Karla's Reviews > The Silver Devil

The Silver Devil by Teresa Denys
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4.5 stars
I was already predisposed to like this since Denys' The Flesh and the Devil blew me away. She'd had to have really screwed up to make me dislike it. In the end, this book was just as good.

The first person POV of the heroine didn't bug me at all (sometimes it does), and I thought it perfectly complemented the story of an illiterate tavern maid plucked out of her lowly life and station and placed among the glittering and utterly foreign court of the local Duke. She's adrift, uncertain, and scared, and the use of the first person conveyed her journey from innocent girl to entrapped (and enchanted) mistress perfectly. I also thought that it made Domenico just as attractively and terrifyingly mysterious to the reader (well, this one anyway!) as Felicia herself found him to be.

Denys wrote so many beautiful passages capturing Felicia's tormented thoughts and emotions in Domenico's web that it's impossible to quote them all, but suffice to say that the tone was very dark and gothic and evocative of the times without being detailed on the historical end of things. Even though I wasn't told every little thing about 16th century Italy and court etiquette and manners, the settings, characters, and atmosphere of paranoia, decadence, and bloody state rivalries were all very clear. It's one of those "I felt like I was right there" stories.

Also, while I'm not a fan of the hero grovel, I did enjoy this one immensely. Talk about grand gestures. It was just as broad and absolute as the story that came before it was dark and crazy, and the "staginess" of it (if you will) fit in with the melodramatic sweep of the plot and florid characters. Right from the get-go, it seemed like ripe material for an opera and I spent the entire book thinking of it in those terms. Made for a very pleasurable experience and inspired my dream cast.

I'm dinging it a half star for the last quarter of the book where the plot started to slog a bit and I was impatient for Domenico and Felicia to finally come to an open dialogue (for lack of a better term). Their pride really kept the grease from getting in the gears to keep things rolling.

Denys is a very studied writer, one of the very very few where I can see the painstaking care of her craft and not get annoyed at the artificiality of it. The sheer beauty of some of the passages, the way she can paint a scene, convey a glance or caress or whisper have few equals in my reading experience. She can couch the horrific and terrifying in such a way that it seems like a song (because in real life Domenico and Felipe Tristan in "The Flesh and the Devil" would have any sane woman running for the exits or grabbing a gun). She's a master of creating a beautiful blend of people and place and plots to make an intriguing, surreal "romance."

(The spoiler tag isn't for a spoiler, but contains my dream cast so the page doesn't go a mile long.)

(view spoiler)
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Reading Progress

June 29, 2010 – Shelved
June 25, 2011 – Started Reading
June 25, 2011 –
page 10
2.63% "There has been more great writing in 2 pages than in all of my last read."
June 26, 2011 –
page 57
15.0% ""But there must be women who would account it an honour to do what he would force me to. Why will he not take one of them?"

"Because he soon tires of those who are too willing. He is surfeited with brood mares and must mount the unicorn."

June 27, 2011 –
page 120
31.58% ""I knew then, looking up at him, that I had been deceiving myself, calling this feeling by any name but love. Lust for the beautiful animal who had seduced me, fear of the vicious tyrant, compassion for the haunted man who cried like a lost child in my arms - they were only part of what I felt for him. Fate had lured me into the ultimate folly, and now I was trapped in total love.""
June 28, 2011 –
page 152
40.0% "I'm finding myself not wanting to read it fast because then it'll be over and I'll be sad and bereft. *sniff*"
June 29, 2011 –
page 218
57.37% ""I remember thinking stupidly that those dogs could not have been fed for days. I wanted to look away, but I could not remember how; I could only stand propped against the trunk of a tree, watching, watching. Once, staring at the red, ruined thing that had once been a man, I remember that I had thought I hated him; but I was weeping, nonetheless, as though I would never stop.""
June 29, 2011 –
page 262
68.95% "Characters are starting to drop like flies!"
June 30, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-50 of 105) (105 new)


LuvGirl One of my all time faves Karla. This book is right up your alley!!

