Queen of the Dark Things
DREAMS AND SHADOWS was a great mix of magic, fairies and monsters. Everywhere I looked, its sequel, QUEEN OF THE DARK THINGS, was listed as a book to watch for. I was already there; I was waiting for this one and wasn’t disappointed at all. There are still monsters, fairies and fallen angels to get excited about, but more importantly, there’s more about this strange magical world that exists in Austin, Texas.
Colby Stevens has put six months of distance between himself and the night he lost his best friend, Ewan. He may have banished creatures of a magical realm known as the Limestone Kingdom and banned others from entering Austin ever again, but he hasn’t helped himself at all. Nothing he does makes him feel any better about the actions he took that night. So when a woman approaches him asking for his help in getting rid of a spirit that is trying to take her kids, he hesitates. Colby, not wanting to get involved, yet not willing to let children die either, goes after the spirit, vanquishing her. While he hopes to keep it quiet, he knows it won’t stay that way.
"QUEEN OF THE DARK THINGS is a great follow-up to DREAMS AND SHADOWS. I was eagerly awaiting more of this world, and C. Robert Cargill doesn’t disappoint at all. Austin is still a weird place, and now it’s an even darker one. It’s gritty and full of despair but great for dark fantasy."
One thing Colby had going for him before was that no one in the magical realm truly knew who he was. However, after taking down the rulers of the Limestone Kingdom, everyone now knows who he is and what power he can harness. So when rumors start rumbling through Austin that the Queen of the Dark Things is looking for Colby, everyone wants to bargain. He begins looking back on his time in the Australian outback, when he had to leave the spirit of a young girl to the dark things inhabiting the shadows. He had no choice; in fact, it was part of their shared destiny. But neither knew that at the time, and now that decision has come back to haunt him. Unfortunately for Colby, that little girl is now an incredibly powerful spirit leading an army of even darker things. There’s no way for Colby to stop what’s coming, so he too begins bargaining --- with even darker enemies, the only ones willing to help him now.
Austin, Texas is still a weird place, and with Colby in it, it can be nothing else. The funny thing about Colby is that he really does want to do the right thing. The problem is that things are no longer so black and white, and the choices he’s left with are all things he’d rather not choose. He’s given very little to work with, and without his anonymity protecting him anymore, everyone and everything seems to be able to find him now too, which makes it all the more fun when trying to figure out how not to undo the world.
Colby’s childhood wish to see everything there is to see has brought him to a place where everything can and does happen. Fallen angels make deals, creatures of the night move in droves in search of their souls, and Colby finds he has a crush on the god that claims Austin, Texas as home --- and she is aptly named Austin.
QUEEN OF THE DARK THINGS is a great follow-up to DREAMS AND SHADOWS. I was eagerly awaiting more of this world, and C. Robert Cargill doesn’t disappoint at all. Austin is still a weird place, and now it’s an even darker one. It’s gritty and full of despair but great for dark fantasy. In my review of DREAMS AND SHADOWS, I recommended that fantasy readers go out and buy the book immediately. I stand by that and say the same about Cargill’s second foray into the dark underbelly of Austin. Get this book and commence reading.
Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on May 16, 2014