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The Black Jewels #3

Queen of the Darkness

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Librarian's note: See alternate cover edition of ISBN 0451456734 here.

Jaenelle Angelline now reigns as Queen-protector of the Shadow Realm. No longer will the corrupt Blood slaughter her people and defile her lands. But where one chapter ends, a final, unseen battle remains to be written, and Jaenelle must unleash the terrible power that is Witch to destroy her enemies once and for all.

Even so, she cannot stand alone. Somewhere, long lost in madness, is Daemon, her promised Consort. Only his unyielding love can complete her Court and secure her reign. Yet, even together, their strength may not be enough to hold back the most malevolent of forces.

430 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

Anne Bishop

46 books10k followers
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 name. See this thread for more information.

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5 stars
15,918 (57%)
4 stars
7,730 (27%)
3 stars
3,266 (11%)
2 stars
730 (2%)
1 star
282 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 775 reviews
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,837 reviews524 followers
March 4, 2020

My understanding is that the Queen of the Darkness was going to be the end of the trilogy. As I was reading it, I could see why it had that feeling. The main characters are well developed and ready for battle. A battle that we as the readers knew it was coming. There was no way Dorothea and Hekatah could cause so much harm and not pay for it. After all, everything has a price or so we're told.

Jaenelle Angelline is the Queen. She is a Witch. The most powerful in the world. She also has her own court and she has the Kindred as her friends.

Daemon is the Queen's Consort. He's powerful, dangerous and devoted to his Queen. So is his brother Lucivar and their father, Saetan.

When so many are threatened, Jaenelle would do whatever is necessary to keep the ones she loves safe with the help of Daemon and the Kindred.

Queen of the Darkness was truly enjoyable. The characters have grown over time. Their personalities are well defined. One of my favorites now is Surreal. She has grown on me and she has become vital to the series. Of course, I like the main characters and the Kindred too.

I'm glad that this was not the end of the series and I can enjoy reading more about this world.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 46 books128k followers
June 19, 2012
OK! Trilogy done, really satisfying! Def one of my favorite female-centered thick-tomed fantasy series. I really enjoyed the growth of the main character in this book, and the agony and tension between the main character and the love interest was great...to a point (see below)

I had a FEW quibbles along the way, namely:
-Why, if everyone is SO UBER with magic and detection was the spy allowed to stay in the house to try to kidnap her sister? Why did she let her family stay so long AT ALL?!?! I woulda kicked them to the curb after a day!

-Let's be honest, after about 1200 pages in the trilogy, THAT WAS THE CONSUMMATION SCENE?!?! I mean...after penis rings controlling for CENTURIES I really feel like we shoulda had MORE DETAIL and MORE SEXY SCENES. UGH. So PG-13. So frustrated. :(

Anyway, Loved it. Def would read more in the universe!
Profile Image for Carmel (Rabid Reads).
706 reviews380 followers
October 7, 2016
Reviewed by : Rabid Reads.

This is a trilogy that turned into a full-on series, and it took me 2 novels to warm up to Anne Bishop’s THE BLACK JEWELS world, so after finally getting my ah-ha moment, I will be stopping here. Yes, the next installments have the potential to be even better, but they could also be a return to books 1 & 2, and I don’t care for those odds. Anyway, I really did enjoy QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS; Daemon at long last stepped into his role as consort, Jaenelle showed the Blood who’s boss, and other characters such as Lucivar & Saetan got their happy ending.

Angelline is now the undisputed Queen of Queens, although not everyone has accepted that fact yet, namely her wayward family because she hasn’t fully demonstrated what she’s capable of. That being said, I found it odd that she sat on the bench for the first quarter of this story. I went into this title thinking that it was her time to rule, and that that aspect was going to be this volume’s focal point. The author does get there eventually, and it is one of the best parts, but still I was expecting something a little flashier.

I was so very happy when Jaenelle & Daemon’s relationship made it to the romantic stage that I think that I may have whooped out loud. However, given both of their pasts (i.e Angelline’s history of rape and Sadi’s years as a pleasure slave), I’d envisioned lengthy dialogue between them prior to the two jumping in the sack together. There was a fair share of tiptoeing and doubt, yet once they admitted their feelings for each other they didn’t leave the bedroom for days. It was just too all-or-nothing. I personally appreciate the in-between stuff.

As with the writing, it also took me several novels to come to terms with John Sharian’s narration, and not because he doesn’t have the voice for it, but rather due to the age and gender of the heroine. The cast is primarily male, so from a purely logistics perspective it made sense. Nevertheless, he really let loose for the conclusion! He matched Daemon’s sadistic nature in both emotion and intensity, and the execution of Jaenelle’s master plan just wouldn’t have been the same without his delivery.

QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS made me understand what everyone’s been raving about!
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,925 reviews386 followers
May 11, 2021
This series is like a dark fantasy soap opera. Everything is just so over-the-top and emotional. Everyone over reacts to everything and despite that they can't seem to communicate clearly with each other. It's very Grade Seven drama, set in Hell.

In this installment, the Kindred take on more substantial roles. Yup, the mind-talking horses, wolves, dogs, spiders, unicorns, etc. Jaenelle's circle are regular Doctor Doolittles. I wonder why this fantasy is so compelling that we keep repeating it? Think of the Houyhnhnms in Gulliver's Travels. In fantasy literature, there are the telepathic dragons in Anne McCaffery's Pern novels, the horse-like Companions in Mercedes Lackey's Last Herald-Mage and the wolves in Robin Hobbs' Farseer Trilogy and George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. Apparently people who love fantasy also love animals and have a burning desire to talk with them. I personally think we would be disappointed, that it would probably be like Todd and his dog Manchee in The Knife of Never Letting Go, with Manchee often telling Todd that he needs to poo.

So, this series is silly fun and I'll read at least one more volume of it this year, if all goes according to plan.

Book number 405 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

Cross posted at my blog:

Profile Image for Marcie.
56 reviews3 followers
October 31, 2010
2.5 stars: I am completely baffled by why these books get such rave reviews. I have to admit there is *something* compelling about the world and characters that Anne Bishop weaves together, though I don't know that I'll ever quite be able to put my finger on what that something is.

The majority of the writing is melodramatic, unimaginative, and contrived. I don't know if it has steadily gotten worse since the first book or if I was just more charitable when I started out. I was already growing tired of it in the second book, but by the half way point in this book I just couldn't help but outwardly sigh/roll my eyes at the ridiculous over-use of Jaenelle's midnight voice/saphire eyes, Lucivar's arrogant lazy smile, and Daemon's killing edge. Is this the only way Bishop knows how to differentiate the character's from each other? And was it really necessary for somebody to say something "too softly" every other page?

The 3rd book opens up with more boring crap involving the villains. I actually stopped reading the small chapters involving Hekatah and Dorothea because they were so utterly pointless. They are bad and they are planning something bad. Nothing more need be said.

Wilhelmina finally makes a reappearance in this book, but if like me, you are hoping for any kind of sisterly reconciliation, forget it. Jaenelle barely acknowledges her and the character is quickly misplaced after the first couple chapters. I'm not sure why she was brought up at all.

My breaking point was a little over 3/4 of the way through. There are a series of scenes, and one in particular, that take place in a camp that are so horrifically graphic that I literally thought I might puke. What's worse, this whole section of the book was completely unnecessary to progress the story line! Perhaps the author would be flattered by effecting a reader so, but I almost threw away the book at this point. It took me a day or two respite to decide that it really couldn't get any worse and luckily for me, it didn't.

To her credit, Bishop does manage to write some truly touching moments between some of the characters and I think these moments are the reason I keep coming back for more. I was moved by the last Daemon/Lucivar scene. And though I found it a little unbelievable that Jaenelle waited 13 years for a man that seemed to be little better than a childhood crush, I also enjoyed the Jaenelle/Daemon relationship culmination.

I already own the 4th book, but it is unlikely that I will ever return to Terreille. All in all, I think there are better books out there for your time and money and wouldn't recommend these books to anybody.

P.S. Was anybody else as surprised as I was to find out Lucivar wasn't actually gay in this book? Seriously, I was totally picking up the gay vibe from him in the other two books.
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books705 followers
April 17, 2014
I thought for sure that this installment would be the book that launched this series into the stratosphere of epic-awesomeness where my book friends would rank it. Alas, I am doomed to be the odd man out here. I can definitively say I do not love this series. There were things I liked, characters I cared about. But whatever it is that makes other reviewers swoon, simply escapes me.

This is the book where Daemon and Janelle finally come together. It’s still not easy. It takes years and their reunion is almost thwarted. But against the odds and despite powerful foes, Daemon makes it to his Lady. And it is so incredibly anticlimactic. She has been searching for him about half her lifetime and she barely greets him. They circle each other warily. They angst internally. But there is no big outpouring of emotion. As for the sex, you would think that would be an issue with Jenelle’s history of rape. Heck, even Damon has issues with his own history of sexual abuse. You know how they dealt with that? They didn’t. They finally admitted they wanted a physical relationship, they kissed, and then they had sex. Simple as that. It’s not like I expected erotica or anything but I was sorely unsatisfied here.

The big face off with Dorothea and Hekate isn’t much better. The bad Guys plot. The webs indicate a war would be Really Bad, so Janelle concocts a plan that is dangerous, self-sacrificing… and anticlimactic. My boy Lucivar gets himself a wife and a baby… off page. Saetan falls in love… off page. Are you sensing a theme here?

