I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Trapped in Silver by Emily Sowden from Oftomes Publishing after being chosen as a new reviewer. Not only was I excited as this was my first bookish opportunity, but I couldn’t wait to get started on a new fantasy series. This is the first book in the Eldryn Chronicles and I already can’t wait to read more! I’m going to share a little bit of the synopsis with you to give you an idea of the plot and avoid any spoilers, and then share all my opinions about this wonderful book.
Courage comes from a shadowed place in our hearts; a blurred line that straddles love and sheer stupidity. To seventeen-year-old Ava, wild woodcats, hungry stragglers, and simple-minded townsfolk are the evils she’s grown accustomed to. But when Ethan, an unusual man with eyes of smoke and fire opal, enters her world she quickly understands that there are worse things out there than drunken men and carnivorous forest creatures. She’s a specialised liar and a hell of a fighter, but against a group of animalistic men called Berserkers she struggles to survive the encounter as the desperate swing of a dagger is all it takes to change her life for good.
I think it’s safe to say I loved this book. I haven’t sunk my teeth into a good fantasy series for a long time and I was a bit apprehensive to see what this would be like, not knowing anything about Trapped in Silver, but I went in blind anyway. The novel immediately had my attention thanks to Ava, the protagonist. The character was such a strong and feisty girl who defied her village and the social expectations outlined throughout the novel. I found Ava really loveable and somewhat relatable which make the book easy to read.
Sowden has a natural way with words that kept me engaged from the beginning. The story was interesting and built slowly without being a drag. As a reader I felt like I was constantly drip fed clues that had me guessing what the novel might be about. She also didn’t drop all of the exposition at once, giving you just the right amount of information so you understood the plot but were still left guessing. New information and plot twists were even revealed right up until the last moments which I totally loved. Not only did this end the novel on such a high, but it made me desperate for the next book in the series.
The best part of the novel for me was the unique take on mythical creatures that we have come to know. With the rise of the likes of The Mortal Instruments and Twilight, we have become accustomed to modern interpretations of folklore. Sowden completely changed my expectations by providing a unique take on some of my most loved creatures. They were what I like to call ‘old-timey’, or more traditional interpretations. This was really fresh and interesting and I totally loved her style and story because of this.
Trapped in Silver also included a kind of love story, but not like the usual devoted love you find in these stories (and we all know I’m not a huge fan of that). In fact, the love interest was hardly a love story at all. Sometimes there are times where love isn’t really appropriate, like an eternal battle, taking down the government, saving the human world, or just generally trying to survive throughout the craziness you find in many fantasy novels. But somehow, they still find time to fall in love. Things were a little different in this novel, and much more realistic in my opinion. We’ve all been angsty, awkward teens struggling to express our opinions, or possibly still are now as adults, and this was much more interesting for me. There were so many awkward encounters, angry arguments, and sensual moments which rival the best of adult novels. Even I could get on board with these stories.
As I said at the start of my review, I think it’s safe to say I really loved Trapped in Silver. I went in not knowing what to expect and came out desperate to continue the story. It’s so nice to discover a new fantasy series I can really get excited about, and it’s great to see a British writer too! Emily Sowden has managed to construct a believable yet unbelievable world full of many rounded and loveable characters. The plot was thick and exciting and had me engaged throughout. I seriously can’t wait to pick up the next instalment in the Eldryn Chronicles early next year! Thanks again Oftomes Publishing for the copy to review.