Sunday, January 27, 2019

Book Review: The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop

The Invisible Ring
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: Black Jewels, Book 4
Publication: Roc; Reprint edition (June 3, 2008)

Description: New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to the world of her Black Jewels Trilogy with a prequel that follows a man who is determined to rebel against the course set before him...

Jared is a Red-Jeweled Warlord bound as a pleasure slave by the Ring of Obedience. After suffering nine years of torment as a slave, he murdered his owner and escaped—only to be caught and sold into slavery once again.

Purchased by a notorious queen, Jared fears he will share the mysterious fate of her other slaves—never to be seen again—and so prepares himself for death. But the Gray Lady may not be what she seems and Jared soon faces a difficult decision: his freedom, or his honor...

My Thoughts: This is a prequel to the Black Jewels trilogy. Because some of the characters come from long-lived races, there are a couple of characters who appear in the first trilogy. The villain of this piece is Black Widow and Priestess Dorothea SaDiablo who is also the villain of the first trilogy.

In this one, we see Dorothea's plots and plans as she tries to eliminate any woman of the Blood who might rival her strength and encourage those women who share her views. She is spreading her corrupt version of the Blood to nearby countries. She would especially like to get rid of the Gray-Jeweled Queen who rules a territory called Dena Nehele.

The second continuing character is Daemon Sadi, a major hero in the first trilogy, who is a pleasure slave owned by Dorothea and lent out to other queens. He is doing everything he can to undermine Dorothea's plans and support those who oppose her.

The hero of this story is Jared, a Red-Jeweled Warlord from Shalodor, who has been a pleasure slave for nine years. The story begins with him at auction because he killed the Queen who owned him and her Prince too. He is destined to die in the salt mines of Pruul until he is purchased by the mysterious Gray Lady.

Jared finds himself among a group of slaves purchased by the Grey Lady and on his way to Dena Nehele. He decides that he will escape as soon as he can and head home to Shalador where he needs to make things right with his mother.

Plans quickly go awry when the group finds itself hunted by the Master of the Guard for Dorothea - a thoroughly corrupt man who will do anything to keep himself safe from Dorothea's punishments. The story is filled with adventure and action and danger for our heroes. It was interesting to watch Jared remember what he was taught as a child about honor and service and watch him pledge that service to his Gray Lady.

This was an engaging Dark Fantasy that adds to the Black Jewels series by letting readers get a glimpse of how the world of the first three books came to be.

Favorite Quote:
He'd once believed in service and honor. Now all he believed in was cold hatred and rage. He was a Red-Jeweled Warlord from Shalador. He was Blood. He'd fight her, and die in the fighting. That was better than cringing and cowering while she tore him apart piece by piece.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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