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.
I adore this series and this book was no exception. Excellent! My only complaint was the brevity of a scene that was built up through the previous 2 installments (trying not to post spoilers). WAY too short and anti-climactic, like she rushed through it to get to the rest of the book. However I highly highly recommend this series, it's one of my favorites.
The first part of it was quite good. I was just as much in love with the characters as I was in the first two books. I enjoyed the small amusements even in the face of the adversity. The kindred Blood were more important in this book and so we got to see more of them; this was a pleasant happenstance for me because I enjoyed how Bishop wrote them. Unfortunately, the ending was less than satisfactory for me. Don't get me wrong, it was âgoodâ as these things go but it left me with more questions than it did answers! I know the main outcome of the story but I want to know how things continued from that point. It's my understanding that Bishop has written another book with for novellas of a sort from this world. One continues the story and so I think I'm going to have to find it and devour it like I did the other books in this series.
The third book in the Black Jewels Trilogy stayed true to the story and characters. All in all, it was a satisfying book, but there were times when I wished for a bit more oomph, or cowbell, or something. Daemon finally arrives in court to be the Queen's Consort and it seems a bit like Anne Bishop wasn't quite sure how to get it on between these two - almost like she's good at writing masochism and sadism, warmth and family, but not quite comfortable with true love. Another awkward bit for me was how the author resolves the fates of the villainess' Dorothea and Heketah who are back stirring up big trouble again. With Witch being big-time powerful and finally coming of age, I was looking forward to a giant can of whoop-ass at the climax, and although the Event was big, the telling of it could have taken some lessons from any one of Buffy the Vampire's season finales for satisfaction. Still, for a full-fledged setting, excellent banter, and plain perversion, this trilogy rocks.
this book concludes the series. that's the best part of the whole book. i kept reading because i felt invested after having read the first two books, but this whole series suffers from the build up by the author of what i can only portray as, to much power. she tries to make the male characters seem so scary and powerful... but then, the women are still more powerful. Not to be outdone, the main character is still even more powerful than even that, so powerful in fact that she's off the charts... (yes, this one goes to 11). so if we're all so powerful, why do we have to be so weak? the good guys get pushed around by the weaker bad guys with some really weak ploys to take over the worlds, and the to be cliche, the whole thing comes off as .... wait for it... WEAK.
find another series to read. unless your desperate.
This concluding novel of the Black Jewels trilogy is the strongest of the bunch. Bishop manages to keep all of her male leads on screen this time, and all the character-building that went on in the previous two books means that I cared about what happened to them all from the start. The world-building is still the weakest aspect of these books (though I finally got, in this third volume, that the only access from Terreille to Kaeleer and vice versa is through portals, so there's very little communication between the two realms) but again, it's less problematic now that the work has been put in getting through books 1 & 2.
The stakes are higher in this book than the previous two; Jaenelle has now come of age and taken the reigns of power, so Hekatah and Dorothea band together to make a final attempt to wrest control of the realms from her hands. The conflict is still predominantly of the "We can't possibly trust each other enough to share information, so we're at risk from our enemies" variety, and I have never understood why Saetan sits idly by and allows Hekatah and Dorothea to ruin so many peoples' lives, but while that's frustrating it still is effective at creating tension. And while there are many ways this series is inferior to Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel novels, there is one thing the two series share that I wish there was more of in heroic fantasy: in both series there is a sense that "everything has a price." Victories are not bought cheaply; they come with blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of sacrifice. Despite the lack of trust, that makes these characters (and this world) feel more adult -- they go into situations with their eyes open, knowing that the consequences may be too much to bear, but that the decisions have to be made anyway. Daemon's sacrifice in the climax (the intended one and the unintended one) nearly broke my heart -- and that's high praise for any book.
Oh. I do love this series so much - I wish there was more to the ending... but there are two more books (three technically) in this world and I want to read them, so I can't even spend any more time writing about how much I love this book!
Paula P. (hubris) reviewed Queen of the Darkness (Black Jewels, Bk 3) on
The final addition of the Black Jewels Trilogy was as enjoyable as the others, but by no means my favourite. The writing style, plot, and character development were all explored and the looming danger and climax of the trilogy was well-done. However, I found that it lacked the charm of the first two books.