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Gilded #2

Silvern

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Jae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it.

But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.

310 pages, Hardcover

First published September 23, 2014

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About the author

Christina Farley

6 books464 followers
After teaching and living internationally for ten years in Seoul, South Korea, Christina started writing about her adventures, her school, and life. This inspired her to write the Gilded series, a YA series based on Korean mythology, THE PRINCESS & THE PAGE, a MG based on fairy tales, THE DREAM HEIST, and THE IMMORTAL SECRET.

Besides writing, Christina loves traveling, running, driving too fast, and eating dark chocolate.

Christina writes fantasy for teens and children. She is represented by Cate Hart of the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.

Learn more about her by visiting her at www.christinafarley.com or by chatting with her on Twitter @christinafarley or Instagram @christinaLfarley.

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Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews837 followers
September 23, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Silvern by Christina Farley
Book Two of the Gilded series
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC sent for the blog tour

Official Summary:

Jae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it.

But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.

What I Liked:

Cruel author and her awesome books! Ahh! Christina Farley has really outdone herself with this sequel novel. I really enjoyed Gilded, but somehow, I think Silvern was even better. So much more seems to be at stake in this novel, even though everyone thinks that the darkness is behind them.

Jae Hwa thought that her interactions with the Spirit World were over. She defeated Haemosu, isn't that good enough? But the god Kud has noticed, and he wants her to find one of the six orbs of Korea, the orb of the White Tiger, to increase his powers. Jae and the Guardians must find the orb before Kud can find it in the human world. But Kud is a tricksy god. It appears that no one can be trusted, and Jae must trust herself to find the orb and keep it away from Kud.

So much deception and betrayal and love and hatred and crazy awesomeness! I'm impressed with how Farley upped the ante - everything, all of the passion and intensity from book one seemed to be magnified in this book.

Jae proves to readers over and over that she is strong and capable and intelligent and good. I really like Jae - she's kickbutt in the literal and figurative sense. Many of the secondary characters play a huge role in this book, such as Marc (Jae's boyfriend), Kang-dae (a Guardian), Michelle (Jae's friend from school).

I really like the addition of Michelle to the story. She doesn't know what's going on, in terms of the Spirit World, but one small mishap happens, and then she finds out bits and pieces. I don't think she ever fully knows EVERYTHING, but I'm so glad that she is included in the action and craziness. Michelle is very stubborn and very persistent, and sometimes these traits annoyed me (like how she basically pushed herself into knowing about the Spirit World and all of Jae's secrets). But in general, I think Michelle really added to the story.

Much of the story is about finding the orb and keeping it from Kud. The White Tiger orb is believed to be in North Korea - where no civilians are allowed in or out. It was interesting to see how Farley constructed the story around this fact, and how Jae, Marc, and Michelle worked diligently to figure out how to get the orb.

There is so much cause and effect in this book, and so many consequences. Jae's relationship with her father is tenuous and strained, because her father wants to get her on medications for her "hallucinations". Jae and Marc are strong yet brittle, especially with Kang-dae acting so interested in Jae (but not the other way around). Actions, consequences, repercussions. I can't be more specific than that!

The romance is still just Jae and Marc, no matter what you think or have heard. Kang-dae was never interested seriously in Jae - in fact, he and Michelle had a thing going on, but that was never going to last. Jae and Marc love each other, but their relationship is truly tested in this novel. They definitely have their ups and downs. But I really like the romance in this book - there are some beautiful scenes that are romance-related!

The ending is cruuuueeeelllll!! I spoke with the author and she says that a third book has been written... I'm not entirely sure but I don't think a third book was part of the original contract though. CROSS YOUR FINGERS AND BUY GILDED AND SILVERN BECAUSE I NEED CLOSURE. Seriously, this series cannot end the way it did in Silvern. Cruel cruel cruel! Cliffhangers! Ah!

What I Did Not Like:

I think some aspects of this book were a tad predictable. I can't mention anything specific because that would be super spoiler-y, but certain people and certain things were really... obvious? Not necessarily a bad thing, but for more astute readers like myself, there might be a little eye narrowing.

Also I almost kind of wish that the White Tiger played more of a role in things? Like, the Tiger himself. Again, hard to explain, but I feel like things revolve around him and his orb... so why not?

