by Jessica Day George
Ebook, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: E ARC from NetGalley
Cousin's Dacia and Lou were born and raised in New York, after their mother's left Romania in their early twenty's. Someday, they had planned to take the girls to Romania to meet the Florescu side of the family. "A treat that was promised to them when they were somewhat older." Yet, when Dacia has an "incident" involving the handsome Will Carver, her Aunt Kate deceides it's time for them to head to Romania. Lou is to join them with her mother, father and two brothers in tow. The Florescu family has a rich Romanian history that has been linked with another noble family, the Dracula's for many years. Now that the girls are seventeen, Lady Ioana, the head of the Florescu family, has plans for them. Plans that involve overthrowing the current monarchy and replacing them with Prince Mihai Dracula. The family is also harboring secrets that are to be revealed at a special dinner planned in the girls honor. However, Lou and Dacia are determined to escape as soon as an opportunity arises.
Silver in the Blood really piqued my interest because of the setting and a premise that involved a shape shifting family. Given the Romanian setting, I anticipated a story that would somehow include Dracula or Vlad the Impaler, and was not disappointed. I loved that there was a more historical approach to Vlad Tepes versus a story that featured a blood sucking vampire. You can tell that George went to great lengths to give historical accuracy to the story as well as giving the reader the feel for the time period of nineteenth century Romania.
The story is told between the alternating perspectives of Lou and Dacia. Dacia is the more bold and wild of the two, she says what she thinks and doesn't back down from anyone. She has this energy about her that wants to run freely. Lou is the more dutiful daughter, obedient, shy, nervous. The one who worries about fitting into society, being pretty enough or making her family proud. Many of the chapters begin with letters and diary entries written by the two girls. It gives a glimpse of their personalities, illustrates the closeness that they share and details some of the history. Once they determine their abilities, it was interesting to see the roles of the two girls reverse. Lou becoming the more defiant, strong willed, bolder. While Dacia, who once thought of herself as beautiful, becomes repulsed with what she has become and backs away. I have to admit that I enjoyed Lou the most. I loved her growth in the story and how she had such a special bond throughout the story with Dacia.
Silver in the Blood is what I would call a slow moving story. Much of the beginning of the book is getting the girls to Romania, giving insight into the families complicated history, and setting up the mystery behind the Claw, the Wing and the Smoke. Once they're finally in Romania, things began to pickup. That's when the shape shifting comes into play and Lou and Dacia find out just what kind of secrets their family has been hiding. The story is helped along with little hints of romance between Dacia and Lord Johnny and Lou and Theo Arkady. Two handsome men that are a part of a secret organization called the Archangels, charged with preventing the overthrow of King Carol. The girls enlist their help to try and escape from their family and they all get wrapped up in a battle involving the King and Prince Mihai Dracula. While the story is resolved in a satisfying way, George leaves room to add on to the series. Overall, I enjoyed reading the historical aspects of Romania, and despite the plot revealing itself slowly, felt there was just enough action to keep me interested. And once Lou and Dacia's abilities became evident, I was vested in finding out what would happen to them.