Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Silver Rose by Susan Carroll

The third book in the Faire Isle trilogy, following on from The Dark Queen and The Courtesan.

From Brittany's fog-shrouded forests to the elegant dark heart of Paris's royal court, one woman must challenge a country's destiny-and her own dangerous fate.

France, 1585. She is the youngest and most powerful of the "Sisters of Faire Isle," women known far and wide for their extraordinary mystical abilities. Skilled in healing and able to forecast the future of those around her, Miri Cheney has returned to her ancestral home to take refuge from a land devastated by civil war-and to grieve for her family, driven to exile. But she cannot hide from the formidable new power threatening to seize control of France from the dread "Dark Queen," Catherine de Medici-a diabolical woman known only as the Silver Rose. Miri has no choice but to turn to the one man she distrusts as much as she desires: Simon Aristide, the charismatic witch-finder who is now himself the hunted, and who has reluctantly made an unholy pact with Catherine. Miri must defy throne and family to save all that she loves most-and command a future greater than she could ever imagine.

Vibrant with stunning historical detail, alive with characters as richly passionate as they are compelling, The Silver Rose is a sweeping, exquisitely wrought tale from a mesmerizing storyteller.

When the legendary witch hunter Simon Aristide, is becoming the hunted rather than the hunter, he turns to the one person who he would prefer not to - Miri Cheney. Miri was just a young girl living on the Faire Isle when he first met her, but he betrayed her and nearly caused her to be tried as a witch. Some years later he met her as a young lady in Paris, but he was well and truly entrenched in his role as witch hunter, and she was once again betrayed.

After many years of living in exile, Miri has returned to live on the Faire Isle, looking to recapture her lost happiness. For Miri, Simon was a young boy that she first came to love during an idyllic summer that nearly ended in tragedy. When he reappears asking for her assistance Miri is reluctant, especially once she understood that he was asking for her assistance in tracking down a witch.

Miri has always thought of herself, and others like her, as a wise woman, as opposed to a witch, and getting Simon to understand the difference was a big part of their journey, but in a way another part was having Simon find the man behind the witch hunter. The young boy with a happy family life, who survived in the face of tragedy, and who was taken in and taught to hate and fear. Ah...Simon. He would have to be write up there with the most tortured heroes every written..surely. Not only is the man terribly scarred, and missing an eye, but he really is a good man as well struggling to live with the way he had previously lived his life and the actual and emotional consequences of that life.

Miri was practically engaged to Wolf, a man who had been her loyal friend, for many years, but she had always held back from committing to him, and from allowing any kind of hanky panky. In a way I felt sorry for Wolf even though he was a bit of a womaniser. I liked him from the time we first met him in the second book in the trilogy, and I was really scared that something horrible was going to happen to him. It was certainly an interesting twist in the story for him during this book. The other really interesting twist was the identity of The Silver Rose!

This third book is definitely one that you will appreciate more if you have read the two books proceeding it in the series. I am not sure if there is going to be more books related to this one, but there certainly seems to be scope for it particularly in relation to Wolf who you may notice I have a certain tenderness for! I for one would certainly read any future books.

One small note to the author though...please, please get a website so that your fans have some idea about what is coming up next! Having read and enjoyed this trilogy, I will definitely be trying to find whatever books I can of Susan Carroll's backlist. Anyone have any idea what she is working on now?

Rating 4.5/5

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review, Marg! I, too, got the impression there might be another book in this universe coming up. Did you notice the body of a certain person who's presumed dead was never actually found? It would be really difficult to redeem this person, but considering how well Carroll did it with Simon, it's definitely possible!



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