The Black Jewels Trilogy
by Anne Bishop
Series: The Black Jewels Trilogy
Published: December 2, 2003 by Roc
My Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪
Anne Bishop’s critically-acclaimed Black Jewels Trilogy is the saga of a young but still-innocent Queen more powerful than even the High Lord of Hell—and the three sworn enemies determined to win her and gain a prize that could be terriblebeyond imagining…
The Dark Kingdom is preparing itself for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy–the arrival of a new Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But this new ruler is young, and very susceptible to influence and corruption; whoever controls her controls the Darkness. And now, three sworn enemies begin a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, and the destiny of an entire world is at stake
Enough time has passed for the young girl Jaenelle, heir to the magical Darkness, for her physical wounds to heal, while amnesia keeps her frightening memories at bay. But with Saetan–a Black-Jewelled Warlord Prince and Jaenelle’s foster-father–to protect her, she will continue to grow. Her magic will mature. Her memories will return. And Jaenelle will face her destiny when she remembers Daemon, Saetan’s son, who made the ultimate sacrifice for her love…
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.
Note: This review encompasses the entire trilogy, which includes (in order), Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of Darkness.
You know those books where you had to slow down your reading speed, because you just don’t want it to end? For me, The Black Jewels Trilogy was one of those series. I blasted through the first two books in two days, but when I got to the last 100 pages of the third one, I took a break. And by a break, I mean that I didn’t even open it for a week before I could bring myself to finish it.
One of the things that I found most interesting about the series was that the books were not set in the heroine’s point of view. Instead, the series bases itself on those supporting her. It was a refreshing break from the somewhat overused “chosen one” theme.
There wasn’t a love triangle either! The protagonist Jaenelle worked on setting free realms full of corruption instead of choosing a man! (I’m not saying I don’t enjoy those cliche love stories, just that this was a nice break from the seemingly endless line of them I’ve been reading lately.)
The world was seamlessly built, with the courts and tiers of society very clearly laid out in a way that guided you through them, rather than smacking you with a multi-page eulogy of the court structure (as some other books do). There were some rather long stretches of inaction, detailing some aspect of different characters lives, and while I didn’t mind these asides other readers who read through things a little more slowly may find these breaks frustrating.
The only real complaint that I can think of is the VERY adult nature of this book. The story got…how can I say this… very “rape-y.” While the significance of the men dominating the more powerful females was a very important theme throughout the series, at some points I had to take a break because of the graphic nature of the scenes. That leads me in to this warning: DO NOT read this book if you cannot stand lurid sex scenes.
This series has definitely wormed its way into my heart with it’s epic fantasy world and lovable (if slightly damaged) characters. I couldn’t put it down!