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The Dark Queen (The Dark Queen Saga #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,492 ratings  ·  172 reviews
From Brittany's misty shores to the decadent splendor of Paris's royal court, one woman must fulfill her destiny while facing the treacherous designs of Catherine de Medici, the dark queen.

She is Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle, one of the Cheney sisters, renowned for their mystical skills and for keeping the isle secure and prosperous. But this is a time when women of abi
Paperback, 533 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Ballantine Books
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Kat Kennedy
Jul 23, 2010 Kat Kennedy rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in reading light semi-historicallyish romance uber smut
What I expected from this book:

I fairly historical account of court life surrounding Catherine de'Medici circa 1570's with a love story thrown in for good measure.

What this book is:

A romance novel based around 1570 with a lot of imaginative additions and a lot of historical subtractions.

Now it's not the book's fault that it wasn't what I wanted it to be. It can hardly rewrite itself just because I had a misconception of what the story was about.

But I still couldn't stand it, and I think if I tr

Books like this are the reason I'm glad I use the library and don't pay for books unless I know for a fact that they are wonderful. This one begins well enough, and reviews raved about how great it was, an awesome historical fiction, etc. I began to get suspicious when there were mentions of flashing eyes and a woman that didn't want to marry a mysterious stranger. "Huh, this sounds like a slutty romance novel. But no, other people said it was better than that..." And then I got to the part wher
Karin Gastreich
I found this on the historical fiction shelf at the book store, but don't let the marketing department fool you: The Dark Queen is fantasy romance, through and through.

This is the best kind of romance though, where the characters rise above the stereotypes to deliver a truly engaging story. Ariane is my kind of heroine: thoughtful, intelligent, courageous yet prudent. She's the archetypal Big Sister in the way she tries to shoulder the burdens of all the world, but that only makes her more symp
This book is quite fun to read pitting white magic against black magic. Catherine De Medici is cast as the Dark Queen who practices black magic. Ariane Cheny lives on Faire Island where she has been taught by her departed mother never to use black magic. She has three sisters, villagers and a mountain of debts to take care of.
The Comte De Renard wishes to marry but Ariane doesn't quite trust him. Why he wishes to marry her, the Lady Of Faire Isle with no dowry is beyond her. It makes no sense.
Fun book, but definitely way more of a romantic fluff than I was expecting. If you're looking for something more like a political intrigue (which is what I was hoping for), this definitely isn't the book. If, however, you enjoy historical fiction with a fantastical twist, in this case witches, you'll probably enjoy this. There are times when it definitely reads like a cheap romance, but luckily the plot is interesting enough that it doesn't rely on sex scenes to keep it going. The characters are ...more
Ugh. If I wasn't the daughter of a librarian, I would have stopped after 50 pages. Nothing that I love more than historical fiction but when you turn it into a tawdry romance between completely average characters, no thanks. Won't be reading the rest of this series like I did with vampire academy last year, I learned my lesson!
This book took me a long time to get into, as it clearly was much more of romance than an historical, and the romance wasn't very interesting. Carroll does a very nice job at making the Dark Queen herself an interesting and complex character. However, the hero did not start out very likeable (or particularly unlikeable either). And the heroine is rather simple in her personality--very serious and overwhelmed with her responsibilities. Each of her younger sisters get their own thread in the story ...more
This is the first in a series, surrounding the Cheney sisters of Faire Isle. The sisters are Ariane, Gabrielle and Miri, all daughters of the earth. Daughters of the earth are like good witches, white witches. Although they can delve into the dark side, the black magic, as does The Dark Queen of the title - Catherine de Medici, who was called a witch during her time, and was rumored to be a first class poisoner. The mother of the sisters, Evangaline, was a good friend of Catherine's, until they ...more
Meine Meinung:

Ariane, die Tochter der ehemaligen Herrin von Faire Isle ist mit der Situation überfordert. Sie ärgert sich über ihren Vater, der sich vor Jahren aus dem Staub gemacht hat, dass ihre verstorbene Mutter sie so hilflos mit ihren 2 jüngeren Geschwistern allein gelassen hat. Die ganze Last der Insel lastet auf ihren Schultern.

