Sunday, March 28, 2010

REVIEW: Twilight of a Queen by Susan Carroll

The latest installment in the Dark Queen series, Twilight of a Queen refers to the aging Catherine de Medici. Now 68 years old and not in the best health, Queen Catherine is still obsessed with finding the Book of Shadows. When she finds out the Book of Shadows was destroyed from her latest necromancer she resolves to locate the Silver Rose for a different reason-because she believes the knowledge from the Book of Shadows is contained in the girl’s mind. Meg is now residing on Faire Isle under the tutelage of the Lady of Faire Isle-Ariane Cheney and is expected to be named her successor at he upcoming counsel meeting of the Daughters of the Earth. The “necromancer”, Xavier, completely plays Catherine for a fool and makes off with her money-or so he thinks. A pirate by trade, while making port just up the coast from Faire Isle with a load of stolen Spanish cargo, he and his crew encounter a fierce storm which tosses him overboard and he washes up on Faire Isle. He is badly hurt with a broken right arm and is nursed back to health by Jane Danvers-an exiled Catholic and friend of Martin le Loup and Cat O’Hanlon (from the Huntress). We soon find out Xavier is not who he appears to be and has ulterior motives for his increased closeness to Meg and the daughters of Faire Isle-Ariane, Gabrielle, and Miri and their children. Meanwhile all of France is on the brink of revolution due to tensions between half mad King Henry and the Duc de Guise and England is in turmoil as well as she prepares for the invasion of the Spanish Armada.

This was another fast paced read and we finally get to see a resolution to the continued threat Meg faces from Catherine de Medici. The storyline with Xavier was definitely interesting. I wondered how the storylines would be affected once the focus was on characters other than the Cheney sisters: Ariane, Gabrielle and Miri. It turns out the story in both The Huntress and Twilight of a Queen held their own with the Cheney sisters as just supporting characters. Again as with the other books, the only element that bugged me was the love story portion-this time between Xavier and the Lady Jane Danvers. It seemed way out of character for Jane to suddenly let go of her senses and make mad passionate love to Xavier under the starlight because she was tired of “taking the safe route” and not giving a fig about the consequences that could come. It just seemed that Lady Danvers would not be the type to throw caution to the wind, especially given her history. Nothing like a little turmoil to draw to people together I guess. I’m not sure if Susan Carroll is planning on writing any more novels in this series but I look forward to them if she does. When I have been looking for something that is history with a bit of fun this has been what I have picked up. It has just the right blend of history, magical elements, and romance to make it seem plausible and not over the top.

If the FTC is wondering: This book is from my own personal library

1 comment:

  1. This is the only book I have not read in the series...I am definitely going to read it this summer :)