- A Demon in Silver (War of the Archons #1).
- R. S. Ford.
- 464 pages.
- Fantasy / Grimdark.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
In a world where magic has disappeared, rival nations vie for power in a continent devastated by war.
When a young farm girl, Livia, demonstrates magical powers for the first time in a century there are many across the land that will kill to obtain her power. The Duke of Gothelm’s tallymen, the blood-soaked Qeltine Brotherhood, and cynical mercenary Josten Cade: all are searching for Livia and the power she wields.
But Livia finds that guardians can come from the most unlikely places… and that the old gods are returning to a world they abandoned.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A Demon in Silver takes place around 100 years after an event known as The Fall occurred when the gods broke the heartstone and overnight all magic was removed from the world. That is until the magic returns and an innocuous farm girl by the name of Livia Harrow starts to show magical abilities.
The story in A Demon in Silver is told from multiple points of view. You have Josten Cade, an ex-soldier and now mercenary who often finds himself shit outta luck. Silver, an amnesiac who remembers nothing about herself but suffers horrifying nightmares with images of a war-torn landscape and visceral fighting and Livia Harrow, a farm girl who is happy with her lot but unknown to her is harbouring magic not seen in 100 years.
At first, the PoV characters and their respective stories all seem rather separate and you will find yourself wondering how the seemingly random trio of characters will have anything to do with each other. The story mainly revolves around Livia and the magic that she possesses and that everyone wants. She is dragged here and there by those who wish to harness the magic for themselves but it is only when Ford introduces Kaleb, a new fourth PoV character later in the book that all the characters actually converge in the same place. It is his addition to the story that acts as the catalyst and really shows what fate awaits Livia.
By the end of A Demon in Silver Ford has brought all his characters deftly together building throughout the book to what is an epic climax that closes of A Demon in Silver, hints at what is next to come and leaves things open for a bigger and bloodier sequel.
A Demon in Silver is itself fast-paced but Ford still manages to take his time in introducing the four PoV characters. This works well allowing the reader the opportunity to become separately acquainted with each of the characters, their personalities and their stories which often take place over a span of years as we get to witness events that have an impact on them and help to shape who they are by the time that A Demon in Silver takes place.
There’s plenty of in-depth characterisation at play in A Demon in Silver with the PoV, main and many secondary characters all being given the chance to develop. I liked all of the PoV characters and found them to be interesting, individual and able to hold your attention. I’m hard picked to choose a favourite from amongst them. I liked Josten Cade and really enjoyed the banter between him and his sidekick Mullen Bull. I found myself intrigued by Silver and the mystery surrounding her. The story of Kaleb is fascinating and Livia is full of moxie and gumption with regards to the hand that she has been dealt. Taking the circumstances that she finds herself in on the chin and she also has a profound effect on both Josten and Kaleb helping to show different facets to both their personalities.
There is something effortless in reading Ford’s writing that transports you into his story and leaves you craving more. A Demon in Silver is brimming with grim goodness, will whet the appetite of any fantasy fan and includes action, gore, humour, foul language, shades of grey characters (all the good stuff) and his world includes a variety of different nations, religions and old gods.
I do love some high-quality world-building in a book, particularly in the fantasy genre. I’m the type of reader who likes to get a feel for the world that the author has created, that the characters inhabit, its history and immerse myself in it and in that respect, A Demon in Silver doesn’t disappoint, not at all. World-building is at the forefront in A Demon in Silver and Ford has created a book chock full of fascinating history (excerpts of lore strewn throughout add to this) with a world that feels vast, rich in detail and lived in.
You can tell that A Demon in Silver is the first book in the trilogy, acting as the introduction to the characters, the setting and the story as Ford sets up the players and pieces sublimely heightening the anticipation and paving the way for the next book.
A Demon in Silver is an impressive start to the War of the Archons by Ford. Dark but not overly dark, it is very accessible giving you everything that you could possibly want in the first book of a trilogy, it is a thrilling ride and I loved it all.
I was a big fan of Ford’s previous work, the Steelhaven trilogy, he is a talented author and I am pleased to see him return with a stellar new fantasy outing in A Demon in Silver, I hope it does well as I feel it deserves to be a hit.
If you are looking for a fast-paced, bloody and brilliant read then this is the book for you.
Purchase A Demon in Silver (War of the Archons #1).
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