Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Silver In The Blood by Jessica Day George

silver in the blood
Silver In The Blood by Jessica Day George
Released: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Source: ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads | Amazon

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. (from Goodreads)

With a book like Silver In The Blood, it is hard to say where to start a review. Should I talk about the wonderfully rich historical setting of Romania? The fascinating and fresh twist on the fantastical tales that make the country famous in our times? Our perhaps the cast of characters that bring the entire story to life? I suppose it's always nice to start with what I loved most.

I LOVED the dynamic between Dacia and Lou, and also how it's changed when they come into their shape-shifting inheritance. But more than that, this story is about two spoiled socialites who discover that there is more to them, more courage and more vivacity, than either of them believed. Watching Lou and Dacia become their true selves was a true pleasure.

Then, of course, we have their Florescu relatives. Enigmatic and terrifying and unexpected, you can find as many allies among them as you do enemies. They are that family that every history buff, like myself, wishes to belong to. 

In a way, the Florescu family is an extension of Romania itself in this book. I got this feeling when I was around them of deep historical value, ageless opulence, and the descriptions of them matched that of their country. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed touring the Romanian countryside with our characters. If I had one critique it would be that I wished for MORE of that - the exploring, the images. But isn't that always the case for my greedy little self?

Last, but not least, I heartily appreciated the lore that was brought to life. I don't consider myself a paranormal, vampire, werewolf, etc. fan. That's not a sub-genre that I'm particularly interested in. But the way that Jessica Day George made the classic folktales her own - the claw, the wing, and the smoke - was refreshing and intriguing. I feel like it had more of a fantasy edge than the genre usually has, which was perfect for me! Granted, given my general distaste for werewolves and vampires, I admittedly know little of the legends, so it may not be as original as it seems to me. BUT I LIKED IT!

Jessica Day George brought to life historical Romania and all it's eerie lore, culminated by the adventures of two girls, whose friendship is one for the ages. I wholeheartedly recommend Silver In The Blood to fantasy lovers, those inclined to historical YA, or those who simply love reading about good-ole-fashion girl power.

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