Review: Tarnished

Posted: December 6, 2013 by in Books We Like (4/5 single_star) Meta: Rhiannon Held, Urban Fantasy

In SILVER (EBR review), we were introduced to the werewolves Andrew and Silver. Now that they’ve recovered from their injuries, they’re beginning to think about the future. Unfortunately, the future doesn’t always go according to plan.

Coming up is the werewolf Convocation in the neutral territory of Arizona. Weres from other packs think Andrew should return to the East Coast and challenge the Roanoke alpha. It’s something Andrew wouldn’t have considered before meeting Silver, but the current alpha is weak and leadership needs to change. His biggest concern, however, is Silver, who may be dominant, but as a result from events in book one has lost her ability to shift. Should her condition change Andrew’s decision?

As in the first book, SILVER, Rhiannon Held’s story revolves around the culture of werewolves, their hierarchies, and behaviors. It’s about werewolves and how they interact with each other and the world around them. Sometimes I didn’t quite follow the logic of it, but that’s more my opinion on how werewolf culture should work and not an inadequacy in Held’s writing.

The story of TARNISHED (Amazon) flows from events caused by the characters and the natural consequences of the choices they make. I like how the set-up was straightforward, but Held unfolds the action in an unpredictable way. The story moves forward at a steady pace and is never boring, the succinct prose easy to read.

Silver and Andrew discover in TARNISHED that together they're strong enough to lead thier pack. Very readable for another book about werewolves.

Told from Silver and Andrew’s PoV, Held adds a third PoV character, Susan, the human lover of the Seattle pack’s alpha. Susan struggles to understand the alien culture of the man she loves as well as their young child. Silver is dominant, but having lost her ability to shift makes her question her ability to be alpha alongside her mate. And Andrew wants to do the right thing, but is still figuring out what that is. Susan’s PoV is a nice addiction and Andrew is likable, but as in SILVER the real star of the show is Silver herself. She can still see and interact with Death, and while she is sometimes lost in her own little world, she has a keen ability to observe and understand the people around her. I also like the chemistry between Andrew and Silver.

So far it’s a very readable series that feels different from other werewolf fiction out there. It would be a great series for older teens to start out their Urban Fantasy journey.

  • Recommended Age: 15+
  • Language: A few dozen instances
  • Violence: Some
  • Sex: Referenced, implied

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