Vampires vs. Werewolves

When did the rivalry start?  I promise you, vampires vs. werewolves wasn’t new when Twilight came out, but I honestly don’t know how it came to be that these two creatures became so very competitive.  I am, as you know, partial to vampire books, even though most of them are over the top and really just count as porn.  I would have to really sit and think to give you a good estimate as to how many different books or series I have with vampires.  I don’t have that trouble with werewolves.  I just don’t like them very much.

I’m not even certain what is it about werewolves that I find so much less attractive.  They can surely be interesting when written well by competent authors…but what can’t be under those circumstances?  Maybe it’s just that I’m no dog person.  I never have been.  I usually chalk this up to meeting a Great Dane.  When I was four.  The dog was bigger than I was.  Regardless, I tend not to go out of my way to pick up werewolf books.  If werewolves invade a series I’ve already been reading, well, that’s life.  If I’ve been following the series that usually means it’ll be worth my time, werewolves or not.

Which makes it all the more interesting that the book I finished today is a standalone.  And with a title like The Silvered and a picture of a wolf and a girl on the cover, it’s easy enough to guess what it involves.  This is why, the very first time I read this book, I checked it out from the library.  It may be by Tanya Huff, but there is the unwritten rule that I never like everything by a give author, so I figured on being safer and not spending money just yet.

I think you can guess the end result, given my statement that this is not my first time reading The Silvered.  No, I have my own mass market paperback copy sitting next to me as I type this, so you can assume that the book was worth the money.  Also that I like Tanya Huff.  So let’s dive into actual content, shall we?

The world of The Silvered is, technologically speaking, in the Victorian Era.  Gas lights are beginning to be installed in Aydori, the homeland of protagonist Mirian Maylin.  They are quite common in Karis, the Imperial capital.  Within the Empire, magecraft has been dying out for generations, whilst those of Aydori are still quite powerful.  This is likely in part due to the Mage Pack, who are the mates of the Pack.  The term “werewolf” is never actually used here.  The were refer to their kind as Pack, and the Empire, well, their term is “abomination.”  Charming.  Anyway, Pack are greatly attracted to the scents of powerful mages, and I would guess that you’d either need two Pack members or a Pack and a powerful mage to produce Pack children.  The book never goes into that much detail, but it seems logical if you assume that Pack, being werewolves, are creatures of magic.

So Aydori is ruled by the Pack Leader, his councilors are Pack and tend to be other Alphas who might choose to challenge him for his position.  I don’t know that the Pack Leader has to be male, but most of the Pack mentioned in the book are male, so it might be a gender skew issue.  Back on track, the book starts in the middle of the Empire’s push towards Aydori.  There’s a battle going on, and yet Mirian’s mother is more concerned about her daughter’s ability to attract one of the Pack for a husband.  Given that the Pack rules the land, marrying in is the best way to boost one’s status, and Mirian’s mother is all about social status.  Mirian herself is a mage attending the University, but hasn’t shown much power.  She tested well, but so far all she’s accomplished is first levels in five of the six elements.  The elements of this book aren’t simply earth, air, fire, and water, but also metal and healing.

Anyway, that’s where everything starts.  Then the world turns upside down and it’s the beginning of Mirian’s journey to realize exactly what she’s capable of when she puts her mind to it.

I have to say, now that I’ve read the book a few times, I do appreciate the foreshadowing and subtle clues thrown in about halfway through.  It’s a somewhat offhand bit, but putting two and two together, I see the four now.

I don’t see my preference for vampire books over werewolf books changing, but if i have to read one of the latter, The Silvered is a solid standalone that I’m pleased to have in my library.

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