“There was a time I was afraid of the dark.”
From the very first moments of this book, I fell in love with Ava. A girl who dresses as a boy so that she can keep the family farm afloat while her father goes away on extended trips. It was love at first sass.
Ava is a normal seventeen year old girl. Well, normal-ish. Normal if you don’t count the silver necklace around her neck that cannot be removed, (and believe it, she’s tried!). Normal to pretend to be a brother who doesn’t exist. Normal to not want to be “matched to a narcissist who saw me as little more than a live-in cook and vessel for his seedlings”, (she means married). Normal to fall into blackout dreams. Normal.
Small things like dressing as a boy and not wanting to get married may not seem fiery, or fiesty, or even rebellious. Until you consider that she lives in a town where it is illegal for women to even use certain hairpins, lest they be used as weapons. A town where a woman helping on any level that would make them equal to a man is looked down on, if not outright forbidden.
Yet despite her deep yearning to be allowed to run the farm and be left alone, strange things are happening around Ava. Shadows that look like monsters lurk behind window panes. Animals are slaughtered in the barn while the doors are locked. And when a handsome stranger with eyes of fire and smoke saunters onto her land late one night, things will never be the same.
Against the rules set out by her father and older brother (real, not imaginary), Ava attends a town ball with her friend, Kaela. Immediately she gains the attention of a dark stranger with darker eyes. But rather than being whisked off her feet, she is lured to a trap and nearly dies. Injured and confused, she wakes in a strange bed surrounded by strange people.
Not quite a prisoner, but not quite free, Ava finds herself in the middle of a war she doesn’t understand. Creatures and stories that should only exist in stories are suddenly alive in the forest and trying to kill her. Ava will have to learn who to trust, and more importantly, find out who she wants to be, in order to survive.
“A person with as many scars as you can be one of two things: a man that fights for justice or a man that fights for power. My question is: which one are you?”
Trapped in Silver reads like a fairy tale. There is magic and mystery, but the layers within the novel unfold slowly, refusing to plunge too fast. I suspect that the pacing is done so that we get a solid foundation for the story to take off in later books. World and character building are important, and sometimes can be lacking for the sake of a “fast plot”. Snowden doesn’t succumb to that pressure, and instead lets us unravel the mystery with Ava. It made Ava much more relatable, and also lets the reader learn important details without giving us tediously boring info dumps.
Of course, we do get some information before Ava does, so one of the plot twists was an easy guess. However, the twist at the end was shocking and only made me want to turn more pages, only to find I had reached the end. I need to know what happens! It also made me wonder if Snowden deliberately made the twist obvious knowing she was going to sucker punch us later.
This book is filled with action, and adventure, and mystery. It is enchanting and fun! Ava is not just a sassy heroine, but headstrong and flawed. She tends to find herself going against what people tell her, but this is also a girl who created an identity to circumvent society. We shouldn’t be surprised. And often, her impulsive nature is the right one. Even if it a bit more troublesome.
“Well, I figured it’s been at least a week since someone’s tried to kill me, so I wanted to shake things up a bit, you know,” I said, sheathing my dagger. “I’ve never been one to back away from a fight.”
This sass, her brash refusal to cower and back down is part of what makes Ava such a good character. She is flawed, and reckless, and sometimes a bit naive. But, she is unflinchingly herself throughout it all. There is nothing that drives me battier than a waffling heroine, so I adored Ava and her feistiness.
Snowden has built an intriguing world full of mystery and nefarious plots. She has written characters that are full of hidden depths and surprises. Ava doesn’t become a master swordsman, or miraculously save the day on her own, or any other standard heroine tropes we usually see. Instead, she finds herself, and realizes that she isn’t alone. She opens herself to the people around her, choosing to fight with them, to push herself more and to protect them the only way she knows how. That is my idea of a strong female lead.
I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series! If you like sass, adventure and a dark mystery, this is the book for you!
Thank you to OfTomes Publishing for sending me a copy to read and review!