Twilight of a Queen

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Twilight of a Queen

Twilight of a Queen is the Fifth book in "The Dark Queen" Series. In order the books are: The Huntress, The Silver Rose, The Courtesan, The Dark Queen, and now the conclusion-Twilight of a Queen.
Catherine De Medici, is the dark queen, known for her dabbling into witchcraft and sorcery. She is blamed for all that goes wrong in her kingdom. A true character in real life this book is a fictionalized account of her life as an aging queen struggling to control her kingdom, her weak son Henri.
She needs to find the Book of Shadows and employs the help of charlatans and false magicians but so far no one has led her to the book. Though now Xavier knows more than he could possibly know without actually using magic. She sends him to find the Book of Shadows and help bring the Silver Rose, a young woman named Meg, to the Dark Queen. It is said the Silver Rose has great and dangerous powers that Catherine wants.
On Xavier's journey her comes in contact with Lady Jane Danvers, another historical character who is exiled on Faire Isle. Xavier is drawn to this kind, honorable and passionate woman.
It is a very complex tale full of twists and turns and a lot of intriguing historical detail and minute connections between characters.
This is the first book I have read in the series and I am thoroughly intrigued. I love reading about history in a fictional sense, especially when you toss the paranormal into the mix. It really makes you wonder, what if and maybe because really even what is written in the history books are not entirely accurate. It is all pieces and snapshots formed together to try to get a whole picture. Maybe fiction and thought can fill in where history books leave off.
Now I have to go back and read the first four books of the series. I want to know what I missed.
In this book it really didn't focus so much on Catherine, which is what I expected. I suppose maybe the other books focused more on her. This book really showcased the relationship between Xavier and Jane with a little bit of all the complex characters and relationships thrown in here and there.
Twilight of a Queen is a fascinating look at the alternate history of real people that once lived and loved and even were hated. It even coincides well with actual events and the history that is well written.

Book Blurb for Twilight of a Queen

As war and treachery loom, an ambitious man’s mission threatens to topple two dazzling realms and their formidable rulers: Catherine de Medici, the Dark Queen, and Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle.

It is 1588, and as the Spanish Armada prepares to besiege England, Paris balances on the brink of revolution. To maintain her grip on the throne and on the dark magic that has become her obsession, Catherine de Medici turns to Louis Xavier, a ruthless corsair who was schooled in the dark arts and has mastered piracy along the Spanish main. But Louis’s basest instincts are held in check by the kindness of Lady Jane Danvers, a British exile whose innate sense of honor is but one facet of her complex and passionate nature.

On Faire Isle, Ariane Cheney, unaware of the escalating threat from the Dark Queen, struggles with the task of protecting the daughters of the earth and their vast store of ancient magical wisdom. Weak and desperate for an advantage, the ailing Catherine makes a devil’s bargain that will cast a shadow over all.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2009 3.75