I cared how it would end. I wanted poor Damon to have his love. I wanted Saetan, Lucivar, Surreal, and Janelle to find some peace and happiness. I thought Damon’s big plan was pretty awesome. And the worldbuilding is wow-worthy. But when all was said and done, I felt very tepid about it all.

I wanted to feel more. I wanted more satisfaction. I wanted at least a few pages of HEA. Just… meh.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,343 reviews1,015 followers
October 3, 2018
1st read - July 2014
2nd read - October 2018

Buddy read with Aly

I have been absolutely addicted to Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy ever since I discovered Daughter of the Blood and after the huge changes at the end of Heir to the Shadows I couldn't wait to start Queen of the Darkness. This book was everything I'd hoped it would be and then some and I didn't want to put it down for a second. I can't believe how much I've come to love these characters and I'm was so incredibly invested in their stories that I desperately needed to know what would happen to them all. I'm going to assume that if you're reading this review you've already read the last two books so although this review will be spoiler free for Queen of Darkness I will be discussing events in previous stories. If you don't want to see these spoilers then look away now but before you go I will tell you that the Black Jewels trilogy is one of the most complex, compelling and utterly addictive fantasy series that I've discovered in a long time and if it's one you haven't started yet then you're seriously missing out!

Still with me? Well, in that case I'm going to assume you're already an Anne Bishop fan and high five you for loving the series as much as I do! At the end of Heir to the Shadows we saw Jaenelle claim her territory so that she was able to protect her Kindred friends. Jaenelle now has a court of powerful Queens, Warlords and Kindred who would all do anything for her but she takes that responsibility seriously and will protect them with her life if needed. I have loved seeing Jaenelle grow into her power, she really is an incredible character and after so much suffering in her life she has now become a strong and confident young woman. I actually feel very proud of everything that she has achieved and I couldn't wait to see her figure out how to deal with the enemies who have done everything they could to destroy her.

One of the things that I was most excited about was seeing her reunited with Daemon. I missed his presence in the last book but I understood why that distance was needed, he has suffered enough though and it was time to see both of them find a way to happiness. Daemon has finally found his way out of the Twisted Kingdom and taken his place at Jaenelle's side as her consort but it is a role in name only as the two of them struggle to communicate their wants and needs to each other. I really enjoyed seeing someone as experienced as Daemon so unsure of himself, he loves Jaenelle so much and is terrified of putting pressure on her but as inexperienced as she is she has no idea how to make the first move. It was great seeing Saetan, Lucivar and the others help the two of them work through things and I loved seeing them all spending time together building or rebuilding their bonds. Things between Saetan and his sons are incredibly complicated but we get to see them slowly get to know each other and learn to trust themselves.

Jaenelle is the most powerful Witch born in thousands of years and she can feel the evil that is trying to destroy all three realms. She knows what has to be done to stop it and she knows that she will pay the ultimate price but that is something she is willing to do to protect the people she loves. Her friends aren't quite so willing to let her bear that cost though and they are determined to find another way. The love that all of these characters have for her is absolutely heart warming but I've also thoroughly enjoyed seeing the friendships build between them as individuals and getting to see some of my favourite characters find love and happiness in their own right.

I don't want to say too much more about what happens in this book because I think it's much better if you can enjoy the journey for yourself. I will say that I absolutely loved every minute of this book. This entire series has taken me on an emotional roller coaster, one where I've both laughed and cried. There have been times when I was so mad that my blood was boiling and others where I felt emotionally drained and exhausted but I have also fallen in love and met some of the most fantastic characters - ones who will stay with me for years to come. I can absolutely guarantee that this is a series I'll return to again in the future and I'm glad that I've still got some short stories set in the same world to devour before the journey is completely over. I may be a fairly new fan of Anne Bishop but I'm now a die-hard one and I can't wait to discover more of her books!
Profile Image for Dianne.
1,600 reviews120 followers
January 14, 2023
Update 2023- This is an addendum to my original review. To 'new to this series' readers, please note that this does not end as a trilogy as first advertised. As of last year, this is a 12 (or more)-book series, including short stories/novellas books. And be aware that there will be some surprises with books 9 and 10!

This is one of the most emotional novels I have ever read. Remember that these novels, and more importantly this trilogy, borders, if not leaps over the border at times, of horror.

Jaenelle finally decides she has had enough of the horrific murders, sadism, and cruelty that the realms are going through via Dorothea and Hekatah and finds a way to do something about it. Unfortunately, not everyone will understand precisely WHY she has to do it this particular way.

As I said, at times, this is a gut-wrenching horror read, and other times, it is a love story that will make you weep...a lot!

