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The Price of Silver cover image

The Price of Silver is the second book in the Solis Invicti series.

Blurb[]

In the straits of necessity, sometimes there isn't room for freedom.

Emmy is fenced in by the city, the walls marking the edge of safety closing in around her and sealing her in with one vampire who loves her and another who wants her dead. As she struggles to keep herself and the people she cares about alive, her fellow humans chafe against their enforced submission, and it becomes clear that there are bigger schemes and greater deceptions in play than she had ever imagined.

All the while, the monsters wait outside the barricades for their moment. Of one thing she is certain: without the help of the Silver, the humans won't be safe for long.

The Price of Silver is the second book in Josie Jaffrey's Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London where a deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience.

Synopsis (Spoilers)[]

This section will contain detailed spoilers. Many characters in this series also appear in other Silverse books, so clicking any links may lead to spoilers not only for this book but also for other series - use caution!

The prologue is a flash-forward to Emmy in the aftermath of an explosion. The rebels have brought down the wall surrounding the Silver safe zone. Oliver is injured; Weepers are on their way.

In her rooms at the Palace, Emmy uses pins to create replacement wounds to cover up the fact that Drew healed her after she was attacked by Charles and Benedict; no one can know that Drew has silvered for her. She gets ready to go to work, dressing to hide the silver handprint the healing left on her chest, and finds that Sol has left her a new choker to wear to symbolise that she is under his protection. At Sol's, there is nobody around except Nix, the kitten, as they have gathered in Paternoster Square for a broadcast. Emmy sees the Silver building a perimeter wall around the safe zone. As people return to the club, Emmy sees Drew and struggles with her attraction to him and her feelings about the bond. Sol arrives and makes it clear he disapproves of Emmy even smiling at Drew; she is also conflicted about her relationship with him. Alice tells Emmy that at the broadcast Sol announced they would be turning four humans a year Silver (the Casting). A man Emmy has not met before, Oliver, insults her for fraternising with the Silver.

Alice takes Emmy to the newly set up cafe, which is the only recreational space the humans are allowed to go to. They watch the broadcast in the building's cinema, and it explains that each human candidate must have a Silver sponsor, but the process is not guaranteed to succeed. Alice is desperate to be one of the candidates and asks Emmy to help her find a sponsor; Emmy reluctantly agrees to think about it. She heads back to the dorm on her own, but is stopped by Tommy, who tells her not to walk around alone. He also apologises for not realising Benedict was out to kill her. He offers to sponsor her, but she refuses. At the club, Emmy sees other girls wearing the same choker that Sol gave her; Tommy is about to explain, but Benedict interrupts and tells her that Sol has plenty of other "pets". He threatens her again, and leaves.

Tommy explains that the Solis Invicti are tracking Benedict and won't allow him to get close to Emmy, but she points out that as Benedict is Tertius, third in command after Drew and Sol, there is little he can do to protect her if Benedict does attack. He also tells her that Sol and Drew are currently entertaining the leaders of the disbanded safe-houses. Tommy tries to warn Emmy about getting involved with Sol, telling her that though he would demand absolute loyalty, she couldn't expect the same from him, but Sol interrupts and sends Tommy away. He tells Emmy that though he has had many conquests in the past, he is no longer like that. Emmy confronts him about knowing that Drew loved her but still pursuing her; he is unapologetic, but says he will allow Drew to talk to her so she can decide how she feels about him. In the meantime, Viv will pretend to be the person Drew has silvered for. Sol explains the process of turning humans Silver, and that it is more likely to be successful if performed by a Silver who has bonded with the human or otherwise loves them; it is unlikely that any of the first year's Candidates will be successfully turned, but Sol's plan is to acclimatise the Silver to the idea of humans being turned, and Silver-human relationships. Emmy suggests it might be more useful to give the humans more chance to socialise with the Silver.

