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The Invisible Ring

by Anne Bishop

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1,698307,201 (3.83)32
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...… (more)

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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I found this too full of sexual violence and way high on the body count scale to really enjoy, although it is a dramatic and flowing story. There are males and women, and neither are quite human, but balanced between caricatures of gender roles and strange reverses. Maybe more realistic about the unappealing effects magic might have on thinking beings over evolutionary spans. ( )
  quondame | Oct 10, 2019 |
Jared is bought by the Grey Lady as a slave, however she is being hunted. To protect those she's purchased she takes them across the land and in doing so Jared learns to trust again and server a Queen. When looking at the author site this book is listed as 4th in the series but the events actually occur prior to the first book.
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  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
This is a prequel to the "Dark Jewels Trilogy" - a fantasy that's got this weird hokey yet dark, violent and melodramatic thing going. The characters snarl a lot to show their depth of feeling and the themes and situations were too similar to the trilogy. I did like the world building that incorporates the traditional trappings of evil and flips them upside-down. The society is also feudal and matriarchal. It's fluff that's far out and dark enough to be ingested with toblerones in bed. (March 17, 2005) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
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. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jan 6, 2019 |
Jared is about to be sold to the salt mines of Pruul when he is purchased by the Gray Lady instead. She is feared; no one ever returns from her lands. Instead of the Ring of Obedience that Hayll witches usually use, she uses the Invisible Ring to control her warlord Blood males.
I'm in the process of a reread of this series (again) as I love it so much. This is a prequel to the first three books but can be read as a standalone book. It takes place in some territories that haven't been explored in those other books, a whole new world to explore. There are some great twists, and Ms. Bishop's usual fine writing is evident. Lia and Jared are a great pairing as well as Thera and Blaed. The other characters supplement the story in fine style. I'm always happy when Daemon shows up (even if some Queens don't feel the same). Another great book in the Black Jewels series. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Dec 22, 2017 |
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Lord Krelis, the new Master of the Guard, tried not to fidget as he watched Dorothea SaDiablo slowly pace the length of her private audience room.
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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...

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