Monday, May 20, 2013

Twilight of a Queen 

By: Susan Carroll

Rating: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

The last book in the Dark Queen series.

Summary: As war and treachery loom, an ambitious man’s mission threatens to topple two dazzling realms and their formidable rulers: Catherine de Medici, the Dark Queen, and Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle.

It is 1588, and as the Spanish Armada prepares to besiege England, Paris balances on the brink of revolution. To maintain her grip on the throne and on the dark magic that has become her obsession, Catherine de Medici turns to Louis Xavier, a ruthless corsair who was schooled in the dark arts and has mastered piracy along the Spanish main. But Louis’s basest instincts are held in check by the kindness of Lady Jane Danvers, a British exile whose innate sense of honor is but one facet of her complex and passionate nature.

On Faire Isle, Ariane Cheney, unaware of the escalating threat from the Dark Queen, struggles with the task of protecting the daughters of the earth and their vast store of ancient magical wisdom. Weak and desperate for an advantage, the ailing Catherine makes a devil’s bargain that will cast a shadow over all.

Review: Set in the late 1500's in France the last book in the Dark Queen Series introduces the son of Chevalier Cheney into the world of the daughters of the earth, with Ariane Cheney, the oldest daughter being the most hurt by her Father's betrayal of having been with another woman while being married to their Mother.  The brother known to most as Xavier like his sisters knows how to use herbs and other tools of the earth to make potions and other elixirs and has done so for the Dark Queen, he also dabbles in privateering, and has a ship that is one of the only things he has left of his Father's.  After some unfortunate events Xavier finds himself stranded on Faire Isle and injured with a bunch of women and powerless at least until he heals, the only bright spot he can see, is the woman assigned to take care of him, the kind and gentle Jane Danvers.  Jane on the other hand is confused about her feelings for the coarse and sometimes rough sea captain who can be loud and obnoxious while still showing a softer side when playing with his nieces, or comforting Megaera  who is nervous about who will be chosen to be the next Lady of Faire Isle; or the threat of the Dark Queen which is always an ever present danger. 

Through being imprisoned, a face off with the Dark Queen, and many more dangers Jane and Xavier show that opposites really do attract one another. 

As the characters in this book face each danger together the reader is drawn in because you feel a connection to them in how they relate to each other, the plot, and the surroundings.  Each of the books in this series connected to each other well, and I would recommend them to anyone; I enjoyed all of them.

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