Would I Recommend It:

Yeah! This one and book one! This series is really awesome - set in Korea, with rich Korean mythology and mythological creatures. Farley really did her research when it comes to the setting and the world-building and the mythology. Definitely acquaint yourself with this series if you haven't already! And if none of that has convinced you yet... just stare at the covers ;)

Rating:

4 stars. An excellent sequel! Seriously, this was an awesome sequel and a fabulous book in general. Now, everyone go buy this series and support this author and BRING ME BOOK THREE!!
1 review
December 13, 2015
This book was a based on Korean Mythology. It was the story of a girl, Jaehwa who had recently broke the curse of her family, in which the oldest girl of her generation was kidnapped by the Korean demigod Haemosu. However, now she had to confront the God of darkness, Kud. She embarked on a journey with her boyfriend, Mark, Kangdae, one who control evil spirits, Michelle, her best friend and her grandfather. She set out to North Korea in order to recover the white tiger orb, which was part of the original six orbs. If Kud managed to get this orb over Pak, the god of light, there would be no prediction of what would unfold. Jaehwa is faced with several decisions throughout this book, and all she can do is belief in herself. I like this book because of its unexpected twists and turns.
Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,057 reviews16 followers
October 16, 2014
Really 1.5 stars.

To see full review with gifs click here.

I recieved an ARC of this book via Netgalley. That did not change my opinion of the book, though I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it.

Yeah, this book is about as Korean as the TV dinner I had last weekend. It might’ve said it was Korean on the box, but it was really just a sad over seasoned meal that I only ate because it was the only thing in my house that wasn’t bread and I can’t eat bread anymore unless it’s the nasty rice/tapioca bread that’s texture isn’t right.

That being said, this book that features a Korean American who lives in South Korea, wasn’t that Korean.

Not that I should be surprise since the first book featured the whitest of white love interests and he seems to only get even whiter in this book.

To be fair, this book is a little bit better than its predecessor. Or to be honest it wasn’t worse. And for a second book that’s a positive since more often than not the second book is going to suck a lot more than the first.

And it didn’t go the New Moon route either, like it’s biggest (well, only) competitor in Asian inspired YA modern paranormal type way (the Japanese set Ink series). Though, it went the standard McGuiffin quest route and it was sort of a bumbling quest at that.

That took place in North Korea of all places.

Oh, yeah. Part of this book took place in North Korea.

But does it go to the hot bed of political issues, human rights law violations, or randomly appearing leader?

Um, no. The only thing that it remotely touches on those harsh conditions is that the country seemed undeveloped and that the National Honor Society at Jae Hwa’s school is giving TB vaccines.

Um, what sort of high school is going to let students go to North Korea? It’s not that I don’t think high schools want students to be caring people, it’s that it’s a law suit/potential political catastrophe in the making.

But don’t worry, Farley will make that anticlimactic so that it’s not a big deal. Despite all the foreshadowing.

What’s more or less a big deal is the stupid pointless McGuffin quest that ends up leading to a heart wrenching cliff hanger that makes me like….I don’t give a flip.

Because I really didn’t.

I couldn’t connect to either of these characters. Not Jae Hwa or her WASP boyfriend.

What’s the point with Marc?

Really, is he just supposed to be eye candy?

He wasn’t though.

Not to me. You know what would’ve been eye candy for me? A geeky Korean guy who wasn’t viewed as instantly attractive, didn’t know everything, but was loyal to a fault and didn’t fall in love with Jae Hwa right off the back.

Of course, we get Marc instead though. Marc with his green eyes, brown hair, and sheer stupidity that makes me want to hit something even though everyone else says he’s really soooo smart.

eally, if he and Jae Hwa stopped making idiotic choices this series could’ve been done already like my TV dinner of Korean food. Instead, we’re dragged on through another book (at least I’m pretty sure).

Sigh…

In the end, I sort of pity this book. I do feel like Farley does try throughout the entire book, but sometimes trying like love isn’t enough. And it’s just sort of sad. Because while I see Farley at times trying to embrace the setting and embrace the culture, at other times I just felt like I could be in any heavy Korean populated area in the US. Same goes with the mythology. Sometimes I was really intrigued and then sometimes it felt just generic. Then the characters, sometimes…no, the characters I never really go into them.

I gave this series a second chance when I saw this book on Netgalley, only because I wanted so much for it to work. But I really am going to have to think about whether I’m going to invest my time with the third book. Choppy use of mythology, making a rich vibrant culture generic, and beyond dull characters…um, no thanks.
Profile Image for gio.
1,008 reviews387 followers
September 8, 2015
I received an ebook copy of this book via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Silvern wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. I wasn't impressed by Gilded but I saw its potential and I really thought that this series could improve. However Silvern is, in my opinion, worse that the previous installment of the series. It is quite predictable, introduces the classic mysterious guy, whose intentions you can spot mile away, and lacks balance. I still have problems with the pace of the book and the writing. It's like everything happens in the first half of the book and the everything goes still. Then it all goes to hell in like, three chapters. The writing is quite flat: I don't feel anything for the characters, I'm not attached to them at all. Marc and Jae's relationship is a bit cheesy and it didn't really ignite a spark into me. More like some eye-rolls at some point. Also, the part about North Korea was kind of ridiculous. Their teachers let them go to North Korea, yeah sure.

