cover image Breaking Silence: A Novel of the Serrated Edge

Breaking Silence: A Novel of the Serrated Edge

Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin. Baen, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-1-9821-2434-2

Lackey and Martin‘s competent tenth novel in the Serrated Edge series (after Silence) sees the village of Silence, Maine, adjusting to life in the aftermath of the defeat of the parasitic Blackthornes, an elven clan that fed on the misery of the village’s human occupants. Young human mage Staci and her ragtag group of friends are training with bookshop owner and warrior-mage Timothy Carter when representatives from the elven clans of Silversun and Fairgrove arrive to take ownership of the Blackthornes’ properties, claiming to want to “foster economic recovery” in the community. The renewed elven presence isn’t the only oddity in Silence, as aggressive monstrous creatures, from revenants to werewolves, crop up throughout town. The elves are wary of a mounting residual evil and form a begrudging alliance with Staci and her friends to combat it. Despite the complexities of this alliance, frequent platitudes from Staci too easily dispel what could otherwise be nuanced interpersonal politics. Readers will need to be familiar with earlier installments to understand much of the goings-on, but the wide assortment of fantastical foes adds variety and drama to the narrative. Returning fans will appreciate this solid series entry. (Feb.)