19851Third in the Songs and Swords quintet, Silver Shadows focuses solely on Arilyn Moonblade, just as Elfsong focused on her Harper partner Danilo Thann.

Here Arilyn is sent off to Tethyr as an ambassador for Evermeet to speak with the wood elves who live within the forests to possibly retreat to the elven isle.  But things swiftly get out of hand, with layers of intrigue and subterfuge clouding her sight.

The humans have been illegally logging in the forest, and staging attack sites to incite the rest of city against the elves, when all they’ve been trying to do is protect their own.  Joining forces with the wood elves and other forest creatures, Arilyn drives back the humans and helps plant a new generation of trees.  And around all this Arilyn has her own woes to deal with.

Turns out the souls of the moonblade’s wielders are trapped within the blade as elfshadows, bound in service to be called forth whenever the current wielder commands.  So not only does Arilyn struggle with her service to the blade, both in this life and the next, but she discovers that Danilo is to share the same fate as her.

Thankfully everything getes sorted out here, but Arilyn has a lot on her plate in Silver Shadows. Elf lover, identity crisis, banding difference races of elves and forest creatures together, she’s a busy woman.

Next up is something I always look forward to.  Philippa Gregory’s latest paperback The King’s Curse.

15849910As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the King’s mother, the Red Queen, as a rival to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter—Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales—and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.

But Margaret’s destiny, as cousin to the White Princess, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty, yet a royal death restores her to her place at young Henry VIII’s court where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband and her tragic decline.

Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII or to her beloved queen. Caught between the old and the new, Margaret must find her own way, concealing her knowledge that an old curse cast upon all the Tudors is slowly coming true…