Shadow World #2
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...
Diane Sylvan is the queen of emotional storytelling. She takes the story exactly where she thinks it needs to go, even if it's not pretty. But I'm ok with not pretty. I quite enjoy not pretty. Shadowflame rung me dry. I was kind of a mess for a couple days, but in the best way possible. If the characters you read about don't move you, don't ignite emotions, don't become a part of your soul then what's the point.
David and Miranda are very different characters this time around. Right from the very beginning, the story of these two characters felt more solid. Miranda has developed into a very stable and self-aware character. She's embracing her status as Queen, and every crappy thing that title might entail. She is put through the ringer in this book, but she can handle. You Can Too! David is more exposed and pretty much torn open this time around. And again, it's no picnic. But boy did I become more and more engrossed with his character. Which I think I needed. I always liked him, he's one of our protagonists, but now I feel like I know him, like I understand him more. And through the events that take place, I became more attached to Miranda as well. You kind of just have to trust the author.
There are a lot of new characters introduced this time as well. It helped create new interest in a story that could have been in danger of becoming a repeat. The plot sets a fast pace, which makes you push through the emotional side of the story. The adventure and mystery of the plot will also fuel your continuation. There are parts of the story left a little loose by the end, which already has me guessing at what could be in store for our characters next.
Bottom Line: I loved it. Even the gritty, hard parts. Sylvan goes where other authors don't dare. And I praise her for it.