The Dark Queen
by Susan Carroll
Category: Fiction / Historical
544 pages; ISBN: 0345437969
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Dark Queen
Ballantine, Apr 2005, $13.95, 544 pp.
Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle, refuses to wed Comte de Renauld though he is persistent to the point of waiting for her at the altar. When she fails to show up, he comes to see her and is very kind to her younger sisters Gabrielle and Mirabelle though the latter “stole” his horse. Renauld gives Ariane a magic ring in which he will come to her if she asks for him; but upon the third use they will marry. He leaves.
Not long afterward Navarre Captain Remy arrives badly wounded. He gives Ariane proof that Catherine de Medici poisoned his ruler Queen Jeanne D’Albret. By coming here with his evidence of murder, Remy has endangered Ariane and her two siblings from the deadly Dark Queen. To keep her sisters safe, Ariane uses the ring twice and Renard comes to her aid. He frees her from the third time marriage vow although he still wants to marry her for one simple reason; he loves the Lady of Faire Isle.
THE DARK QUEEN is a wonderful first of three historical suspense tales (Ariane’s sisters to follow) with a pinch of both the otherworldly and romance to spice up the deep look at the Medici era. Ariane is a terrific independent soul worried for her sisters especially the twelve years old Mirabelle who talks with horses, which lead to a declaration of witchcraft that means death. The story line is action-packed but character driven as the noble Renauld knows he must go slower with his beloved and Catherine is Machiavelli’s “prince” with her deadly machinations. Susan Carroll writes a wonderful historical thriller that will have the audience eagerly awaiting Gabrielle’s story.
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