**ARC of The Roman provided in exchange of an honest review**
“We try to touch the stars, but we always fall back to earth.”
As soon as I became aware of the new series written by Sylvain Reynard, I was ecstatic with joy and extremely anxious. At the end of Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy, I felt a bit empty. I longed for more of Sylvain’s writing, a writing that always enchants me, which always makes me thirsty for more, which always enriches me.
As soon as the first book in the series was released in US, I could not contain the urge to dive into it as fast as possible; and what a pleasant surprise I had with the universe created by Sylvain and his/her brilliant mind, full of knowledge of the most diverse worlds and subjects.
As in Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy, the richness and variety of information, references, culture, history, and knowledge took over every page of The Prince, and later in The Raven, being presented through a narrative with a cadence so peculiar that only Sylvain is capable of producing. I don’t know how to explain it, but every time I read a book written by Sylvain Reynard, I feel as if the arrangement of words is intentionally thought out so that they can caress his/her readers. It’s almost palpable. Sylvain’s narrative followed its magical, poetic, caressing rhythm from the first word of The Prince to the last word in The Roman. A fluid rhythm and thought for every moment of the narrative; sweet and soft or fast and electrifying at the right moments.
The underworld created by the author was breathtaking. Complex, hypnotizing, very interesting. Each presented character brought with it a story and a description more interesting than the other, with its own characteristics that always present us with valuable lessons, and their set built one of the most interesting paranormal underworlds I have ever read. As a paranormal genre fan, especially from books that address vampires, I can say that I never felt a déjà vu while reading these books. At every revelation about the underworld created by Sylvain Reynard, an expression of surprise and awe took over my face. And, as always, the plethora of references included in the plot made it even richer. I couldn’t help but be, once again, in awe of Sylvain’s ability to work a range of themes and references in such a skillful, cohesive and coherent way.
“I am the darkness made visible.”
In The Prince and The Raven, Sylvain introduced his/her underworld, presenting his/her characters and the groups that make up this new reality, and introducing the starting points for his/her main and adjacent plots. With a magnificently intelligent connection, Sylvain linked the world we knew in Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy to the underworld of The Florentine series. With a balanced and descriptive narrative, Sylvain took our vails off and opened our horizons to the supernatural world.
In The Shadow, the author continued with the story, presenting themes that are always current, regardless of which century may occur, and working magnificently, as always, themes inherent to the human being as forgiveness, mercy, hope and love. Despair versus hope followed their tireless battle, and made me reflect on our own actions. The narrative continued, leading us to an electrifying, action-packed ending that made my heart race and adrenaline pound.
In The Roman, Sylvain brought, once again, a not only electrifying but also poetic ending to the series. In the last book, the author unveiled the last secrets of this world, fought the last battles. The author kept the pace of his/her narrative, warily thought for every precise moment. In certain chapters, my heart was beating so fast I could feel it, the knot in the stomach was also there and my breathing became difficult. Sylvain’s words has this kind of power over me, at least. In other chapters, my eyes were wet, even at moments when a smile took over my face. In the end, Sylvain’s words touched and comforted me. Only Sylvain Reynard is able to bring a narrative with both burning and comforting rhythm at the same time.
“You are my choice, my destiny, my blessing and my curse.
If I were to lose you, my life would be over.”
I also need to emphasize that the sarcastic touch also so peculiar to the author was there. The way the Prince referred to our dear Gabriel made me laugh many times. Sylvain does not have an artificial and forced humor, but a natural sarcastic, ironic humor that he/she applies at the right moments and that always please me.
Speaking of Gabriel, it was nostalgic to see our beloved characters once again and appease a little of my longing for this remarkable trilogy.
The Florentine series is undoubtedly a highly recommended reading, both for those who are fond of the paranormal genre and vampire themes, and who want something new and different, as for those who are not familiar with the genre. Because when it concerns to the books written by Sylvain Reynard, the plot is always only a backdrop for much deeper and more valuable reflections and lessons, as well as the infinite source of knowledge that he/she always presents to us.
Lastly, I just want to point out that I got a bittersweet taste of wanting more at the end of The Roman. I was curious about the destiny of certain characters and groups. And was eager for some outcomes. Can we expect more about them? As a good curious, I cannot help but hope that something is yet to come.
By Fernanda Aragão