In the early hours of the next morning, Emmy is woken by male voices on the fire escape outside the dorm; she overhears two humans discussing whether to escape or volunteer for the Casting. A Silver man arrives and tells them to be ready for tomorrow. Cam joins Emmy for breakfast; he too apologises for not protecting her from Benedict, and asks about her relationships with Drew and Sol, but she refuses to talk about it. He tells Emmy that Sol has decided to allow humans into the club and wants Emmy to run it instead of Laila. Viv arrives and Emmy can smell Drew's scent mark on her, which upsets her. Emmy goes into the office, where she bumps into Sol; he shows her that he has created a living space for her above the club, to which only the two of them have a key. He reveals that the manager position and the living space are only temporary, until another Silver can be found to take them over. Emmy trips and Sol catches her, which makes the silver brand on Emmy's chest (which has not faded as she expected) burn painfully. She explains that Sol's scent is affecting it, and that she has been able to smell Silver scents; Sol says that the bond is asserting itself, probably due to the severity of the injuries she was healed from. Emmy asks how to stop it; the only way is to break the bond by killing Drew (which would not kill Emmy as she has not silvered for him). However, Sol says that Drew may be able to mitigate it, but he will not explain how, and leaves.

Later, there is an announcement that all humans must go to their designated meeting points. Oliver insults Emmy again. Sol announces that a new rota of blood donations will begin; humans will be split into four groups, which will take weekly turns to donate, and once someone has donated, they will be given supplies at the market, and allowed to use the facilities. As Emmy's blood has not been tested due to Sol's intervention, Tamsin tells her that she is not subject to the usual rules; she needs to wear the choker, but does not need to donate or attend the market to get supplies. Emmy sees Viv and Drew kissing, which makes her very jealous. Cam brings new bar staff to Sol's to help with the increased traffic now the club is open to humans, and tells Emmy that there will be twelve Solis Invicti acting as security, and that the ex-leaders of the safe houses will be in the club that night, including Charles. Cam reveals that he overheard Emmy's conversation with Sol about the bond, and shows her that his presence does not make the bond burn, as he is not a threat to it. Emmy gets ready for work and finds Drew in her apartment; he explains that they need to touch to mitigate the bond's effects. When he touches the brand, it creates an intense connection between them and they almost kiss, but cannot as it will leave a scent mark which will make it obvious to all Silver that Drew has silvered for Emmy, not Viv. Drew rips off Sol's choker in the heat of the moment. He tells her he loves her, and will be there when she gets back from work.

During Emmy's shift, Sol pops in to check if Emmy is okay; he says he will give Drew a new choker for her, which Emmy takes as a sign that Sol has given up on pursuing her. Emmy overhears Oliver and his friends planning a revolution; she confronts them and tells them to leave. Another customer tries to grope Emmy, but he is stopped by a member of the Solis Invicti, who threatens to throw him "outside" (meaning outside of the safe zone) if he touches any of Sol's girls. After her shift, Emmy chats to Pru and Ella, two of her new staff who also wear Sol's chokers. Pru explains that Sol used to be known as Sol Invictus, the god of the sun, and though she thinks it was just a title, he is millennia old and extremely powerful. The rest of the staff join them and Emmy learns the extent of the destruction outside the safe zone; there is a thriving farm, which has a cleared road to it, but the rest of the city is covered in Weepers, and a Silver escort is needed even to get to the farm. She realises that the farm being so strongly established means that the Silver takeover was planned well in advance. Emmy meets Josh, who was bitten by a Weeper but survived without being turned into one; apparently he has been tested and is not infected.

Sol comes to collect the night's takings, and tells Emmy it is nearly time for her to choose whether she is staying in the safe zone or leaving. She tells him she will stay, but that Oliver and some others are planning to escape; he asks why, and she realises it is Sol who changed her mind, but he assumes it is because of Drew. Emmy decides to test whether the brand's painful reaction to Sol has changed; they get close and have an intimate moment which does not trigger the pain, but Sol tells Emmy to return to Drew. She asks him why he keeps pulling away, and he tells her that their relationship can be nothing more than a distraction, which hurts her. Sol leaves, and Viv escorts Emmy back to her flat, telling her that Drew now has Sol's keys. Drew and Emmy chat and he tells her that he wants to try to make her happy; he tells her he is staying over to protect her, but she makes him stay in the spare room. They discuss what Sol said about breaking the bond, which angers Drew, who thinks Sol wants him out of the way to have Emmy for himself; Emmy informs him that things between her and Sol are over.

