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“The Urdahl believe pain is inevitable. But if one can lean into that suffering they can achieve anything.”

Silence is SilverAndrew Watson gives a tantalising glimpse into the world of his Shadowbinders series in Silence is Silver, a prequel novella filled with incredible action and emotion that will leave you speechless by the end.

Taking place before the events of book 1 in the main series, Harbinger of Justice, this novella focuses on the backstory of a minor character in this world. Bas is a young man who has grown up beneath the desert sands training to become an Urdahl master. Now his rite of passage is finally upon him, but a bloodsoaked vision has shrouded his destiny in darkness, and he is left wondering what it truly is that his heart desires.

In just a few pages, Watson smoothly transports the reader into an immersive and atmospheric setting that is truly brimming with culture and life. I absolutely loved exploring the Urdahl society through Bas’ eyes, especially as we see him starting to doubt his way of life through the challenges that he is faced with.

And oh boy, does Bas go through it in Silence is Silver. Right from the very first page, we are confronted with the brutal training that the young Urdahl have to endure, and somehow things just only get more intense from there. I mean, when one of the most important proverbs of their culture is: “Pain is a lie. Told to us by weakness.”, you should get a good idea of the (emotional) suffering you can expect here.

Though it’s not all pain and trauma, as Silence is Silver actually has a surprisingly heartwarming friendship at its core that gives the story so much heart. The unconventional dynamic between Bas and the younger Eri really tugged on my heartstrings, and I loved seeing them bond through escaping into a wonderful fictional tale together.

The power of story and is a really big theme in Silence is Silver, which not only makes the characters’ dire situations instantly more relatable for all us fantasy lovers, but also increases the emotional resonance and impact of the story even more. Watson really cleverly played around with the idea of heroism and the familiar hero’s journey, resulting in a refreshingly unique and deliciously darker take on a coming-of-age fantasy tale. And then add to that some viscerally written and pulse-pounding action scenes, a few heavy emotional gut punches, and a brutally bittersweet ending, making Silence is Silver just a prequel novella done absolutely right!

Even though this is connected to the larger Shadowbinders series, this self-contained story works brilliantly on its own and can be read without any prior knowledge of this world. Though, speaking from my own experience, I can guarantee that you will be left desperate to explore this intriguing world further upon finishing this exciting little tale.

Watson’s skill as a storyteller just shines through so brightly in Silence is Silver, and I already can’t wait to see his rich imagination on full display in the full-length novels. If you are in the mood for an exhilarating little novella that will both challenge you with some deep philosophical quandaries while also filling you with plenty of chills and thrills, then I can’t recommend Silence is Silver highly enough!

Thank you to the author for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Silence is Silver is scheduled for release on June 14th, 2024.

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Silence is Silver

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

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