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The Lady of Secrets: A Novel (The Dark Queen Saga)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon December 11, 2012
In 1605, healer Margaret Wolfe feels relief with the death of her mad mom Cassandra Lascelles the witch. Now the Lady of the Faire Isle following the death of her beloved mentor Ariane, Meg returns home, accompanied by Contessa Seraphine Beaufoy, knowing everyone is wary of her power due to her mother's mad misuse. She plans to lay low and enjoy the sense of feeling safe at last.

King James dispatches Sir Patrick Graham and Dr. Armagil Blackwood to Faire Isle to escort Lady Meg to his court where a witch's curse devastates the royals. Meg is attracted to the kind Sir Graham while keeping her distant from the sullen physician. Trusting no one especially anyone engaging her heart, Meg deploys her bewitching powers to identify the culprit behind a dangerous magical spell that has placed the monarch, his family and his retinue in peril.

Though the Dark Queen is dead, Susan Carroll superbly continues her historical romantic fantasy saga (see Twilight of a Queen) with a fabulous entry that follows the adventures in magic and love of the newest Lady of the Faire Isle. Fast-paced from the moment Graham and Dr. Armagil Blackwood come for Meg, readers will appreciate this deep thriller as the heroine knows the risk she takes by deploying her paranormal skills at a time when curse phobia has led to witch burnings.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2013
I was glad to read about old friends again in this continuing story line. I would recommend this book if you liked the first books in the series.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
I enjoyed Meg Wolfe immensely as a character. Here is a woman who lives under the cloud of her mother's insanity and still she perseveres. Meg`s mother was the kind of woman that witch hunters search for. She was skilled in the dark arts, duped young women into joining her cause and killed male babies, because she had no use for men. Even with her haunted past, Meg steps up and becomes the Lady of Faire Isle. She is a "cunning" woman; a healer, a spiritual woman and feared for what the locals consider to be witchcraft and ungodly.

The story is well written and I absolutely loved the opening, but this book was just not my cup of tea. I always seem to forget that I do not enjoy reading books about life before Regency England. I love films about all times in history, but there is just something about reading it that does not entertain me. Still the story has enough romance, magic and danger to keep the reader interested. Doctor Blackwood is a drunk who cares for nothing, but has enough under the surface to attract Meg, but I can't say that I was blown away or intrigued. I'm a romantic at heart, so I wished they would have spiked up the tension, but I guess a steamy love story wouldn't have fit well into the story.

It is very political and deals a lot with the society at large. There's a sense of history in the book. Carroll has written fictional characters with a fictional religion, but does not ignore the superstition that ran rampant in 1600s England. The idea that a woman could so easily lose her life because she was duped or falsely accused is probably the most intriguing aspect of this story for me. A woman who was too smart, too peculiar or too independent was immediately under suspicion. Someone got sick and all of a sudden everyone is yelling `kill the witch down the street and all will be well.'

I find myself wanting to research King James and discover weather or not he was superstitious and constantly worried about the threat of witchcraft. In the story, I'd say he definitely had reason to be worried. Especially after being publically cursed by a woman burning on the stake. Imagine someone's last words are to curse you that would strike fear into my heart as well.

Also, it never seems to amaze me the way that people would gather for public executions. Wow, we have changed a lot as humans, because I can never imagine cheering while someone burned alive before my eyes.

This is book six in the Dark Queen Saga, which I did not realize, but I never felt lost or confused about what was happening.

I recommend this book for anyone who reads historical fiction or has an interest in witch trials and superstition in historical England.

Originally posted on: bookgeekconfessions.tumblr(.com)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
The book was intersting througout the entire reading. Enjoyed the twists, turns, and suspense---i plan on reading other novels by Susan Carroll.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
First I would like to say, I very much regret not reading this book sooner! Sadly (well, you can't really be sad for getting so many great books) I gained many books since I acquired this one, and it got lost in the countless piles of books in my room.

After uncovering it and finally getting to read it, it instantly drew me in. The story was so unique and interesting, the characters were very well-written, and not once do you ever so much as suspect the twist at the end. Total shocker!

I hope to read more books from this author (as soon as I can cut down these piles a little more to make room! lol), and anyone whom is interested in historical fiction books, especially of this time period should definitely read this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2013
I love the Susan Carroll books. It is fun to follow the characters as they get older and have children of their own. This book is much like the others. It focuses on Meg. If you like her other books, you will like this one too.
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on January 7, 2013
The Lady of Secrets is set during the reign of James I, when England in the 1600s fostered an almost unwarranted belief in witchcraft and the dark arts. Meg Wolfe has the gift of healing but the lasting legacy from her mother, the mad witch Cassandra Claire, makes sure that Meg will always be held accountable for her mother's notorious reputation. When someone hell bent on revenge enlists Meg's help, there are choices to be made which will have severe repercussions on the destiny of "The Lady of the Faire Isle".
I think to appreciate this novel fully it would have been more helpful for me to have read the previous books in The Dark Queen Saga, of which, The Lady of Secrets is book number 6. However, the author does go some way into involving in a new reader with several references to events which have passed in previous stories.
Initially, I was drawn to the book by its cover which I think is very pretty and as the premise of the story evokes a time when superstition and mistrust formed the basis of everyday life, what follows is a part historical, part fantasy balance between good and evil, and right and wrong. If I am honest, the book could have done with a tighter edit, there are some modernisms in the text which would have found no place in Stuart England, however, putting that to one side , I am sure than fans of Susan Carroll will find much to enjoy in this latest offering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
Susan Carroll is an excellent writer. Everything she writes is well researched and well written. All of her novels are worth reading.
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on September 20, 2013
Simple to red. I feel I would recommend it to others who like historical fiction books. Looking to read others books written by this author.
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on July 4, 2013
Just discovered Ms Carroll with this book and enjoyed it thoroughly. A good amount of twists kept the reader's interest for sure. I look forward to reading her other stories very soon!
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