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Tarnished    by Rhiannon Held order for
by Rhiannon Held
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Rhiannon Held's Tarnished is a sequel to Silver, a werewolf urban fantasy with both mystery and romance woven into its plotline. The latter introduced werewolf Andrew Dare, whose Spanish wife was killed, resulting in a murderous rampage that exiled him from Europe and separated him from his daughter.

In the first book, Dare (then enforcer for the North American Roanoke pack) found a crazed female werewolf, claiming to have lost her wild self and calling herself Silver. He sought answers in the Western packs, while the monster following Silver closed in on both of them.

As Tarnished opens in Seattle, Silver (now paired with Dare) is in a better mental state but still physically limited and unable to shift. She continues to speak with her companion, Death, and now Dare sees him too. They're both recovering from injuries sustained in the first episode when an old enemy of Dare's (Sacramento's alpha) shows up, seeking vengeance.

Seattle's alpha, John, has a child by a human woman, Susan. He has told her little, wanting to protect her. Silver explains Susan's options to her in Were life and along the way learns a great deal about what she herself can still do, even lacking the ability to shift.

Once Dare's enemy has been dealt with, it's time to confront Roanoke's alpha who's shown himself to be a poor leader. But Roanoke has a big surprise for Dare, having allied with the Spanish pack. Dare finally sees his daughter Felicia again, but can he survive the strong alliance against him? And will he be able to convince Felicia that he's not the monster she's been brought up to believe he is?

This second episode ends on a great deal of change - and added responsibilities - for Dare and Silver. And Rhiannon Held continues to deliver solid storytelling, filled with action and romance, in this unusual and engaging urban fantasy series. I look forward to more.

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