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Darkling (The Sisters of the Moon, Book 3) by Yasmine Galenorn
Review by Beth Slater
Berkley Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425218938
Date: 02 January 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Returning to the Seattle, WA area, we join Menolly, third of the half fae/half human D'Artigo sisters who are living Earthside because of bounties on their heads in their own land, which they call Otherworld. Witchling was the story of the eldest sister, Camille, and Changeling brought us closer to Delilah, a were-cat. Now we are allowed a glimpse into the life of the vampire faerie Menolly.

Turned unwillingly, Menolly fights a constant battle against the inherent nature of the brutal blood drinkers. Unwilling to inflict her torturous memories on her sisters, Menolly shoulders her nightmares alone, unable to stop them from unfurling each night because she, unlike humans, cannot wake from her sleep. She takes comfort in raising their pet gargoyle Maggie and in owning and running an Otherworld bar, where her reputation precedes her in discouraging any trouble. Her bar also contains a portal to Otherworld, so she and hers also act as guardians against unwelcome visitors.

Menolly is suddenly called by her sister's mate to the scene of a multiple homicide, despite the knowledge that the excessive blood-letting might unleash Menolly's darker instincts. But the horror is greater than expected -– someone is attacking innocents and turning them into baby vampires -– the most deadly because of their lack of control. Convinced that her rogue vampire sire, Dredge, is to blame, she begins the hunt to find the coven that escaped retribution when Menolly was attacked. But Menolly is unsure of her fledgling powers and her ability to defend herself, much less her sisters, against her fiendish sire. The other issue at hand is whether or not Dredge is acting on his own or if he is part of the larger plot by Shadow Wing, a leader in the demonic realms, to take over Earthside. With their own homeland in the midst of a political war and their usual resources worn thin, the D'Artigo sisters do what they do best -– improvise -– and take care of matters one at a time while watching one another's back.

I think Galenorn has hit upon an awesome fantasy world, although it is getting difficult to keep some of the players straight. I'm glad she's planning to continue the series past the original trilogy, but I have to admit to being quite upset over the ending of her two paranormal mystery series. Her message on her website is wonderful -– but I disagree with her that she doesn't do mysteries as well. Like this series, there is substance to the plot and the characters, as well as a lot of character growth and realistic thoughts and emotions. Not everything is as wholesome as apple pie, but her characters suck it up and deal with it like anyone in the real world would have to do. Menolly is a perfect example. So, if you enjoy a little realism with a lot of fantasy, this is ideal for you.

Our Readers Respond

From: Linda Davis
    This is the first book in the trilogy that I've read, and I'll definitely be looking up the other two books. The world building and characterization are wonderful. I truly liked Menolly's as the POV, and I hope the two sisters' POVs are done just as well.

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