Overall I can still see some potential but I don't expect it to be fully expressed.
Profile Image for Monica.
387 reviews83 followers
November 6, 2014
This is even better than the first novel in the series, with the added element of the relationship between South and North Korea. Since I'm in the hospital (agian, bleh) I'm not going to write the full review until I get out. Hopefully I'll get it up by later this week!
Profile Image for Akshaya.
43 reviews4 followers
September 11, 2020
it is hard to imagine that michelle died :(
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Koeur.
1,044 reviews18 followers
September 8, 2014
http://koeur.wordpress.com/2014/09/08...


Publisher: Skyscape
Publishing Date: September 2014
ISBN: 9781477820353
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description: Jae Hwa Lee is ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Until the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. She escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it. But Kud is a stronger and more devious god than Jae ever imagined. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.

Review: Cover art is trippin’.

This was made for the YA crowd, so I will attempt to keep that in mind during this review. Jae Hwa Lee is a whiner. There is no easier way to put it. She whines and cries about everything. If she is not indignant about people making choices for her, or her boyfriend being too clingy, then she is whining or crying. She cries constantly about her aunt and whines about being too sore or having no energy. She is always falling into the arms of her protector, the Prince of Douche Baggery..Marc. Marc is a constantly worried and clingy boyfriend whom will drive you bat shit crazy in about 20 pages. But, Jae always sees the “TWINKLE IN HIS GREEN EYES” or the beating of his heart through his muscular chest. Fug.

So we have three sixteen year olds, battling super evil, looking for a creation Orb and generally saving the world from destruction. Yeeeeah. Of course our little band of intrepid hormones experience near death at the hands of bad thingies, but Jae’s kung Fu is better than yours, so suck it. There is burgeoning WUV triangle, but Jae quickly gets over it because Marc is so hunky and attentive and the other dude is pure evil. Do you hear my inner scream?

This is a really long novel that you literally have to have Triathlete type endurance to get through to the finish. And the ending is just another interlude to the next in this series. NO RESOLUTION FOR YOU!
Profile Image for Tammy Hall.
401 reviews22 followers
September 24, 2014
Silvern is not your typical YA book as in the girl is the damsel in distress falls in love with the boy who needs to save her. No this story has a very strong lead female character Jae Hwa she was in no way the damsel in distress. Jae Hwa was independent and strong but knew when she needed help and was not afraid to admit it. Instead of waiting for someone to come save the day she figured out with the help of her friends how to take on the evil that was coming to take what ever it wanted with out a care of who maybe in it's path. I loved the element of a parallel world and how Jae Hwa was able to slip between both it was very interesting. I loved this story's back round and how it all played out. I found it intriguing and fascinating. Silvern is book two of the Gilded Series and picks up masterfully from where Gilded ended. I was so taken with the detail and how easily I was transported to a world that was far beyond anything I had imagined. I annihilated Silvern as if I were fighting along side Jae Hwa. I am very excited to see what fate awaits Jae Hwa in the rest of the Gilded series.
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,202 reviews391 followers
December 8, 2014
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! I received a copy via Amazon Vine.

While Farley’s debut failed to impress me, I came back for Silvern with hope of so much more, like something being done about how Jae Hwa feels less Korean than her white-as-bread boyfriend Marc. That’s a serious thing they would need to discuss and I’d love to see that kind of discussion between them. Alas, I didn’t get anything on that front nor did I get anything that made me happy I’d read this book at all. Farley kept me reluctantly reading from beginning to end by using my favorite trope, but Silvern is both a weak second novel in the Gilded series and kinda racist.

The novel picks up three months after the end of Gilded and starts off with a bang: one of darkness god Kud’s assassins tries to kill her out in the open during her belt test. When it comes to action scenes and Jae Hwa interacting with the various mythical Korean creatures that she runs into, Farley shows her stuff and makes those scenes a blast to read. If she wrote a novel about, say, a teenage spy on the run, it would probably be pretty awesome thanks to all the action I know she’d be able to write well!

At times, those lovely action scenes were why I kept reading this mess. Jae Hwa is a pretty powerful teenage girl at this point. She defeated a demigod and now characters throughout the book are saying Haemosu’s land now belongs to her. She’s got a lot of physical power behind her, but even with an empowered heroine, a diverse cast, and a Korean setting, Silvern manages to uphold white patriarchal norms thanks to Marc and ends up being racist at times.

It’s nothing at all against Farley to say Silvern has some racist bits to it; it’s surprisingly easy to write something very questionable and not realize, especially when you’re white. For instance, when I was about sixteen, the only POC character I had in a story I’d developed has the ability to transform into various predatory animals. It seems fine on the surface, but simplify it (the POC is a predatory animal harassing the white heroine) and it gets iffy. That’s kinda what happens in Silvern.

The problem starts with the introduction of Kang-dae, another member of the secret group and a Korean guy showing some interest in Jae Hwa. Marc promptly (metaphorically, of course) whips his dick out and pees all over Jae Hwa to mark his territory. In addition to protecting Jae Hwa from her own culture and its mythical beings, he’s now protecting her from an actual Korean guy interested in her. White man “protecting” Korean woman from her culture and its men is what I see here. Again, racism isn’t always intended, but it can happen.

