Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness

The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
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Jun 14, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, horror, romance, favorites, fiction, novels
Recommended for: Fantasy fans
read count: 3

The story drew me in from the start. I was intrigued by the magical matriarchal society, with a shifting power dynamic determined by caste, rank and class depending greatly on magical power--and the title heroine, Jaenelle, long prophesied and awaited, throwing a joker into this deck.

Bishop is adept at making the child protagonist of the first novel intriguing and yet act her age, in creating a winning group of peers for her in the second novel about her adolescence, and drawing it all into a satisfying conclusion in the final novel with her as a young woman. And though this trilogy is (rightly) described as a "dark fantasy" there is a great deal of leavening humor in the novels. I like Bishop's inversion of the demonic, and Saetan, Lucifar and Daemon are well-drawn, endearing characters.

Is it perfect? No. I could pick some holes in plot; I have style issues (particularly some pet phrases that I could wish she'd use more sparingly like "midnight voice") and I think Daemon's arc isn't as strong as Saetan's or Lucifar's; I think because for him it's too much all about Jaenelle. But I do give this novel and the overall trilogy five stars because for me this is a standout among the fantasy novels I've read in terms of a unique and intriguing world, characters I care about, and the ability to move me to laughter or near tears. There are disturbing elements in the novels, particularly the first; depictions of child abuse are an integral part of Daughter of the Blood, but I was entranced by a magical world unlike any other I've encountered in fiction.
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