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The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness

(The Black Jewels #1-3)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  12,798 ratings  ·  625 reviews
Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions.

Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence--and corruption.

Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three
Paperback, US / CAN Edition, 1204 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Roc
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Eric I'd recommend Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. A unique heroine who's not a Mary Sue. Great world and character building, a sensual culture brough…moreI'd recommend Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. A unique heroine who's not a Mary Sue. Great world and character building, a sensual culture brought about through its angelic inheritance, masquerades, court intrigue, flawed heroes and heroic villains...

...and some sex that will sometimes arouse, shock or challenge your perceptions of love and relationships.(less)

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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  12,798 ratings  ·  625 reviews

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Start your review of The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness (The Black Jewels, #1-3)
Mar 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
My brain melted, and not in a good way
"Have you read this?" a colleague asked recently, "It's so wonderful!"
It so happened I had read the Black Jewels Trilogy, long ago. I remembered it as a Masterpiece of Unremittingly Awful. Could it be as bad as all that? Surely not.

Oh wait. It was. mindbendingly dreadful on so many levels.

The premise is potentially interesting: in a set of interlinked worlds/realms, a power-struggle is growing. In the Realm of Terreille, the Blood -- people with magical
Kitana Bradford
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
Welcome to Terreille! Please fill out this simple questionnaire so that we may get you situated properly into your new life as part of the Blood!

1. Do you regularly injure yourself and/or indulge in illogically perilous activities?
Yes – You are female. Proceed to next question.
No – You are male. Sucks to be you. Please relocate to the vicinity of the most irritating female possible. You will be bonded for life. You are now basically married, only without the sexual perks. Like marriage, this un
Tamora Pierce
Sep 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, fantasy
My fans have been after me to read Anne Bishop for years, so I started with DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD because I liked the idea of the young girl predestined to be the greatest of the great. Then I really got into the world-building, the idea of men being accustomed to being the second sex, socialized to believe their purpose was to protect and serve women. Then I encountered the very difficult Daemon, and his vicious Queen, and found that relationship seriously dark. I was interested in how Surreal ...more
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
Update June 2012: I just had to re-read this amazing series and found myself buying all three books for the Nook because I needed my Black Jewels fix! I see why when I first read it back in 2009 why I needed a lot of caffeine because of staying up to finish them. This is such an incredible world to get lost in with characters who remained with me long after the last page is turned.

So many wonderful themes in this series--love and loss, forgiveness, betrayal, laughter and the power of dreams to c
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I feel awful for not really thinking this trilogy is anywhere near decent, seeing as it's one of my best friend's favourite books ever, and that she was the one who gave it to me, no less.

But I can't help it. The Black Jewels Trilogy is basically a Mary Sue fanfic that got lucky.

There are some good things going for it -- the storytelling device of never having any of the events shown through the protagonist's eyes is truly fascinating. The world-building and magical system that Bishop has in pla
May 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought it would take me a long time to read this book as the version I bought contains the full trilogy with 1204 words and it is rather heavy to hold for long, especially if like me you have a muscle weakening illness. No problem! I bought a stand to sit it on and once started I was hooked!

Mystical, mesmerising, mysterious and magical are some of the words used by others which I enthusiastically endorse. I don't care for spoilers in reviews so will do my best to describe the reading experie
Jul 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Okay. Deep breath.

I was super excited to read this series - a dark fantasy, with some romance thrown in? Sounds awesome. On top of that, almost every review I read at the time had praised this book and had me drooling.

Well... maybe it's just me then. But I thought that this trilogy, as a whole, was terrible.

The world we're thrown into in The Black Jewels series is like some sort of BDSM magical kingdom. Well okay, that's fine - I'm no prude. Yet, I couldn't help but find certain aspects, such as
JG (Introverted Reader)
I have an omnibus edition, so I guess I'll write a review for each book as I get to it.

I am embarrassed by how long this is, but here is the third and final piece of the never-ending book review. See the end:

Daughter of the Blood--4.5 stars

In a society that seems to be loosely based on the habits of black widow spiders, the strong females have eliminated all but the weakest males and females, leaving only a few strong males to strengthen their bloodlines. This has been going on for centuries. Bu
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
So. This book and I, we spent a day and a half intimately entwined together. Hours passed and I forgot to eat, drink and sometimes blink as I tried to finish this book. It’s infinitely readable and it has all the elements that would appeal to lots of readers. I liked it well enough that I finished it in a day and a half but when I was done with it and I had time to think about everything I had read, I was left with some troubled feelings. Particularly where gender construction was concerned.

