Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Roc Trade (June 5, 2007)
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 men-sworn enemies-know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love-and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining...
How can I start writing when I still feel so consumed by Daughter Of Blood? I thought that if I gave it a nights rest I could relay my thoughts regarding Daughter of Blood better but now I’m wondering if I ever can. The Fantasy reader in me thrived as I was consumed by the pages. The world is reversed, the men serve the Witches but this doesn’t mean that the men are weak. Oh no, a far cry from it as I met Saetan, the High Lord of Hell, Lucivar Yaslana, a Warlord Prince and Daemon, The Sadist and also a Warlord Prince. The many strange names, realms and species demand your attention. Suffice to say it is a complex world building with a plethora of characters whom introduce themselves in this first entry of the Black Jewels trilogy.
They say power corrupts and this is also the case among the leading women in the Realms of Bishop’s creation. They want more devotion, more power, they want the ultimate and this is when a prophecy kicks in…a natural born Black Jewel Queen will come and lead the Realms back to how it's supposed to be. When Queens were righteous, thinking of others and using magic for something more than serving themselves. When a child, Jeanelle, appears to Lucivar he instantly knows the prophecy has come to be but she vanishes behind a shroud of mist only to appear years later to Saetan and he promises her to teach her the Craft.
I got to meet a lot of characters but it spirals around Saetan, as the newly appointed guardian to teach Jaenelle the Craft. Lucivar, the warrior and Daemon, The Sadist working as a pleasure slave in multiple courts. They each bring their own history for me to unravel as they all bear a connection to Jaenelle. My appreciation for these three men is above and beyond. They add a flavor that is potent with male vigor. They definitely have a darker side and they submit in a way that leaves you on edge, never knowing when a moment of cruelty or power lets you know just who and what they are.
Saetan is very much in the picture because he is the self appointed guardian/mentor of Jaenelle and teaching her the Craft. Lucivar has a secondary role in this novel but when he does appear he demanded all of my attention! Nevertheless, it is Daemon who nurtured all I want in a male character and though this is personal I feel that every reader of Daughter Of Blood can’t go around him. He walks in a room and instantly everyone is aware of his presence, his birthright denied he wears the Ring of Obedience around his privates. This device gives the women total control in the bedroom department…or anywhere else for that matter, demanding all the pleasure he can give them. The erotic tendrils that are cast from his very body leap from the pages and even seduced my senses. What may look like just another man turns out to be an enigma of a character and I loved to unravel him, only if it was just a bit.
Three men hold your attention but it is Jaenelle that holds the foundation of this story and triggers the need to do some extensive exploring in the Realm of Hell/ Terreille and Kaeleer. Jaenelle has a nature that is both ancient and wise as it is innocent and young. Combine it with a power that makes even the strongest Witch weep with envy and it made me like her at once. I joined Jaenelle in every endeavor and emotional event which connected me to her in many ways. Jaenelle remains somewhat cloaked in mystery but I’m not worried for this is the first story and the end reveals more than enough for me to immediately long for part two: Heir To The Shadows.
The characterization is fresh and cut from excellent cloth as they inhabit a highly imaginative world that encompasses a tale that once I started was unable to put down and every minute that I could I spend reading it. If there is one more thing that I need to say is that Anne Bishop poured a dose of violent darkness and a smoldering ray of emotions in her world and characters. It is not a fun filled bright place to be and speaks of a sarcastic, wry humor and self reflection along with soulless actions that gave a punch to the gut as I read it. It gives way to let the resilience shine in all its strength and beauty with each character and makes you root for them each step of the way. And though some things may lead to the boundaries of your comfort zone it personally kept me enthralled, making Daughter Of Blood one helluva page-turner!
I’ve been enthusiastic about many novels but it has been a while since I’ve stumbled on such a spectacular read in the “classic” Fantasy genre that instantaneously became a treasured read.
Jaenelle was the Black. But with her, the Black was not only dark, savage power, it was laughter and mischief and compassion and healing…and snowballs.
If Lucivar was a summer afternoon, Daemon was winter’s coldest night.