Book Reviews of Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1)

Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1)
Daughter of the Blood - Black Jewels, Bk 1
Author: Anne Bishop
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780451456717
ISBN-10: 0451456718
Publication Date: 3/1/1998
Pages: 416
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 335

4.2 stars, based on 335 ratings
Publisher: Roc
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

33 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
While it is sort of high drama with intrigue and nefarious plots by people who want power, I found myself nearly laughing out loud many times. Jaenelles exploits, whether we read them or not, are rather amusing, many times because of the reactions her adventures provoke in her guardians.

It was also nice to see the Bishop could take a thread and weave it through the entire book. Something you read in the beginning chapters would be fully understood only later on. It was gratifying to read the more in-depth reasons for something you had already gathered was important and find that it was not only important it was more important than you had guessed.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
With The Black Jewels Trilogy (consisting of Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness), Anne Bishop has taken the literature of dark fantasy to heights I never even dreamed of. She has created a universe I can barely begin to describe, a realm of kingdoms ruled by women -- in the form of witches, priestesses and Black Widow queens -- where the strongest of men are forced into the role of consort to the most vindictive of mistresses. Bishop turns good and evil upside down in this masterful literary vision, giving us heroes the likes of Saetan the High Lord of Hayll, his sons Daemon Sadi and Lucivar, and one very special and very powerful young lady named Jaenelle Angelline.
If you are searching for something different, something that will completely captivate you in the form of a world unlike any you have yet encountered in your literary journeys, The Black Jewels Trilogy stands ready to redefine your very conception of the literature of dark fantasy. This is fantasy that should appeal to women as well as men, for this is not just another work of fantasy built around warlike dwarves, ethereal elves and heroic battles fought by stereotypical male characters. The Black Jewels Trilogy is literature of the highest order, more than earning author Anne Bishop the title I now personally bestow upon her: the Queen of Dark Fantasy.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 123 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
An unusual fantasy novel that works well, and is fascinating in a dreadful way. The book is dark, chilling and charming. The fantasy world within is topsy-turvy to the traditional fare. The dead denizens of Hell have more humanity than the living. Sexual violation, childhood innocence and conceptions of good and evil are explored in the way that sci-fi and fantasy does best. An excellent book, but it really should be R-rated. I think the cover art and back cover description are deceptively benign, and parts of the book are a bit malevolent. The book description here at PBS is much more truthful and indicative of the content.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Oh my. My my MY.

I don't quite know where to start. I devoured this book. I carried it around in my purse with me. I read it in restaurants and at work. And I'm reading the second book in the series much like I did the first.

In a lot of ways Bishop's writing reminds me of Guy Gavriel Kay's writing. Not necessarily in voice and cadence but in craftsmanship. I find myself as much involved with these characters as I was with Kay's while reading The Summer Tree. Though I hope I can manage to finish this trilogy as Kay's Fionivar Tapestry is still languishing on my bookshelf because I don't want to see the characters hurt any more!

One of the many reasons I enjoyed Daughter of the Blood is that while it is sort of high drama with intrigue and nefarious plots by people who want power, I found myself nearly laughing out loud many times. Jaenelle's exploits, whether we read them or not, are rather amusing, many times because of the reactions her adventures provoke in her guardians.

It was also nice to see the Bishop could take a thread and weave it through the entire book. Something you read in the beginning chapters would be fully understood only later on. It was gratifying to read the more in-depth reasons for something you had already gathered was important and find that it was not only important it was more important than you had guessed.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 185 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Several people recommended I try Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy based on my love of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series. I can see why -- both books share a similar forthrightness about the act of love, particularly love tinged with sado-masochism. However, right off the bat it became obvious that while in the Kushiel novels sado-masochism was about trust, in Daughter of the Blood it is about power.

Every character in the novel except for Jaenelle is involved in power plays large and small; there is no trust to be had between any two individuals (again, excepting Jaenelle). This made the novel incredibly frustrating for me -- I hate it when the entirety of the conflict in a novel could be solved by a few of the people sitting down together, talking things out, and taking that (to me, easy) leap of faith that they aren't all trying to stab each other in the back. That that lack of trust meant that Jaenelle was being sexually abused (blindingly obvious to me from page one, though none of the men that supposedly loved her noticed) for almost 400 pages with no one to step in and rescue her made me very angry at times.

