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  • Writer's pictureRosie J.

"Silverweaver" Book Review + Q&A with Cee M. Taylor + an Excerpt


Hi friends!!


It's time for another Book Review!


I was super excited to receive an ARC copy of Silverweaver: An Ilia Archives Novella by Cameron (Cee) Montague Taylor.


I first connected with Cee in the We Write At Dawn Discord server and when an ARC call went out I just had to read this novella. I'm so glad I did.


The spoiler free review...


Front cover a book with intricate steampunk-like design, a knife in the middle, with title Silverweaver overlaid in the center. At the top the text "Ilia Archives #1" and at the bottom the author's name "Cameron Montague Taylor"

[Click the picture for the Amazon link or find it at the end of the blog]


As someone who struggles to write short things, I know how difficult it can be to write a novella. And when you pick one up to read, you really never know what you're going to get because it's so hard to fit everything into a short word count.


That being said, Cameron Montague Taylor managed to weave a thrilling tale, enticing world-building, and characters with depth and history into a very short space. It's a fast-paced, page-turner you won't want to put down.


And the sapphic love story, oh my gosh! Loved it. I am a sucker for a good second chance romance, and this definitely delivers in a sweet and satisfying way. How Cee was able to fit all the background and subplots effectively into this novella, I'll never know! She gave just enough to leave me wanting so much more, though.


The powers of the Silverweaver are definitely a bit of a mystery, and I hope in a future work in the world that more is revealed about the source of the powers. As a fan of Sanderson's Mistborn and a fascination with the allomancy system there, this ability to mold metals definitely piqued my interest!


There is a content warning on the book. It does have some violence and body horror, and as the warning puts it "spooky creatures doing spooky things," so definitely take that into consideration before picking this book up. I would say it wasn't over the top or excessive and just enough to paint the image and give the edge of horror in a tasteful way. I would put it in line with an episode of Supernatural. A bit dark, some heart-wrenching bits and death and posession, but with plenty of uplifting moments to balance it out. If you are sensitive to horror, though, it might not be the book for you.


I really hope there will be more to come from the Ilia Archives and with these characters, because it was a fantastic read!



Q&A with author Cameron Montague Taylor


What inspired you to write this story?

Years ago, I went to a concert by a Broadway performer who wrote a song about going on a

ghost tour, in which the only ghost he saw was his ex-girlfriend. An idea called "badass lady

ghosthunters" popped into the notes app on my phone, and years later, I plotted it out for a

novella-writing festival.


Which character did you most connect with?

Definitely Anya! It's hard not to form a strong connection when writing in first person, and

Anya was voicey, funny, and snarky from the get-go. To this day, it's the easiest time I've

ever had writing anything. But I admire how, despite the tough persona she puts on, she's

soft, loyal, and empathetic at heart.


Why gaslamp fantasy?

When I first pictured the setting for Silverweaver, it was full of cobblestone streets and old,

abandoned churches. Gaslamp takes some of my favorite elements of Steampunk and gives

them a gothic, romantic flair; it was a subgenre I hadn't written before, but it felt fitting for

the setting and time period I imagined for the second-world city of Ilia.


Will there be more books in the Silverweaver world?

Definitely! The Ilia Archives is a series of asynchronous standalones that all unfold in the

same city. Though future novels and novellas will feature other central characters, many of

them are friends and relatives of Anya and El, so this certainly won't be the last you see of

them!


An Excerpt


Cee was gracious enough to share an excerpt with us!


Alt text: Take a sneak peek at Silverweaver


Alt text included in blog. Image containing excerpt

A familiar unfamiliar shiver ripped up my spine. I froze. Something was here.


No. How? I hadn’t called. The church held no restless spirits—I was sure of it. But

whatever rose came too quick, too soon, raking my senses as though it was already awake. I

should have noticed it the moment we walked in. El should have heard its call.


And, oh, whatever it was, it was angry.


A man cried out, pointing to the altar, where it poured from ceremonial silken screens

with a vengeance. Frosting stained glass windows, it whipped down the aisle in a fury, guttering our gas lamps.


I spun. Behind me, El reached for the dagger at her hip. In two steps, I stood at her side,

falling into place with shoulders together. No time to look for Calix. A dark shape formed in

the archway to the vestibule, smoke billowing out from the ether.


“What in Jalti’s name is that?”


I forced the words through grit teeth, but El didn’t reply, dagger raised and brow etched

with concentration. I wanted to throw an arm in front of her, to tell her to stop and not to

open her mind to it. This was no friendly ghost nudged awake by a nursery rhyme. But what

was it? I hadn’t started the summons—let alone finished it—and even if I had, I wouldn’t

have ended up with this for my efforts.


A chill prickled at my nape, standing my hair on end. It was growing, expanding. My head

snapped around as it reached for the ceiling.


“Oh, this is not good,” El muttered, digging through a pocket.


Saints, let her have salt spray—we’d need it.


On either side of the aisle, Taran’s clients cowered in the pews, whispering. A kid started

crying, soft sniffles, hushed by his parents.


Someone gripped my shoulder—Taran. It didn’t take a heartweaving talent to notice the

cloud of fury on his brow.


“Anya,” he hissed, “that’s no benign spirit.”


The moment the words left his mouth, every window in the church shattered.


*****


Woah! If that excerpt doesn't make you want to pick up the book, then I don't know what will!


Image information included in blog, social links and bio for Cee Taylor with illustrated drawing of Cee

Thanks so much to Cee for the ARC copy of Silverweaver and the extra Q&A and excerpt for the blog today!


Here's a little more about Cee and where to find them:


Pirate by day and writer by night, Cameron "Cee" Taylor is a tallship

sailor, developmental editor, and author of LGBTQ+ fantasy novels

with thick romantic threads. Cee is most easily summoned with

promises of kittens and freshly brewed coffee, but otherwise, you can

leave a message @ceemtaylor on all the apps or grab a direct line at


I'll also add that Cee is an editor, and the first link will lead you to a hub with links to all Cee's socials, Patreon, and editorial services!





Let me know in the comments if you pick up Silverweaver and what you thought. And don't forget to leave a review for Cee on Amazon and Goodreads and follow their socials to keep up with all the awesomeness!


My next book review will be Mage Breaker by Sean R. Frazier, a fun urban fantasy romp that came out TODAY!


Until next time, friends!


Rose



an outline of a rose in bloom


Link | Linktree for Rose



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