The explanation for why North and South Korea split is rather troubling too. In real life, the two were split up after the end of World War II. The US took the southern half of Korea, the Soviet Union took the northern half, and the two superpowers each gave their piece of Korea their own government (democracy for South Korea, communism for North Korea). Essentially, the enmity between the two countries was the result of the Soviet Union and the US having a dick-measuring contest with each other. The two countries suffered for it and now we’re where we are today with the two countries’ relations. According to the book, the split between the countries was because of Kud.

I’m not the only one who has a problem with history being rewritten so that a Korean god–not foreign powers having a dick-measuring contest–was the cause of Korea being separated and made into enemies, right?

The characters don’t experience much growth. The conversation about race and power in Jae Hwa and Marc’s relationship never happens the way it needs to; she’s still insecure because she feels this white boy is better at being Korean than she is. Kang-dae is a welcome addition to the cast, but his role is pretty obvious from the start even if it indulges one of my favorite tropes. Too bad he opens up a plot hole too. View Spoiler »

So the book cruises on despite all these problems thanks to the action, the serviceable prose, and adequate pacing, but then about two-thirds of the way in, Jae Hwa is asked to give herself to Kud so Marc and the rest of her friends and family will live. This triggered many, many Twitter rants about how I’m tired of the girls in YA being asked or forced to martyr themselves for others, especially their boyfriends.

The choice is a common one: give herself/the special thing she’s carrying up to the protagonist or watch everyone she cares about die. Almost without exception, she decides to give herself/the special thing up and her boyfriend is always there to save her or try to stop her. NO NO NO. Look, some of us are selfish. We’ll choose to save ourselves over saving other people on occasion because we’re not prepared to die for someone. For once, when given the choice between saving the world from evil and saving her boyfriend/loved ones, I want the heroine to make the tough choice of choosing the world (the many) over the people in her life the villain is threatening (the few). Sometimes, that sacrifice of the few for the sake of the many does happen. It would make for a stronger novel with a great hook for a sequel.

Farley is planning a third novel because the cliffhanger this book ends on is painful for fans, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it if/when she does something with it. Because of the choices Jae Hwa makes, I really have no positive expectations for it and know reading it would just hurt. Give this series a shot if you want some diversity of mythology and a setting that isn’t Nowheresville, the United States, but be prepared from some problems.
Profile Image for Lady.
1,168 reviews13 followers
September 25, 2014
Difficult Choices

This series must be read in order. The first book is Gilded. This is the second book.

Jae feels like she has gotten a reprieve. She escaped Haemosu and destroyed the family curse. If only she didn't have this nagging feeling... Of uncertainty... Of being not quite real or in tune with the world. Everything seems fine and normal but something inside her feels off. Sure her aunt is still in a coma but otherwise she has gotten what she wants. Her father and her grandfather are fine. She has Marc (her awesome boyfriend and Guardian) and Michelle (her best friend)... Everything is as it should be... Or is it? Is she truly free of the spirit world? Or are the Gods just biding their time to lull her into a false sense of security?

Marc takes his duties as a Guardian very seriously. He will NOT let anything happen to Jae. He loves her and more importantly she is vital to Korea. She has already broken a curse that spanned centuries and recovered one of the sacred Orbs. Without all the Orbs Korea will never be whole again. Devoting most of his time to training and Jae his plate is full. It seems though that all is well. Will they be able to lead normal lives? Will his new "Gift" help or hinder them? Will it cause them to be forever drawn into the affairs and schemes of Immortals and Gods? Will they ever be free?

This was an awesome sequel and really not at all what I expected! The story of Jae it seems will never ever take the expected path :) I never would have guessed any of the twists and turns that forced her decisions. Life is not fair ...even in books. This book makes you realize that the hard decisions must be made for the greater good but sometimes the greater good is on a smaller scale than one would imagine. I cannot wait for the next book which is kinda nerve wracking as this one just came out!

***This series is suitable for mature young adult through adult readers
Profile Image for Heather Heffner.
Author 7 books21 followers
April 26, 2015
~Warning! Contains spoilers!~


SILVERN is the second book in new author Christina Farley’s Gilded series about young teenager Jae Hwa, who moves to South Korea to live with her father and gets embroiled in a battle between the Korean gods of light and darkness. I saw that this book has been recommended for Common Core educators on Amazon.com, and I agree: it is a safe, culturally interesting tale that will hopefully spark middle schoolers’ curiosity about South Korea. Jae Hwa is quite a memorable heroine and the plot is engaging. Unfortunately, the supporting cast doesn’t shine as brightly as Jae Hwa does, and the mythological explanation for Korea’s split into North and South Korea is questionable.

