A mysterious pendant. A sinister suitor. And an epic chase to the Edge of the Map... 1706. The rival Dutch and English East India Companies sail the world’s oceans, bringing back exotic treasures and tales of fantastical lands. In coastal Hollyport, Margaret faces a terrible choice: to abandon herself to a marriage that could erase her very soul, or to risk all aboard a ship bound for dangerous waters. With her betrothed husband, the sinister Mr Van Guelder in pursuit, Margaret embarks on a journey like no other: where pirates, flying islands and secret empires await; along with unexpected friendship from troubled young nobleman Taro, whose estate holds surprises and sorrows of its own. But Van Guelder is never far behind, nor is the power of the mysterious lodestone round his neck, and Margaret will have to learn the true nature of suffering before she can ever be free.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Margaret's adventures. The author blends historical fiction with fantasy beautifully and she had me captivated throughout the story. As I enjoyed the book so much, I lent it to my mother-in-law and she absolutely loved it, too.
Clever plot, fascinating characters and plenty of twists and turns - what more could you possibly want? I very much recommend this book!
~ TSM, Amazon (UK)
I won this book as part of a contest Elizabeth was running, and received it yesterday. I found myself enthralled and devoured the entire thing in the space of less than 5 hours. This is, quite possibly, one of the best romance novels I've read in a while. Rather than giving in to trashiness and relying on sex to drive the story, the author actually puts time into character development - not only for the heroine, Margaret, and her love interest but for her villain as well. I loved the way that Elizabeth details Margaret's struggle to overcome the unexpected challenges she faces as a result of her struggle with the villain, and the humanity she displays in her initial responses to those challenges.
Other things that I enjoyed about this romance novel is that Margaret is smart, capable, and educated - and those qualities are what make her so appealing to the men around her. No fainting wallflower, she shows strength without losing her femininity or feeling the need to compete with every man she meets. Congratulations again to Elizabeth on a book very well done and an excellent read. ~ Brandy M Miller, Amazon (US)
Set in 1706 this is a unique mix of travel, fairy tales, adventures on the high seas, and a very scary suitor in the guise of Mr Van Guelder. Margaret(our heroine) fears Van Guelder will control her, body mind and soul, once they are married, so she decides she must escape, and so, with him in pursuit, her journey begins. Elizabeth has really done her research here & historical facts blend together with fantasy to produce an excellent adventure story. Loved it! Thank you to Goodreads and Elizabeth for this first reads giveaway. ~ "Maureen", Goodreads
I loved this book. The descriptive narrative created wonderful visualisation of the people, places and far away lands. A fantastical tale of true love found through the necessity of escape from a treacherous man with depraved ideals. Twists and turns along the way make for a fascinating journey through the 18th century with a seamless blend of fantasy adding a curious element of wonder.
The characters were believable and convincing and the descriptions of the places so graphic.
I hope there'll be a sequel, I'd love to know what happens next in this adventure. ~ Ruth Brown, Amazon (UK)
Silver Hands belongs to another of those genres that I’ve said ‘I don’t read’. Part historical and part fantasy it is a wonderful blend of characterisation and setting that reminded me very much of Gulliver’s Travels. The lands that Margaret (our heroine) visits on her escape from the threat of marriage to someone who would absorb her into himself, are many and very varied and her adventures keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Set in 1706, I really wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it, but I loved every bit of it. Elizabeth has a fabulous talent for blending historical fact and myth into a new whole and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on her next novel ‘Cage of Nightingales’, when it is published. This is definitely one to be recommended. ~ Linda Parkinson-Hardman, http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2013/04/25/exclusive-silver-wristband-and-a-free-book-from-elizabeth-hopkinson-author-of-silver-hands/#comment-8068
If this novel doesn’t seem like it could be Elizabeth Hopkinson’s first, it’s because years of writing fan-fiction have honed her skills to perfection. You heard us.
Before we got into Silver Hands, we were poking about on Elizabeth Hopkinson’s website. Then we found a link to her Fanfiction.net page. We had a dabble, and before we ended up being sucked into that darkest vortex of the Internet and were never seen again by friends or families we emerged with one conclusion: Elizabeth can write. And, as it happens, she knows her history.
Silver Hands is, of course, an original story, allowing Elizabeth to merge her obvious adoration and vast knowledge of all things fantasy with historical fact.
An immense pirate/fantasy romp along the trading routes of the East India Company. And an awesome female protagonist? Flawless. ~ SmackFiction
A well-crafted and imaginative debut novel, with strong world building and an engaging story. ~ Juliet Marillier, Author of Sevenwaters, The Bridei Chronicles, Wildwood Dancing, Shadowfell
A wonderfully engaging mix of fairy tale, travelogue, and high seas adventure. ~ Leigh Dragoon, Editor: Byzarium
A handsome stranger asks for her hand in marriage, is he merchant or demon lover? Margaret Rosewood’s fear seems inexplicable to her father and sisters. Is Holman Van Guelder not handsome, rich and cultured? He is all those things, but he has tampered with eighteenth century science and become a shape-shifting fiend who threatens to annihilate his bride’s very identity. Sixteen-year-old Margaret Rosewood seeks increasingly daring solutions that take her across the globe, whether into gut-wrenching terror or tranquil oriental paradise. Pirates, shipwreck, unexpected alliances and supernatural intervention bring Margaret to safety eventually, and unite her with her true love.
I found this novel intriguing from the start, identifying with the heroine to such an extent that I was quickly in terror of Van Guelder! The sacrifice she must make to escape from him, the loss of her hands, seems a price too high to pay yet it becomes the means by which Margaret discovers new friends and also her own strengths and talents. The silver hands take on a higher significance, symbolizing friendship, love, and above all hope.
Elizabeth Hopkinson’s meticulously researched historical detail and vivid characterisation immerse the reader in this compelling fantastical adventure. Historically well realised detail of the life, risks and rewards of life aboard East India Companies’ ships in their heyday let the story ring with authenticity. The character and colour of her engaging evocation of a pre-modern, secret feudal Japan are captivating. A unique, enjoyable historical novel. ~ Val Williamson PhD, Historical Novel Society