In Edinburgh 1591, Maidred Brody is being executed. Found guilty of being a witch, she is sentenced to die by fire along side another well known witch names Tamsin Rivers.
Everyone in town has turned out to watch the execution, including the king himself, James I. Maidred’s brother, Robert Brody, plans on appealing to the king and begging his sister’s pardon.
When James refuses, Robert watches unable to do anything but watch her die. At that moment he vows his revenge on King James….someone will answer for this miscarriage of justice.
As the witches burn, Tamsin Rivers calls out a curse on the House of Stuart forever striking fear in the heart of King James.
Years later in Brittany The Lady of Faire Isle, Margaret “Meg” Wolfe, is called to attend a young girl who has been cursed by a local suspected witch. Meg is a known witch herself but not an evil witch….a white witch, a healer….a curse breaker.
When she arrives at the girls home, she is being attended by a London physician, Dr Blackwood, who stubbornly refuses to allow Meg a chance to interfere. But when things take a turn for the worst, Blackwood has no choice but to allow Meg to try.
Once Meg rectifies the situation, she returns to her room with her companion Seraphine. The following day, Blackwood and his friend, Sir Patrick Graham, seek out the ladies and ask them to accompany them to London.
The king is in fear for his life. Strange incidents have been happening to him and he can’t get the curse out of his head. He is sure another witch can lift it but only one with great power….The Lady of Faire Isle herself. Blackwood and Graham were on their way to search for Meg when she appeared at the village.
They tell Meg what has been happening in London to the King….he has seen a ghost that he thinks is Tamsin Rivers and when he sends his guards after it, all they are able to find are silver rose petals left behind. They think a coven is responsible….the coven who worships the Silver Rose, a dark witch known as Megaera.
Meg agrees to follow the men to London to see if she can break the curse cast over the King. Though she believes the curse is nothing more than a fake, she goes because she wants to know more about the coven following the Silver Rose. Though she has been warned against traveling to London and she does not trust the two men, Meg goes with them anyway….like them she is harboring a dangerous secret that involves the coven that they have described.
This is a magical tale of love, treason, adventure, murder, and redemption. I loved this story. When I downloaded it, I was not aware that it was part of a series….I thought it was a stand alone book. I supposed it could have been a stand alone but there were a few references to other characters and plot lines that I was confused about so clearly it was meant to be part of a series instead of a stand alone novel.
The novel started a little slow for me for some reason…I don’t really have a good reason as to why but it just took me a while to get into it but once I did it clipped along nicely….maybe I would have liked a little more action or romance to begin with? Hard to say.
I loved the romance between Meg and Blackwood but I wanted to play up the sexual tension more. I thought they made a good pair….I loved that he was kind of a rogue with a big heart and she was feisty but yet tender….I would just liked to have seen more of a build up to the first kiss and maybe a little more conflict between the two….but in general I thought it was a solid romance.
I haven’t read a lot of lit with witches as the main source of supernatural elements but I have to say I thought it worked well in this book. The novel still read like a historic fiction book with the supernaturalism being more of a subtle extra….it wasn’t the main focus of the book which I enjoyed.
I loved Meg as the protagonist, she was likable and easy to identify with….for me personally I am probably more like Seraphine but I still enjoyed reading Meg. I didn’t see the final twist coming either…it’s not often that I am taken by surprise but I was at the end. I won’t spoil it for anyone but clearly people aren’t what they seem :).
This series sort of reminds me of The Pink Carnation series with witches/magic. So if you are a fan of those books you will probably really enjoy this series :). I am really excited to read more of the Dark Queen Saga for sure!
And one final thought…..can I just say….I am in absolute cover lust with this book :). Purple is my fav color and I simply loved this cover design. Whoever created it was right on the money…..the artist captured mystique, allure, and romance all in one. Nicely done….it is beautiful!
- Paperback, 448 pages
- Expected publication: December 11th 2012 by Ballantine Books
- ISBN 0345502957 (ISBN13: 9780345502957)
- Copy provided by: Publisher via NetGalley
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5 (a bewitching tale of love, treason, and magic)
Genre: Historic fiction, pararomance, magic/witch fiction
There will be times when you must stand back and let others find their own healing.
Sometimes when you are at the lowest ebb in your life, help can come from the most unexpected places, whether you deserve it or not.