Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Series: Silver in the Blood #1
Published by Bloomsbury
Published on July 7th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
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Society girls from New York City circa 1890, Dacia and Lou never desired to know more about their lineage, instead preferring to gossip about the mysterious Romanian family that they barely knew. But upon turning seventeen, the girls must return to their homeland to meet their relatives, find proper husbands, and—most terrifyingly—learn the deep family secrets of The Claw, The Wing, and The Smoke. The Florescus, after all, are shape-shifters, and it is time for Dacia and Lou to fulfill the prophecy that demands their acceptance of this fate . . . or fight against this cruel inheritance with all their might.
With a gorgeous Romanian setting, stunning Parisian gowns, and dark brooding young men, readers will be swept up by this epic adventure of two girls in a battle for their lives.
Told in alternating POVs of cousins Louisa and Dacia, the two girls travel from the well-mannered society of New York, to their family estate in Romania. There they learn of dark family secrets that will change their lives forever.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Jessica Day George’s newest YA Fantasy. I enjoyed the premise of her story – most of which takes place in Romania and involves a clever twist on the Dracula mythos, and I found that the two heroines were a refreshing twist on the dual narrative.
I struggled a little with the pace of the novel. For the first half of the book the reader is given a lot of excess narrative, which didn’t seem to add much to the plot of the family history, and the unrest between the family members. While it did set up the girls’ upstanding character and their dangerous shape shifting Florescus family, so much back-and-forth between the cousins and their unconfirmed suspicions made it difficult for me to keep my interest in the story.
Once the girls realized their shape shifting abilities, though, I found myself speeding through the rest of the novel. I loved that both Lou and Dacia had to redefine themselves on their own terms, and not by what their family told them they had to become. Both girls found strength in different ways, exploring the idea of power, and what it means to wield it with restraint.
I thought that George’s use of two female heroines was great; both narrative voices felt natural, and I never found myself questioning why there were two narrators for this first installment of the series. Both cousins had romantic interests, but I never felt distracted by the their beaus. Sometimes the romance felt a tad forced, but I was able to overlook it for the fact that these relationships never overshadowed the more interesting plot of unrest between family bloodlines.
Overall, this book is an interesting twist on legends and folklore with a rich historical backdrop, and two very admirable heroines. It is perfect for fans of Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly.
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