Again this is written quite richly -if I had any complaints, it would be that the backstory is sometimes pulled out a little too much for me. Perhaps, this little quirk would not annoy me if I had not read this when all the books were in place.
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,643 reviews1,512 followers
June 17, 2019
Queen of Darkness is a fantastic and heart wrenching conclusion to the first trilogy of this series. It ends at a really good point that you could set the series down and walk away for a while. Which you might need since this is brutally dark at times. Or maybe you’re like me…


Once I picked up Queen of Darkness it was difficult to stop, I couldn’t wait to see how all the events for this trilogy would play out and how many characters would make it out alive.

Dorthea and Hekatah have all their players in place and are moving forward with their plan to conquer. The Demon dead of the inner circle have seen something like this before and fear that it will be just like the last time when they died on battlefields. The tangled web has been woven and Jeanelle has seen the future, if she goes to war no blood will survive. But there is a sliver of a hope a ghost of a chance, but it means a very difficult path that she might not make it out of. Good thing Jeanelle has so many on her side, maybe the Spiders and the Kindred can see how to get her through the trials ahead.

I don’t know why I get so caught up in the day to day at the court with Jeanelle, but I find almost all of it interesting. It was wonderful having Daemon back in the picture after they spent all of the last book apart and how each is so careful with the other until someone helps push them together. Daemon has payed a price for walking in the twisted kingdom and needs some time and help to heal. He has found the perfect place for it.

I enjoyed most of this book and for being so long it seemed to fly by. Jeanelle is so strong in some areas and then in others she is vulnerable and you can tell she is young and sometimes a little to hopeful of people and how they will be and that they will do the right thing. I loved her complete trust in Daemon and how far he was willing to go for her to buy the time she needed.

The way Anne Bishop made all the characters in this essential to the final battle but in unconventional ways was really great. I loved that not all sacrifices in war are on a traditional battlefield and the way the demon dead contributed to saving the blood, well it both broke my heart and gave me chills all at the same time.

The only thing that was sad is how after everything the inner circle has seen of Jaenelle and what she can do they didn’t trust her more. Karla was the only one who seemed to keep faith and not really question if the queen and her consort just might have a plan that would save them all, even if the price for saving the blood was high.

Fantastic conclusion to the first trilogy in this series.
7 reviews1 follower
July 26, 2014
I have nothing against guilty pleasures, or the r-rated themes, but there was no pleasure anywhere unfortunately. The characters are as flat as pancakes. There's no action. Why does anyone fall in love with each other? Who knows! They just do! Even when the heroes throw out ways to stop the upcoming war the heroine/author retorts that the war will be kept fighting by the enemy because - there is no reason. Just because! Because it was started! The two main villains plan about 5 evil schemes and all of them are foiled in 2 seconds flat. We keep hearing how sadistic the the main love interest is and there's nothing of the sort. In fact he's just poor misunderstood dude who people keep saying is capable of horrible things, why? Who knows. Because the auther has the characters say so. There's one incident where he kills a woman who was torturing him. Not virtuous but hardly sadistic. The book isn't even that graphic, so if you're looking for eroticism it's not here. The heroine's family constantly misunderstands her for no discernible reason except to give her some more angst. One good thing was when the main couple finally had sex it wasn't the giant cheese fest I expected it to be.

And besides the plot, just plain repetitive writing, repeating the same things and the same words over and over again.

Like others have said, if you're looking for books like this go with the Kushiel series by Jaqueline Carey. And if you've already read that and are looking for more like that don't go with this.
Profile Image for shunnaoaddict.
328 reviews4 followers
May 3, 2019
Nope. I'm done with Anne Bishop after this. I just can't go through it. Too much violence, too much rape. This is NOT fantasy book. It's romance, with a really annoying heroine, even worse love interest (HOW MANY TIMES YOU CAN READ ABOUT HOW HOT AND DANGEROUS HE IS), the worldbuilding makes NO sense.

And the worst thing? It had POTENTIAL. The idea is interesting as fuck. The background characters really get into you.

But it's all ruined. I hate it.
Profile Image for Zeek.
870 reviews149 followers
September 1, 2010
n Book 3 of the Black Jewels Trilogy, The two evil Witches who have wreaked so much havoc in all their lives, Hekatah and Dorthea, continue their scheming to bring down Janelle, the once and future Queen of the Blood, and her kingdom.

Daemon has returned and is finally united with Janelle, as well as his brother Lucivar and all the powerful friends she's made along the way- including the magical creatures who only bow to her.

The book ends with one climatic battle, fought mostly in the psychic realm of webs and dreams- but not until she almost loses all she holds dear, including the belief and trust of her family, friends and subjects.

This series is just fantastic. If you love high fantasy and intrigue you'll be hooked just like so many other of us who've picked up this series.

