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The Queen of Sinister

The Queen of Sinister [Kindle Edition]

Mark Chadbourn
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A new Dark Age has overrun Britain; gods and monsters walk the land - and now the country is caught in the grip of a deadly plague . . .In this new dark Age, myth and legend has become reality; nothing is quite as it seems.The plague came without warning. Nothing could stop its progress: it's first symptom is black spots at the base of the fingers; an agonising death quickly follows. But this is no ordinary disease . . . Caitlin Shepherd, a lowly GP, is allowed to cross the veil into the mystical Celtic Otherworld in search of a cure; her search takes her on a quest to the end of a land of dreams and nightmares to petition the gods. So Caitlin is humanity's last hope, but she carries a terrible burden: a consciousness shattered into five distinct personalities . . . and one of them may not be human.THE QUEEN OF SINISTER is the latest instalment in Mark Chadbourn's riveting 'Dark Age' sequence: a masterful blend of Celtic myth and Arthurian legend in a modern setting.

About the Author

Mark Chadbourn was raised in the mining communities of South Derbyshire. He studied Economic History at Leeds before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He is the award-winning author of several novels, including The Age of Misrule trilogy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 611 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0575072768
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (30 Dec 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JHY9GG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,520 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

A two-time winner of the prestigious British Fantasy Award, Mark has published his epic, imaginative novels in many countries around the world. He grew up in the mining community of the English Midlands, and was the first person in his family to go to university. After studying Economic History at Leeds, he became a successful journalist, writing for several of the UK's renowned national newspapers as well as contributing to magazines and TV.

When his first short story won Fear magazine's Best New Author award, he was snapped up by an agent and subsequently published his first novel, Underground, a supernatural thriller set in the coalfields of his youth. Quitting journalism to become a full-time author, he has written stories which have transcended genre boundaries, but is perhaps best known in the fantasy field.

Mark has also forged a parallel career as a screenwriter with many hours of produced work for British television. He is a senior writer for BBC Drama, and is also developing new shows for the UK and US.

An expert on British folklore and mythology, he has held several varied and colourful jobs, including independent record company boss, band manager, production line worker, engineer's 'mate', and media consultant.

Having travelled extensively around the world, he has now settled in a rambling house in the middle of a forest not far from where he was born.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still as strong as ever 9 Jun 2005
When Caitlin Shepherd, a GP, loses her husband and son to the very plague she has been trying to cure, she finds herself driven insane, her personality shattered into five very different personalities - her own, that of a young girl, a neurotic chain-smoker, a haggard old woman, and a beast from the darkness. Seeking shelter with her friend Mary, she becomes caught up in the eternal conflict when she is called on to enter into the Otherworld to find a cure for the plague, taking with her two runaways and a man who is looking for his lost daughter. In Otherworld, Caitlin learns of her destiny as a Sister of Dragons and rescues a human boy used as an experiment by the Tuatha De Danann, gods of old, and realises that this new world may be the way to save her family - but not everyone will survive her quest, and even if she reaches the end, she will have to sacrifice something very, very important indeed . . .
Although I agree with the previous reviewer that this book is perhaps not as pacy as some of Chadbourn's earlier works, in his defense this new trilogy is a very different kettle of fish. The Age of Misrule carried on directly into one another, whereas here, bravely I thought, we move on from the events of The Devil in Green with no mention at all of Mallory or Sophie. Instead, we are given an entirely new cast, and what a delight they are.
Readers of the Age of Misrule will recognise Jack as the boy whose mother Shavi met briefly in Darkest Hour, mourning the loss of her son - an interesting plot point to counter those who accuse Chadbourn of 'too much junk.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting 25 Nov 2006
Having followed the adventures of the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into this instalment. Like the previous reviewers I was a little disappointed with this episode. I'd fallen in love with the previous characters and looked forward to everyone coming together here. I put my initial disappointment aside and followed the adventures of this new band of misfits. As more of Caitlins part was revealed to me I found that I enjoyed her story. Although this book feels a bit rushed it's a vital read and will be appreciated more once you read Jack of Ravens which is an excellent instalment in the series. I heart Mark Chadbourn.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Middle-pinning 28 Feb 2011
Definitely the weakest book in Chadbourn's 6 books about the Fall, so far. This one is more of an aside, as the doctor that you meet in the 6th book crosses over to the Otherworld to find a cure for a plague that is ravaging her local area.

