Thursday, June 6, 2013

REVIEW: QUEEN OF DARKNESS (Hayle Coven, #12) by Patti Larsen

Title: Queen of Darkness
Series: Hayle Coven, #12
Author: Patti Larsen
Publisher: Patti Larsen Books
Publication Date: December 21, 2012
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Source: Received from author for review
Ellen’s star rating: 5/5


Trial by Vampire

“We are within our rights to bring you here without your permission.” The vampire Queen finally spoke, tearing my gaze from the others. I focused on her as she went on, motionless, voice velvet over jagged ice. “You've stolen our power, and we want it back.”

Um, what?

Me, Sydlynn, the vampire essence inside me sent. They want me.

Oh, hell no.

Syd’s pre-Harvard California vacation is supposed to leave her relaxed and ready for another year of study. And the family shower she’s hosting for Sunny’s upcoming wedding to Frank should be a milestone of happiness. Trouble is, an uninvited guest has other ideas. Kidnapped by the Wilhelm vampire clan, Syd is forced to face the ruling Queens who claim possession of the undead essence Syd carries, with the intent of having her give it up or, if she resists, removing it from her by any means necessary.


With four magical essences inside her, Syd is growing more powerful as well as more self-confident. Unfortunately these essences are highly desirable to power hungry individuals like, for instance, Ameline Benoit. This time however, it is the vampires who want their initial essence back from her. Syd is abducted by said vampires to an Austrian castle so she can be forced to give up the essence and soon the Witch Councils as well as the vampire clans are at one another's throats. In the middle of all this the Brotherhood of sorcerers is also lurking, ready to cause mayhem.

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed Queen of Darkness. There is never a dull moment as Syd is caught up in vampire intrigue, back stabbing (or is it biting?), and the feud between two queens - one of whom she knows all too well. Syd describes these queens as:

"Diva drama queens, literally, pushing each other back and forth, a pair of whiny cheerleader captains who just happened to have enough power to make it a problem for half a continent."
Fortunately Syd retains her snarky personality, hilarious thought patterns and amusing inner dialogue throughout the trials she has to face in this story. With every new book in this series Syd's character develops and grows.  She is becoming more focused, and doesn't succumb to misuse of her considerable power. She is much less angsty over Quaid and she even crushes on the delectable Sebastian with his old world charm.

Once again I was touched by the moral support Syd gets from her magical family, her mother and sister, her werewolf body guard and, of course, Sassafras. And in the middle of all this chaos a wedding is being planned.

In Queen of Darkness secrets from former books are revealed so I would strongly recommend you read the first eleven books in the series before reading this one. Once again I proclaim this book a five star read. A standing ovation for the brilliant Patti Larsen!



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