5 out of 5 for Queen of the Darkness and for the entire series!
Profile Image for Quinn.
245 reviews31 followers
March 12, 2019
I tried so hard to like this series. I gave it more effort than I've given many series and it's almost as if the more effort I gave it, the more I wanted it to be good, the more it let me down. I wasn't even looking for something that involved, I just wanted a romance with a basic good vs evil plot line that I could semi invest myself in. I knew in books 1 and 2 that this series was never going to be one of my favorites, but I had hoped it would at least be decent, and sadly I was wrong.

My issues:

Consistency. Everyone is all over the place and the author can't seem to commit to one characterization. Take Daemon for example, the hero. All that I really expected from him was that he would be strong and I'd hoped for at least a semi convincing love story. Going into book one we knows he's a warlord prince, he wears the black, a feat only matched by his father and his lover, he's old, and he's known as the sadist. That would make me think he would be characterized as a strong standoffish kind of man who only opens up to his lover in secret. Boy was I wrong. He, like just about every other male in the book, is written like a stereotypical woman. He does a lot of throwing up when confronted with trauma, rushing from rooms in distress and not to mention the fact that he spends like 8 or 13 years (cause sadly I forget the total now) with his mind broken due to trauma, because the Sadist (definition: taking pleasure in other people's pain) can't seem to take it. That to me is inconsistent with everything we know about him from the set up, and because of it I can't get behind him as a character.

Let's to go the main character next, Jaenelle. It's a book about her, she is the main character, she is dreams made flesh and all that mumbo jumbo, and yet where is she? It takes a good 40% of the book before she even appears (minus the prologue). Instead we get to spend time with people who wander around going where's Jaenelle? We spend more time with Lucivar's wife who is newly introduced in this book then we do with Jaenelle. And even when she finally enters the story she doesn't do anything. She walks around and people are intimidated. And then she's supposed to have a romance with Daemen except that they can't even do that right. And then finally when everything is about to fumble it's way into place we learn... that Daemon is a virgin. Huh? The dude who's introduced as a pleasure slave known as the Sadist is a virgin! It just doesn't make sense. I wasn't looking for this book to be good. It I just wanted it to logically make sense. It feels as if the author has turned all of her characters into Mary Sues. They're strong but weak, and nice but mean, they can do everything and nothing.

And finally (I say finally only because otherwise I would continue on forever because there are so many issues I've barely begun to touch), finally the language. She just has characters say random things that don't have any grounding in the story and this feels out of place. It's like reading Peter and the Wolf with its musical themes. Like all the women call the men "Boyos." Why?! Are they Irish? Why that term? Then Karla starts and ends every conversation saying "kiss kiss". It's literally the only thing she says. Why does she say it? Its like the author didn't want to take time fleshing out her side characters so she gave them a code word so you would be able to tell them apart. Surreal says "sugah " like she's some southern bell, Daemon likes the use of "darling", and don't get me started on that stupid curse word phrase "hell's fire and mother night." The phrases just don't even pretend to fit her characters.

I don't want to destroy this book series too much because clearly there was something that kept me reading through 3 books, I just sadly don't know what it was and I can say with complete certainty that this will be the last book I'm reading in this series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Paige.
37 reviews
June 25, 2014
I was pretty excited about reading these because Bishop's Black Jewels series comes to highly recommended when you say that you like Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy books.

I have to say that they didn't match that excitement at all. I read the first three to give them a good chance to turn around and surprise me but after this one I couldn't go on, even though I know that there are more of them.

I really really really hoped that this book would be in Jaenelle's perspective. That would have made reading the first two books worthwhile. If for just one second, we really knew what was going on inside her head and her heart--not just what every single male character who fawns over her thinks that she thinks or feels.

Without any real insight into Jaenelle's actual mind, the books feel kinda creepy and almost...idk, voyeuristic? to me. Ever single male is totally obsessed with her and would die for her and they're so territorial and protective of her. It's not cute, it's gross. It's even grosser that the only thing Jaenelle's character gets to do to is love them so so much in return. She has more power than anyone else in the whole world, but she doesn't have an ounce of individual personality outside of her relationships with the main male characters. Every detail about her is some kind of plot device to see the emotional journey of the men around her. To be honest, that's just boring and lazy storytelling.

Plus, the child rape.... Even beyond the fact that Jaenelle is raped at age 12...which is a plot twist that needs to be done very carefully... The fact that Jaenelle had to have all the men in her life come and save her from how emotionally and physically hurt she was by this left an extremely sour taste in my mouth.

