by: Susan Carroll
Published by: Ballantine
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Reviewed by Kathy Perschmann
Susan Carroll is the author of the Daughters of the Earth series: The Dark Queen, The Courtesan, and The Silver Rose.
This series is set in France in the 1580s. This book is the story of Cat O’Hanlon, the assistant to Ariane Cheney Deauville. Cat, the Huntress, is skilled in warfare of all sorts, including swords, and longbow. Ariane, the oldest of three sisters, is a healer and leader on Faire Isle, off the coast of France, a haven for the Daughters of the Earth, sort of white witches.
There are evil witches, including Queen Catherine de Medici, and a group sworn to serve the Silver Rose, a witch whose destiny is to destroy Catherine and lead the Daughters to great power through her ability to decipher the ancient Book of Shadows. The Silver Rose is actually Meg, the young daughter of Martin le Loup. Martin and Meg are in hiding somewhere in England, and Cat must find them and protect them, and bring them to the Faire Isle for safekeeping. Martin is in London working in the theatre, and for Walsingham, the advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, as a spy.
It is an exciting time when men can make their fortunes through strategic alliances. Martin is devoted to his young daughter, wants to raise her as a young gentlewoman, and hopes to make her forget all memories of her witch mother, Cassandra and her knowledge of the Book of Shadows. Cat cannot make Martin flee to the Faire Isle, so she remains in their house to keep them safe. Cat also tries to help a very confused Meg, and to ignore her feelings for Martin.
Evil and dark events threaten both Meg and Martin, as minions of the Dark Queen, Catherine de Medici and followers of the Silver Rose both try to get to Meg and the Book. Queen Elizabeth faces threats from plotters and must decide how to deal with the menace of her older Catholic sister, Queen Mary. There are dashing fights, fires, arrows, devious plots, arrests by the queen’s soldiers, tattoos of allegiance, magic and romance galore in this thrilling sequel to The Silver Rose.
Armchair Interviews says: Susan Carroll does it again.
Author’s Web site: http://www.SusanCarroll.org
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