Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan
After an unexpected attack killed Vampire Prime David, his bondmate, wife and Queen Miranda was left physically and emotionally wounded. Rescued by Stella Maguire, a young witch who provided the unstable vampire with enough healing to prevent them both from being killed, Miranda must pick up the pieces and resume her duties as Queen of the South. With the assistance of Primes Deven and Jonathan, Miranda discovers she is stronger then anyone guessed which is good because she’ll need that strength and no small amount of cunning to trace those responsible for the ambush. Surprisingly (or not), David was not killed and although Miranda is overjoyed at his return, their bond no longer exists. It will take acts of faith by Stella, David and Miranda to recover that bond, becoming something different in the process as they align themselves with the goddess Persephone. Meanwhile Jeremy, a vampire who lost his family is busily plotting his revenge, a plan that plays right into the hands of the Order of the Morningstar with consequences that could spell disaster for all vampires.
Strong characters, quick pacing and a few surprises make this an enjoyable urban fantasy that can be enjoyed by those new to the series but to fully appreciate how the protagonists have grown, readers should start at the series beginning. Deven is a tortured and damaged character on the verge of a breakdown yet the appearance of an elf, a race thought to have been hunted to extinction, offers a ray of hope. Stella and her friend Lark add human interest to this supernatural tale that shows the power of love and the depths people (and vampires) will sink to in order to achieve their goals. David’s return from the dead will not come as too much of a surprise but Miranda and his search for answers about the Signets provides an excellent means of filling in some interesting history. Hints of what’s to come will leave readers wishing the next installment was already published as clearly, Sylvan has much more in mind for the Shadow World.
-- review by Sandy Amazeen