Queen Of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan (Shadow World #1)
August 31, 2010
Paperback, 400 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Maybe you have time to spend your life afraid. I don’t.”
Miranda Grey feels she is slowly going insane. When she burst on to the Austin music scene with her guitar and astonishing voice, she became an instant success. But that success is demanding a horrible price. She is able to manipulate people’s emotions. But now her powers have grown beyond her control and she is slowing sinking into a never ending madness of sadness and secrets. When she is brutally attacked, her powers manifest themselves into a devastating weapon of destruction. As she lays dying, a stranger comes to her rescue.
David Solomon, Prime of the South, is a vampire. He is in all regards, the king of the Austin vampires. When he outlawed killing humans, he ignited a civil war among the vampires in his sovereign. His growing concern over the welfare of humans angers the older vampires who feel that humans are nothing more than cattle to be slaughtered at will. When David has a chance meeting with Miranda, a connection is made. Later, that connection calls to him and leads him to Miranda as she lays dying. David decides to help Miranda and takes her to his home, Haven. he feels the connection with Miranda growing stronger. As he tries to help her heal in both body and soul, the attraction between them grows stronger with each passing day. But David faces mutiny and deceit within his own ranks and knows Miranda cannot stay in his world. Already she is becoming a liability that can be used against him in this war. David regretfully sends her away but has no clue to the strength and determination Miranda has concerning him. As Miranda and David each get on with their lives, fate has them circling back to each other. When Miranda is forcefully dragged into the vampire war, she will do whatever it takes to be with David.
While the Queen of Shadows is being touted as an Urban Fantasy, I feel it’s more of a paranormal romance due to its character driven storyline. While the plot is engaging and action packed, it takes second place to our two protagonists. Suspenseful and sensual, Ms. Sylvan creates a fantasy world the builds and revolves around the romance of Miranda and David. While the path of their romance is long and filled with twists and turns, it is worth the wait. Miranda displays all the believable emotions of someone who is teetering on the edge. I enjoyed her humor,self deprecation, and quiet strength. She is not your average paranormal heroine. I cheered as she took her future in hand and went from victim to victor.
David was a treat as a very modern vampire. Fully embracing current technology, David is not mired in the past and doesn’t come off out of place or evasive as some paranormal romance vampires do. The combination of ruthless predator and computer geek is very attractive. RAWR!
The chemistry between them is like a slow starting fire. Little flames licking along the edges until in one explosive moment the fire catches and burns uncontrollably.
The grab of this story for me was the “soulmate” premise. While this is not a new storyline, Ms. Sylvan infuses it with new life and we are given two unique protagonists that offer a refreshing change to the scene. I also enjoyed the absence of what I call the never ending emotional Samsonite. While they both have their own demons to deal with, there was no HUGE problem that would cause them not to be able to be together without much needed therapy, crying, and sacrifice. I do enjoy a tortured hero and heroine as much as the next person, but the often over dramatization of that whole scenario becomes stale and annoying after awhile.
The mystery of the story is well thought out with just enough back ground to keep you mesmerized without overwhelming you. With some firsts in a series your either given to much information or not enough. This one reads fast and smooth with no awkward pauses or conundrums to leave you guessing. The secondary characters are vivid and personable. A few stand out as possible stories themselves. Faith is one of them. As David’s second in command, she is both humorous and fierce. She lends a credibility to the story and helps to bridge certain scenes. The climatic ending in a study in emotional ups and downs.
All in all a very enjoyable well written start in a new PNR series that I will definitely recommend and continue to read.