Queen of Sinister (Dark Age) Paperback – 2005
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A pandemic plague attacked Britain. No one knows the source only those who catch it die violently and painfully. Dr. Caitlin Shepherd tries her best, but the twenty-eight year old mom feels overwhelmed as she is too young to be in charge, but out of default is. feeling helpless. She is hammered further when her beloved husband Grant and their son catches the deadly infection at a time the town is invaded by a horde whose purple mist causes incredible depression and despair. Caitlin feels helpless between the plague killing her family and these Whisperers mentally destroying anyone unfortunate to get in their way. However her friend witch Mary Holden introduces Caitlin to Professor Crowther; he insists the GP is a Sister of Dragons and the only hope to curing the plague. All she has to do is enter the Otherworld is to find the magic elixir. Caitlin and Crowther begin the quest accompanied by the female teen Magalia , the young male mute Carlton, , and Matt seeking his daughter he insists Faeries carried away.
This entertaining tale is not on the epic proportions of the Age of Misrule trilogy or this saga's predecessor The Devil in Green. Still The Queen of Sinister is an intriguing fantasy as the heroine and her teammates cross into the Otherworld on a quest with little hope of success. Filled with action throughout and an incredible twist, fans of the author will want to join Caitlin as she treks across a realm from Celtic mythos to save what is left of her local world starting with her two loved ones.
Anyone reading these trilogies will, as I did, think this is a disappointing book, that is too far removed from the beloved if flawed characters in The Age of Misrule books. But trust me on this, having now read the series, this book is a bridge between the original five Brothers and Sisters of Dragons and all those who will follow.
To give just a little tease, we do meet up with the original five again but to say anymore would be a spoiler.
In the last of the Dark Age books, "The Hounds of Avalon" it all starts to come into focus but the whole complex story becomes much more clear in the first of the next trilogy "Jack of Ravens".
So although I didn't think of this book as the best in the series I do think it was, if a bit less polished than the four previous, necessary and perhaps important to set the basis for the last trilogy.
Try the first book, " Age of Misrule, World's End " I think you will like it.
She has a few companions, is a Sister of Dragons, gets help from the Goddess in the form of the Morrigan, and still screws up.
Unfortunately the novel's brand new set of characters just isn't as interesting as the one from The Devil in Green or the AGE OF MISRULE trilogy. The novel starts out well, with protagonist Caitlin Shepherd, a medical doctor, trying her best to ease the suffering of the many victims of a devastating plague. The first two chapters of the novel are actually some of the most powerful and emotionally gripping in the series so far, but after this promising start, The Queen of Sinister falls flat. The cast of side characters is initially interesting, but never as likable as you'd hope based on previous books, and -- even worse -- a bit predictable.
After its strong start, The Queen of Sinister adapts the now familiar pattern of travel across the ravaged English countryside and the mystical Far Lands, on a quest for an item or solution (in this case, a cure for the plague), interspersed with some horror, some mysticism, and plenty of action scenes. Readers will recognize the world's mystical underpinnings from the previous books, but -- maybe because all of it is by now very familiar -- Mark Chadbourn occasionally starts to sound preachy here.
Combine all of this with a plot that at times seems quite haphazard, and The Queen of Sinister is easily the weakest novel in the series so far. If you loved the previous books, you'll probably find some things to like here, but in the final analysis, The Queen of Sinister comes across as a weak novel in a generally strong series. Here's hoping that Mark Chadbourn will regain command of his formula and pull it all together convincingly in the trilogy's final volume, The Hounds of Avalon.