The Silvered Serpents has to be one of my most anticipated sequel in 2020. I wasn’t sure how Chokshi was going to top The Gilded Wolves for me, but I didn’t need to worry. At all. The Silvered Serpents is a magical and stunning sequel.
They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.
Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost ― one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.
Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.
As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.
A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: human sacrifice
The Silvered Serpents is a story about sacrifice, grief, love, and obsession. Still in the midst of their grief from The Gilded Wolves, Séverin, Laila, Enrique, Zofia, and Hypnos are still reeling from that unexpected death. Even though they may have reunited for one last job, there are ghosts and gulfs of silence between them. Remnants of sweeter memories, tinged with ignorance, and regret. Faced with the ache of loss, our intrepid adventurers have to figure out if they will let their grief turn them bitter, or if they will allow themselves to treasure each moment.
And what better adventure is there than a treasure hunt? The Silvered Serpents tells a story full of ghost stories that inspire legends, mysterious iconography that stretches back centuries, and a dangerous power that could unravel the world. A plot full of treacherous and familiar conspiracies, betrayal in ice tipped daggers, and secrets that could be our undoing, The Silvered Serpents is a fierce adventure story anchored by characters who will tug your heartstrings.
Treasure Hunting and Adventure
I could write a whole essay about the thrill Roshani Chokshi brings to The Silvered Serpents with this archaeological adventure. Seriously. Reading The Silvered Serpents takes me back to my first experiences watching films about treasure hunters, magical prophecies, and the dangers of crypts. There’s something tantalizing, cinematic, about the experience of reading The Silvered Serpents. You can’t help but be pulled through the story, dreaming of mechanical creatures, hidden palaces, and treacherous traps.
What I adore about Chokshi’s writing is that it’s self-aware. Our adventurers are aware of the ways history is just merely one story upon a foundation of stories. The ways that history is written by the colonizers. The power struggles of pilfered treasures and art acquisition. Scenes where the rich and those with gilded names come to feast on the banquet of our countries lands.
My Precious Character Babies
Amidst a plot that will truly keep you reading past your bedtime, The Silvered Serpents is full of characters who pull at your heart strings. Even the ones I just want to yell at, it’s always driven by my fierce desire to protect these precious characters. I’m struck by how universal their struggles felt. Whether it be our desire to never feel loss again, to let it harden us to the world and to companionship, or our fear that a secret could turn those we love against us, I empathized with each of them.
Even the ones that made it so hard. When we are so busy wrapped up in their pain, we can see the ones we love slip through our fingers like sand. It should remind us that true power, the ones we dream of at night, that turns our desires into nightmares, cannot come without true sacrifice. At the end of the day, do we choose a path of survival without feeling love, or a life acknowledging the fragility of existence?
Our adventurers in The Silvered Serpents reveal our various vulnerabilities. The doubts that combine to form hidden shadows only our friends and worst enemies seem to find. Sure The Silvered Serpents is full of blindingly bright moments of joy, banter that will make you laugh while reading, but it’s also a book about the real process of grieving. The burdens of secrets and the ability to rest them on the shoulders of friends.
The Silvered Serpents has even more than just a thrilling adventure plot and compelling characters. It has heart wrenching conversations about being biracial – having people doubt your parenthood – the remnants of hate and prejudice that linger, and the pain of one sided love. This sequel has my entire heart. At this point, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for these characters.