fantasy or paranormal and there was romance, but it definitely took the back seat like it would with an urban fantasy novel.As for the characters, I did not feel any connection with them. There was no depth to them or their feelings and they felt like strangers to me. I also did not feel like I had to know any more about them as the story progressed. I wanted more emotions from Silver and Andrew and to know more about their backstory. We get a little of that later in the book, but it is not for a good hundred and fifty pages in and by that point it was too little too late for me.I actually put this book down a couple of times and almost did not finish it because I was bored. There was not much going on except the hunt to find who tortured Silver and that was not enough to keep my attention. I pushed through because I was hoping it would pick up, but it never did. I had high hopes for this book and it just did not deliver. It also did not help that I felt left out of many of the stories the characters talked about. There were too many side plots that we came into the middle of and I did not like feeling lost. I know that we needed time for Andrew and Silver¿s pasts to be revealed to us, but there were other references in there that I did not understand because they happened off the page and I wish we could have explored those more. It might have helped me to connect with the characters.There were a couple of things I did like about the book. The mythology for one thing. I liked how the werewolves shifted in this book and the idea of ¿Death¿ being a character as well as ¿The Lady¿. They were both very interesting phenomena and I enjoyed learning more about them. Death is interacting with Silver throughout the novel and his story was very interesting. You could never quite tell what he was going to do and whether or not he was leading Silver into a trap or just looking out for her. He tortures her with voices of people who have died and that was heartbreaking to watch her try deal with. Especially since some of the voices were her family that had been killed and they were trying to convince her to join them in death. Death was sneaky and oddly enough he was my favorite character in the book. I know, he tortures our heroine and while that was brutal to watch, he had a unique voice and stood out in this book.Overall, this story was just not for me. It had all the elements I usually enjoy in a book, but the lack of connection left me feeling cold. I had no desire to see what happened to the characters next and that is never a good sign. I am not sure if this is going to be a series or not, but I know I will probably not pick up the next book if there is one. I would check out a couple of other reviews of this book and maybe read a couple of chapters before you decide if you want to read it.
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May i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a fan of paranormal subjects, I was pleased to find this unique approach to the standard werewolf story. The author's storytelling had depth and her werewolf culture and characters were more multidimensional than most. I found this an engaging and enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Appear
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She padded over to starynight. "Hello."
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Different kind of story. You won't be sorry in buying this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truth.
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ITS WASNT ME
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Thanks i guess
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Tomcat with a black pelt abd white spots. I want to join