She has a few companions, is a Sister of Dragons, gets help from the Goddess in the form of the Morrigan, and still screws up.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Untouched 23 May 2005
By Imyril
When I first read the Age of Misrule, I was dragged in by the story rather than the style. Rereading it a year later, I enjoyed both. The Devil in Green was captivating, a tense rollercoaster that made me want to read it from the safe patch behind the sofa where I used to hide from the Daleks.
It's fair to say the bar was set rather high for the Queen of Sinister.
The plotting is familiar Chadbourn territory - the isolated protagonist, a looming and indistinct threat, and rattles along with a pack of misfits hurled into the heart of a divine war.
The concept work is good, building on familiar characters and situations (watch out for Lugh, amongst others) to show how the original Brothers/Sisters of Dragons' actions have affected the Golden Ones as well as mankind. Some of the individual sequences (esp. the Morrigan in Birmingham) are visceral and compelling reading.
However, the tale feels oddly disjointed. Dialogue is often forced and one of the more interesting characters (Mahalia) in particular is poorly-drawn, at times seeming like little more than a stand-in for Laura (from the Age of Misrule) - all sharp comments and internal damage. Caitlin too would have benefited from a little more attention, although the MPD sequences are riveting.
The cutaways to Mary do not gel well with the main storyline, and her actions combined with the deus/dea ex machina make the ending feel shoe-horned. With no real surprises, by this point in the narrative I found I honestly didn't care what happened to any of the characters.
All in all, it felt as though the book was rushed - this is a good basis, but a lot more could have been done with it.
On the strength of this novel, I would not read any of the others. However, having read and enjoyed the other 4, I will give this one another chance and hang out for the Hounds of Avalon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 2 of the second trilogy 31 May 2012
By Teresa Pietersen - Published on
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This book moves away from The Devil in Green and there is no mention of Mallory and Sophie, the new Brothers & Sisters of Dragons. Instead it seems to start off at a complete tangent with a plague now affecting humanity and the struggles of a single country doctor called Caitlin Shepherd. On a search for some kind of treatment or cure Caitlin crosses into the Celtic otherworld were she is aided by The Morrigan and then the action does speed up, if at times a little rushed.
Anyone reading these trilogies will, as I did, think this is a disappointing book, that is too far removed from the beloved if flawed characters in The Age of Misrule books. But trust me on this, having now read the series, this book is a bridge between the original five Brothers and Sisters of Dragons and all those who will follow.
To give just a little tease, we do meet up with the original five again but to say anymore would be a spoiler.
In the last of the Dark Age books, "The Hounds of Avalon" it all starts to come into focus but the whole complex story becomes much more clear in the first of the next trilogy "Jack of Ravens".
So although I didn't think of this book as the best in the series I do think it was, if a bit less polished than the four previous, necessary and perhaps important to set the basis for the last trilogy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing fantasy 26 Jun 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
The Dark Age of magic has rendered technology useless; the world we know vanished overnight with Beasts sending fire from the skies and creatures stalking humans across the British landscape. Deadly chaos is the norm with most humans believing it could not get any worse; they are wrong.

A pandemic plague attacked Britain. No one knows the source only those who catch it die violently and painfully. Dr. Caitlin Shepherd tries her best, but the twenty-eight year old mom feels overwhelmed as she is too young to be in charge, but out of default is. feeling helpless. She is hammered further when her beloved husband Grant and their son catches the deadly infection at a time the town is invaded by a horde whose purple mist causes incredible depression and despair. Caitlin feels helpless between the plague killing her family and these Whisperers mentally destroying anyone unfortunate to get in their way. However her friend witch Mary Holden introduces Caitlin to Professor Crowther; he insists the GP is a Sister of Dragons and the only hope to curing the plague. All she has to do is enter the Otherworld is to find the magic elixir. Caitlin and Crowther begin the quest accompanied by the female teen Magalia , the young male mute Carlton, , and Matt seeking his daughter he insists Faeries carried away.

This entertaining tale is not on the epic proportions of the Age of Misrule trilogy or this saga's predecessor The Devil in Green. Still The Queen of Sinister is an intriguing fantasy as the heroine and her teammates cross into the Otherworld on a quest with little hope of success. Filled with action throughout and an incredible twist, fans of the author will want to join Caitlin as she treks across a realm from Celtic mythos to save what is left of her local world starting with her two loved ones.

Harriet Klausner
3.0 out of 5 stars Super Reader 7 Aug 2007
By Blue Tyson - Published on
Definitely the weakest book in Chadbourn's 6 books about the Fall, so far. This one is more of an aside, as the doctor that you meet in the 6th book crosses over to the Otherworld to find a cure for a plague that is ravaging her local area.

She has a few companions, is a Sister of Dragons, gets help from the Goddess in the form of the Morrigan, and still screws up.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weakest book in the series so far 7 Aug 2010
By Stefan - Published on
The Queen of Sinister, the middle book in Mark Chadbourn's DARK AGE trilogy, introduces a different set of characters from book 1, The Devil in Green. This is a bit surprising, because the author's earlier AGE OF MISRULE trilogy, which describes the events leading up to the start of the DARK AGE books, focuses on the same characters throughout all three books. So, rather than offering a continuing story, The Queen of Sinister feels completely separate from The Devil in Green: it's set in the same world, but features all new characters and at least for now is unconnected to the first novel (although the author's afterword hints that everything will be pulled together in the trilogy's final novel, The Hounds of Avalon).

Unfortunately the novel's brand new set of characters just isn't as interesting as the one from The Devil in Green or the AGE OF MISRULE trilogy. The novel starts out well, with protagonist Caitlin Shepherd, a medical doctor, trying her best to ease the suffering of the many victims of a devastating plague. The first two chapters of the novel are actually some of the most powerful and emotionally gripping in the series so far, but after this promising start, The Queen of Sinister falls flat. The cast of side characters is initially interesting, but never as likable as you'd hope based on previous books, and -- even worse -- a bit predictable.

After its strong start, The Queen of Sinister adapts the now familiar pattern of travel across the ravaged English countryside and the mystical Far Lands, on a quest for an item or solution (in this case, a cure for the plague), interspersed with some horror, some mysticism, and plenty of action scenes. Readers will recognize the world's mystical underpinnings from the previous books, but -- maybe because all of it is by now very familiar -- Mark Chadbourn occasionally starts to sound preachy here.

Combine all of this with a plot that at times seems quite haphazard, and The Queen of Sinister is easily the weakest novel in the series so far. If you loved the previous books, you'll probably find some things to like here, but in the final analysis, The Queen of Sinister comes across as a weak novel in a generally strong series. Here's hoping that Mark Chadbourn will regain command of his formula and pull it all together convincingly in the trilogy's final volume, The Hounds of Avalon.
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