Its not hard for me to pinpoint why Queen of Shadows works so well for me. There's three reasons actually. One, Miranda doesn't just suddenly overcome her fears. Two, David is honest about who he is, what he has done and doesn't expect anything more from Miranda than a safe recovery. And three, the soul mate/destined for one and other principle works here in a believable way.
Let me back up. Miranda in the beginning is a desperately miserable young woman, barely surviving and staying sane. Things don't go so well for Miranda fifty pages or so. A horrific incident occurs (a warning would be advised here) and her world is suddenly inside out.
Sylvan takes her time in building the connection between David and Miranda. There is definite tension between them, but the two of them are both cautious (for separate reasons) and instead build a solid trust with each other. Its not easy, Miranda doesn't miraculously begin trusting David (or his associates), she's wary of his intentions and sanity quite frankly. And David is wary of her. He doesn't quite understand why he felt a need to bring her back to 'Haven' (the compound he runs his territory from) or why he feels a need to train her so she can control her gift.
Slowly the two open to each other and it’s a sweet process. They communicate, something severely lacking in a lot of relationships in books today. And when the time comes for them to reveal all, well it felt more satisfying (to me, the reader). It didn't feel like the author was pushing this connection to excuse them feeling all touchy-feely after only two days.
Faith and Sophie cracked me up. The two of them added a stretch of humor to the book that kept it from being too brooding.
My only complaint is that Miranda goes from one end to the other end with what seemed like very little difficulty towards the climax of the novel. There was pain, and it didn't come about in the most delicate of ways, but she took it in a stride. I think, based on the rest of the novel and previous explanations, Sylvan was trying to say that Miranda was a natural due to her heritage and gift, plus her connection with David. Which I'm fine with, I'm also cool with her being Miss Kick Butt--we see her training and learning. I wasn't as cool with her becoming Miss Best At All Things in what seemed like a relatively short amount of time.
The epilogue however was priceless. I would so do what that girl does if confronted by a hero of mine.
Spread throughout the dark corners of our world lies the Shadow World, a society of vampires that feeds off the living. In Austin, Texas, one woman’s madness will drive her into a world that few people ever see–or even know exists…
Shortly after she picked up a guitar, Miranda Grey conquered the Austin music scene with a newfound ability to psychically manipulate her audience’s emotions. But as her powers outgrow her control, her mind is increasingly invaded by haunting secrets and overwhelming sadness. Unable to look anyone in the eye, Miranda is fast approaching the edge of insanity–with no one to catch her fall…
When he outlawed killing humans, David Solomon ignited a civil war among Austin’s vampires. As Prime of the South, his sympathy for mortals angered the old guard who refuse to control their violent urges. David has his hands full with the growing insurgency, but he takes in a broken-down woman, a musician in need of supernatural guidance. Little does he know that Miranda Grey has the power to change his world as well…