Aug 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Another one probably best read as a teenager (although there is some pretty dark sexual stuff in here). The lower rating is mostly because the writing isn't terribly good (and the characters' names made me roll my eyes every time I read them...which was a lot). There's a lot of buzz around the supposed reversal in traditional gender roles in this book, but it comes off more like an exercise from a "Women's Studies 101" course at a community college. That is to say, there's not a lot of thought o ...more
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read and re-read all the stories in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series, several times, and I love it! I love the different perspectives that were created for this world: gender power plays and balances, different peoples and cultures, fantastic creatures and talking animals and the way the Judeo-Christian belief system was turned on it's ear! I just loved it all!

Considering the reviews here on, it seems you either love the story or hate it, or maybe you'll just love to hate
Aug 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Congratulations, Ms. Bishop! You've hit the top and wrote the sickest shit I've ever had to read. Really.

The book is a pain full of rape and pedophilia. At the beginning, I thought there would be an actually interesting story with world building and a magic system, but I realized Bishop likely had the basic ideas for the plot and never bothered to explore and expland them since she completely lost her thread in rape porn. Rape, forced angst and inconsential banter scenes between Bishop's obviou
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I really got into this series pretty much immediately, the first few pages just sucked me in. For me, it's a bit difficult to review this book because it's all over the place in terms of what's going on. There are a bunch of different characters and smaller side stories that are pertinent to the main storyline, and yaa. I just lack the words to describe this,lol. Ironically, even though the book sounds like it's all scattered, it's pretty easy to follow and everything comes together. Your not ju ...more
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-get-into
I gave this book a chance but decided not to finish it. I'm not saying that other people won't like it, but I did not get into it.

The author's writing skills were there. Characters, dialogue, and scene-setting were all well done, but narrative flow and explanation of plot were not apparent to me. I just could not entirely figure out what was going on. The book made me wonder if I was a lack-wit because I was lost and unaware of where things were heading.

Another turnoff for the book was that it
Rhy Moore
Aug 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sff, fan
This series kind of drove me batty when I read it and the effect was later emphasized because its fans used words I found very inaccurate to describe it. Specifically, it's not in the least "original" and there is nothing "unique" about the world, the magic system, or the society. Bishop's general schtick here is reversing the aesthetic of fantasy's traditional struggle between good and evil. This is potentially a fun twist, yes. In certain years making your good guys look like bad guys is unusu ...more
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Burgess
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: feminists... dark fantasy lovers... original fantasy lovers... you
Shelves: reviewed
Sensual, Dark, Complexly Imaginative

It seems like people either absolutely love the Black Jewels books or they (if not hate them) are supremely unaffected by them. I'm one of the former. Generally, I find excessive eroticism and romance in fantasy or science fiction distracting from the main plot because, come on, be honest, sex, hormones, and emotions are always very distracting in any context. In the case of the Black Jewels, Anne Bishop has expertly woven the erotic with the unusual, the dist
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jun 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
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 sa
Jan 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Praises first:

Ms Bishop writes well, even though she indulges in some stereotyped phrases she repeats too often: the abundance of "too" "too softly" and "snarl(ed)" tends to annoy after a while.
Her dialogues can be witty and she can sketch personalities and physical details vividly enough; her main characters are easy to like.

Flaws, then:

A young, extraordinarily gifted girl, misunderstood by her own family, gets some powerful friends and becomes a most powerful queen.
This is the basic plot stret
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
Another book taking up valuable space on my shelf. You want dark, slightly sadistic sex scenes? All yours. You want convoluted names that will make your eyes bleed? Check. You want part of your life back after suffering through this? Sorry, it's gone.

Other people have liked this, obviously, as the writing is not terrible and it has its good points, but they are either lost on me or I'm too numb to mention them.

Not to my liking but hopefully the library is in need of a copy.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf
Dark adult fantasy about feminine power set in a declining matriarichal society. Some big ideas--the universe is upside-down: darkness is good, the High Lord of Hell is a sympathetic protagonist--but don't be frightened off. The tale is spun so well and characters are so compelling that this trilogy is un-put-downable.
Karen Healey
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I feel it incumbent upon me to note that my rating reflects how much I enjoyed a book, not how good it was. I love this trilogy like little else, but the reasons that I love it have little to do with coherency of plot or style or character development and everything to do with talking unicorns (!!) and awesome naming conventions and INCREDIBLE FEATS OF OUTRAGEOUSLY OVERPOWERED MAGIC.
Barb Lie
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
I have done a review on each of the books in this trilogy. However, if anyone buys the complete set, this is the combined review of all three books.

