Title: Twilight of a Queen
Author: Susan Carroll
Series: The Dark Queen Saga
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Dark Queen
2. The Courtesan
3. The Silver Rose
4. The Huntress
Date Started: September 26
Date Finished: September 28
Format: Paperback from library co-op
With her inevitable death looming, Queen Catherine de Medici is looking for any possible way her death can be stopped. She’s looking to turn back the clock and her search leads her to Louis Xavier – a shaman – who she hopes holds all the answers she needs. But she doesn’t ask about the Fountain of Youth, she asks over her enemies, Arianne Cheney of Faire Isle and the Silver Rose, Meg. For she learns that the Book of Shadows that she has been after has finally been destroyed. But the Silver Rose has most of it within her head. She tasks Xavier with going to Faire Isle and capturing the girl.
But the shaman has no plan to do that at all. In fact, he’s not a shaman. Instead, he is a pirate who was only looking for gold to repair his ship and continue on his journey. He never wants to set foot on the cursed isle. Not if he can help it. But as most things go, the best plans always go to waste.
So this book really was a joy to read. Carroll is very talented with what she does. Xavier is a mysterious new character whose origins I should have guessed at, but I was so wrapped up in his story and the insidious plotting of the Dark Queen that I wasn’t paying all that much attention to the clues being left behind. However, I did a face palm when Xavier showed up on the isle and I realized why he had no intentions of going there. He’s Arianne, Gabriella and Miri’s half brother! And family reunions of this caliber are so much fun, don’t you find? Bring on the popcorn!
There were three things that I was disappointed in though with Twilight of a Queen. The first was the character of Meg. Usually the Silver Rose was always good for a good laugh or two, but in this book she’s very cynical and attached to her scrying ball. I get with her past that she wouldn’t want to do any evil or want others to succumb to danger, but c’mon, Meg! You’re thirteen. Lighten up a little. The second was the absence of characters – like Martin (Meg’s father) and his new bride, Arianne’s husband, Gabriella and Remy – while I get the reasoning, I kind of wished there was this huge family reunion. I think it would have added more to the book. Maybe in the next/last one? The final thing that I didn’t like was the fact that Catherine dies at the end. Again, thanks to the title, I had a feeling it was coming, but considering there is one more book in the series, I would have thought the stubborn queen could have held on a little bit longer.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Another good installment in The Dark Queen Saga, with a nice balance of introducing new characters while keeping up with some of the old ones. Hopefully the characters who were missing in this one will be in the next one.
Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!