The next morning Emmy is woken by Ed, who tells her that Drew had to leave, and that there has been an incident. Emmy, followed by Ed, runs to the square, which is covered in blood and silver paint, and a message that reads "What about Cara?". They bump into Alice, and hear gunshots; they follow the noise and discover a protest by the outer wall of the safe zone, with about a hundred humans being barred in by about fifty Silver. Drew is distracted by Emmy's arrival and is shot by one of the protestors, and Viv takes him to the Solis Invicti headquarters to heal. Benedict offers to take her to see him, and Ed and Cam aren't able to contradict him. Sol intervenes and takes her (and Alice) back to the flat; Emmy's brand begins to hurt again when she gets near to Sol. Sol reprimands Emmy for putting herself and Drew in danger again. Emmy explains the situation as best she can to Alice without mentioning the bond, which makes Alice more resolute that they should both enter the Casting. Sol takes Emmy and Alice to a broadcast; while the Silver set up, Oliver tells Emmy that he has seen the handprint on her chest, and offers her the chance to escape with him and his friends. He reveals that Benedict is helping the rebels, and Emmy tries to warn him about Benedict, but he will not listen. Sol's broadcast states that the protestors have been imprisoned for 24 hours, and if any more rebellion happens, any perpetrators will be permanently imprisoned or killed. He confines all humans to their dormitories for the night. During the broadcast, Oliver tells Alice that the rebels have Jane and Mia, two of the girls from the dormitory at Sol's; she begs Emmy not to tell Sol, but Emmy insists and Sol says he will think about what to do. Sol gives Alice a choker to protect her; Emmy is upset by the easy conversation between the two of them, and, imagining them to be having sex, gets drunk in her room. Sol comes to find Emmy, and reassures her that he does not sleep with his donors. He tells her he admires her stubbornness, and she tries to seduce him, but he gently refuses, partly because she is drunk and partly because of the bond. She convinces him to stay until morning just holding her.

In the morning, Emmy hangs out with Alice, who reveals that Laila is Sol's consort. She notices that Emmy's wounds have healed and Emmy is forced to tell her about the handprint, though she does not give details of the bond or who healed her. Alice goes to the cafe for news, and Ed brings Nix to the flat. Drew arrives, now healed; they head upstairs to bed, but Emmy accidentally calls Drew by Sol's name, which angers him. Emmy reiterates that it's over between her and Sol, and Drew touches the brand, which arouses them both. He bites her, and afterwards she reflects that she still feels safe with him; she puts this down to the effects of the bond, but Drew tells her their connection is real. They discuss whether Emmy would be willing to become Silver and give their relationship a chance. Drew tells Emmy that Sol has silvered for Laila, which crushes Emmy. Emmy says she is willing to consider letting Drew turn her Silver if Tommy will sponsor Alice, even though without a love connection, Alice won't get through the first round of the Casting. Oliver offers Emmy one last chance to join the rebellion, saying he knows a way to break the bond without killing Drew; he gives her a day to decide. Emmy confronts Sol about silvering for Laila, which he confirms; he demands to drink from her. While he drinks from her wrist, Emmy tries to kiss him, but he refuses, seeming regretful; Drew interrupts and challenges Sol, which makes Emmy realise that this was Sol trying to prove to Drew that he is still in control.

Late that night, Viv tells Emmy a body has been found bearing a mark of Silver violence; it is Oliver's younger brother, Graham. Drew comes to talk to Emmy and ask if things with Sol are really over. He notices that Sol's bite mark in Emmy's wrist has healed silver, but puts it down to the brand keeping his healing power circulating through Emmy's body. Emmy tries to get Drew to keep her more informed about the rebellion, but he insists it is safer if she does not know, which frustrates her. Drew spends the night in the flat; when she wakes from a nightmare she find him watching her sleep, and he says it is painful to be apart from her. She lets him sleep in her bed for comfort. Emmy agrees to go ahead with the Casting and give her relationship with Drew a chance.

At work that night, one of Oliver's co-rebels asks Emmy for her decision; she says she is not picking a side, which the rebel takes to mean that she is on the side of the Silver. After the shift, Sol appears; Emmy asks Cam to stay so she isn't alone with him, but Sol orders him to leave. Emmy asks Sol to leave her alone so she can get over him, saying that she feels like she is torn in two, and he reluctantly agrees. Upstairs, she speaks to Drew, and they kiss; this leaves the scent mark they were trying to avoid. Drew tells her that she can just stay hidden for a day until it fades, but Emmy is worried about leaving the bar unmanaged; Drew dismissed this worry, which makes Emmy feel like he doesn't respect her. She asks him for a single reason why he loves her, apart from the bond, but he is unable to answer, upsetting Emmy. She asks Cam to take her outside the walls, to visit her old flat and look for signs of her flatmate, Cassie; he agrees, as does Sol. While she is waiting for Cam to arrive, Emmy is attacked by the rebels, who drag her up to the dormitory and attempt to hang her. She manages to get the chain off her neck just before they throw her out of the window, but her hand gets broken. When she hits the ground, she sees that the rebels have already hanged two women, Ella and Alice.