LuvGirl You should see my copy- all wrapped up in saron-wrap tucked away on my keeper shelf :-)

Karla I'm keeping this copy too. It's going in a sandwich bag when I'm done!

message 5: by Karla (last edited Jun 28, 2011 04:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karla I'd love to get a dead-tree copy of Flesh & the Devil some day. The one I read was library loan, so I no can haz. :(

LuvGirl Running price for The Flesh And The Devil- $60 to $130. I mean seriously, these peeps are crazy! I did it for SrormFire and I didn't even enjoy the book. Not doing it again!

Karla Yeah, no way am I paying that much for a book. Did it once with a rare OP film history book (and it was worth it), but will never do it again. I'll be happy with the scan of it if I can never get a paper copy.

message 8: by Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince (last edited Jun 30, 2011 08:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince Glad you're loving this one Karla. Domenico is psycho-stalker crazy. Although I still like The Flesh and the Devil better...which I just bought a backup copy for $15! Now I have both paperback and hardcover. Is that anal-retentive or what?

LuvGirl Wow where did you get a copy for only $15??

Karla He IS crazy! Holy crap! But he's hot, so all is forgiven. LOL

Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince LuvGirl wrote: "Wow where did you get a copy for only $15??"

Surprisingly on Amazon. I saw it go as low as $12 and then I figured, what the hey, at that price it's practically free, LOL.

LuvGirl Those sellers definitely checks the boards to see if people are talking about these book because now the lowest price is $60!

LuvGirl Great review Karla! so funny, I also gave it 4.5 stars for the same reason. I also thought he was too OTT cruel to the poor little kid who tried to help the heroine up on the horse if I remember correctly.

Karla Oh, Beniamino? Yeah, poor guy! "Touch my woman and you get racked!" Definitely a Type-A psycho, but so smokin'. :D

Kerrie "Sorry there was no Gerard Butler." LMAO. :D

Excellent casting! That would make ANY book well nigh approach 5 stars. Thanks for including Ferruccio! *huggles*

message 16: by Karla (last edited Jul 01, 2011 08:10AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karla You're welcome, Sis! His Grand Inquisitor made me think of him for the role of the Archbishop. :)

As for Gerard, he's becomes as ubiquitous as bedbugs.

Wendy,  Lady Evelyn Quince Karla, love who you chose as Domenico. You're dead-on about the operatic elements. This story was so dark, I always felt that where the book ended was not the end of the tale. The final act would have featured rebellion in Cumbria as Domenico had pissed so many people off with his spoiled willfulness and horrible leadership; the only logical result would be his violent end and his family's death. It's one of the few books where I had no faith in the happy ending. But still an awesome book.

Karla You're right about the ending. He's a petty tyrant with a super-short fuse (basically a spoiled child in adult clothes) and his personality shows no sign of changing, despite the grovel. In fact, Felicia knows that he hasn't really changed. Her gentling influence won't amount to squat because it's not he that has come over to her, but she who has gone over to him.

It's going to be a rocky HEA with lots of tears and coups and no doubt a dose of papal-led warfare.

Definitely an awesome book!

Sarah Mac I'm just sad both these Denys books are so difficult to get. *melodramatic glossy eyes* I want them both!

Karla Well, if it's any consolation, until you get a dead tree copy, there is this.

Sarah Mac Pirate .doc! Jack Sparrow would approve. :D

message 22: by Misfit (new)

Misfit Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Well, if it's any consolation, until you get a dead tree copy, there is this."

What was in that link? AVG blocked it.

Karla It was a pdf of The Silver Devil.

Evelyn Fletcher If you really want TF&TD there's a scan of it here. You might need to get a 7-day trial or upload something if you want to download it though.

Sharon I love your review Karla w/pics. Ohhh, I wanna read it again...RIGHT NOW.

Karla I highly encourage doing that. :D

SmittenKitten Excellent casting! I couldn't imagine a more perfect Domenico.

Karla Why thank you! I thought he was perfect from the get-go. :D

Sarah Mac Love your visuals for the characters -- I don't know anything about opera, but they sure look the parts. :D

I feel like I should be doing more status updates to convey the beauteous prose, but instead I've reached for the snark. Must be a sign that I need sleep. Heh.

