At the end of July, I embarked on a new-to-me book series – the Black Jewels by Anne Bishop. My friend, Annette, has been telling me to read these for a long time. Particularly, any time I was fawning over Rhysand, she would not-s0-casually mention that Daemon Sadi from the Black Jewels is better. So, when I was casting about for something to read, at the end of July, she again recommended this series to me. I checked the first book, Daughter of the Blood, out of the library and dove in.
As I mentioned in my July book post, the beginning has lots of world-building in it so it took awhile to start to get in the groove. I really liked the writing though. I felt like it was descriptive and evocative without being too detailed. And what I didn’t know initially, is that Sarah J. Maas was apparently heavily influenced by this series and those that have read A Court of Thorns and Roses will definitely see that.
Daemon’s throat closed. His blood pounded in him, pounded him, angry surf against rock. It was so very, very hard to breath. The sepulchral voice. The midnight, cavernous, ancient, raging voice that held a whisper of madness. He hadn’t imagined it, that other time. Hadn’t imagined it. Birthright Black. Witch.Daughter of the Blood
From the point at which Daemon met Jaenelle, I was all in with this book and couldn’t put it down. It ended on a cliffhanger that had me checking book two out of the library lightning quick.
The second book, Heir to the Shadows, and I was immediately snapped back into this world and so anxious for the characters. So much happens in this book and so much is revealed. There were scenes I almost didn’t make it through and scenes where I was so enthralled that I forgot I was reading.
Giving her a sharp look, he took the blood. Night sky, deep earth, the song of the tides, the nurturing darkness of a woman’s body. And fire. He tasted all of it, savored it as it washed through him, burned through him, branded him as hers.Heir to the Darkness
And this one also ended on another cliffhanger. I finished it and immediately checked the next one out of the library.
The third book, Queen of the Darkness, I initially had a hard time getting into. I got a little confused with all the schemes and other stuff going on. But once it got to Lucivar and the fair day, I was hooked. The last 75 pages or so are full of behind-the-scene maneuvering and secret plans and allowing assumptions to run rampant as a distraction that I really couldn’t put it down.
I had two problems with this book, to be honest. One, that scene we’ve been waiting for, the final culmination of that slow burn over two and a half books ended up as a “fade to black” scenario. Details. I need details! And second, the ending was abrupt. Its own kind of fade to black. And so much felt unresolved that I felt like I was left hanging. Ughhhh. The series is really the initial trilogy, and then there are a ton of spin off books, books in the same universe/different timelines, etc. So, I really expected this third book to wrap things up. It did not.
I asked my friend, Annette, if I should pick up book 4 next (The Invisible Ring) and she said that one is a standalone book in the same world, but it’s basically a prequel and Daemon makes a brief appearance. She suggested I move on to book 5, Dreams Made Flesh. She said it’s four short stories – one of which picks up where book 3 ends. She said it will give a bit more closure. Deal.
So, I’ve started Dreams Made Flesh and am carrying it into September. I’ll report back with my thoughts in my September book post.