Well I’m in trouble again; I’ve gotten hooked into another trilogy. I’ll warn you right now, this book has a cliffhanger ending and I’m not sure when the next book is due to be released. Also, for those who dislike large casts of characters and head-hopping, this book has both, in spades. The point of view transitions in this book nearly gave me whiplash, and while I normally don’t have issues with that aspect, I had to stop frequently in order to determine the transitions into the next character. Despite all this, I truly enjoyed Silver’s Edge.
This book also contains an ensemble cast, there isn’t a specific hero, or heroine, but rather a variety of players. Some who appear heroic in the beginning do not end that way, and some who appear to be villainous became more three dimensional once I learned more about them.
The three realms of the world: those of Faerie, mortals and goblins, and they very rarely mix any more. The goblins have been held at bay for thousands of years because the mortals and the sidhe formed an uneasy alliance and made the silver Caul. The Caul contains the blood of both mortals and sidhe bound inside of it, and it drapes the moonstone, which holds the boundaries of the three realms strong. Since goblins love to eat mortals and make war on the sidhe, this Caul seems to benefit everyone (except the goblins, of course). However, the great Queen Gloriana has gone into the West, and one of her twin daughters, Alemandine, holds the throne of Faerie. Vinaver, the other twin, is an anathema in sidhe culture, and may only attend court with her sister half of the year. Alemandine is not as strong as her mother was and it appears that the boundaries of Faerie are weakening.
Nessa is an appretince blacksmith to her father, the great Dougal. His skill is renowned in Brynhyvar, the realm closest to Faerie. However, Dougal has disappeared and a goblin corpse was found in his last known location. Nessa is determined to find her father and cannot understand why the protective barrier from the goblins has failed. Nessa’s own mother was seduced by the Faerie realm, and Nessa knows how dangerous it is for mortals to seek out the sidhe. However, she cuts off the goblin’s head, removes her protective silver, and crosses into the Faerie realm to seek help from the Queen anyway. She finds the Queen’s half-mortal brother Artimour instead. Artimour and Nessa feel an instant bond between them, much to both their dismay. Artimour pledges to help Nessa in exchange for all her information regarding the goblin.
Donnor, Duke of Gar, and his wife Cecily are facing a war in Brynhyvar. Cecily was a child bride and for the last few years, after there was no child, Donnor has avoided her bed. Although she once loved Donnor, she cannot seem to repair their relationship and she fears Donnor’s nephew, Cadwyr, plans something terrible for Donnor. Because Donnor no longer trusts Cecily, she cannot convince him to beware of Cadwyr. Since Donnor is focused on leading the rebellion against the upstarts of Humbria, there is ample danger to him. Once Cecily learns a sidhe is involved in mortal affairs with Cadwyr, she is even more concerned.
Merle, the Humbrian Queen of Brynhyvar, lost her beloved King Hoell to madness after the death of their first child. Theirs was a love match to seal an alliance between Humbria and Brynhyvar. A series of mistakes by the King involving the placement of too many foreign advisors on his council upset the native lords of Brynhyvar. After the King retreated into madness, the conflagration between the lords and the Humbrians turns into outright war. Merle simply wants her king back, but her brother Renvahr has little choice but to side with their father and fight the rebelling lords.
Delphinea, daughter of Eponea, who cares for the magical horses and cows of Faerie, has been directed by her mother to attend Alemandine’s court. There she must talk with Timias, who had a hand in forging the silver Caul. The sacred horses and cows are dying of a horrible disease, and no cause can be found. Privately, Delphinea believes the Caul is poisoning Faerie, but no one believes her, not even Timias. When she and Timias discover that the silver Caul has been stolen and the barrier between the worlds is gone, well, all hell breaks loose.
Finuviel, son of Vinaver, is up to his ears in his own mission, which involves allying himself with the mortal Cadwyr. For Finuviel’s mission is the most secret and tantalizing of all and involves the making of a silver dagger.
I haven’t even mentioned the goblin king’s plan, but as you can see, this is a very complex plot that cannot possibly be concluded in this book. The author manages to tie together this extremely intricate plot nicely and events move along very quickly. There is a list at the beginning of the book of all the characters, but I never really needed to use it as each character manages to come to life through the POV changes.
These characters hooked me from the very start of the book, even though there are so many of them. The author skillfully pulls the reader into the action with each character. Although I have definite favorites, each character is interesting, and has depth and motives for their actions. There is no cardboard to be found here, thankfully.
The ending itself shocked me and I can honestly say that I had no idea where the various plots would end up. This book had many layers to each character and situation and every layer revealed something else surprising and unexpected. There was a definite gore aspect, especially in the first chapter which involved the goblins chomping a human, but gore aside, I’m on pins and needles waiting to find out what happens with these characters. This is definitely a strong showing in the fantasy fiction genre!