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Blood and Silver


Loved it! 😍

Blood and Silver is worth your time if you like standalone YA historical fiction with characters and a setting that jump right off the page.

Blood and Silver by Vali Benson is a fascinating YA western historical fiction novel. I don't often read westerns, but I am glad I decided to give this a chance thanks to Reedsy Discovery. I wasn't familiar with the author or the novel going in, but it ended up being such a pleasant surprise. It's a short and quick read, but the characterizations, the setting, and the world-building really make this novel stand out from the crowd.  

Carissa, our MC, is now one of my favorite young adult leading characters and she is only twelve years old. Usually, I would say that with such a young character at the helm that would place this in the middle grade category instead. However, the heavier subject matter and Carissa's life experiences certainly place the book in the young adult category. She has a lot on her plate with her mother, her mother's health, and the brothel where her mother is employed. Her mother's well being is always at the forefront of her mind. When Carissa learns that the brothel's abusive Madam has been drugging her mother, Carissa is willing to do whatever takes to help her mother recover and get well again. She's quite a brave girl and her journey over the course of the story is very inspiring. I do wonder though how well a reader from the YA target audience would would take such a young main character. Anyway, as admirable as I found Carissa, I would say the most intriguing character of the story is easily China Mary. I had no idea that she was a real person in historic Tombstone, Arizona. She was a well-respected and shrewd businesswoman at the top of the Chinese community in Tombstone. I would love to learn more about her life.  

Overall, Vali Benson's Blood and Silver is well worth your time if you enjoy standalone historical fiction with characters that walk right off the page and a setting of a real Old West town that's practically a character in its own right. I'm looking forward to reading more from Benson in the future. Thanks again to Reedsy Discovery for the opportunity and introduction.  

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About the author

Vali grew up in the Midwest. She now lives in Tucson with her husband, two sons and grandchildren. After graduating from the University of Illinois, she published several articles in a variety of periodicals and then decided to try her hand at fiction. "Blood and Silver" is her debut novel. view profile

Published on April 29, 2021

Published by Tellwell Talent

30000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Young Adult

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