Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

The Black Jewels Trilogy + Dreams Made Flesh

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By Anne Bishop
Read: 1: High school. 2: June 2006.

I love this books. I cannot BEGIN to express how much I love these books. There’s so much to talk about… I’m going to have to try to limit myself.

I must’ve passed over Queen about a thousand times in B&N. I always went with something else. I FINALLY decided to take a shot on it…without seeing that it was the third in the trilogy. But the little I did read was awesome, so I went back and got the first. But I have yet to EVER see the second on that particular shelf. With a vacation fast approaching I brought both and hoped we could go to a bookstore in San Fran. We didn’t… but I did find Heir in a podunk little bookstore in the crappiest little ‘artist’s town’ I have ever been forced to spend more than a few hours. It’s very almost worth it. I blew through the whole series in a few days and loved it. You lucky people can now enjoy an omnibus edition.
Before we go any further, I should warn you. These books are very dark. They are NOT for your eleven-year-old neice. There is A Lot of Sexual Content. And not always the loving kind, either. The themes are dark, brutal, and cruel. The ‘hero’ is a man called The Sadist. Do you get my drift? Good. Assuming I’ve sufficiently piqued your interest, open the cut and lets read on!

Daughter of the Blood

The little girl to your right is Jaenelle Angelline. She has blond hair, and blue eyes. One day she invites herself, 7 year old with no basic Craft skills, into the High Lord of Hell’s very private study to say hello. This is no ordinary little girl.

She is not just any witch–she is Witch. An elemental force, dreams made flesh, the Queen of the Darkness from which the powers in this world stem. After millennia of dreaming, the Blood (the magically-gifted nobility) have finally been gifted with her awesome form. …but the Blood don’t all appreciate her. They’ve lost their connection to the old ways and now corruption and avarice runs rampant.

It’s Saetan (not a typo) who recognizes her as the daughter of his soul. Yes, he’s the ruler of Hell (one of the three physical realms), but he has dreamt for 50,000 years of a Queen he can serve with pride. Jaenelle likes him as well, and he becomes her teacher. It quickly becomes to Saetan that the people she lives with–her biological family–don’t understand her at all. They think she’s strange, eccentric… ill. Her stories about unicorns and odd friends are too insistent to be daydreams–so they continually send her to a local hospital for the mentally unstable.

To Saetan’s deep frustration, Jaenelle insists that she cannot leave them yet, though she would be happier and safer with him. Her sister is also in danger.

To the horror and surprise of all who give a damn, danger takes up residence in the Angelline home. His name is Daemon Sadi, and he has torn Queens apart with a vengeance that makes others shit themselves. Though Saetan knows why Daemon is so twisted, even he has some fear of him.

Daemon is also a very strong dreamer… strong enough to dream of a Queen who weilds her power with justice. A Queen he can love. …honestly, he believes he was born to be her lover. There’s just one teensy problem with that.

Jaenelle is only 12 years old.

Heir To the Shadows

Keep in mind–spoilers abound. So don’t read on–go get the books!!!

Heir resumes directly after Daughter left off.

The challice is broken. Though her ability to weild the Jewels was preserved, Jaenelle’s mind was shattered.

So was Daemon’s. Though Witch was able to put it back together, he emerges from Cassandra a fragile, weakened man with no memory of what happened.

Saetan takes Jaenelle to his home in Kaeleer (There are three Realms–you’ll get the hang on it later) where she sleeps, healing her mind.

Daemon is not so lucky.

As she begins to restore herself, she is joined by old friends from across the Realms. Keep a lookout for Karla, the coolest Queen to ever say “Kiss kiss!”

Though Daemon is out of comission, Lucivar, the Brother in Jaenelle’s triangle finds her and establishes himself as the loving, bullying older brother she needs.

Middle books in trilogies are often labelled as ‘fillers,’ that nothing really happens in them. This one does. Jaenelle grows up, and is faced with enemies who will use her as a tool to hurt Saetan, her beloved Papa.

Heir is a story of love… the love between a father and his many children. The love between siblings. The love of endurance.

Queen of the Darkness

Everyone stupid enough to fuck with Jaenelle, the Dark Court, the kindred, or Ebon Askavi gets theirs. But you anticipated that.

Daemon returns, but is he well enough to face Witch? Can she accept his physical gifts? Or has she found someone else to wear the Consort’s Ring in the 8 years since they last met?

Worst of all… does Daemon deserve Jaenelle’s love? How far will he go to prove himself?

How much will she give of herself to save everyone else?

Everything has a price.

Is it worth the cost if they risk Jaenelle?

I love these books. I love them so much that I cannot speak about them properly.Yes, they’re brutal. Yes, the way sex is wielded as a weapon is horrific. But beyond that is love. The love of their odd family, Princes, witches and kindred all. It’s endearing and I found myself wanting to cry at times. I also burst out laughing at other times. Bishop has a brilliant turn of phrase–her characters are cheeky and smart. You only have to take one look at Surreal to know that.I think I might’ve broken down after Queen if that had been all. But it’s not. *SQUEAL* There’s an addendum of short stories called…Dreams Made FleshFour short stories (two of which border on novellas) that just wouldn’t have fit in the books.

The first is about the creation of the Blood. Lovers of Lorn, Draca, the Weavers, and creation myths will be very happy. It’s a bit surreal, as the POV is unusual, but it’s very nice to have the official explanation. It’s ok to read it ahead of time as long as you have a really crap memory like I do.
The second… Ah, the second. How Lucivar met Marian. It’s delicious. All those lovely bits of sap and fluff that would never have worked in the trilogy. Though it takes place between Heir and Queen, do not read it before Queen. Or you’ll lose the dramatic whatnot of it. Oh yeah… and you get to find out why Roxie stopped bothering Lucivar all of a sudden. Muahaha.
The third is a story “from Saetan’s past.” If you’ve ever wondered how the hell Saetan stayed married to that bitch Hekatah for so long, this is the story for you. It’s too short, in my opinion, to build up the right amount of horror and shock, but it works. I’d be very interested in a book about all of Saetan’s past, but it doesn’t seem to be in the works.

The fourth takes place after Queen, and is a direct continuation. Jaenelle is so, so fragile… Daemon is afraid to touch her–even the lightest pressure leaves deep bruises. Now he feels her pulling away from him. Why? Will he lose her? Mother Night…

And–oh, this is too cool. Anne Bishop’s website says another Black Jewels book is forthcoming for 2008. YAY!!

I love you, Ms. Bishop. I love everything in here. Thank you.


Written by Shen

July 5, 2006 at 3:14 pm

One Response

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  1. […] Anne Bishop Read: High school, again in 2006 Rating: Decent Part of the Black Jewels Realms, […]

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