More books: Black Jewels

Another book update! I swear I had a mild flu over the symptoms except feeling crappy and wanting to stay in bed the whole time..and since I had Friday and Sunday off, and nothing but class on Saturday, I basically did!

What also might have contributed to that was the books I was reading. They also might have contributed to me completely ignoring my husband the whole weekend.

One of my favorite series of all times. Recommended to me by my bestie. Despite it being about my fourth time through, I could not put it down.

The Black Jewels Trilogy

Daughter of the Blood
Heir to the Shadows
Queen of the Darkness

Anne Bishop

This is one of my top three favorite series, so I definitely recommend it, but I only recommend it to the open-minded. For one thing, Saetan is a main character..and a really nice guy! (Lord of the underworld Saetan, not hell vs. heaven Saetan, if that makes it any better). One of my favorite things about this book is that the characterization is phenomenal, you will be sucked in and you will care about the people in it. And these people are some of the most unique characters in one of the most unique settings I’ve come across. The main-main character is a young girl named Jaenelle. She lives in a world governed by magic, where the Blood can use craft in all three realms (two of which are for the living, one of which is for the dead). The society is matriarchical, with women Blood ruling and men serving by their natures. It is also a world where darkness reigns; your power is reflected in the color of the jewels you wear, and the darker the jewels you can wear, the more power you have. Jaenelle, who we first meet as a child of 5, has more power than anyone in the history of the Blood, and is the embodiment of a prophecy millenia in the making. We watch her grow and develop into Witch, the powerful ruler of all, and love her and cheer for her and her friends and teachers the whole way through.

Bishop has created a fascinating, mystical world and filled it with captivating characters. Her storytelling is phenomenal. The plot is rich and the love story evocative. Her characters come to life, and it may be hard to remember you don’t know them outside the pages of a book. The story will linger with you long after you have read it. This is writing at its best. Read it.

And once you have, try…

Dreams Made Flesh

Anne Bishop

Bishop is one of the few authors I have come across who has successfully written a follow-up set of short-stories to her phenomenal core work. Dreams Made Flesh is four short stories, two of which are very short, and two of which are longer. The two longer ones are my favorites, one telling the story of Lucivar between books 2 and 3, and one telling the story of Jaenelle after the trilogy ended. It is so great to reconnect with the characters, and I really feel that these stories fill out and add to the main trilogy, rather than just being tacked on. I would even go so far as to say you’ve not gotten the whole Black Jewels Trilogy experience until you’ve read the two longer short stories contained here. This last short story finally gives the series a real ending, some good closure, and a much more satisfying stopping place than where the original story ended. In addition, these stories really fill out many of the characters more, letting you get to know them well and see new sides to their personalities. Highly, highly recommend, but only if you’ve read the Black Jewels trilogy.

I love these books. There is a book that technically comes in between the trilogy and Dreams Made Flesh, but it isn’t really connected to the characters as well (if I remember) so it didn’t really stick with me. I’m reading it now. And will follow it with the four other books which have since come out in the Black Jewels world. (None of which give me new letters, but I can afford some time since it’s April and I have 13/26 letters of the alphabet done!) I’ll be sure to let you know how they are, too, since once you’re sucked into this world I’m sure you, too, will want all you can get of it!

If you read them I’d love to hear what you think!



Filed under Books, Life

8 responses to “More books: Black Jewels

  1. These sound awesome. I love a good fantasy series.

    Thanks, can’t wait to track the first one down.

    • Yay! If you want to save some money the three book compilation is just $14.66 on Amazon. That’s what I have. It’s a giant honkin’ book, but well done with the different books clearly differentiated. Just throwin’ that out there… :-)

  2. I will check it out – thanks!

  3. Hmmmm, I have concerns.

    The Amazon reviews were…mixed.

    So here’s my litmus test question. Did you read and if so, how do you feel about the Twilight Series?

    : )

    • Aaaw, no fair. :-P I really enjoyed Twilight, which shocked me, but I realize it is trash. I will say this is also one of the favorite stories of my best friend and she hates Twilight. :-) I’d say pick it up, try the first few chapters and see how you feel. What you see there is pretty much what you get the whole way through.

    • Also, I think a lot of people have problems because it is very not what you expect. It’s not normal fantasy by any stretch, but also not what many think of when they think of hell. The society she’s set up and how males are compelled to serve is unnerving if you can’t accept very out of the box. And her definition of queen, for example, is not the same we use here. If you’re looking for touchstones or fulfilment based on how you normally think of things, this book won’t give it. The world is entirely other, and thus so are the characters and their motivations. I got sucked in and could accept that and felt she gave good explanations if you could accept how different they were, I love fantasy for its creation of other, but not all can or do.

    • And finally, come on, the reviews are mostly glowing five stars! There are some lower ones in there, but there fives really are fives for this book, lots of “one of the best I ever read” and such. SO THERE! :-P :-)

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