Monday, October 06, 2014

[Early Review] Silverblind by Tina Connolly

Title: Silverblind
Author: Tina Connolly
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Ironskin #3

Hardcover, 272 pages
Publication: October 7, 2014 by Tor Books

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

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The final book in this series will jump forward 18 years and feature Dorie, Jane's young charge from Ironskin.

18 years later . . .
Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shapechanging fey powers--to disguise herself as a boy.

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who's about to get steamed by a silvertail-- and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn't spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can't bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?
Silverblind is the third and final installment in the Ironskin series following heroine Adora ‘Dorie’ Rochart who readers met as a child in the first book Ironskin. Fast-forward 18 years, readers finds Dorie who just graduated from college in search of her first job. Dorie has her heart set on The Queen’s Lab as a field researcher, one of the most prestigious government jobs around and the position is only intended for men. After going to three interviews and getting rejected from all three for her gender, Dorie best friend/roommate Jacqueline ‘Jack’ suggests that Dorie uses her Fey powers to impersonate a boy. Doors usually only available to men are suddenly open to Dorie as she becomes ‘Dorian’, finally doing what she loves which is researching in the woods where the fey lives. Through her disguise Dorie begins to hunt Wyverns for experiments, discovering that the Wyvern eggs’s abilities to kill the fey and cure those that are ironskin (humans touched by fey)…and that her cousin Tam whom she hasn’t seen for over a decade is working at the Queen’s Lab. Tam hasn’t spoke to Dorie or forgiven her for her betrayal all those years ago, and now that Dorie has a chance to seek forgiveness she can’t stuck as a boy.

I haven’t read the first two books in the series but Silverblind read perfectly as a standalone. After reading a few pages, I was able to follow along with the story with no problems. Connolly did a great job summarizing the previous books without bogging the readers with too much information, it was just enough to help readers understand what is going on and the history /background of the character were sprinkled and incorporated in a way without disrupting the flow of the story. Silverblind focuses on Dorie and Tam going against the Crown by using their knowledge of the Wyvern eggs and the tales of the legendary/Mythical Basilisk to help/cure the remaining ironskin (human touched by feys afflicted with a particular problem, ex: excruciating hunger, anger, fear or visions to name a few). Readers also learn more about the Feys and where they originated as well as other creatures that dwell in the woods.

I absolutely adored Dorie and Tam. Dorie is half human- half fey but she isn’t one that cares about power or fey beauty. Instead of using her powers, she kept it locked away since that fateful last day she saw Tam dulling her true appearance and abilities. It isn’t till 18 years later that she unlocked her other half, but even then it isn’t for selfish means. She uses her powers to turn herself into an average joe guy to get a job to help others, the Ironskins and the poor. Dorie was a very likeable and competent heroine. It was fun to see her switch from Dorie to Dorian, trying to play two characters (which was harder with a baby Wyvern practically attached to her like an extra limb) and all the craziness that ensue. Tam, Dorie Cousin (not by blood) was an excellent male lead…he is pretty much a male version of Dorie…which is probably why I liked him just as much. There were many flashbacks of Dorie and Tam as children, and while I’m not usually a fan of flashback…I must admit I enjoyed theirs. It gave readers a glimpse into their history and why they haven’t spoken for 18 years. When Dorie and Tam broach the subject about what Dorie did to Tam all those years ago it was so heart wrenching. I definitely felt the characters’ emotion as if I was living it myself.

I really enjoyed Silverblind. The whole masquerading as a boy felt very Mulan-esqe to me and made for a fun and engaging read. Silverblind is a fairly short and quick read but it was action packed from start to finish. I love the world building, Victorian setting, well developed plot and unique cast of characters. My only complaint is that I wished the book was longer! For fans of the Ironskin trilogy, I’m happy to report that both Jane and Helen make an appearance. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy fantasy or is looking for a different take of faeries/fey.

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