Also, I don't like Domenico in terms of BR love interest. (EVAN! <3) But he's an interesting character, most def...and he puts those mewling woobie-rakes to shame. Bwahahaha.

Karla Creating that dream cast ranks up there as the most fun I've had reading the rippers. :D Squee!

message 31: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) OMG, Jonas Kaufmann is beautiful! So is just about everyone else. Damn it, Karla, now I'll spend the rest of my day gawking at your dream cast. Brilliant!

Karla Oh don't get me started on Jonas Kaufmann. I could gaze at (and listen to) the man all day. *__* When I found out he's singing Parsifal at the Met next season, I fangirl flailed myself into a fainting fit. :D There's a concert on Youtube of both him AND Hvorostovsky singing duets. My ovaries completely imploded.

Hot hot hottiness....

message 33: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) *Scampers off to You Tube*

*10 minutes later*

OMG, that's musical sex. I've found my new home for the rest of the workday.

Karla Enjoy! :D Should I check in later to make sure you're still alive and haven't died via aural orgasm? :D

Mermarie Oh boy, both pictures; one depicting a well tied cravat, and a neatly loosened one with 'come here' written all over his smug face. >:E

Karla I've got nothing better to do at the moment, so picspam it is.

Mermarie I am completely enamored by profiles. I think we're at our best, given a side glance, for some reason. Maybe I'm terrible at completely viewing people at their full dimensions, but that profile of his...so vulturous and plagued with brilliance. Love thee. >:E

message 38: by Karla (last edited May 16, 2012 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karla Word. Word word word. *sighs*

[image error]

Oh, and his bottom lip is totes nibbleable.

Karla If I use that picture any more, I should just make it my user pic. :D

message 40: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) I just crawled out of my You Tube smexy haven to find more pictures? Be still my heart!

Karla :D Welcome back! How are you feeling? Need a cold shower? Something to drink?

message 42: by Rachel (BAVR) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) Still a little over-heated, to be honest. :D That man can certainly wear a suit from any time period. Don't even get me started on the singing. *sigh*

Karla As Siegfried, I can see why Sieglinde doesn't even care that he's her brother. Let's sing some of the most incesty erotic music ever, run off and make sweet love!

message 44: by Rachel (BAVR) (last edited May 16, 2012 12:15PM) (new)

Rachel (BAVR) Was I mistaken, or is he her twin brother? Not that I'm complaining. Siegfried made it pretty hard to resist.

message 45: by Karla (last edited May 16, 2012 12:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karla Yes, twins. I love mythology. :D Kinky, perverted ancient storytellers. :P

ETA: *slaps forehead* It's Siegmund. Siegfried was their kid.

Mermarie Was I the only one who never gave two shats if Liam was Kit's brother? ;/ I lurved him incestness and all. Lol

Karla I thought Sean was perhaps Kit's brother? Well, whoever it was...no, I didn't give two shits and was actually disappointed at the little cop-out that it turned out they weren't.

message 48: by Mermarie (last edited May 16, 2012 03:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mermarie Ohno, it specified--Liam was her brother, but Sean wasn't, hence when Liam was dying they ask him about the parentage bloodline, and he said--"She's mine, not yours."--which all through the book we thought it was just a jealous spazz, but really meant, she's my SISTER, not yours. Later on, the letter from Liam's dad confirmed it. One of the clergy had a direct copy of his last letter, so Liam's former forgery was prove false.

Even so, I was so ready to ass-punch that girl for destroying Liam the way she did. >:( Lol I blame her!

Karla Thanks for refreshing my memory on that. I think my brain glazed over after awhile. All the France stuff in the book semi-bored me to tears, so by the time I reached the end I was only half-listening. :P

Mermarie I know what you mean, I had to re-read it twice to clearly get all of those tidbits in order. So many side-stories, I got lost momentarily. The France deal stole the star for you, I know. ;_;

;D I'm finding our favorite covers, to make our background with! Squee!

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