Many things in the novel created a low level of frustration. The magic system was too much like in an RPG; I never got any sense for the physical landscape; I could have used a cast of characters but none was provided; there were too many places where the most obvious choice was taken in a scene. (How many times do I have to see/read a character get offered a handkerchief, blow his/her nose in it, then wonder whether to hand it back to the person who offered it?) On a larger level, Daemon's rigidly controlled lust for Jaenelle left a bad taste in my mouth -- I don't care that her soul was Witch, and ageless; both her body and her consciousness were that of a 12-year old girl. Given Daemon's character as it had been set out prior to their meeting, his strong physical reaction to her presence didn't fit. I didn't accept their relationship until several chapters in, when Bishop showed Jaenelle bringing out his playful side and giving him a glimpse of the childhood he never had.

But that scene served as a sort of turning-point for me with this novel. At that moment I finally believed in Jaenelle and Daemon as people, and once I believed I cared desperately what was going to happen to them. I read the final quarter of the novel breathlessly, rooting for a happy ending with all my heart. Therein lies the real difference between the Kushiel novels and Daughter of the Blood: from page one in Kushiel's Dart, Carey treated her heroic characters like real people, showing their flaws and hesitations, showing their epic qualities, and always balancing those bits with their humor and lightheartedness and joy. That balance between the heroic and the mundane, the dark and the light, captured my heart immediately, while Bishop took almost 300 pages to do the same. I will be continuing the trilogy, because I finally did break through and love Jaenelle, but I certainly can't put it in the same breath as Jacqueline Carey's masterpiece yet.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
There are three more books to follow this one:
1. Heir to the Shadows,
2. Queen of Darkness, and
3. The Invisible Ring.

Great storytelling, fantastic plotting, and characterizations. Rich fantasy in a fascinating world. Imaginative magical sparkle.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 140 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was very difficult to get into. Because it is fantasy, and the first book in a series, there is just so much explaining about the way of the world that needs to be done and characters that need to be introduced. Even though I struggled with the reading, even 150 pages in, I found myself horridly fascinated with where the story could go. I kept reading, and the more I read, the more I found myself drawn to the book.

My biggest recommendation on this book is to keep reading. It was worth it for me. So worth it that the first thing I did when I finished the book was wishlist the rest of the trilogy.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is dark fanfiction for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading actual fanfiction. Which is a pity, because there's a lot of it out there, and some of it is considerably better than this book.

I will agree with those who said that this was a dramatic narrative of intrigue and sensuality. This is true. It was more dramatic than I liked, in fact. And while the story was certainly sensual, it wasn't particularly graphic; that is, if this were a fanfiction, I would expect to see it rated R, as opposed to NC-17. One of the things that I didn't like about this book was that the erotic scenes were generally gratuitous, doing nothing to further the story, and having very little emotional impact.

There is nothing egregiously wrong with Bishop's writing. If you have never read any other dark fantasy, this might be a good place to start. Of course, a better place to start is with Anne Borchardt's Night of the Wolf, or Sarah Monette's Melusine.

Part of what I disliked about this book was the language used to describe sexual acts and abuse. The romance cliche of using vague metaphor -- 'his throbbing member' -- is glaringly evident in every erotic scene. Of course, the book probably wouldn't have made it to print if every use of 'speared' was replaced with the more accurate f-word. There were a lot of those instances.

Another thing that I disliked about this book was that it felt like a Forgotten Realms spin-off about the Drow society. Or a fantasy novel ala Star Trek Mirror-Universe. No one has any level of compassion for anyone else -- they have a certain loyalty, but only because loyalty is mutually beneficial in the long run. The only reason any of the characters have to sympathize with another, is so that they can use each other in their personal intrigues. Women keep their men as little more than slaves, provided that they are powerful enough to keep their men subjugated. I was so convinced that this was a Drow society, that I kept envisioning the characters as dark elves. (Which made every mention of Jaenelle's golden hair and fair skin an interestingly disorienting experience). This was, however, another personal frame-of-reference objection.

Recommended only to those readers who have an interest in dark fantasy, and an affinity for extremely high levels of drama.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 287 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I had read this before a few years ago and remember really liking it. That memory of really liking it returned with this reading. This is a book that just feels quite different from other fantasy books. It's a little dark in places and things happen that are pretty horrible, but it's a really great story and written really well.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A bit dark, but well written with good character development and an interesting twist gender roles.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 636 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I do love this book. I really do - and I don't quite understand how others don't - it's darkly beautiful, sensual and takes a comic turn with names.

