Silver and Blood by Trina L. Talma

Candle-Ends: Reviews
Lisa Olson

The fantasy novel Silver and Blood by Trina L. Talma is in essence two very different books.

In part one, “The Dark Men,” we are introduced to the main character Zania and to her life as a barmaid. She is plucked from this world by a master thief and moved into a world of stealth and relative wealth. Her mentor, who is later her lover and father of her child, dies of a fever which also takes the child before it is born and Zania moves in and becomes lovers with a friend, Tarin.

Part one is only thirty-two pages long and it gives far too much information in far too short a time. There is no depth to this first part of the book and I set it aside more than once. I cared nothing for any of the characters because the author gave me nothing to care about. I was dismayed by the speed with which the information was presented and I was afraid that part two would follow suit and the entire book would tell the history of the world in fifty pages or less. Luckily, it did not.

Part two, “Silver and Blood,” is well thought out and solid storytelling. After the first few pages, the author proved her style had changed and the characters started to show their true colors. The situation, while still a typical fantasy setting, had nuances and unexpected turns and a mystery developed that I wanted to reach the end of.

Zania’s lover Tarin disappears. In her attempt to find him, Zania is thrust together with a band of thieves she knows only by reputation. Discovering that she is being hunted for her knowledge of Tarin, her new friends decide to send her to a safer place—to the forest outside the city. All Zania knows of the forest is that you don’t remain there after dark, you stay behind the safe walls.

She is taken to a forest camp loyal to the band of thieves in the city. They learn tracking and fighting skills here and take the knowledge with them when they return behind the walls, giving an important edge to their group. Zania meets new friends including a taciturn elf—a creature she was sure was only myth. From them, she begins to learn the skills of the woods.

It’s the clash of cultures that bring Zania and the novel to life. Her transition from city to forest plays out well and the story is interesting as she learns the skills and interactions with people that it takes to survive in her new surroundings and find Tarin. There are interesting characters surrounding Zania and a foe that is mysterious and dangerous.

Part two is the superior part of the novel and worth the reading of the first to experience it. It’s a strong story and well-written with new and different ideas on thieves, elves and vampires. After part one, I was surprised to find I was enjoying the book and couldn’t stop reading until it was complete.


Trina L. Talma is a former Toasted Cheese editor. Silver and Blood (, 240 pp.) is the first of a series, which also includes River’s End, The Throne of the Sun, Return to Dawn and Dreams of Darkness. Silver and Blood and its companions are available in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon and Lulu.


Email Lisa Olson: boots[at]

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