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, 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.
Do you have an author that you've heard amazing things about but never got around to reading him or her? Well, Susan Carroll, is that author. And what you may ask made me break down and finally read her. Easy answer, sheer boredom. Yep, that's right, boredom. I haven't read a really good historical series in ages, and I'm a sucker for historical series. I find only one book is too little, I want more...
Anyway, back to the book. The Dark Queen is the first book of The Dark Queen series. It's the love story between Ariane and Renard, set during 1572, a very dark time, not only for the so called heretics but also the citizens of France because of Catherine di Medici. Although I realize that the book is a work of fiction, I enjoyed that the author maintained a certain historical significance, but she also took some liberties, and that did not bother me at all. I was more interested on what was going on with Ariane, Renard and her sisters.
Ariane takes her role as the Lady of Faire Isle seriously, she wants to protect her sisters, her island and her customs. Renard wants to protect Ariane from the outside world, but she does not want his help, she's strong and independent and does not need help. And here is where the magic ring comes in. I really love the way the story revolves around the ring, ok, maybe revolves is too strong of a word, but it has a very strong presence within the story. I love the mystical aspects of it. Plus, you add disturbed witch-hunters and the book was in full form. I absolutely loved this book.
I cannot wait to get the second book of the series, The Courtesan.
The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll (4.5/5) Historical Fiction; Published: Ballantine Books (3/2005); Series: # 1, The Dark Queen; New Author; Library; Books 2012 (44);