Author: Susan Carroll
Genre: Historical Fiction
First Published: 2007
Page Count: 490
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Note: Book 4 in The Dark Queen series
Even after creating three expansive books in this series, Carroll still manages to roll out an interesting story that stays true to what fans expect from this author.
*New mix of main characters *Different feel then previous books in the series
*Slow unraveling of the plot
“The comet blazed against the night sky, brighter than any star its ghostly head trailed by a streak of fire.” Young Meg Wolfe has been spirited away to London by her protective father, the rogue Martin Le Loupe, in order to protect her from a fanatical coven that believes her to be the powerful sorceress known as the Silver Rose. Fiery huntress, Catriona, has been dispatched by the Lady of Faire Isle to protect the child from those that could wish her harm, including the dark queen of France herself, Catherine de Medici. Though Meg only wants to please her father and grow to be a proper English woman, she can’t seem to forget her dark past or the possibilities of her not so ordinary future. The question is, will she use her powers for good, or turn to the darkness like her evil mother?
For some reason whenever I see the books in this series that I have left to read, I’m never very excited to jump into them. However, they consistently impress me with their stories and characters which has made me stick to the series. This book was no exception and I think it was my favorite. Thus far, each book has been about a different sister of the Lady of Faire Isle or about Lady Arianne herself. This one mixes it up by following Lady Arianne’s loyal friend Catriona and her interaction with the familiar Martin Le Loupe and his daughter Meg. Adding Meg to the mix also puts a new element to the series because you are constantly second guessing what her intentions are for her magical abilities. This book feels different from the rest because it isn’t just about the heroine dealing with some drama while also falling into a passionate love affair. Le Loupe’s mysterious daughter adds a new dimension that keeps you reading to find out what she’s hiding and where she will steer her future.
The only qualm I have with this book, and this is one I’ve had with all of them, is that the plot takes awhile to unfold. The story is well paced but at the same time there are points where I’d wish that I was already at the height of the climax instead of enduring the slow dance of the buildup. This is what usually makes me look back at the books negatively. With frilly historical romance books I usually prefer them as quick reads, so these books always look daunting on the shelves and I remember feeling a little worn out from the length of one of these books by the end. However, if the stories weren’t as great as they are, I wouldn’t keep picking them up so I guess it’s not that big of an issue in my case.
This book has brought my excitement back for this series and I actually can’t wait to read the next book. Hopefully, I’ll remember this positive feeling next time I glance at my book shelf and not the length of the book. Make sure not to miss this book; the twists and turns, the romance, and the historical elements mesh into a great read.