Jae Hwa’s world has turned upside down since she defeated Haemosu, the devious sun god who tried to make her his bride. Her aunt is gone, and now Haemosu’s master, Kud, the god of darkness, is trying to bring Jae Hwa to his cause…or kill her and those she loves. Kud is trying to find a mythical artifact, the White Tiger Orb, and Jae Hwa must stop him along with her lackluster friends: Marc, her boyfriend; Michelle, her chatty school friend; and Kang-dae, one of the guardians of Shinshi.

It sounds action-packed, and the plot definitely flies along. I loved Jae Hwa’s blossoming relationship with her estranged grandfather, and her lost aunt still had a distinct influence in her life. However, I continue to remain disinterested in Jae Hwa and Marc’s relationship. Marc feels incredibly out of place in the otherwise lavish world Farley has created, and I have a hard time buying that he is so effortlessly assimilated into Korean culture; likewise, he has a rather bland personality.

Read the rest of the review on my blog:
http://heatherheffner.blogspot.com/20...
Profile Image for Simona B.
883 reviews2,950 followers
September 7, 2015
*I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I am afraid this series suffers from the so called middle book syndrome. Silvern is far more boring than Gilded was, and, incidentally, it manages to be so despite Farley's sad tendency to stuff too much action in too little space. In this book a lot of highly random things actually happen, but none of them is truly useful to the ultimate aim of the plot. This made the story itself feel irritatingly pointless.

The characters, none excluded, are insufferable, Jae above all. She acts like a stupid, thinks in slow motion, opens her mouth only to complain or make shallow and fairly ineffective comments. Kang-dae was practically screaming to get caught since the very beginning and yet no one noticed until the very last -Korea's in good hands, it seems. And the hinted romance with Jae put there only to mislead the reader... it was horrific. And it didn't even work as red herring. Try again, Farley. Or maybe not.

Moreover, the whole thing was packed with a bunch of avoidable clichés that really annoyed me. Gilded deserved a far better sequel.
Profile Image for Lynndell.
1,471 reviews1 follower
September 26, 2014
Thanks to NetGalley and Skyscape for the arc of Silvern and Christina Farley! What a great book and series! Silvern is a fantasy that jumps right into the action at the beginning of the book. I enjoyed the author's description of Korean architecture, lifestyles, mythology and the snippets of Korean language. I also appreciate the smooth writing and the way the author brings the reader up to speed on past events. Highly recommended! I do not want the series to end!
November 9, 2017
Rating: 3.5 stars.

Honestly these books just keep getting better. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the last book but this one was even better. Kud is so more dangerous than Haemosu (sorry for the bad spelling) ever was. I enjoyed seeing Jae trying to come up with solutions to save her nearest and dearest once again.

I liked that Michelle played more of a part I. This book and I can't believe I got tricked by Kang-Dae (again, sorry). I can't wait to get into the third book especially after that ending. I don't want to go into to much detail but wow. I seriously thought that something might come along at the last minute.

If you haven't seen or read these books you need to because the amount of magic and mythical creatures is just amazing. On to book three.
Profile Image for Iris Miller.
33 reviews
August 19, 2021
I loved the realistic characters and new creatures this book added as the sequel to Gilded!

I loved that Michelle got a bigger part in this one but it totally broke my heart when she died. (Kang-dae, how Kud you?! (Pun intended))

I loved the element Haemonsu's-- sorry-- Jae's lands played into motives.

I also learned that a Gonghwang is a bird with the beak of a rooster, face of a swallow , forehead of a fowl (Not sure how that one works), neck of a snake, butt of a stag, and a tail from a fish. And I thought manticores were crazy!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
1,314 reviews39 followers
January 8, 2017
More reviews available at my blog, Beauty and the Bookworm.

Silvern is the second book in Christina Farley's Korean YA fantasy trilogy, which began with Gilded. The main character is Jae Hwa, an American Korean who has moved to South Korea with her father for his work a few years after the death of her mother. In the first book, Jae Hwa broke a curse on her family that had doomed generations of women to death at the hands of the demi-god Haemosu. Now, just when she's starting to think that life might get back to normal, she finds out that the god of darkness, Kud, wants her to find the White Tiger Orb, one of the six that are supposed to protect Korea, and bring it to him...or he'll kill her friends and family.

This was not a good book. This series had a lot of promise in the beginning and while the first book had its issues, the promise of a non-white MC, Korean mythology, etc. made me want to read this second volume. I finally got around to it (despite having owned it for a long while) because it has a tiger on the cover and I needed a book to fulfill my 2017 reading challenge category of, "A book with a cat on the cover." I went into it with high hopes, but found myself so terribly disappointed.

