The third part of the Song and Swords series focuses on Arilyn’s mission which happens at the same time as Danilo’s in Elfsong. 

Arilyn Moonblade has been undercover as an assassin in Zazesspur and protecting the country’s ruler against plotting guildmasters. Now Harpers’ leader Khelben Blackstaff gives Arilyn a new mission: she’s is to go to the feral forest elves posing as a full blooded elf and to protect them against the plotting of greedy humans who are trying to incite a war between the forest elves and the local humans. At the same time Arilyn finds out more about her mysterious Moonblade’s powers.

Arilyn is a half-elf and her mother was a Royal Princess of the moon elves. However, her mother was exiled because of the relationship with a human and later she died leaving behind Arilyn who had never known her father and was shunned by her elven kin. Now, Arilyn is supposed to act as an envoy to the elven Queen who can barely even look at her. Arilyn herself is understandably resentful of the elves. However, she grows to respect the forest elves and even grows very close with the leader of the tribe. 

Silver Shadows has far more somber tone than the previous exuberant book which reflects nicely the differences between the personalities of Danilo and Arilyn. Cunningham has an excellent ear for elves and that side of her writing really shines here. The forest elves are very sympathetic and understandable, and the bad guys are loathsome.