I think I originally read the first two in one sitting and raced to get the third from the store.

It's a pleasure to re-read them, and it only makes me more excited for the new story to come.

This one is probably my favorite - as it is largely the most shocking and I think Bishop does a great job with the characters - of course, I know about the characters to come which makes me wonder if this one is truly my favorite - or if it's just the whole series in general that I truly adore.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very, very, VERY weird...but still a fun and interesting read...not for kids!
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent! Loved the world, the characters, the plot. Complex, multiple-character plots swirling together. These are some of my favorite books, ever.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A dark world that I had never met before. Could not get into at first but then I could not put it down!

First in a trilogy. 4 stars
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 115 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A truly awesome series! I had a hard time letting this one go.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
First book in series, I really liked it. I liked the characters and the world created by the author. It took me awhile to get "into the book".
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 98 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read a few reviews that said to wait until page 100 before even thinking about giving up on this book. Let me tell you--it was hard to get there.

There IS a comprehensible story here, and the world Bishop builds is interesting. Weird, gross, and interesting. I felt as though I was in a fog reading this book--understanding, but not really "getting it". It is a very dark fantasy with some disturbing elements. (Definitely NOT for children).

I have the next two in the series and I am not sure if I will read them or not.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Bibliophile's Bestiary Blog at bibliophile-bestiary.blogspot.com

I picked up the second and third book in this series because it was on sale. The cover art was really neat and the story idea was appealing. It didn't disappoint! The first book was a great lead in to the world. The characters are wonderful and very interesting. It took some time getting used to how different it was, and sometimes I got lost on what was going on and had to re-read the last few sentences, but it was worth it. The book had me pulled in and captured. It does have some parts that are a little graphic, and some points that made me angry that something like that would happen to a character I liked, but it is a good emotion feel towards a book. I am very anxious to continue the series to see what happens next! 4 out of 5 stars.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Just not my cup of tea, I heard wonderful things about it though.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Ok so i dont usually give reviews on books but this one is so good I had to.I ususally go for paranormal romance but a friend of my suggested i read this and after this one i was hooked I mean it gets dark in some place but is good it makes you think isreal intead of just fiction and the characters are always funny and tender at the same time they can be cruel and just everything plus Janelle small is quite funny and getting to know of the realms just as she is learning is good.Great book
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 176 more book reviews
Great start to what I hope will be an amazing series! What is witch, does witch still exist? In this world that Bishop has created people of the blood and by people I mean Women, control all aspects of society. Men are basically pleasure slaves. A young girl starts to show up in strange places. Is she witch? Is she the one everyone of Blood has been waiting for? The character development is fantastic. I cannot wait for more!
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 141 more book reviews
Reviewed by Bibliophile's Bestiary Blog at bibliophile-bestiary.blogspot.com

I picked up the second and third book in this series because it was on sale. The cover art was really neat and the story idea was appealing. It didn't disappoint! The first book was a great lead in to the world. The characters are wonderful and very interesting. It took some time getting used to how different it was, and sometimes I got lost on what was going on and had to re-read the last few sentences, but it was worth it. The book had me pulled in and captured. It does have some parts that are a little graphic, and some points that made me angry that something like that would happen to a character I liked, but it is a good emotion feel towards a book. I am very anxious to continue the series to see what happens next! 4 out of 5 stars.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 34 more book reviews
A rich, dark fantasy. Definitely not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. The characters are deep, complex and fully realized, so real you might feel you know them. I was totally enchanted, pulled into Anne Bishop's world on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Queens rule and males serve, but the hierarchy has been badly disrupted by a corrupt few who have spread their poison throughout the realm. A faithful few have waited centuries for the coming of the one who will set things right; Witch, she who will be dreams made flesh. But first Witch must survive to adulthood, until she can make her offering to darkness and claim her power so she can save those who have been waiting for her.