In theory, Jae Hwa should be an awesome heroine. The book starts with her preparing to get her second-degree black belt in tae kwon do. She lives in Korea and has killed a demi-god and is kind of mistress of his realm now. So cool, right? But her martial arts trend toward descriptions of back flips and cartwheels--which, of course, are terribly efficient modes of transport, much more so than, you know, running--and flying kicks which would be more at home in a bad martial arts movie than in any sort of efficient fighting scenario. She can shoot a bow but she never has it with her when she needs it. (This is probably semi-excusable, because walking around with a bow in modern Korea all the time would be a bit weird, but still. One would think that if one was being stalked by murderous magical creatures, one would pass up being weird for being prepared, at least some of the time.) And on top of my frustrations with Jae Hwa, the plot itself is just whack.

See, to get this mysterious orb, Jae Hwa has to go to North Korea. Yes. North Korea. And she convinces her school to send her, along with her best friend, boyfriend, grandfather, and another young member of her grandfather's secret society, who, by the way, is also putting the moves on Jae. Hmmm... Can this possibly go well? No. No it cannot. Even the thinnest veil of logic is missing here--this is a school trip, supposedly, but fully half its members do not belong to Jae's school. And Jae's father, who believes his daughter to be mentally unstable, agrees to it. What? He doesn't like it, but he still lets her go. As an American. To North Korea. Ugh.

And then there's the pacing, which is entirely off. There are chapters where different creatures are attacking Jae & Co. every two paragraphs, and then long stretches of chapters where she and her friends do nothing but plan parties or read books. It's very uneven, stacked in some places and lacking in others. I thought that an interesting love triangle might actually liven things up here, but that clearly didn't go as planned, so that ended up being a no-go, too. Ugh. The end of the book has a bit of promise, but honestly I can't go through another book of this stuff, so I don't think I'll be reading it.

I'll give it 2 stars out of 5, but it's more for the promise it displayed than the actual delivery.
Profile Image for Wendy.
2,309 reviews39 followers
May 6, 2015
Three months after the defeat of the demigod Haemosu, Christina picks up Jae Hwa's story in her second novel "Silvern" as the sixteen year old warrior tries to bring a sense of normalcy to her life and forget about her connection to the Spirit World. The plot heats up when Kud the Ruler of Darkness threatens Jae's life , her friends and family if she doesn't find the White Tiger Orb for him. In a desperate attempt to thwart Kud and return the orb to Palk's Heavenly Chest Jae and her closest friends face a deadly menace who appears to be undefeatable.

The plot is fast-paced and action-packed as Jae confronts a powerful immortal who could enslave her as well as cost her the lives of those she loves. Intricately woven into this captivating, well-written fantasy that brings life not only to the Korean culture but its myths and legends is the vibrancy and colour of Seoul with its bustling crowds, vendors, sights and sounds.

Cleverly the author slowly builds tension and suspense as events unfold and Jae joins the Guardians of Shinshi to search for the orb; a quest that takes Jae, Marc and Michelle far from safety on a mission of mercy to North Korea. Entwined in a supernatural tale of courage, hope and love Christina Farley has blended magical creatures which are innovative and frightening like the dalgyal guishin, ghosts that bring death, fire-breathing dragons and blood weasels with their poisonous bite. To generate continuity from one story to the next she's woven in highlights from the previous novel through Jae's remembrances and in conversations. With every momentous event the drama, excitement and tension escalates until it explodes in a shocking conclusion that begs for a third book.

In this story Jae Hwa is stronger but naturally more paranoid after her experience with Haemosu. Although feisty and defiant loud noise and crowds make her jittery. She's a competent warrior but because of being half mortal constantly doubts her ability to defeat Kud, just as she questions whether or not to use the power of the orb herself. Jae's romance with Marc has grown stronger, although he tends to be overprotective, willing to sacrifice himself to save her. Michelle constantly badgers Jae about her secretiveness, wanting to be included in the thrill of adventure. Although a loyal friend she tends to be self-indulgent and easily manipulated which gets her into trouble when she ignores Jae's advice after meeting Kang-dae, a cocky deceiver. But of all the characters that add to the energy, anticipation and drama of this tale Kud is a formidable antagonist who threatens Jae bodily, as well as her sanity and any hope for a future with Marc.

"Silvern, " the gripping second installment in the "Gilded Series" is a nail-biter from beginning to end. As a reader who wants to see justice triumph in the end, I am looking forward to reading the next episode in Jae's adventure.
Profile Image for Rae Sontheyon.
263 reviews17 followers
December 6, 2014
If you haven't read Gilded go right now and do so! This series is unique, interesting and just adventurous in a way that keeps you on the edge especially in this sequel. Jae Hwa was on a race against time trying to save not only her self and her family once again but the world too. Which is not a normal issue for a teenage girl to face, so it's great that Jae Hwa discovers she may not be so normal and makes some decisions in this book that will change not only her life but the fate of everyone she knows as well.


