I picked up this book because there was supposed to be a lot of intrigue and murder and sorcery in it. I read the reviews stating there was a "dash" of romance, and thought "eh, I don't like romance novels, but I'll give this a try."
Don't be fooled. About 150 pages went by before there was anything of extreme note that did NOT have to do with romance. While the middle/end of the book focused more on the intrigue, etc., this book read (to me, who doesn't like romance novels) as a romance novel with some other stuff thrown in.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the story, or the characters. I did. It's a fluffy book, pretty easy to read, and the parts with Catherine de Medici were fascinating. I just wish the book had purported to be more about romance, because it was.
First in the series and very well written. An enjoying read with lots of historical details, a bit of the paranormal and a dash of romance too. Interesting characters and a well thought out plot round out this book and make it a very enjoyable read.
Excellant historical fiction. This is the first three, The Courtesan and The Silver Rose being 2 and 3, respectively. I highly recommend it
The plot was sometimes cliche, dragged on too long and at times defied logic, but I enjoyed reading this book anyway. This breezy novel pits Ariane Cheney, the wise woman of Faire Isle, against the dark machinations of Catherine de Medici, the dowager Queen of France. Ariane must unravel a murder plot, defy witch hunters and keep her headstrong sisters out of trouble, all while trying to deny her attraction to the powerful, enigmatic Comte de Renard. I liked the characters enough that I will probably read the rest of the trilogy, which continues with "The Courtesan" and "The Silver Rose."
I tore through this book. Each and every page held my interest. A great beginning to a trilogy
This was a delightful story of Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle, the oldest of the Cheney sisters and the daughter of Evangeline Cheney, a beloved Lady of Faire Isle who was so respected and loved that the people of the Isle erected a statue of her. To live up to her mother's reputation seems difficult at best for Ariane as she struggles to protect the people of Faire Isle as well as guide and love her younger sisters, Gabrielle and Miri. In her struggle to become a true Lady of Faire Isle, Ariane finds fault with herself again and again as she believes that whatever happens to the people of the Isle and her sisters is her failure to protect them. Ariane turns to the comte de Renard, who has decided that Ariane will become his wife, one way or another. She falls in love with this great oaf of a stranger and he with her. When a wounded stranger arrives seeking guidance he brings with him a pair of magically poisoned gloves which have been used to kill the queen. As Ariane seeks to unravel the dark magic that created the poison she runs afoul of Queen Catherine de Medici, The Dark Queen, who was once her mother' s friend and likewise was responsible for Evangeline's death.
The first three books of this series are positively addictive. Though at times the book teeters on harlequin romance, it is a tale of compelling characters and addictive plot. Each character is well developed and you really "get to know" them. Be prepared to read all three (Dark Queen, The Courtesan, The Silver Rose)
A good read, not incredibly exciting and takes a bit to get into the plot.
The Dark Queen was an enjoyable novel that took me into the world of Ariane the oldest of the Cheney sisters , three young girls on the verge of their twenties who having lost their Mother are now facing the debts that their Father left behind when he fled on a sea voyage to escape their Mother's illness and his guilt at having caused part of her heart ache because of his illicit affair in far off Paris.
Ariane struggles as she takes her place as the Lady of Fair Isle, who is known for protecting the inhabitants of the Island and passing down the secrets of its healing healing myths and legends to her daughters. She has learned everything she needs to know from her recently deceased Mother, and is struggling to raise her two sisters, as they grieve the total loss of one parent, and the disappearance of another. Gabrielle the middle sister is set on escaping the island, and her past which the book, hints at is not a pleasant one, because of the pain caused by a past suitor. And this is the least Ariane's problem's as an errant soldier comes to stay, the younger sister half nymph in training, invite's stray animal's with a look to come to roost in their home, and the local comte Renard and Ariane, fight on and off, as he vighs, for her hand in marriage with or without her cosent; which she seems more than at times willing to give.
This book will keep you turning the pages into the night as the first in a series of truly bewitching novels.
I had higher hopes for this book. It was good, but the romance pretty much over road anything else that might have been interesting in the book. It was better than the average romantic drivel, but still the romance was the plot. Sigh. I love historical fiction for bringing into that period of time, but this book only gives a small glimpse. I liked the book better until the end where it had the typical romantic ending of the male lead forced to give up his deepest darkest secrets to prove his love. Oh please. At any rate, it is an easy mostly entertaining read that sets you up for the next books in the series and I admit I'm interested enough to order the next 3.
A fun book full of suspence, romance and a little magic thrown in just to make it more entertaining.
I liked this book well enough. It was a little predictable at times. It's basically a romance novel with some witchcraft thrown in.
This book was pretty good though i thought it ended kind of weak.
This book was really good. Very romantic and I fell in love with the characters (well, most of them).
Ready for the next one! :D While I don't care for the references to witchcraft in the book, I still enjoyed it thoroughly.
Good read with romance, supernatural and suspense