Phoebe'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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's review
Mar 04, 2012

it was ok
Read from March 04 to 11, 2012

The concept of these books is fun- witches and magic that is ranked on jewels, and a culture that centers on the power of women and darkness. Most of what I liked about this relates to the idea of the world, and the interaction between characters.

However there were quite a few things that bothered me as well- the kindred just seem like convenient sidekicks. Do we really need animals that can talk in an already incredibly complex world with different races that seem to occasionally have animal-like Jaenelle is a bizarre juxtaposition of deus-ex-machina strength, and absurd frailty. Daemon's sexuality is like a horse- he seems to be able to reign it in or let it loose on will. Saetan, guardians, and demon dead aren't ever really explained- after you die if you have enough magic you keep living as some kind of corpse that feeds on blood- but not for forever? The lands of Hell and the lands of the living (precisely why is Kaeleer a "shadow" realm?) are connected, and certain people may travel between them, but who and why they are able to do so isn't really explained. Which races are long lived? Why? How did neighboring areas like Terrielle and Kaeleer come to be so utterly different?

This book could have been better with ONE overarching plot line, and a lot more world-building. Instead of hundreds of small plot moments that feel out of place, I would have liked greater small moments that contributed to one great plotline- and the climax of the story shouldn't have been resolved in 15 or so pages. I constantly found myself frustrated by sudden events introducing huge new parts of the world (the attack on that one village by a several thousand enemies of a previously unknown race that is never again mentioned except once in passing conversation) that afterward seem to disappear from the world. I feel a grand scheme for Hekatah and Dorothea should have been introduced in book one, and perhaps we could have had fewer is-she-dead-or-isn't-she moments with Jaenelle.


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