The unspeakable has happened. At the end of Shadow's Fall, Jeremy broke David's signet, killing him and separating Miranda from her soulmate. Signet bearers are not meant out live each other and the grief nearly kills Miranda. Were it not for the intervention of Stella, a witch and long time fan of her music, Miranda might well have died. Deven and Johnathon show up to help Miranda run Haven and keep her sanity but all feel the grief and loss of David. Fortunately for them all, David isn't actually dead, he has become something else - Thirdborn. It seems Persephone has plans for her children and the pieces are being shifted into place. It's not a moment to soon because the human group Morningstar has its own set of plans for the vampire world which are guaranteed to be a game changer.
Miranda's grief was really well written and her pain was at times difficult to read. Deven did show up to help her mourn David's loss but I felt that Miranda's pain far over shadowed his. I know that one could argue that Miranda and David were soulmates and that Deven's soulmate is Johnathon; however, Sylvan has made a repeated point of reminding us just how much Deven and David love each other and therefore I really felt like Deven's pain shouldn't have been so overshadowed.
It's a measure of exactly how much that Miranda has grown as a character that she determined to rule her area as the Queen that she is even without David at her side. I love that she took the time to grieve but then got right back on her feet because that's what one does - one finds a way to live with the pain. It was obvious from the ending of Shadow's Fall that we would see David again. When David and Miranda do find each other again, David has greatly changed and the bond between them still hasn't returned. Miranda must choose if regaining her soul bond with David is worth taking a leap into the unknown and becoming an uber vampire. I love that Of Shadow Born is filled with women having the opportunity to choose for themselves what their fate will be. David doesn't pressure Miranda and gives her all the time she needs to make her decision. Similarly, when Stella meets the Goddess Persephone, she gets to choose whether or not she will risk herself to get the information that Miranda and David both need.
The addition of the witches to this story has not only been fun, it has broadened Sylvan's supernatural world. I very much like that Stella's interest in Miranda isn't about Miranda's vampire nature but her talent as an artist. That being said, given how long Stella has known Miranda, her willingness to sacrifice has me wondering if this storyline is going to turn into a case of unrequited love between the two women - something I could definitely do without. I highly suspect that the witches will have a larger role to play as the story goes on, particularly when it comes to the vampires learning about their own lore. Stella also looks like she will be a replacement for Kat and Faith but it's a bit early to say at this point.
I am also interested to know where the story with Persephone the vampire Goddess and MorningStar the human group determined to eliminate the vampires are going.Persephone is the perfect Goddess in this world as she is the queen of the underworld. I wonder how much more of her we will see as the story progresses.
As with many books in this series, when it comes to GLBT people, Sylvan absolutely has a problem. When David first returns, he has trouble remembering and so Miranda describes Deven as, "Our friend. Little guy, lots of leather, the world's oldest bitch queen."(pg 109) It's one thing for a gay man to self identify as a "queen" and another for a straight woman to label him that way. Miranda and Deven may have burried the hatchet so to speak but it still very much comes off as pejorative. When Stella sees Deven for the first time she calls him cute. Deven may be short in stature but he is one of the oldest vampires in existence and the power coming off of him is immense. If that were not enough, we learn that Deven is at least part elf. That's right, Sylvan made a gay man a fairy. Thanks for that.
Sylvan has made it clear that Deven is gay and yet in this novel, we have him expressing love for Miranda.
"Miranda," he said, a sort of gentle firmness in the word that brooked no disagreement, "I thought by now you would understand - things aren't like they were three years ago. If I never expected to still love him, after all those years, well, let's just say I was utterly blindsided by you."
"Yes...I would do anything for you. Anything. Ask for the stars and I'll do what I can." (pg 162)
Here's the the thing, platonic love between Miranda and Deven I suppose I could wrap my mind around but Sylvan certainly stretches the limit on this point.