Jae Hwa is by far becoming one of my all time favorite heroines, why you ask? Because she's tough and real and still loves. This girl continually has life get turned upside down and yet she still wants to live it and make it better, especially for all her friends and family. Sure not all teens can relate to immortals trying to kill you, but many can relate to horrible situations that influence their llives in which they still have to try and find a way to keep positive attitudes while working through it. Bottom line, Friends and family are the important things in life and Jae Hwa clearly believes that and fights for them, no matter the cost.


Overall, this sequel was great and flowed beautifully from the first book. Readers beware you will be hooked and may need to keep your kindle handy at all times because your going to want to know how Jae Hwa survives many a situations. The imagery depicted of the scenery and fight scenes are great, which continually pull you into the moment keeping you with Jae Hwa as she battles a new and more powerful adversary. Warning the way things were left off in this book make me want more and I'm sure you will be just like me, mouth slightly agape going, 'What?!! No?! Wait?! Oh! No she didn't?!!' Mean less to say I can't wait for the third book to come out.


**I received a free copy and happily give an honest review**
Profile Image for Julia Nashif.
140 reviews30 followers
November 9, 2014
I really struggle with the star rating. This is more of a 3.5.

Thank you, NetGalley and Skyscape, for this free book to review!

What I liked:

1. Jae Hwa, when she wasn't complaining. I get it, Marc feels overprotective and her life seriously sucks. When her whining was at a minimum, then she was a pretty cool character.

2. Jae Hwa's dad. I've got to admit, he's my favorite. Poor guy; I REALLY HOPE THERE ARE MORE BOOKS IN THE SERIES.

3. When they went to North Korea. I would have liked more details, but I mean, it's North Korea. The ones in there are probably fictional. They could easily be true though, such as hotel rooms being bugged.

What I didn't like:

1. The ending. I love sad endings, but this one had no HOPE. None. If there's going to be other books in the series, than okay. I've asked the author about it, and when she replies, I'll update this review.

EDIT: Yes, there will be a third book! The release date is unknown, but at least there's a sliver of hope here.

2. Kang-dae. He is no heartthrob, he is a creepy jerk.

3. Michelle. She's okay, but she's so...flat.

Would I read more books by Christina Farley? Absolutely. I refuse to believe that this is the end. I MUST HAVE MORE.
Profile Image for Joe Frazier.
131 reviews5 followers
September 30, 2014
Christina Farley pulled a rabbit, or rather a Blue Dragon, out of a hat with Gilded; was there anything left in the hat for Silvern? You see, one of the things that made Gilded such a fun, fresh read was the use Korean mythology juxtaposed to modern day Seoul, South Korean and the international students populating this world. So, its sequel, Silvern, had a bit of a challenge; the world Christina Farley created so well is now, comparatively speaking, old hat. Can Silvern generate the same level of excitement with that newly minted shine dulled a bit with use? No, no it can't. Instead it goes even further, generating a whole new level of intensity with established relationships going deeper, a much more involved romp in the Spirit World and a foray into North Korea. It is a slightly darker, more intense world with our protagonist Jae Hwa having to deal with issues and decision making with which no 16 year old ought to have cope. If you thought Jae Hwa was between a rock and a hard place in Gilded, she's between mountain and fire in Silvern.

For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-ZM
Profile Image for Jessie Humphries.
Author 4 books167 followers
November 2, 2014
I loved this book! Christina Farley is a master of weaving ancient mythology, Korean culture and history into a very contemporary book. I truly admire the way the story is told with such a mixture of educational and emotional depth. I guarantee you that I am smarter for having read these books. I've always had Korean friends in my life, but I've never appreciated the Korean culture more than after having read GILDED and SILVERN. From exotic food to breathtaking landscape, and from beautiful clothing to powerful Eastern spirituality, this book has such a wealth of diversity nuggets of gold. And yet, it's told from the viewpoint of a young teenage girl who manages to be charming, relatable, courageous and kick-A in every way. And in book 2, Jae Hwa needs all these skills because this time she's facing the most powerful immortals in all of Korea. I ORDER YOU ALL TO BUY THIS BOOK NOW! IT'S SO GOOD.
Profile Image for Meredith.
Author 4 books117 followers
November 2, 2014
I absolutely loved Gilded, the first book in this series, but I think I might love Silvern even more. Jae Hwa is back with her kick butt attitude and is in even more danger. This book is full of nonstop action that had my heart pounding the entire time. And I won't spoil the ending, but wow. I need the next book now, please!

Fans of mythology and Korean culture should definitely check this series out!
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,374 reviews1,103 followers
Want to read
September 24, 2014
Recently won this in the Goodreads giveaway program for the Firstreads! I love the cover and it sounds good.....However I did not realize when entering it was book two of a series...really wish things like that were more clear when you enter... oh well. I will read this once I get the chance to read the first book somehow.
Profile Image for J.L. Dobias.
Author 5 books15 followers
May 16, 2019
Silvern(The Gilded Series Book Two)By Christina Farley

I really enjoyed the novel Gilded and was looking forward to reading this novel. There was no disappointment in the anticipation. Silvern starts with a bang and ends powerful enough to ensure that you want to read the next book. I liked the notion of learning a bit about the mythology of a different culture and was entertained with the special treat of having something akin to the Korean version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There are plenty of demons to slay but there is also a heart-wrenching conflict between Jae Hwa's apparent destiny and her wishes.

