I’m sad to say that I was a little disappointed in Veil of Shadows. I loved the first Lightworld/ Darkworld novel, Queene of Light, and while I didn’t like Child of Darkness quite as much, I was intrigued by the plot elements that Jennifer Armintrout moved into place during that book.
The first part of Veil of Shadows deals with Cerridwen and Cedric’s journey to Ireland, where they plan to confront the pretender Queene, Danae, who caused so much trouble for the Lightworld in Child of Darkness. Cerridwen’s old impulsiveness dies hard, and she does some frustratingly rash things during the voyage. It’s probably realistic; no one changes overnight. But her immature acts, and Cedric’s reactions to them, make it harder for me to “buy” the romance that Armintrout is setting up between the two. The difference in their ages is measurable in millennia, and sometimes I get more of a father-daughter vibe from this pair. While there was also a vast age difference between Ayla and Malachi, Malachi’s “fish out of water” status put them on a more even footing. Malachi may not have been young, but he was green in many respects.
When our protagonists reach Ireland, it gets better. Here, we see Cerridwen truly step into a queenly role. Then, when Queene Danae hatches a diabolical plot that threatens to destroy Cedric and Cerridwen by using their budding feelings against them, Armintrout makes the scene so wrenching, so heartbreaking, that I completely forgot I had issues with these two as a couple. I suddenly wanted nothing more than to see them triumph over this particularly nasty bit of adversity. I also loved the scenes in which Cerridwen does some soul-searching and realizes what sort of Queene she wants to be, and what goals she’d like to achieve for her people.
Unfortunately, these sequences are followed by a couple of scenes — a battle and a supernatural event, but I won’t spoil any more than that — that feel a little rushed. Veil of Shadows is the shortest book of the three, and it’s not for lack of plot. There are several plotlines here that, in my opinion, could have been better if explored at greater length.
I enjoyed the Lightworld/Darkworld series overall, but I think Queene of Light was the best of the three novels.