Neben ihren Tätigkeiten als Herrin der Insel, Erzieherin ihrer Geschwister muss sie sich gegen einen anhänglichen Verehrer zur Wehr setzen, der nicht davor zurüc
Katie/Doing Dewey
Title: The Dark Queen
Author: Susan Carroll
Source: library
Review Summary: I wasn’t sure I liked this book at first – as a historical romance, with more sex and a more serious plot than the “chick flick” style romances I occasionally I read, it was a little outside my comfort zone. But I ended up loving it and the other four books in the series enough that I would definitely read more books like them, partly for the great plot and partly because I’m a sucker for a happy ending

During the l
Lynn Abbey
Mar 24, 2010 Lynn Abbey rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers of romantic fantasy
Recommended to Lynn by:
While this is a charming and easy-reading tale, it's pretty much pure fantasy planted atop a few bits of 16th-Century French history. And that would be fantasy in both the romantic and "magick" senses. (Something Carroll admits readily in the preface.)

Catherine d'Medici is the Dark Queen of the title but not the focus of the story, more the deux ex machina. Catherine's one of those all-purpose historic queens (Elizabeth I and Eleanor of Aquitaine also come to mind) who can be villain or saint, d
Ariane is the Lady of the Faire Isle. She is a woman of the earth, a wise woman, a healer. Two men will change her life. And Catherine di Medici will try and destroy her.

The first man, The Comte Renard, arrogantly declares he will marry her, to the point where he has a wedding and she does not come. His past is dark and he makes a bargain with Ariane that changes her life.

The other is a man maed Remy who comes to her with poisoned gloves to try and have her prove that The Queen killed a woman. T
Lynn Spencer
Readers in recent years have complained that the rich, interesting historicals of the past are vanishing. As a reader, I certainly have found myself buying fewer books overall as the meaty historicals I loved started to be replaced by and large with homogenized wallpaper comedies. Fortunately, there are still some good and interesting historicals out there if you look hard enough, and The Dark Queen is one of those great long sagas so many of us have been missing.

This is a partial review. You c
Shelley Stoker
Sep 04, 2009 Shelley Stoker rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Light historical romance fans

A fun read that's got a little bit of everything I like: romance, history, magic and mystery. I'm also a sucker for a beautiful book cover, and this entire series is full of GORGEOUS book covers.

It's about a PG-13 on romance, not nearly as dark as many reviewed it, but an adult Pagan fairytale of sorts, that's lightly steeped in history. The women in the series are all amazing - even the FICTIONAL version of The Dark Queen, Catherine De Medici herself is fascinating - and I did care about them a

Um die Macht mit aller Gewalt zu halten, schreckt Königin Cersei vor nichts zurück. Doch muss sie bald merken, dass sie sich damit ihr eigenes Grab schaufelt und sie keinerlei Hilfe zu erwarten hat, wenn es Schlag auf Schlag kommt. Währenddessen versucht Jaime den Frieden aufrecht zu erhalten und für Gerechtigkeit zu sorgen, natürlich ganz in seinem Sinne. Die Feindesanzahl wird dadurch jedoch nicht kleiner. Brienne dagegen merkt bald, dass ihr Auftrag, Lady Sansa zu finden, nicht dort endet, wo ...more
I picked this book up at my local Borders because I enjoy historical fiction (light on the history and heavy on the fiction.) This one was not exactly what I expected but it was still really enjoyable. I think if I owned a bookstore, I would place it in the romance section. It really was a historical romance. I found it to be a really fun read and now I'm on to the second book in the trilogy: The Courtesan.
Annika Paxman
So...I really enjoyed this book! However, (here is my disclaimer) readers beware...there is "romantic scenes" that should be skipped over, but over all I really enjoyed the way the author wrote and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot which definitely leads up to the second book in the series.
Sarah D
I did not expect to enjoy this book half as much as I actually did. It has been sitting on my self for at least a year, and I kept putting it off. I regret waiting this long! I thought the characters were interesting (if not a bit repetitive) as well as the twist on history. My favorite scene in the book (the "dragon" scene) was bittersweet and just....perfect. My only problem with this book would be the repetition, and the lack of development of certain characters. However, it is a series (and ...more
❀ Mary ❀
Es el primer libro de Susan Carroll que leo así que no tengo experiencia con esta autora. Es un romance histórico con algunos personajes que existieron en la realidad pero con un entorno ficticio. A parte de todo esto uno de los grandes protagonistas es la magia. Eso es bastante original!

Ariane es la Señora de la Isla de Faire, una isla llena de mujeres sabias, Hijas de la Tierra, que tienen el don de la magia. Me gusta Ariane es un personaje fuerte y con un montón de responsabilidades pero tení
Cara Erskine
A great series, mixing history, homeopathy, & magic.
Carla Rodrigues
A Rainha das Trevas é o primeiro livro dos seis que constituem a Saga da Rainha Negra, de Susan Carrol, editados pelo Círculo de Leitores. Subscrevi esta colecção um pouco "às escuras", sem ter lido nada desta autora anteriormente, mas a sinopse continha os ingredientes certos para que, no mínimo, o primeiro livro me agradasse: história e fantástico q.b.

