Title: Of Silver and Shadow
Author: Jennifer Gruenke
Release Date: 26 May 2020
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
*I received this arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was so surprised when Netgalley approved this arc for me, and even more surprised when I found out that the author is one of my favorite reviewer’s friends!
Of Silver and Shadow follows the journey of Ren Kollins as she joins a rebellion against the tyrant king of Erdis. It’s by no means an easy road, since the king and his son don’t hesitate to show their cruelty towards rebels.
Oh, and one more thing: Ren is one of the last silver wielders in the country.
We follow the perspectives of four characters: Ren, the silver wielder with loads of sass; Darek, the leader of the rebellion who’s strangely tall; Adley, a member of the lethal King’s Children that actually has a heart; and Kellen, the youngest prince who couldn’t be more different from his family and likes to sneak out at night.
Four utterly different characters, yet their story lines all intertwine.
The writing was good and I enjoyed it, the plot line was patiently executed and not rushed, and the characters were all interesting to read.
Good underlying themes/ messages:
- Be your own person; don’t be who your family tries to force you to be.
- Love is not a weakness.
- Mercy is always a good characteristic to have.
A whole star for this catagory!
The story revolves around Ren and her being a hesitant member of the rebellion against the king, Kellen trying to live through each day with his father as the king and his brother, Adley as she tries to capture the rebel leader in exchange for her possible freedom one day, and Darek as he tries to fulfill his late mother’s goal by overthrowing the king.
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. We’ve all made mistakes. Your demons might be louder than mine, but we each have one or two hanging around.
The first part of the book, I felt, was the build-up to an explosive ending. I was casually reading and the next moment, things started happening and the pace picked up.
A lot happens, and this is by no means a short book, but it still feels it went by so fast.
It could also be because I was reading too fast.
The rebellion plot line felt very predictable, if I’m being honest, and I fell like it’s been done so many times by now. With Ren being the reluctant symbol of the rebellion, it gave me some Mockingjay vibes.
Kellen and Adley’s stories were much more interesting for me: the kind prince and the reluctant assassin. Both of them are sweetie pies who need to be protected at all costs.
Half a star for this catagory.
Realistic characters and growth:
Ren’s sarcasm and banter with Darek was funny most of the time, but some times it came off as childish and petty. I also didn’t feel as much chemistry between them as I had hoped for but once again:
It could be because I was reading too fast.
Freya was also a sweetie pie, though.
I liked Adley from the very start and I found her relationship with Lesa endearing. I had crossed my fingers from the very beginning for them to survive this book, so that obviously means I ship them. (You’re going to have to find out for yourself if they survive…)
I liked Kellen from the beginning as well and as the story progressed, seeing how his family treated him made me sympathize with him. Even if he sneaks out at midnight and gallivants around the city, he still was the most innocent and pure-hearted person in his family. Can I just say how much I love Holland, as well?
Darek irritated me at first because of the way he treated Ren. From the get-go, he was rude and disrespectful to her even though he had never met her before. He stays like this for a long time, which doesn’t help my opinion of him. He goes as far as prodding at Ren’s past, which is obviously a big no-no since it’s private. As time went on, he began to soften and I slightly started liking him. (It didn’t hurt that he gave Ren the book she intended to steal…)
I wish his brother got some more time, though.
So yeah, in the end I liked (mostly) everyone.
Half a star for this category.
Fantastic World Building:
I got a clear picture of Erdis, how there was a clear line betweent the rich and poor areas of the city. It was easy to picture the extravagant houses and the dilapidated buildings.
I got a sense of how politics are at that moment (not very good) and what the other countries’ opinion of the tyrannical king was.
Why does anyone look at art? Perhaps it makes her feel a little less alone.
I wish we got to see some more of the foreign countries, but I understand that the main conflict is inside the borders so I can ignore that.
Hopefully, we get the explore more in the (possible) next book!
A whole star for this category!
Writing Style Is Beautiful/ Easy To Read:
For a debut author, the writing was great! I wasn’t able to pull as many quotes as I wanted to but it was easy to read. Evident by the amount of times I mentioned in this review that I read too fast.
He thought because she was quiet, because she liked books and the way the flowers blossomed on the hills in spring, because she was a girl, he could dismiss her as frivolous and unimportant. Weak. He was wrong.
The conversations weren’t stuffed with filler and the banter was quite amusing most of the times. The characters’ perspectives weren’t all the same and I was able to tell them apart.
A whole star for this category!
Have you read Of Silver and Shadow or do you want to? Let me know down below!
Till we meet again!