Sunday, February 17, 2019

Book Review: The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop

The Shadow Queen
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: Black Jewels (Book 7)
Publication: Roc (February 2, 2009)

Description: In a tumultuous world ruled by witches and warlocks who wear their power as jewels, one Queen’s chance at redemption is the last hope for a desperate people in this novel set in the world of the Black Jewels...

Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to restore the land of Dena Nehele. But first he needs to find a Queen who knows Protocol, remembers the Blood’s code of honor, and lives by the Old Ways.

Languishing in the Shadow Realm, Lady Cassidy is a Queen without a court, a castoff. But when she is chosen to rule Dena Nehele, she must convince bitter men to serve once again.

Theran’s cousin Gray is a Warlord Prince who was damaged in mind and body by the vicious Queens who once ruled Dena Nehele. Yet something about Cassidy makes him want to serve—and makes him believe he can be made whole once again.

And only Cassidy can prove to Gray—and to herself—that wounds can heal and even the whisper of a promise can be fulfilled...

My Thoughts: This story has two main plot threads. In the largest one, Theran Grayhaven comes from Terreille to Kaeleer to call on an old favor from Daemon Sadi. He is a descendant of Jared and Lia (The Invisible Ring). He is living in a wartorn land. After Jaenelle cleansed the Blood of all of Dorothea's influence, the landen in Terreille revolted. This revolt was put down but Terreille, particularly Dena Nehele, lacks Queens. Those who survived are either to old or too young to create a court and restore the land.

Lady Cassidy is a Queen without a court. Her court was seduced away from her by a younger, prettier queen. She knows she's tall, gawky, and not pretty and her confidence has been wrecked by the desertion of the Warlords who should have stayed pledged to her. She is a friend of Jaenelle's and an excellent Queen who cares for her land and her people.

Daemon asks Jaenelle who suggests that Cassidy might be the one Theran needs. However, Theran takes one look at her and his disappointment is very clear to her. To him, her lack of beauty and power indicate a woman who won't be able to claim the loyalty of any of the Warlords and Warlord Princes who have fought to keep Dena Nehele.

Since the choice is Cassidy or no one, Theran reluctantly brings her to his home knowing that Daemon, Lucivar, and Saetan and other friends will be keeping an eye on the situation.

One of the first people Cassidy meets in Gray. Gray is Theran's cousin and a victim of the old Queens. He was captured at fifteen and tortured until he was rescued two years later. He only feels safe when he's working in the gardens at Grayhaven and still has an emotional age of fifteen. However, meeting Cassidy and falling in love with her make him willing to battle his hurts and grow up.

Meanwhile, Daemon is having a hard time convincing himself that Jaenelle can love the whole of himself. Even he has trouble with the part of himself known as the Sadist. And Saetan, who has retreated to the Keep, after giving control of Dhemlan to Daemon, finds out that even though Dorothea and her disciples are gone homegrown evil still exists which almost brings out the man who destroyed Zuulaman and almost costs him his sanity.

This was an excellent story filled with wonderful characters set in a fascinating world.

Favorite Quote:
"When a man has scars like that, there are boundaries he can't cross, lines he has to draw to keep himself whole. But those boundaries aren't as small as you might think, and a man can choose to live safe or he can choose to live right up to those lines. He might slip over a line every now and then, and that will hurt like a wicked bitch, but he might decide that what he gains will be worth the price."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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