Review Blog

Oct 28 2011

Silvermay by James Moloney

cover image

Angus and Robertson, 2011. ISBN 9780732292034.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Winner of the Gold Inky 2011, Silvermay is the first in a new fantasy trilogy by James Moloney. The disturbing prologue demands that the reader continue with the book as Silvermay says:
'Or should I tell you, instead, that I've held a blanket over a baby's face to smother it, and to this day I'm not entirely sure I was wrong to do it?' pg 1.
I was totally hooked and had to read to find out if Silvermay did smother a baby and why she would do such a horrendous act. Silvermay is a young woman living quietly in her village when a handsome young man, Tamlyn, and a young woman Nerigold with a newborn baby Lucien, arrive at her home seeking aid. Nerigold is ill and Silvermay's mother insists that she rests and recovers from the birth. However the wizard Wyrdborn, Coyle Strongbow, is determined to find the child and use him to gain power. When his men arrive in the village, searching for Lucien, Silvermay leads the others on a bold quest to find the secrets that the baby holds. There is much danger, adventure and death defying moments as Wyrdborn magic is used to follow them.
This is an enthralling story of good versus evil. The medieval type setting is perfect for this original quest novel and Moloney has come up with an original and sweeping story. Silvermay is the main character in this novel, with the books, Tamlyn and Lucien to follow. She is a courageous and generous young woman who is prepared to face danger to look after the small baby, who is at the centre of an age-old prophecy. Her goodness spills over to Tamlyn, who is influenced by the way she thinks and acts. He faces the torment of wondering whether he can overcome his Wyrdborn upbringing and begin to feel and love like a normal person. This dilemma is a central theme: Can Tamlyn overcome his genetic traits and be able to allow his mother's beliefs and Silvermay's influence to help him become an more empathetic person?
The growing romance between Tamlyn and Silvermay will satisfy those who enjoy a romance in their fantasy. It is a rocky road for the pair however as there are many twists and turns in the novel and Silvermay is never sure whom she can trust.
This is a book that fantasy readers will lap up and teens have voted it the book that they have most enjoyed in the Inky Awards, 2011. It is a wonderful change from the vampires and werewolves and deserves to be promoted in libraries and reading groups.
Pat Pledger

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