Queen of Shadows (Shadow World #1) by Dianne Sylvan

Released: August 31, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 389
Publisher: Ace
ISBN-13: 987-0-441-01925-0

Ah, the last of my books for the Dark Faerie Tales’ debut urban fantasy authors challenge. I was hesitant to pick up this novel because the model in the cover art looks like she’s got a cold and a demon riding her but I ended up going with it since I thought the combination of empathy, music, and vampires would be fun.

Dianne Sylvan‘s urban fantasy debut centres around Miranda Grey, an Austin-based empath who channels emotions through her music. When we meet her, her powers are out of control and she’s withdrawn from the world as much as possible. On the way home from one of her gigs, she’s attacked a rape by a group of men, who she kills using her powers. David Solomon, the Prime of the South, i.e., grand poobah of the vampires in the area, takes her under his wing to teach her about her gifts, even as he’s under attack from other vampires who don’t like the way he’s running things. Oh, and they fall in love.

While I found certain aspects of Queen of Shadows satisfying, I wasn’t thrilled with the novel overall. Miranda and David have obvious chemistry, which is good, as are the supporting characters. My favourite is Faith, though Sophie is a close second. I also like that Miranda has a lot of spunk when it comes to the romantic parts of the story, and isn’t willing to just wait around for David to sweep her off her feet. The idea that music is how Miranda starts using her empathy is also cool, as is the way she can convey both positive and negative emotions. I think that Dianne Sylvan’s done a great job of showing both the good and the bad of Miranda’s powers. I also like the way she’s set up vampiric society, and the idea of the Prime and Queen of a region being magically chosen. It adds a nice bit of destiny to the pairing and is key to some of the plot developments.

The sequel is slated to come out in July and I’m not sure whether I’ll pick it up or not. I’m going to wait and see how I feel a few months from now.

Yay for finishing the reading challenge!! (And phew!)

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