Jae Hwa just wants a normal life with her friends and family. And that's how the story starts with her trying to do normal things with her boyfriend and her best friend and when that turns into an assassins attempt at her life things start rolling and soon Michelle will learn more about the secret life of Jae Hwa than Jae wants her to know. It's bad enough that Marc knows because it seems that everyone she cares about is in danger and more than one agency wants her to remain active in the spirit world despite her own wishes.

This time it seems as though Jae is the only one taking things seriously and the result is that she has to constantly watch out for her friends and family as they seem almost to blindly walk into danger. Everyone seems to want her to help find the Tiger Orb because she seems to be the only one who might be able to retrieve it. More enticingly she learns that it might be what she needs to help her Aunt Komo who lies in a coma in the hospital. Of the immortals Palk wants to hide the Orb with the others that they have retrieved and Kud, the ruler of darkness, wants it to use to help him find all the Orbs so he can use them to have power over the World and the Spirit World.

Jae would just as soon leave it in the protection of the Dragons but that's not an option when Kud begins threatening those close to her. And this time it just seems that her friends are going to make lots of horribly bad decisions while inadvertently backing Jae into a corner.

The Orb can have a terrible effect on mortals and it would seem that Jae is on the precipice between mortal and immortal and once she has the Orb in her possession it could have a tremendous impact on her. She could risk losing her humanity. There's no doubt that despite all her efforts things are never going to be the same for her.

Christina Farley has a well paced action packed thriller full of interesting character and some mighty strange and deadly demons. I was floored by the ending and will definitely be waiting for the next book.

This is a great Young Adult novel that should make a good addition to anyone's Fantasy shelf. Lovers of folk lore and myth should soak this one up. If you haven't read Gilded please read that first and then this--you shouldn't be disappointed.

J.L. Dobias
863 reviews12 followers
August 17, 2018
This book was really painful to listen to. The Narrator did fine but the story was excruciating. But I held on until the end so I could have closure and give it 2 stars. No closure. ONE STAR EARNED.

This is a story about a really selfish teenage girl, Jae. She used to be mortal now she is half mortal half immortal. She has access to the immortal realm. She doesn't hesitate to steal power for whatever she wants but refuses to pay her dues for their use.
She does whatever she wants and never listens to advice or warnings from anyone even if their warnings proved prophetic in the past. She loudly mocks and belittles her bodyguards because she is so much tougher than everybody else. She wants recognition and accolades but refuses to take responsibility.
Her friend Michelle isn't much better.

One appalling scene the three friends go to a potential healer begging for help for Marc who is cursed to die in 2 days. Demanding but offering nothing in return the following occurs. "Michelle rolls her eyes and slams her purse onto the table. “Listen, lady. You need to take us more seriously. No more funny games.”
Profile Image for J. d'Merricksson.
Author 4 books44 followers
September 19, 2021
Farley's Gilded series follows Jae Hwa Lee, a young Korean-American girl recently moved to Korea, despite warnings from her strict, traditional grandfather. Jae's father doesn't listen. He isn't interested in the rantings of an old man, spouting fantastical tales. But there's more truth to Grandfather's warnings than Jae could ever imagine.

In Silvern, Jae just wants to live a normal life, and be done with the Immortals. They aren't done with her though, not by a long shot. Kud, the god of darkness, is seeking the magical orbs that protect Korea. To this end he infiltrates the Guardians, who are attempto find the orbs in order to protect them. Only Jae can see through the facade, but no one believes her. In the end, Jae must make a hard choice with far reaching consequences.

Jae was a likeable enough protagonist, though at times she seemed a bit impulsive, and also a little too skilled relative to age and maturity. Part had to do with her ancestry, I know. She did grow and change as the author grew more polished over the course of the series.
Profile Image for Ellen.
878 reviews
February 9, 2019
After Jae Wa defeats the demigod who had cursed her family for 1000 years, she thinks all is smooth sailing from here on out. All except for her aunt who is still in a coma as a result of Haemosu's attack. This time she is charged with finding a lost orb and returning it to Palk. Deception and misdirection seem to be around every corner and there is a fair amount of tragedy, making this book a little less fun than the first, but still heavily engaging.

I had to groan a bit with the love triangle thing thrown in here. That's what I feared might happen after the first book. Thankfully, it gets resolved in a dramatic way and we move on. The other thing I could have definitely done without are the occasional curse words dropped in that really aren't necessary in my opinion. Even so, I plan to check out book three, especially since it's available free from the Kindle Lending library.
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