12 October 2009

Review: Anne Bishop - Dreams Made Flesh


~click here to buy a copy~
Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages

Publisher: Roc (February 7, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451460707
ISBN-13: 978-0451460707

Summary:

Jaenelle is the most powerful Witch ever known, centuries of hopes and dreams made flesh at last. She has forged ties with three of the realm's mightiest Blood warriors: Saetan, the High Lord of Hell, who trains Jaenelle in magic and adopts her as his daughter; Lucivar, the winged Eyrien Warlord who becomes her protector; and the near-immortal Daemon, born to be Witch's lover. Jaenelle has assumed her rightful place as Queen of the Darkness and restored order and peace to the realms... but at a terrible cost.

Collected here are the beguiling stories about the origin of the mystical Jewels, the forbidden passion between Lucivar and a simple hearth witch, the clash between Saetan and a Priestess, and the choice Jaenelle must make between her magic and happiness with Daemon....


!!Warning: For some readers this review might contain spoilers!!


With four short stories Anne Bishop treats the reader on a delectable return of her Black Jewel world.

No 1: Weaver Of Dreams

No 2: The prince of Ebon Rih ~ Lucivar: 4 stars

No 3: Zuulaman ~ Saetan: 4 stars

No 4: Kaeleer’s Heart ~ Daemon and Jaenelle: 4,5 stars

Dreams Made Flesh is a bundle of stories that will only makes sense if you have read The Black Jewel trilogy. It is an elaboration of mainly the Queen Of The Darkness entry and it refers to certain occurrences or expands the existing storylines within said novel.

Weaver Of Dreams is just a sweet chapter of weaving webs, speaking of the origin of the Jewels and is nine pages long. The Jewels are such an intricate part of the Black Jewel world that it was nice to discover its birth. I will not give it stars, it was just a lovely introduction.

~

Now with the story; The Prince of Ebon Rih I surrendered to the urge and sank my teeth in it wholeheartedly because I immediately new it was going to be the love story of Lucivar and Marian. Something that was skipped in Queen Of The Darkness. Since I already felt very connected to Lucivar I had the best of times reading how he fell in love. Lucivar is an Eyrien who is rough around the edges and rather has his actions speak for him then anything else. Now he is falling for a hearth witch and has no clue how to court her.

Marian is a rose jeweled hearth witch, common, mediocre in her opinion…nothing special. Until a faithful event crosses her path with Jaenelle. This is how she ends up with Lucivar, he has to have a housekeeper who will not only manage his home, but also keep all the persistent women at bay.

The story begins with Lucivar looking about his lands stark naked and the vision swimming in front of my eyes was one of stunning male vigor. Anne Bishop has moments in her stories where she can describe a male to perfection, not only his appearance but also his nature, his gestures and attitude. She allows them to come alive for the reader, each character is distinct from the other and adds a wealth to a story.

Whenever Lucivar wants to make an advance on Marian it doesn’t turn out the way he thought it would. It is a combination of personalities, of expectations and yes, even is this world men can come from Mars as women can come from Venus. Still, when Marian and Lucivar are in sync with each other it is saturated with romance, undiluted, powerful and it was downright satisfying from start to finish.

Infuse it with a sub plotline of a jealous woman who wants Lucivar all to her own and some familiar secondary characters like Saetan and Jaenelle to have it result in a beguiling addition to the overall story of Lucivar.

The Prince Of Ebon Rih is Lucivar to the core and Marian completes his journey from his first appearance in Daughter Of Blood. A true fairytale happily ever after for Lucivar!

~

While I was still riding the wave of romance I got to meet Saetan again and he was dealing with a representative of Zuulaman, something that was referred to in QotD but was never explained. With Zuulaman I got that explanation. Saetan is married to Hekatah and she is pregnant with his son when she tries to get her way in a matter regarding another loan for her family.

This is a story of 142 pages and shorter than either Lucivar or Daemon’s story but what an impact it created. I got to witness the endearing side again of Saetan but I also was acquainted with the dark side of him as it was triggered by something that pulled on all my heartstrings.

The experience of his two sides was a stark contrast and still it was very much Saetan all the way. I know how endearing he can be, if only to think how he reacts to Jaenelle and her friends, who all lovingly call him “Uncle Saetan”. The events as unfolded in Zuulaman is Anne Bishop’s storytelling at its best. It holds such beauty my heart leaps in response to all the joy it entails, yet I also get to feel the darkest of the darkest which was answered with despair.