This trilogy is one of my favorite series. I loved this trilogy, the characters we come to love, and the secondary characters and legendary animals, we love almost as much. This is a super trilogy, but the first book, which Bishop introduces us to this world, and to the characters, has a lot of darkness in it. This
Sarah Mac
3 stars for Book 1.
1.5 stars for Book 2.
2 stars for Book 3.

Very repetitive & slow-moving -- it's not so much a lack of material as a lack of plot momentum. Jaenelle is NEVER a pov character, & as so much significant action happens through her eyes, there's a ton of things that are either offscreen or skipped over & recapped later in some boring, angsty conversation about traumatic events. What's left? Many, many, many scenes of lolzy inept villains plotting redonk plans against Jaenelle, Saet
Nov 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book but I did have a few problems with it.

Some parts of it are interesting, and I really think that Bishop would have had a really compelling world if she had taken some more time to explain a bit more about the jewels/realms/races and how these worked, the effects of them etc. Instead it was almost like no jewels mattered except for the black and the realms and races were just mentioned in passing. Also, why have 12 jewels if you aren't really going to do anything with
Sep 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The Dark Jewels Trilogy (and it's many spinoffs) is probably a lot darker than many of my friends would probably prefer. It does deal with a lot of sexual topics so I found myself skimming a fair bit of pages, but I found it on the BYU library bookshelves, so it can't be too bad, right?

Anne Bishop does a fantastic job at building the complex social structure in these books. There's not as much detail on how the magic of this world works, which I would have found interesting, but she is wonderful
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This is a gorgeously lush, dark series, and one of my absolute favourites. It's a series that I actually enjoy rereading, and to be honest, with so many books out there it's rare that I do that.

The Black Jewels takes you into a world where everyone is divided into castes according to the jewels they wear (and the powers that come along with them). The gender roles are also flipped on their end, but that by no means that things are perfect... Not at all.

Instead Terreille is buckling under the p
Oh, I think is my very favorite fantasy series - if not my very favorite set of books altogether! I just love it so much! It still makes me laugh and cry even after all these years of re-reading it! It is such a darkly beautiful story. And I am looking forward to the newest addition, though I have a bit more re-reading to do before I will be reading that! As for this omnibus edition itself, this was my first time reading it here and I must say, it had one major plus of containing the whole trilo ...more
wendy Burrows
Apr 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any fantasy fiction fan
Shelves: favorites
i love this book, i love this book, i love this book. Anne Bishop is amazing and this is her best work in my opinion. She has a wonderful ability to give the reader the background of a very intricate, detailed world through dialogue and flashbacks, I never once realized I was getting the back story when reading this book, but still understood the complex world. I just love this book, the characters will grab you and you will want more.
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
These were absolutely wonderful! Daughter of the Blood got off to a slower start from me, but from about midway through that until the end, I was hooked. The rape themes, especially the Briarwood portions in Daughter of the Blood, were pretty tough to get through at times but- that's a dark subject that SHOULD be hard to get through. Bishop's imagination is quite something and once I fully understood the world of magic she built I was enthralled.

Definitely a fantasy must-read. Definitely.
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The incongruity of the dark jewels world 2 12 Mar 01, 2018 03:49PM  
New Reads after Black Jewel Series 2 30 Feb 07, 2014 11:52AM  

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Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. She has written a new series, the Others, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.

Crawford Award (2000)

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this na

Other books in the series

The Black Jewels (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1)
  • Heir to the Shadows (The Black Jewels, #2)
  • Queen of the Darkness (The Black Jewels, #3)
  • The Invisible Ring (The Black Jewels, #4)
  • Dreams Made Flesh (The Black Jewels, #5)
  • Tangled Webs (The Black Jewels, #6)
  • The Shadow Queen (The Black Jewels, #7)
  • Shalador's Lady (The Black Jewels, #8)
  • Twilight's Dawn (The Black Jewels, #9)
  • The Queen's Bargain (The Black Jewels #10)

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