If you saw my review of the first book in this series, Queen of Shadows, you know that I adore this series. I wasn’t all impressed with the synopsis (of either of these books, actually), but please please do not let that deter you. After reading Queen of Shadows, I was glad I had Shadowflame by Dianne Sylvan on deck, ready to go. The action was so much more in this book and Sylvan ups her game with an even more intriguing and mysterious story arc.
It’s been three months since musician Miranda Grey became a vampire and married David Solomon, Prime of the South. As Queen, Miranda must quickly come to terms with her new role and learn how to negotiate the treacherous waters of Signet politics, inevitably making dangerous enemies along the way.
As if complicated vampire politics and a rising music career weren’t enough, an enigmatic but powerful force from David’s past appears, leaving a wake of chaos and uncertainty for the Pair’s fledgling relationship. Miranda begins to realize how little she really knows about her husband. But when an assassin begins targeting her friends and allies, the Pair must track down the killer, even as their lives hang in the balance…
Shadowflame picks up a few months after the end of Queen of Shadows, so Miranda and David have married and are trying to figure out how this whole being Paired thing works, as well as Miranda figuring out vampire politics. Miranda is a pretty quick learner, even if her snark and temper sometimes get the better of her (hey, she’s a red-head… *wink*). Miranda and David have to deal with all the other Primes from different territories coming for official visits. And um, you’ll like what Miranda and her friend Kat nickname the visits, but it’s not exactly PG-13 *G*.
Now you know that the anxiety of these official state visits and learning how to navigate being a Pair is so not the only thing Sylvan throws at Miranda and David. Someone is trying to assassinate both of them and are not only targeting the Pair, but humans close to Miranda in an attempt to cause fear and panic. So, now they have to try and figure out who is behind the attempts. To add to the plot, a Prime (for the Northeast US…who is not a friend or ally) may have a similar problem. The twists and turns in this story arc will leave you guessing until the end when almost all (I’m wondering if the unresolved thread is the set up for book 3, Shadow’s Fall) is revealed. And it will leave you rather shocked. One final twist is added in when Sylvan throws a wrench into the happy relationship between David and Miranda and Miranda must decide, on her own, how to handle it. I’ll admit this plot twist was more or less out of left field and a WTF kind of moment. But, that said, I didn’t have the issue with it that some readers have had.
I finished this book in one sitting, it was that good. The pacing was a bit better than Queen of Shadows, as I felt there was more action with all the sub-plots going on. The revelations that occur in this book will leave you shocked IMHO and I’m still not sure how I feel about some. As I mentioned, not everything is nicely resolved in Shadowflame as it was in Queen of Shadows. I’m already counting down until March 2012 for the release of Shadow’s Fall.
Queen of Shadows
Shadow’s Fall (release March , 2012)