I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Queen of the Dark Things by C. Robert Cargill
Series: Dreams & Shadows #2
Published by Harper Voyager on May 13th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Horror
Also by this author: Dreams and Shadows, We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories, Sea of Rust
Screenwriter and noted film critic C. Robert Cargill continues the story begun in his acclaimed debut Dreams and Shadows in this bold and brilliantly crafted tale involving fairies and humans, magic and monsters-a vivid phantasamagoria that combines the imaginative wonders of Neil Gaiman, the visual inventiveness of Guillermo Del Toro, and the shocking miasma of William S. Burroughs
Six months have passed since the wizard Colby lost his best friend to an army of fairies from the Limestone Kingdom, a realm of mystery and darkness beyond our own. But in vanquishing these creatures and banning them from Austin, Colby sacrificed the anonymity that protected him. Now, word of his deeds has spread, and powerful enemies from the past-including one Colby considered a friend-have resurfaced to exact their revenge.
As darkness gathers around the city, Colby sifts through his memories desperate to find answers that might save him. With time running out, and few of his old allies and enemies willing to help, he is forced to turn for aid to forces even darker than those he once battled.
Following such masters as Lev Grossman, Erin Morgenstern, Richard Kadrey, and Kim Harrison, Robert C. Cargill takes us deeper into an an extraordinary universe of darkness and wonder, despair and hope to reveal the magic and monsters around us . . . and inside us.
Dreams & Shadows series
“This is how it starts.”
“No. Hopefully this is how it ends.”
Queen of the Dark Things is the followup novel to Dreams and Shadows, a novel chock-full of magic and mystery in an alternate reality in the heart of Austin, Texas. The story picks up right where Shadows left off, with Colby reeling from the battle that occurred and the death of his friend Ewan as the result. He’s reverted back to a solitary life but is forced into action again when a friend from his past surfaces, however they are far from friends now and she poses grave danger to not only Colby himself but the very world.
‘The universe tore open and Hell spilled out, for a brief moment becoming one with the field.’
Being back again in this fantasy world of Cargill’s was fantastic. The world in Queen of the Dark Things is no less intense, no less imaginative and still full of that fanciful horror. We’re given new horrors to witness as well: The Seventy-Two, a group of demons and Fallen Angels one can only hope to never encounter, the Kutji, cursed shadows of the dead that suffered a most violent death, and the Queen of the Dark Things herself. But I’ll let the story explain her.
The story’s narrative is split between a new character named Kaycee Looes, the informative excerpts from the books by Dr. Thaddeus Ray, Ph.D. and of course Colby being the main storyteller. Colby’s strength and confidence was subtle in Dreams and Shadows and he only did what was necessary. In Queen of the Dark Things it seems he’s lost that restraint he had and is getting himself in far more trouble than is otherwise necessary. I believe the loss of Ewan truly broke Colby and his inability to save him changed everything about who he was. His melancholy was subdued but it was clear it did exist and it transformed the story and plot in a way that made it lose some of its magic for me. At this point though, I’ve become highly invested in Colby and am still interested to see his continuing character development. It’s clear there is still much more to Colby’s story and I eagerly await it.