Read this book and fall under her spell.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 88 more book reviews
The first book, besides anne rice's vampire lestat, that got me into reading for pleasure. A dark, layered tale of power struggles and destinies. Its got plenty of blood and action mixed with star-crossed lovers and tortured romances. Unlike her more recent stuff, this one is gritty, and it carried my attention unwaveringly.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
I have mixed feelings about this book. I couldn't stop reading and yet found myself highly creeped out by a main character with a physical response to a 12-year old, even if he was engaged more by her "old soul" presence. And yet I want to read the next one. I can only wish that Anne Bishop had left that part out of the novel - it wouldn't have impacted the storyline. While I will read the next book, I'd gladly have never read this one. Again, engaging but also icky.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 225 more book reviews
Couldn't stop reading it. Awfully good. A little confusing at first but once you get the players down it's hard to put down.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
Hmm, one chapter was enough. I usually love long fantasy series but not this one. Starts out with a man chained and rats are encouraged to eat his genitals. A little dark, don't you think?
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
Absolutely atrocious. Couldn't read the first chapter.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
I found these books somewhat interesting, but over all not very satisfying. The story line seemed to build , but in the end seemed anti-climatic.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 115 more book reviews
This book was really good. I did have a hard time reading the first couple of chapters. There was too much going on and I kept having to go to the front to keep checking about the color of the Jewels and the whole blood hierarchy thing. Once I got passed that this book was hard to put down I'm glad I did not give up. It's an interesting concept that women have all the powder and the fight begins to rule this little girl named Janelle. Daemon is such a tortured soul and along comes a little girl named Janelle who is destined to be his queen. She changes everything and makes people that love her worry for her with her constant crazy questions and comings and goings. Saetan is also another delicious character who falls in love with this little girl and considers her the daughter of his soul. I love the interaction between Saetan and Janelle and Daemon and Janelle. There are other characters in this story that I also want to learn more of. Surreal and Lucivar. This book had me cheering for the High Lord of hell and his namesake Daemon. I can't wait to read the second book.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD is the beginning of a trilogy, of a work where dark power holds sway, and the heroes/heroines struggle hard against corrupted Witches, Warlords, and their minions. It begins with a prophecy of a child, the Dark Queen-to-be, of two troubled men, their ancient, canny father, and a loathsome secret...and a child destined to turn all of this around.
Jaenelle Angelline is that child. Misunderstood, lonely beyond bearing, angry, troubled, and strangely powerful, this child faces enemies she doesn't even know she has. The Warlord Prince Daemon, and his brother each find her the Queen they long for--but the battle to save this child is an uphill one, full pitfalls...
This novel is not for those looking for light fantasy. There are themes and emotions here that are violent, including rape. Still, the story is well-told, the world Anne Bishop creates deeply affecting and powerfully written, and it really speaks to one question: how do you cope with pervasive evil? How do you help a child in danger?
If the reader follows through and reads the trilogy, these questions--in the context of this world--can be answered.
Jaenelle's answer is one of love and self-sacrifice. This book is only the beginning of the heavy price she pays to bring her world around.
it is a story well worth the reader's time.
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on + 150 more book reviews
In this fantasy matriarchal land, people are ranked by their power based on what color jewels they are mystically assigned to wear when they come of age. The darker the jewel, the better. The women all have some sort of witchcraft power, but none have had the power of The Witch in hundreds of years. Corrupt women have messed with the structure of society turning it from harmony to darkly using the men and women to their own advantage. Men in particular are used by controlling them via a ring of obedience (placed around their penis). Into this messed-up society the much waited for Witch is born, but most do not recognize her. Lucky for her, the demon dead Saetan and his two living sons, Daemon and Lucivar, do.

I flat-out admit I don't generally like high fantasy, but when a friend gifted this trilogy to me for my birthday, I agreed to be open-minded. I can see why she thought I might like it. It is graphically violent, sexual, and flips patriarchy on its head by presenting a matriarchy. It just rubbed me the wrong way though.

First, all of the fantasy stuff from the jewels to the organization of society to the ring of obedience makes zero sense to me. I feel like Bishop could have explained it wayyy better. More on the ring of obedience: why women would have a gorgeous sex slave then put something on his dick that makes it impossible for him to have intercourse with her (just do other things to her) makes zero sense to me. What woman would want that? Let alone all of the women. Then there's Daemon's completely inappropriate feelings for and sexual interactions with Jaenelle that bothered me far more than the occurrences at the insane asylum, because Daemon is presented as one of her protectors. What's up with that? I honestly don't know what Bishop was thinking. I can only hope that these issues get cleared up in the next book, because at this point it just seems like one majorly fucked-up nightmare.

Check out my full review. (Link will be live on August 17, 2011).
reviewed Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1) on
book one of the black jewels trilogy. mystical, sensual glittering with dark magic.
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