Kellie over at ReaWrite asked me to write a guest post – my very first! – for her Favorite Authors Month. So that’s where I am today, fangirling it up over Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels books. If you are so inclined, get your Chelle’s-first-guest-post here around noonish.
And I already have a favorite line. From “Shades of Honor,” the third story in the collection:
“There were predators and there were Predators—and even among the Predators, Lucivar Yaslana was a law unto himself.”
Oh, but do I love me some Lucivar Yaslana!
My worry is still very much present; actually, it’s increased due to the absence of a snippet from the last story, “The High Lord’s Daughter” – I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that it’s not what I think it is (however naive that may make me seem.)
Twilight’s Dawn will be on shelves on March 1st.
ETA: The summary I’ve posted here was on Anne Bishop’s web site at one time; it has since been taken down.
Daemon, the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, is settling into his first year of married life with his Witch Queen Jaenelle. But as the thirteen-day celebration of Winsol draws near, Daemon finds himself being pulled in too many directions as he plays host to his formidable family…
Shades of Honor
Still recovering from the ordeal that left her wounded and angry, Surreal returns to Ebon Rih on the orders of Prince Lucivar. And when her former lover Falonar ruthlessly challenges the rule of her family, Surreal may finally succumb to the darkness burning inside her…
When someone lays a vicious trap for Queen Sylvia and her sons, the fallout completely disrupts the lives of the ruling family of Dhemlan. Now, they have to uncover the identity of the warlord known only as No Face, before he returns to finish what he started…
The High Lord’s Daughter
After losing the two most important people in his life, Daemon has assumed his father Saetan’s role as High Lord of Hell and built a wall around his heart. But when he inadvertently forges a new connection, will it be enough to break him free from his loveless life?
First off, a huge thank you to Lurv a la Mode for posting the cover of Twilight’s Dawn! I normally troll Ms. Bishop’s site weekly for updates, but apparently I’ve been lax – and just when I shouldn’t have been, too!
Second, the brief summaries have left me somewhat shaken. Worried. Especially the one for “The High Lord’s Daughter.” I read that and my mind raced in a very bad direction; I hope I am so far off, I’ll be forced to laugh at my own foolishness after reading the story. I just hope my stomach can stand the gnawing uncertainty until March of 2011. I can’t stand the thought of…
No. Not going there.
Quite frankly, if I knew how to contact someone at Roc, I’d beg. At this point, I’m certainly not above that.
For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. Now that their land has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore it and prove her ability to rule.
But even if Lady Cassidy succeeds, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land-and Lady Cassidy-forever…[Summary from B&N]
I’ve said many times before that I love Anne Bishop’s books and the world and characters she has created in her Black Jewels series. I’ve said it, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to inject the *love* I feel into the statement. Because it’s an unreasonable love, in a the-heart-wants-what-the-heart-wants kind of way; Bishop can do no wrong by me because my heart very much wants her books. So I’m going to take a moment and risk being repetitive and say: Reading a Black Jewels book is like coming home for me. For such a vicious world, I always feel calm, content, happy even when I’m there. And I miss it terribly when I turn the last page, knowing that I’m going to have to wait a year, maybe more, to catch up with the characters again. And the day Ms. Bishop decides their stories are done? Please, no one come near me. I’ll be inconsolable.
Now that I’ve nicely set-up my complete and utter bias, the review. I’ll try to be objective, really, I will, but don’t hold it against me if I fail. Alright?
So, Shaldador’s Lady takes up where The Shadow Queen left off. Theran is as convinced as ever that Cassidy is not right for Dena Nehele, despite the fact that her entire court, his servants, and the majority of the landen in the province adore her. He acts blindly, he’s arrogant and hurtful, and remarkably I felt bad for him in this novel. (Just a little bit, and only towards the end, but even so.) Cassidy’s court hasn’t softened towards him whatsoever; the crux of the conflict stems from how to deal with his obstinacy and Cassidy’s fears while maintaining a very tenuous peace with Blood and landen alike.
What I Loved: Gray’s growing friendship with Lucivar, Daemon and Saetan, and the fact that he draws a very definite line in the sand with Theran; Khollie and the rest of the scelties; a certain scene between Lucivar and Daemon (which cannot be named for its spoiler potential); Ranon and his “my heart is too full for words” moment; and I could keep going. But…
Now for the objective part. Was Shalador’s Lady the best Black Jewels book? No. It lost a great deal of the original trilogy’s threat. I was expecting things to get a bit violent, or at the very least physical, and was surprised by the path the resolution took. Not that it was bad, per se, but an enraged Lucivar is a sight to behold. (And Daemon, too. And Saetan. And I kind of wanted to see Gray rise to that challenge. Or even Ranon. And, okay, maybe I wanted to see Cassidy deck someone.) I also felt that this story went light on the world-building that makes the Black Jewels books so phenomenal. But that’s only because I really want to dig in deep, to wrap it around myself as I’m reading. (Like I said, the heart wants…)
Do you all have books or series that when someone speaks negatively about them you feel a pang of hurt? Or your stomach kind of dips? I have a few of them, and the Black Jewels books – all of them – make the list. I want to shout from a rooftop “Read these books!” but I’m too afraid to put them out there because I want everyone to love them as much as I do. And that’s just not reasonable. All I can say is, I can’t help it. Yes, my love is definitely beyond reason.