"From Brittany's misty shores to the decadent splendor of Paris's royal court, one woman must fulfill her destiny--while facing the treacherous designs of Catherine de Medici, The Dark Queen.
She is Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle, and one of the Cheney sisters, renowned for their mystical skills and for keeping the isle secure and prosperous. But this is a time when women of ability are deemed sorceresses, when Renaissance France is torn by ruthless political intrigues, and all are held in thrall to the sinister ambitions of Queen Catherine de Medici.
Then a wounded stranger arrives on Faire Isle, bearing a secret the Dark Queen will do everything in her power to possess. The only person Ariane can turn to is the comte de Renard, a nobleman with fiery determination and a past as mysterious as his own unusual gifts.
Riveting, vibrant, and breathtaking, The Dark Queen follows Ariane and Renard as they risk everything to prevent the fulfillment of a dreadful prophecy--even if they must tempt fate and their own passions." (from the publisher)
I always enjoy finding a good book that continues in a series, and Susan Carroll's The Dark Queen is a promising beginning to the legend of the Daughters of the Earth series.
Mixing a little of history with romance, myth, and magic, this is the story of Ariane Cheney, a skilled healer and guardian of her two younger sisters, and her unlikely suitor, the comte de Renard, whose mysterious past and powers forces Ariane to cast doubts on his true intentions. Set against the backdrop of the political schemes and dark magic practices of Catherine de Medici and the tragedy of St. Bartholomew's Eve, this unusual tale of love, magic, intrigue, and witch hunts kept me turning the pages. Ran a bit long in parts, but I liked Renard's story and was compelled to keep reading to find out about his humble and mysterious past. Reads a bit like an adult fairy tale rather than historical fiction, but it was still a worthwhile read.
I'm looking forward to continuing the story of the Cheney sisters of the Faire Isle in The Courtesan and The Silver Rose.
Title: The Dark Queen
Author: Susan Carroll
genre: historical romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books