Sunday, January 20, 2019

Book Review: Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop

Queen of the Darkness
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: Black Jewels, Book 3
Publication: Roc; 1st edition (January 1, 2000)

Description: In the astonishing conclusion of Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, the Dark Court has been formed and the end—for some—draws exceedingly near...

Jaenelle Angelline now reigns as Queen—protector of the Shadow Realm. No longer will the corrupt Blood slaughter her people and defile her lands. But where one chapter ends, a final, unseen battle remains to be written, and Jaenelle must unleash the terrible power that is Witch to destroy her enemies once and for all.

Even so, she cannot stand alone. Somewhere, long lost in madness, is Daemon, her promised Consort. Only his unyielding love can complete her Court and secure her reign. Yet, even together, their strength may not be enough to hold back the most malevolent of forces.

And in the end, under the emergent shadow of evil and unforeseen betrayal, only Jaenelle’s greatest sacrifice will save those she loves—and the realm she’s bound to protect...

My Thoughts: This epic conclusion to the first three books in the Black Jewels series begins with Jaenelle Queen of the Shadow Realm. But the ancient enemies - Dark Priestesses Dorothea and Hekatah though greatly damaged by previous attempts to kill or capture Jaenelle - are not ready to give up their cause as lost. They are more then willing to manipulate the kingdoms into war.

Jaenelle is a Black Widow. She has seen that war will bring a total destruction of the Blood. She will do anything to keep her kingdom and her people safe. And "anything" includes giving her own life to keep her people safe. Of course, none of her Sisters or Blood Princes want this. None of her court want to do anything to endanger her. They don't see why Jaenelle is so opposed to war. Wars have been fought before and the Blood has survived.

Jaenelle and Daemon are also finally together but both are so worried about hurting the other that their courtship isn't going very well. Daemon's brother and the other warlords at the court find this much more amusing than Daemon does given that Daemon spend many years as a pleasure slave and should know what he is doing. The problem is that he has never been in love before. Jaenelle is coming from the same lack of experience. After being violently raped at twelve, normal teenage experimentation with romance wasn't part of her adolescence.

This is a story that has great relationships. With Lucivar and Daemon back together in the court, they have a chance to work as brothers if they can just forgive each other and themselves for the wrongs they did each other. And Saetan is glad to have his sons in the court though they, especially Daemon, have grown to be men he isn't at all sure he understands. Jaenelle's relationships with her fellow Queens and with the kindred add depth to the story.

Fans of Dark Fantasy will enjoy this story and this trilogy. The writing and storytelling were engaging and kept me reading late into the night.

Favorite Quote:
"If Kaeleer accepts Terreille's challenge and goes to war," Jaenelle said softly, "it will destroy the Blood in both realms. All the Blood. Even the kindred."

"Some will live. It is always so."

"Not this time. Oh, there will be some who will physically survive the war, but..." Jaenelle's voice broke. She took a deep breath. "All of my Sisters, all of my friends will be gone. All of the Warlord Princes."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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