Não me enganei: o livro é bom. É um romance que se lê de um só fôlego, com um bom enredo ainda que não muito intrincado, como por vezes sucede n
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist

I gotta say--there were so many times when I expected the plot to evolve one way, and it went in a totally opposite direction. In this case, I mostly didnt mind, and I really liked the sequence of events.
- I personally think this book has a pretty decent amount of actual history. I knew that there would be references to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, but I thought that would be the extent of it - just a reference. Those scenes were some of the best-written in the book, I think, and Carroll
Janet Miller
From Brittany’s misty shores to the decadent splendor of Paris’s royal court, one woman must fulfill her destiny–while facing the treacherous designs of Catherine de Medici, the dark queen.

She is Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle, one of the Cheney sisters, renowned for their mystical skills and for keeping the isle secure and prosperous. But this is a time when women of ability are deemed sorceresses, when Renaissance France is torn by ruthless political intrigues, and all are held in thrall to th
It tells the story of three sisters, the eldest, Ariane, who has inherited the Faire Isle, struggles with her position as Lady of Faire Isle, a rather stubborn suitor that doesn't take no for an answer, two sisters who have issues of their own, a father who hasn't come back yet, and a dark threatening Queen Catherine who plots from afar.

There is enough history and politics here to keep you very intrigued. France is in religious upheaval, Queen Catherine plots from behind the scenes and of cours
Historical fiction wrapped up in fantasy & magic, with a sprinkling of romance & intrigue. (note: it's explicit romance) You're definitely getting some history with your fiction, but it's pretty fictional.

Overall, a good story. The main story is driven by a young woman, Ariane, who is from a long line of "wise women" or witches. Ariane has shades of Morgaine (Morgan le Fey's name in The Mists of Avalon) but doesn't have quite the presence I remember Morgaine possessing. Ariane's two youn
On the one side is our beautiful heroine, Ariane, one of the famous Cheney sisters who are renowned for their mystical skills. On the other side, there is our hero, Comte de Renard, a passionate but mysterious nobleman who has fallen madly in love with Ariane and demands that she marries him. Will Ariane continue to resist Renard's overtures or will she finally call upon his assistance when she is in the gravest of dangers from the treacherous Catherine de Medici, the dark queen of France?

"The Dark Queen" is one of those books that I bought on an impulse and which then stood on my shelf for months before I actually picked it up to read.

I am really glad I did pick it up, though, because this is one of best, most beautifully written and most compelling books I have ever read.

Yes, it is more of a historical romance then serious historical fiction, but that doesn't change the fact that Susan Carroll has crafted a truly wonderful story with great characters.

Ariane is a young woman who
Courtney Reads A Lot
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll is a romantic fantasy. This was a delightful story of Ariane, the Lady of Faire Isle, the oldest of the Cheney sisters and the daughter of Evangeline Cheney, a beloved Lady of Faire Isle who was so respected and loved that the people of the Isle erected a statue of her. To live up to her mother's reputation seems difficult at best for Ariane as she struggles to protect the people of Faire Isle as well as guide and love her younger sisters, Gabrielle and Miri. In h ...more
The Dark Queen was an enjoyable novel that took me into the world of Ariane the oldest of the Cheney sisters , three young girls on the verge of their twenties who having lost their Mother are now facing the debts that their Father left behind when he fled on a sea voyage to escape their Mother's illness and his guilt at having caused part of her heart ache because of his illicit affair in far off Paris.

Ariane struggles as she takes her place as the Lady of Fair Isle, who is known for protecting
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Born Susan Carol Cute in 1952, Susan Coppula obtained a Degree in English with complementary studies in History in the University of Indiana. Since 1986, Susan has published books under three different pseudonyms: Susan Carroll, Susan Coppula, andSerena Richards

More about Susan Carroll...

Other Books in the Series

The Dark Queen Saga (6 books)
  • The Courtesan (The Dark Queen Saga, #2)
  • The Silver Rose (The Dark Queen Saga, #3)
  • The Huntress (The Dark Queen Saga, #4)
  • Twilight of a Queen (The Dark Queen Saga, #5)
  • The Lady of Secrets (The Dark Queen Saga, #6)
The Courtesan (The Dark Queen Saga, #2) The Silver Rose (The Dark Queen Saga, #3) The Huntress (The Dark Queen Saga, #4) The Bride Finder (St. Leger, #1) Twilight of a Queen (The Dark Queen Saga, #5)

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