Benedict arrives to taunt Emmy, but she is rescued by Cam, who takes her to Drew for healing, and then takes her out of the safe zone to hide. They have to walk through a sea of Weepers; they will not attack while Cam is present. He distracts her by telling her about a pub he used to run with Ed in the area in the 17th century. He tells her that things are fraught among the Silver, with them all being packed so closely; they tended to be fairly solitary. Emmy trips and injures herself, but it does not heal, which surprises her, since her bite from Sol healed without Drew touching it. When they arrive at her old flat, it is clear Weepers have been in the building, and that Cass had not made it back to the flat after the Revelation. Emmy breaks down from guilt over Alice's death, and Cam tries to distract her so that she can sleep by asking about Drew and Sol. He tells her that he's rooting for Drew, but that he's surprised how much she has affected Sol. He tells her what he has heard of Sol's "godhood" in the late Roman Empire, emphasising Sol's brutality and possessiveness; he points out that the friend he heard this from was the only Silver Sol is known to have turned. The next morning, Emmy finds her parents' wedding rings, and she and Cam play board games. Emmy tells Cam that she is resisting Drew because she feels like the bond is forcing her to feel things she wouldn't otherwise feel, and she feels violated by it. Cam tells Emmy Benedict's history; he was a German prince who fell in love with a girl he didn't realise was Silver; she turned him Silver but betrayed him, so he killed her. They decide to stay outside the walls one more night, but are woken by Sol knocking on the door, concerned that they have not returned.

When they return to the city, Drew reluctantly tells Emmy what is going on after the attacks. Oliver was not involved, having apparently stepped away from the rebellion after Graham's death. Ed has been put in charge of Sol's, and Emmy demoted to working on the bar; humans have been banned from the club again. Drew spends the night in Emmy's bed again. In the morning, Drew needs to renew the scent mark from Viv to cover his relationship with Emmy. Ed moves into the apartment and takes over the club. While Emmy is on the bar that night, Oliver arrives and Emmy agrees to talk to him when Tamsin tells her she will keep an eye on them. Oliver tells Emmy he is trying to stop the rebellion, as they are only getting humans killed; something will happen that night. He takes Emmy outside and into the tunnels under the city to rescue Mary, Jane and Mia, and tells her that the Silver create the Weepers when they try to make more Silver and fail. They see that there are explosives rigged under the club. They rescue Jane and Mia and return to the tunnels to try to find Mary, but the explosives are detonated. Emmy is fatally injured and falls unconscious, but she wakes up sometime later without any pain; the handprint on her chest has vanished. Emmy digs Oliver out from under the rubble; his shoulder is badly injured, but they make it above ground. The Palace and the club have both been destroyed, and the perimeter wall has also been breached. Weepers start to attack Emmy and Oliver, but Drew finds them and protects them, then takes Oliver to get medical attention. Viv and Emmy follow, and Viv tells Emmy that they found the rebels who were responsible. Drew tells Emmy he thought she was dead, and that he felt the bond snap; they think that it must have burned itself out healing Emmy. Drew is bereft without his love for Emmy, but she is adamant his feelings weren't real anyway; he tells her they were, but there is nothing to be done. She is concerned that now she is committed to the Casting, and will become a Weeper.

Oliver wakes up and apologises for his part in the rebellion, saying that he only wanted to escape, which Emmy sympathises with. She begins to be attracted to him. Cam tells them that Tamsin is close to Laila, who is close to Benedict, so she didn't inform the rest of the Invicti when Emmy left with Oliver, and has lied to Sol that Emmy was part of the rebellion. Sol summons Oliver and Emmy and accuses them of colluding with the rebels to bring about the attack; he will not listen to their defence. He says he will sentence them with the rest of the rebels. They are escorted to the gate, where Sol banishes the rebels from the city; they are immediately attacked by Weepers. He offers a softer sentence to Emmy and Oliver, knowing that Tamsin has lied, but unable to pardon Emmy without jeopardising his rule. He exiles them to Silver Farm. Cam tells Emmy he will try to visit, but Emmy tells him not to worry, that it's all over. The truck leaves the city.

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