Sunday, February 14, 2010
REVIEW: The Silver Rose by Susan Carroll
What originally drew me this series by Susan Carroll were the beautiful covers. The story of the Cheney sisters of Faire Isle are what made me keep reading. The Silver Rose is the 3rd installment in the Dark Queen series and tells the story of the youngest Cheney sister Miribelle (Miri). The series began with the oldest sister Ariane in The Dark Queen and continued in the 2nd book, The Courtesan, with middle sister Gabrielle.
The Cheney sisters are daughters of the earth or wise women-oldest sister Ariane is the Lady of Faire Isle, one of the most respected wise women in France. Silver Rose takes place 10 years after the events in The Courtesan. Miri has grown from a teenage girl to a young woman of 26. Always considered the weakest Cheney sister, Miri’s magical abilities lie in the ability to understand animals better than most humans. When a new coven springs up led by a powerful sorceress known as the Silver Rose whose practices include sacrificing young male infants and leaving poison dipped roses for innocent people to find, Miri realizes she must do whatever it takes to stop this sorceress before she and her coven wreak havoc on all of France and take the throne. This even means agreeing to reunite with Simon Aristide, the notorious witch hunter she befriended as a child and who has betrayed her and her family time and time again. Together they set off after the Silver Rose and are very wary of each other at first. They receive help from an unlikely source-Catherine de Medici (AKA the Dark Queen) who wants the Grimoire the Book of Shadows which is currently in the possession of the Silver Rose. The book is basically an ancient comprehensive manual of the dark arts. As time passes Miri and Simon grow closer. Miri must decide if she can trust Simon with her heart or whether she should do as her family says and marry Martin le Loup-the man who has been her loyal friend and has never let her down.
When I am in the mood for a light but fun read this series always provides it. I would have to say Silver Rose is my least favorite of the series so far. I wasn’t quite sure if I liked the vulnerable side of Simon Aristide enough to overlook everything rotten he had done and root for him and Miri to end up together. Also I thought I had the identity of the Silver Rose figured out in the first quarter of the book and even though I was wrong I wasn’t far off. I did like that Miri who previously seemed rather wishy washy, actually grew a backbone in this book. I couldn’t figure out why it said on the synopsis on the back cover of the book that she was considered the most powerful of the Cheney sisters. I have always thought the opposite. One thing that really annoyed me was the constant referral to her “fey eyes” or “silver eyes”. I think by this point anyone who has read the series knows that Miri is otherworldly. The author has written two more books in the series so far: The Huntress and Twilight of a Queen. I would recommend this series for anyone who likes a blend of history, magic, and romance.
The first two in the series: