Published: November 2012
The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen—she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader—to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. With every step the odds against them surviving and succeeding soar…
The Silvered is not categorised as a YA novel, but the main characters are 18/19 if I remember correctly and the story is really just a great fantasy. It has a slightly Victorian feel to it, but with a bit of steam punk possibilities - confusing? Sorry, but it's the best I can do. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
Mirian and Tomas play beautifully against one another and their character development is entertaining and believable. There is a lovely touch of tongue-in-cheek humour that shows itself every now and again and the odd bit of sexual innuendo was hilarious. Tomas humping Mirian's leg is a perfect example, but you have to read it to get the full impact. Tomas is a shapeshifter - I certainly never thought of him as a werewolf - and he wanders through the story either in 'skin' or in 'fur'. Clothing seems to be optional for him - great visuals as you're reading, believe me. Mirian is a mage with very little skill - or not, as we find out, and learning the limits of her skill is a complicated and dangerous task. The long journey that the two of them embark on to rescue the five kidnapped mages is fraught with danger, frustration and surprising tenderness. Following them on this journey was an absolute delight.
Tanya Huff should be known to Canadian readers as the author of the Blood Ties novels that were the basis for the TV series. She has also written a great series of military SF with a very strong female protagonist. The Silvered is much more of a fantasy than her other books, but was every bit as enjoyable. If you haven't tried one of her books yet, this is a great place to start.