Especially since Daemon has been lusting after her since she was a little kid and fighting his inappropriate feelings for her since they met. But it's okay if he's attracted to her as a child, because she's WITCH and besides he's so noble and would never hurt her like he hurt so many other people and look! he even saved her after the 2Dimensional Very Obviously Bad Guys hurt her! obviously it's a totally healthy relationship...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for AlwaysV.
480 reviews
February 15, 2021
One of the most heart-breaking stories of all time.💖 I'm pretending I haven't already read the entire series, up to Book # 9. I'll also ignore all the villains. They aren't worth my time and energy.

The finale of the trilogy had to be one of the most imaginative, complex, captivating, haunting, and yes, heart-break stories I've ever read and loved. Daemon broke my heart over and over. His love for Jaenelle was beyond measure. Sharing this scene with my tears flowing:

"I want you to promise me something."


Her eyes filled with tears. . . "Thirteen years ago you gave everything you had in order to help me."

"And I'll give you everything again,". . .

"No. No more sacrifices, Daemon. Not from you. That's what I want you to promise. . . The Keep is going to be the only safe place. . . you must get to the Keep before dawn. Promise me, Daemon. . . I have to know you'll be safe. Promise me." . . .

"I'll not going to do anything that will make me late for my own wedding. . . I'll come back to you, . . . I swear it."

That wasn't how things happened.
Profile Image for MasterSal.
2,036 reviews17 followers
May 12, 2020
May 2020:

Went through the book again (with some skimming so I am not counting it). Lots of fun but this is probably the weakest 2nd half of the trilogy. I loved the first half - the romance between Janelle and Daemon is fantastic- but the resolution to the climatic battle in the end was a bit of the cop out. Thankfully some crazy OTT drama with Daemon saved the book.

Is it weird that I find this book fun, given its level of violence? There is something addictive about the writing.
Profile Image for Vickey.
791 reviews1 follower
November 13, 2014
I just don't understand why these are popular. They are repetitive, the characters are all flat and there isn't any dramatic tension because the heroine is 6000 times more powerful than anyone else. I completed the trilogy but I'm not reading the rest.
667 reviews31 followers
August 17, 2020
I only skimmed through the first three books in this series, just to get a sense of what the story was supposed to be about. My verdict is that this book, and I use the term very very loosely, is the result of an agitated, feverish mind who simply had to try their best to come up with something, anything, and forced together every bit and scrap of ideas and information they could think of -which in their aforementioned agitated state obviously wasn’t much- and pushed out the contents therewith. The world building is reminiscent of very shoddily made, third rate vampire movies, the names made me cringe, the customs and interactions and dynamics of the plot were nauseating, and.... I could happily abuse and insult every aspect of the very little I read from these books. But I shan’t bore you. Spare yourselves and don’t waste your time or money.
166 reviews
July 23, 2018
3,5. Ik vond het een leuke reeks,alleen spijtig dat je het centrale personage nooit echt leert kennen omdat alles uit de standpunten van anderen wordt verteld.
Profile Image for Phoenixfalls.
147 reviews80 followers
March 3, 2010
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.
Profile Image for Cupcakes & Machetes.
366 reviews60 followers
February 26, 2017
I'm not ready to let go. Do not make me do it. I will slap the shit out of you.

I am pretty excited to read the other Black Jewel novels but holy ever living shit do I not want to let go of these characters. I'm honestly a little bit nauseous thinking about it.
I've been through thick and thin with these characters. We've seen some fucking dark times and had some great laughs and lived in an indescribable (at least on my part) world full of magic, beauty, death, destruction, torture, kindness and love. We've gone to battle more times than can be counted and grieved for our losses while nursing our wounded. We gained unlikely and unusual friends and dealt with horrific betrayals.

Yes, I said we. I was so immersed in this world that I forgot about the realm in which I actually exist.

My review of the first book: Daughter of the Blood  
My review of the second book: I didn't do one. I couldn't bring it to words.

As usual, I feel the need to warn with this series, that it is dark. Perhaps the darkest shit I've read to date. Personally, I think that makes it feel all the more real. But that also means that this series is definitely not for everyone.

*cries* Please don't leave me my Khaleer friends!

Profile Image for BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme.
6,708 reviews1,307 followers
January 9, 2011
Finally, all the children are grown up. Well, as grown up as they can be. They are a force to be reckon with and yet, they are still held back. Some die which just break my heart. Usually, I'm okay with characters dying or getting hurt, but I feel like I've watched all of these characters grow up and to watch them die just kills me.

This is the final show down. Witch will now bring war to all the rotten. Lorn is finally revealed. Are we surprised? I'm not surprised. The fact that the others never guessed, I'm disbelieving. Regardless, I do have to say, I cried in this story. When the war is over, I cried for Daemon. And how those ungrateful brats were cold to Daemon. How could they? Bastards. This was a lovely ending to this trilogy. I have my happily ever after even if it is slightly bittersweet.
Profile Image for Anna Serene.
563 reviews128 followers
September 12, 2017
I am completely in love with this series. It makes me laugh, cry, and rage. I am crying right now from both happiness and heartache. Don't judge me until you read until the last page because this story is BRUTAL on your emotions. Good lord.