If I didn’t already love Saetan as one of the key characters in the Black Jewel trilogy he definitely made me fall head over heels with him now. He is a mesmerizing character of fierce love, loyalty and devastating powers.

~

The shock was still rippling through me and yet I couldn’t get enough of the stories that added new layers to what I had already read in previous entries. Kealeer’s Heart was my most anticipated story, since reading the end in QotD I was more than ready for a continuance and deepening of Daemon and Jaenelle’s romance.

Jaenelle has to recover from events partaking in the novel QotD and has many in her former first Court worried about her with Daemon leading the bunch. The worry, the concern, it builds a rift between Daemon and Jaenelle and until they reveal their most inner desires Kaeleer’s Heart will not be complete.

Daemon is the victim of a gossip campaign and though he is willing to let it slide by that same willingness is turned into a killing-edge when Jaenelle is with him during an attack. “The son is a mirror of the father”, this only should warn everyone not to mess with Daemon. So when someone wants to play a high-stake game with Daemon, be prepared to dance with The Sadist!

How I reveled in reading this story! The romance erupted in all its colors and filled the pages with a story so precious I read it in one sitting. It is a tale of coming to terms with the changes, accepting and adapting with all the love one possesses to create a future only dreams are made of. 

In various degrees every facet of Kaeleer’s Heart spoke to me. From Jaenelle who is more humanized in this tale to Surreal who has her own stuff to deal with, to Daemon whose sole purpose is to love the woman he was born to be with. Another small plotline is linked to Lucivar’s tale and sets this story ablaze with all that I’ve come to treasure from Jeanelle and Daemon but also Anne Bishop’s writing style. A wealth in imaginative writing with at moment’s lyrical prose, colored by every emotion imaginable and characters who become so near and dear to the reader with every novel read.

Kaeleer’s Heart is a sublime ending to Daemon and Jaenelle’s romance story. I can only hope that I get a glimpse of them in future novels still waiting to be read in this world setting.

~

Dreams Made Flesh gave me the opportunity to explore the depths of various storylines and ties up loose ends regarding the trilogy. Though I am not a fan of anthologies this one definitely gave me a well rounded and well versed read. The stories are 9 – 211– 42 and a 160 pages long but they build onto something that is already intrinsically worked out. Namely, the realms and characters of the Black Jewel world, and each tale contains something priceless to lend to their individual storylines, especially the last three! I am aware that this collection of stories will not hold as much significance to a first time reader as to the Black Jewel lover so I can only recommend Dreams Made Flesh when you have read the original trilogy.

From the heart I can say that Dreams Made Flesh is a smorgasbord of romance and fantasy set in the Black Jewel world. With each entry in this series I treasure it more and more, the original trilogy will be the epicenter but so far every linked novel emanates the sheer beauty of Anne Bishop’s writing and imagination.

Quote describing Daemon:

He had the light brown skin, black hair, and golden eyes that were common to the long-lived races. But his face was beautiful rather than handsome and left women breathless; his deep, cultured voice with its sexual edge could cause a pulse to race; and his body trim, toned and full of feline grace, made women, and more than one man, crave him. He was seduction in motion, a promise of pleasure to the woman who held his affection and loyalty – and a promise of pain to everyone else who thought to use him in bed.

Quote Jaenelle to Daemon:

“What does this ring mean Daemon?”

“My promise to honor, cherish, and protect.”


Quote Saetan about Jaenelle:

It was as if she were dancing on webs of power, and the threads she plucked shone the brightest.



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5 comments:

  1. I am just skipping it all and considering it to have been an excellent review ;)
    Will come back one day

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  2. @Blodeuedd - ROFL wow that must've been a speed read of the review/blogpost ;) I really hope you come back some day and moreover, I hope someday to be over at your place as you discuss these books!!

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  3. I was so glad that Bishop decided to write how Lucivar and Marian first met. Also it was great to see Daemon and Janelle's life as a soon to be married couple. They are so cute and sexy together.

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  4. I have this on my TBR stack and have read all of the other Black Jewels full-length books. Will get to it some day. Sigh.

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  5. @SciFiGuy - Time can seriously get in the way fo catching up on some reads. I really want to continue with The Invisible Ring but every time something gets in the way of it. I ditto your sentiment; Someday!!

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