Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Silver Rose by Susan Carroll

Books Completed: 8
Completion Date: January 20, 2007
Publication Year: 2006
Pages: 515
Owned Prior to 2007
Book Three in Cheney Sisters Trilogy

From Brittany's fog-shrouded forests to the elegant dark heart of Paris's royal court, one woman must challenge a country's destiny-and her own dangerous fate.

France, 1585. She is the youngest and most powerful of the "Sisters of Faire Isle," women known far and wide for their extraordinary mystical abilities. Skilled in healing and able to forecast the future of those around her, Miri Cheney has returned to her ancestral home to take refuge from a land devastated by civil war-and to grieve for her family, driven to exile. But she cannot hide from the formidable new power threatening to seize control of France from the dread "Dark Queen," Catherine de Medici-a diabolical woman known only as the Silver Rose. Miri has no choice but to turn to the one man she distrusts as much as she desires: Simon Aristide, the charismatic witch-finder who is now himself the hunted, and who has reluctantly made an unholy pact with Catherine. Miri must defy throne and family to save all that she loves most-and command a future greater than she could ever imagine.

Vibrant with stunning historical detail, alive with characters as richly passionate as they are compelling, The Silver Rose is a sweeping, exquisitely wrought tale from a mesmerizing storyteller.
I was supposed to read this book back in October of last year, and as you can see, I am a bit late, but since I was supposed to buddy review it with Marg, I resurrected her old post and I am going to add my thoughts to it. I am in blue, with her comments in black.

When the legendary witch hunter Simon Aristide, is becoming the hunted rather than the hunter, he turns to the one person who he would prefer not to - Miri Cheney. Miri was just a young girl living on the Faire Isle when he first met her, but he betrayed her and nearly caused her to be tried as a witch. Some years later he met her as a young lady in Paris, but he was well and truly entrenched in his role as witch hunter, and she was once again betrayed. It is hard to believe sometimes how these two find themselves coming together. Simon is like two different people, one moment he is nice, while other times you cannot seem to find a nice trait in him. The events in this latest book in the trilogy take place ten years after The Courtesan, so Miri and Simon are both older and wiser (we think) than they were in the previous books.

After many years of living in exile, Miri has returned to live on the Faire Isle, looking to recapture her lost happiness. For Miri, Simon was a young boy that she first came to love during an idyllic summer that nearly ended in tragedy. When he reappears asking for her assistance Miri is reluctant, especially once she understood that he was asking for her assistance in tracking down a witch. Miri is still the same character that we have watched grow up in the two previous novels about her sisters. She is a lover of animals, understanding them better than people. She looks for the good in people at great cost, and she never seems to know what she risks by refusing to see the negative in people. It does not seem to matter how many times Simon betrayed her, she is still totally on his side and believes that there is a good person in him. At the beginning of the novel, though, when he reappears, she finds that she attempts to look at him as others have.

Miri has always thought of herself, and others like her, as a wise woman, as opposed to a witch, and getting Simon to understand the difference was a big part of their journey, but in a way another part was having Simon find the man behind the witch hunter. The young boy with a happy family life, who survived in the face of tragedy, and who was taken in and taught to hate and fear. Ah...Simon. He would have to be right up there with the most tortured heroes every written..surely. Not only is the man terribly scarred, and missing an eye, but he really is a good man as well struggling to live with the way he had previously lived his life and the actual and emotional consequences of that life. One of the things I enjoyed about this book was how Miri seemed to bring out Simon's past. We know the three Cheney sisters, and have seen what they have gone through in the course of their life. Simon's past has been hinted about in the two previous novels, but in this one he really goes back and enlightens Miri on who he is (or was) and how he became to be the person that we see in the course of the book. I really was looking forward to seeing how Simon would play a part in this book. I wanted to know if Miri ever found the good in him, and what would happen if she did.

Miri was practically engaged to Wolf, a man who had been her loyal friend, for many years, but she had always held back from committing to him, and from allowing any kind of hanky panky. In a way I felt sorry for Wolf even though he was a bit of a womaniser. I liked him from the time we first met him in the second book in the trilogy, and I was really scared that something horrible was going to happen to him. It was certainly an interesting twist in the story for him during this book. The other really interesting twist was the identity of The Silver Rose! I really was curious which man that Miri would choose. It really could have been either of them, and I was waiting to see if it would be predictable or if it would surprise me. As the novel went along, though, and I started to understand the outside characters, I found that Carroll wrote the best ending possible for the trilogy. I feel bad for Wolf, he loved a girl that was not sure what she wanted, and he tried so hard. When the identity of the Silver Rose was revealed, it made sense to me, and yet did not.

This third book is definitely one that you will appreciate more if you have read the two books proceeding it in the series. I am not sure if there is going to be more books related to this one, but there certainly seems to be scope for it particularly in relation to Wolf who you may notice I have a certain tenderness for! I for one would certainly read any future books. I know that this is supposed to be a trilogy, but I would love to see spin off books. This really was one of the better trilogies I have read, overall. I am very sad to see it end, and I think that is partly why it took me so long to read this book. I did not want to see it end! Sometimes with trilogies, the first book is very strong and the rest fades in comparision. I believe that all three of these books are well-written and they stand up well.

One small note to the author though...please, please get a website so that your fans have some idea about what is coming up next! Having read and enjoyed this trilogy, I will definitely be trying to find whatever books I can of Susan Carroll's backlist. Anyone have any idea what she is working on now?

Marg's Rating 4.5/5
Kailana's Rating 4.5/5

I also need to take the oppurtunity to thank Random House for this book! Everyone should read this trilogy, and all three books are available through them, although I owned the other two from other sources.

Author Genders:
Female: 7
Male: 1

I have previously read this author before. You can see my reviews of the two previous books in this trilogy by clicking here and here.


  1. This is one of my all time favorite series. And I loved watching how SC redeemed Simon. At the end of The Courtesan I wasn't so sure she could.

    I, too, felt sorry for Wolf and I don't think I got the whole Silver Rose identity thing until very close to the end.

    I agree that she needs her own website. I do know she has a book due to be released at the end of July. It's called The Huntress and the cover is very similar to the previous three, but I have no idea if it's related or not.

  2. Anonymous11:54 AM

    FYI – found this via Google search ( :“Ms. Carroll launched a new series with the publication of the The Dark Queen , The Courtesan, and The Silver Rose set during the turbulent days of the French Renaissance. A blend of history, magic, romance and intrigue, these books relate the saga of the Cheney sisters, three women of extraordinary abilities who live in constant peril of being accused of witchcraft. The novels combine fictional characters with real events and personages such as the enigmatic Catherine de Medici and the lusty Henry of Navarre. The fourth book in this series, The Huntress is slated to be released in summer of ’07.”

  3. Anonymous12:14 PM

    And this from “Susan Carroll, The Huntress, Ballantine (Catriona O'Hanlon, a pagan Irishwoman accused of witchcraft, must foil a plot against Queen Elizabeth)”


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