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The Silvered by Tanya Huff
The Kingdom of Aydori is home to the Pack, a social structure of wolf shape shifters, and the Maqe Pack, their partners and members of their own magical hierarchy.
The Empire, guided by the scattered words of its soothsayers, makes Aydori its next target, specifically six pregnant mages that will either be the downfall or the saving of the Empire. The Emperor wants to control that power, and to do so, kidnaps the pregnant members of the Mage Pack. But there are only five.
The sixth mage is Mirian, a girl who considers herself to be of no magical distinction. Ignoring propriety and physical constraints, she sets off after the Mage Pack and their kidnappers, intent on setting them free.
The Silvered is riddled with spectacular world building. The culture Huff builds up around her shape shifters is utterly fascinating, and makes them breathe far beyond what the genre generally has to offer. Humor, horror, romance, magic, and violence- The Silvered has a little of something for everyone.
I am particularly fond of stand-alone novels in the middle of a genre that heavily favor series. The Silvered tells a complete story, start to finish. I would love to see more stories in the world Huff has created, but I am so very content with the story she wove this time around.