Review: Queen of Shadows

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

Quick Take:
This book gripped from the first page and never let go. The tone is dark, yet filled with tenderness at the right moments. I am officially in love with Sylvan's tight writing style.

Book Description (from GoodReads):
     Overwhelmed by her uncanny ability to manipulate people's emotions through her music, Miranda Grey comes to the attention of vampire lord David Solomon. Believing he can help bring her magic under control, David discovers that Miranda's powers may affect the vampire world too...
For all the urban fantasy I read, I find that I don't delve into the much darker stuff as often as I'd like. Indeed the lighter and more witty fare is so easily accessible; what can I say, I'm a happy-sappy-gal! But when a dark urban fantasy book gets it right, it will knock me out and is ultimately the stuff that stays with me the longest and deepest. This book was just that type of UF.

If you're a frequent reader of urban fantasy, you'll already have noticed that many of the genre's titles are written in the first person. This book--being in the third person and switching narrative perspective amongst a few characters (for development of certain plot points)--obviously differs from the trend but works marvelously. It really boils down to the fact that Ms. Sylvan has a wonderful way with words. I was just as engrossed with her description of an empty room as I was with a fight scene. Given that much, narrative perspective didn't matter. ^_^

I must say, the connection with the protagonist Miranda Grey was immediate. The author shows the character's suffering due to her bizarre powers being raw and uncontrolled; you can easily see the hopelessness of her situation. Things go from bad to worse and are (in a way) painful to follow but impossible to turn from. It was easy to buy into the nightmarish world Miranda finds herself in, as well as her attempts at healing and her struggles to recover.

Dianne Sylvan knows how to put your emotions through the paces! There were times when my stomach was twisted with anxiousness, and others where I felt the sweet flutteries right alongside the protagonists. And regarding the latter…the progression of romance was exquisite! This is an area in which further description on my part is probably not going to be helpful: context is everything.

Sylvan's visuals and well-placed details work such wonders in this book; I could go on indefinitely in praise of them. But I won't. (You're welcome. ^_^) I'll simply say that if you enjoy urban fantasy of the darker variety, you'll need to pick this one up. The series could literally go in any direction based on this first installment…but it's already clear that it's going to be amazing no matter what.

Rating: 5 of 5 stars


  1. I loved that the hero was a hot tech geek!!!! This book got 5 from me, too, and I can't wait for the next one in July!

  2. Absolutely. A dead-sexy tech geek with a cool indie musician. A match made in UF heaven. ^_^

    Oh, July hurry hurry! The synopsis for book two looks really interesting.

  3. A new vampire series (or new to me). I like happy-sappy books too...although I love books with a dark, sarcastic voice too.

  4. I am sure on the look after some great UF, I just love the genre, and this one sounds good, and dark

  5. Ooh, and dark it is. ^_^ Though not unbearably so. Finished the book uplifted...but the author makes you work for it. heh...

  6. Hey there! Just stopping by that I have given you the Stylish Blogger Award. You can find it on my blogpost here:

  7. How the heck did I miss this one? It sounds positively yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Yet another recommendation... You're on a roll! Can't wait to get my hands on this! Hopefully my library has it... *crosses her fingers*

  9. Hey Cait! I hope they do have it; this one's a keepr for sure. I look forward to your thoughts on it if (when? ^_^) you read it!


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