I read this book in one sitting. The story takes place many eons after "The Invisible Ring". To understand many of the references and enjoy the book to the fullest, you should read all of the preceding books. This book also deals with the scars people carry that aren't visible to the eye. And as much as I enjoyed the book (and I will read again), I missed Surreal.
Another wonderful book set in the world of the Black Jewels trilogy. Just the read I was longing for; a book that involves Janelle, Daemon, Saetan and Lucivar to various degrees but that involves little risk to them. The actual plot is not epic like the overall plot of the trilogy. It revolves around a warlord prince desperately searching for a queen to rule his inherited territory and hopefully restore peace and order after a landen vs. blood war. It is also the story of a queen who lacks confidence and self-esteem looking for a place to put down roots and reach her full potential.
Anne Bishop has such a touching way of bringing lovely, flawed characters to life. Not all of them are terribly lovable or sympathetic much as in real life but they ring true; we don't always like everyone we meet. This is a tale of broken hearts and shattered dreams and how one might begin to heal and the other to be rebuilt. It also gives us more of a window into the lives of Janelle and Daemon and how they continue to carefully feel their way into the future after the dramatic conclusion to the Black Jewels trilogy. I could read several more books much like this one, where we see the life they build and the new world they slowly shape where honor and service are finally rightly carried out.