Anne Bishop I bow down to you as my queen.

Daemon, I love you so very much. I find peoples' lack of faith in you astounding, but I have always believed in you!
Profile Image for Jeanny.
1,898 reviews153 followers
March 13, 2021

Reread audible version 5 stars (2017)
Original reading paperback publishing date 5 stars
Profile Image for Grace.
434 reviews15 followers
July 26, 2020
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures: https://bookswithoutanypictures.com/2...

Queen of the Darkness is the concluding volume of the Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. In the previous books, we see a matriarchal society that has become twisted and dysfunctional, where the leaders abuse their power, harm those in their care, and poison the very fabric of society. It’s a very clear parallel and warning about patriarchal society, and by flipping the genders from our own world, it’s a lot easier to point out how things have gone wrong and how abusive power dynamics hurt everyone.

In Queen of the Darkness, the forces that have shaped the world have finally built up to the point of a confrontation. The characters from the first book that have been scattered throughout the world all begin to have their paths converge again. Jaenelle is attended by her adoptive father Saetan, her adoptive brother Lucifer, and her lover Daemon, as well as the friends and family whom she has found along the way who managed not to become corrupted. I was very excited that Daemon is finally back in the main storyline rather than being off on the side quest of madness and guilt, because I enjoy his character so much and he really gets to shine in this book.

Queen of the Darkness was a great ending to the trilogy. We see Jaenelle come to the realization that she has to use her powers to cauterize and heal the world and its magical bloodlines from a darkness and terror that has been building for generations. And she’s very clearly preparing to sacrifice herself in the process, which is something she’s struggled with in the previous books. But we also see her friends, family, and lover work together to try to create a future where Jaenelle can survive and someday be made whole again. And the whole book is a slow build toward that ending and it makes you want to scream and grieve and still hope and trust in the characters you’ve grown to love. And that’s what a good book does.

I’m so glad that I decided to give The Black Jewels another chance. When I read the first book over a decade ago, it wasn’t the right time in my life for it. This time it was, and I devoured the trilogy. It’s stuck with me and I’ve spent so much time thinking about it. It’s dark and thoughtful and whimsical and violent and hopeful. Jaenelle is a beam of sunshine in a world marked so deeply by systemic violence and cruelty that in the beginning of the series you wonder if it’s even redeemable.
Profile Image for maricar.
205 reviews70 followers
May 2, 2011
Sputtering and vainly keeping it together, this finale’s turned out to be quite a downer… dammit!

The only really exciting bits for me in this novel were Lucivar stumbling into Daemon in that service fair – I was like, ‘c’mon, c’mon…sign the bastard already!!’, Jaenelle majorly losing her cool with the Aaron-Vania episode, the ass-kicking after Wilhelmina’s aborted abduction, and, honestly?... virtually everything else involving Daemon.

Yeah, even that excruciating scene he had to play out in front of them bitches Hekatah and Dorothea.

‘Coz, quite simply, a certain ‘something’ was missing in this installment. Sure, Daemon becomes the Consort and, after what feels like hundreds of pages later on, finally gets it on with Jaenelle – and yet, all throughout this novel, there just doesn’t seem to be enough emphasis on the relationship itself between these two. That heartrending scene by the end of the first book, Daughter of the Blood, in which Daemon had to coax Witch from the abyss… there—where did all that emotion, that intensity, go?

Jaenelle was an adolescent then, true, but even then Bishop was able to fully convey (well, to me, at least) just how much Daemon loves the girl-woman – the absolute despair at the thought of losing her was felt so keenly to the reader precisely because the interaction between them was carefully nurtured during that period when Daemon was staying at Beldon Mor.

However, in Queen of the Darkness (wherein the prospect of him finally becoming the Consort was one of the things I really was looking forward to), it seems as if the whole story was about everything but Jaenelle and Daemon’s love (and reacquaintance). Stuff about friggin’ tangled webs, spiders and caves, cryptic messages of kindred dreaming dreams made flesh, and more (in retrospect) fumbling attempts by Hekatah to fight Saetan.

And I think I really missed something in between Heir to the Shadows and this one: uhm… who is Marian? HOW exactly did the love story between her and Lucivar begin? It would have been nice (to put mildly) to have their story given more attention.

By the way, yes, I am very much aware that this is a fantasy first before romance. And even if I do try to focus on the non-romantic aspects, I still find myself missing those bits wherein Jaenelle was an extremely likeable character. Wherein she is the Queen yet still very much that winsome daughter of Saetan or the bosom buddy of the coven and the kindred. This finale was just too too serious. Either she’s almost always withdrawn to herself, in pain, or in anger.

