Richelle Mead is one of those few authors who have the ability to arouse a true emotional response in me with her writing. I have laughed in other books by numerous other authors, but rarely have I found an author who can make me laugh out loud while also being able to move me to tears. I have found her writing to be superb. Her characters are people that you can imagine knowing (ya know, if fairy kings and succubi really came to dinner parties) and the experiences that she puts them through make reading the stories worthwhile because they can be related to.
I am a huge fan of the Dark Swan series, in fact, a fan of both of her series. The last book in her Dark Swan series, Shadow Heir, concludes Eugenie’s journey. Every story arc opened has been tied up in a nice little bow, but that is not to say that everyone has a happy ending in this story. The synopsis of this book is taken directly from Richelle Mead’s website:
Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld...The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon--and risk the ultimate sacrifice...
I’ve always been on the fence about Dorian’s relationship with Eugenie but this book has readers seeing a much deeper side of him, though not without his usual delightful wit. I loved how he would always step up to defend her when no one else would and this book is no exception. The relationships that are portrayed in her books are more realistic because they are not easy. Let’s be real for a second…does anyone ever really date someone so perfect that we weep in joy every time we see them? People make mistakes and hurt each other, as do Dorian and Eugenie. They can wound each other deeply yet have such a wonderful camaraderie with each other that it is easy to see that they may actually belong together.
Kiyo’s character has really been all over the place in these books. Without getting into too much detail about the other books, this has also been a very realistic portrayal of the characteristics of people. No one would have an ex-boyfriend if we always stayed in the honeymoon phase. We think he’s wonderful at first and then pow!!! Right in the kisser. Kiyo continues to live up to his reputation in this book but he is harboring a naughty, naughty secret which makes me want to kick him right in the tinies. However, this secret, although extremely shocking, offers Eugenie the chance to wipe the slate clean.
As far as Eugenie, who can actually imagine having to make the choices that she has to make in this book? I am relieved that she made the hard choice instead of the easiest one and that she fought her own battles instead of allowing someone else to do it for her. Mothers can do unspeakable things and go to unheard of lengths to protect their children, and sometimes their choices can be unpopular. Eugenie had to make some awful choices to protect herself and her children in this book and her decisions are almost hard to read.
I loved this book and I have loved this series. As much as I hate that it’s over, the conclusion was well done, although my one complaint about the ending was about the decision she makes concerning Dorian. I did not really understand that and wish that would have ended a little differently. But...I can only hope that the author will think up something even better with the next series…although that would be hard to do.
This author has the ability to make you feel like you’re in the action at the moment or in a character’s head. One of the best scenes I’ve ever read that had me in tears actually came from one of her Georgina Kincaid books and involved Carter and a very sick woman. By the time that scene was over my throat was thick and Carter was no longer just an everyday angel in a bum disguise, he was a divine being with a light so bright that if you looked directly upon him, you would go blind.
I highly recommend the Dark Swan series and I also highly recommend her Georgina Kincaid series. They would be a wonderful addition to your urban fantasy favorite shelf!
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