And even if the reason behind these ‘serious’ things is the brewing threat of war (and how ‘queenly’ Jaenelle has had to act), the pockets of side-stories themselves (Karla’s, Alexandra’s, Lord Jorval’s, Kartane’s, etc.) which were supposed to help on with the whole storyline felt too disjointed and underdeveloped. Like there were really just there to fill-in the pages. Oftentimes, there really was no coherence or even absolute closure as to how some of the other characters’ fates played out. For instance, whatever happened to the triangle of power hinted at very strongly in the 2nd book? That of Jaenelle, Karla, Gabriellle’s?

And Witch’s maelstrom itself? What happened to it? So much build-up on it but I turn a page and it has apparently passed. I mean… what the hell…? If this undisclosure was Bishop’s intent to convey how truly terrifying and majestic Jaenelle’s powers are that it defies description, well… frankly, it was quite disappointing. I was expecting more than rough winds and being tossed and pressed down on the ground…

And then *poof!* there’s Jaenelle, done with the cleansing of the Blood, drained of her powers and now hurtling down into the abyss. It’s over.

And THAT’s why Daemon’s ‘game’ in order to rescue Saetan and the others will just have to be the highlight of this particular novel. It’s a hefty consolation. I mean, if you have to skimp on the showdown itself, why not at least make the penultimate that devastating, eh?

Okay, rant over.


Seriously, though, I am just really disappointed because I absolutely LOVED the preceding two books… *le sigh*
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,213 followers
May 15, 2009
Now a young woman, Jaenelle Angelline reigns as Queen of Ebon Askavi, but as isolated as she remains she still needs the help of her friends, her surrogate family, her protectors. Daemon, her promised Consort, will sacrifice himself if it means keeping Jaenelle from annihilation as she works her powerful magic to restore balance to the land.

I've already talked about character development and gushed about how much I love these books, so I'll just say a few words more.

I did see a few things that seem symbolic in this trilogy, and probably missed loads more. For example, and this is just the connection I draw, in Queen of the Darkness when the Terreilliens have been let across the border into the realm of Kaeleer and taken land belonging to the Kindred (animals of various species who are also Blood), on the understanding that the land is uninhabited - it reminded me strongly of the European attitude toward settling Australia. The land was considered terra nullius, allowing the white people to claim the land without recognising the rights of the Aborigines, who had lived there for hundreds of thousands of years.

Not that I needed any more reason to loathe the Terreilleans even more!

I'm a little unsure, at the end of it all, whether the three realms were on different planes or in different places. There is a difference, and while I got the impression that Hell was definitely on a different plane, I'm a bit fuzzy about the other two. Ah well, it doesn't really matter. All in all, if you like fantasy, and even if you are a bit squeamish most of the perverted stuff is more implied than described (which is an important distinction), you will love this trilogy. It has politics, scheming, magic, dragons (kind of), love, passion, a winged race and adventure.

And, the true mark of success ha ha, I did feel my eyes watering at the end of this book. Poor Daemon. He is a truly magnetic character, for everyone around him as much as for the reader, though if the reader doesn't think he's magnetic they would have a hard time believing anyone else did!

The pacing is tight and quick, yet it slows down when it needs to. Bishop doesn't suffer that annoying tick of some other fantasy writers of detailing everything, or taking you through every conversation and its repercussions. Sometimes you just arrive at the end in the aftermath, which is fine, because that's hard enough to deal with. It's dark, it's twisted, it's beautiful.
Profile Image for Tom.
307 reviews68 followers
January 4, 2014
*Edit 1/4/14 * Man I can't believe I didn't do a review for this one! I came on expecting to just add my thoughts and *DOH* no review. Well let me just say. I first read this series in Sept of 2013 and was rereading by Dec 2013. I have reread a couple series but this is the first that I read every single word and savored them! I'm already looking forward for another 6 months to go by because I will spin my web and try and suck another friend or 2 into the series so I can reread AGAIN! Absolutely love the intensity of the writing and "adore" doesn't sound right coming from a guy but I do adore all the characters. Janelle, Saeten, Daemon, Lucivar and the Coven! What a great bunch.

The characters that have been gathered along the way start to come into focus in this one. A good part of the book is spent just getting to know some of the kindred and some of the other Blood that have been picked up along the way. The absence of Janelle in the beginning of the book was noticeable but it made her appearance that much better. And with all things Janelle the story starts to simmer, than it starts to boil and then it explodes! So many intense emotions in this story! Reading it the second time was definitely more intense knowing how every little scene affected the outcome.

Totally LOVED this book but i want MORE!!! Fuller review to come.
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