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The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
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The Black Jewels Trilogy

by Anne Bishop

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Black Jewels Series (Omnibus 1-3)

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Urgh. Starts out very dark and somewhat confusing which makes for unpleasant reading but it does get better, until it ends on a light fluffy note. The 1st book is too dark for my tastes, and the third too fluffy, but the 2nd (contrasting to many trilogies) was the best.

I never quite got my head around the imagined world. It seems to consist of a few lands divided in to Territories of various sizes, But then is also divided vertically into three Realms separated by unknown Gates. They don't seem to quite correspond to Heaven Earth and Hell, although there are similarities. The Heaven later is particularly un-described. All the characters seem to be able to transition at will.

What is perhaps oddest, is that all the characters are demons of apparently various races. There are no 'ordinary' human actors at all. Anywhere. Which makes any character empathy very difficult. But without any religious overtones I'm not sure how or why they are demons rather than various types of magic users. None of them have much in the way of natural power, and instead are granted extra powers through a secret ceremony we never see. At least in book2 this is slightly explained, but again hardly demonic. There are no angelic counterparts. Some of the characters are dead, but again this makes no difference to their actions or behaviours. A few minor characters do eventually get killed off completely, but as a very large array of them have been introduced by this point, the reader hardly notices or cares.

The first 140 pages are very hard going. Various demons are horrible (mostly sexually) to each other and their children. It's not that graphic, but it's still grim. At this point you've no idea who is nominally the 'hero' and who are the bad demons. (see why this doesn't make any sense. Can you have good demons?) There's been no explanation of the world so you don't now how or why or where they are, the names are confusing and it's all a bit grim. Fortunately if you've lasted that far we then get introduced to our heroine Jannelle who's an innocent demon full of power but sufficiently self-aware not to need to demonstrate this to everyone. The remaining 2.5 books are the efforts of a pair of Queens to repeat history and attempt to rule lands that are not rightfully theirs, but influencing and coercing Janelle. But as she's a sweet young thing she quickly gains some protectors a pair of powerful brothers who mostly hate each other and their dad who's Lord of Hell or something, without actually being that bad. It remains very odd.

The whole power set-up and society is very strange too. It's sexist, in an odd anti-male way. the poor sex crazy power mad males can't be trusted to do anything but fight, so the Queens run all the decisions, even when they don't understand anything. Apparently their used to be some honour driven, land protection based rules of Protocol, that placed checks and balances on the leaders, but these have been subverted. Jannelle's task is to re-establish them, even though she know's nothing about them, has never heard of them, or lived under them. Nobody explains them to her either. Fortunately there's a dragon so everything's alright.

In contrast to the usual problem fantasy stories have where the enemy inflation quickly reaches godhood proportions, but doesn't know how to use all the power sensibly and gets beaten by a clever trick, the author goes for the other extreme, the 'badder' demons try to be clever, but don't have anywhere close to the 'less bad demons' power levels and so the ending comes without any tension, in an anticlimactic, it's all finished now. In general I approve of neat endings, but a bit more impact would have been worthwhile.

Generally not impressed. ( )
  reading_fox | Mar 24, 2017 |
Got this on the recommendation of someone who saw that I said I liked Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel trilogy. But I didn't get around to reading it for a while just because the book is so big - over 1200 pages in a trade-paperback size! Usually I like the omnibus editions 'cause they mean you can't lose the next book before you get to it, but there's a limit to how much you want to carry around!
But, I finally got it read.

This is the story of Jaenelle, a sort of ‘chosen one' of magical power. Unappreciated (and tormented) by her birth family, she seeks out friends in other places and other realms, finding strong magicians to teach her, a family of friends that will support her, and a love that will endure many trials and long separation.

I can see the similarities to the Kushiel books – with decadent courts, plenty of perverse sexuality, and a strong female protagonist. However, where Carey's characters delight in their unconventional eroticism, to Bishop, perversion is just that – perversion, and the aftermath of sexual abuse is something that most of the characters have to learn to overcome. Child abuse features very heavily in the first book, and although the incidents are handled tastefully (‘off-screen,' as it were), the topic can be a bit heavy and disturbing.

One criticism – at the very first, I found the story and setting to be a bit bewildering. Bishop drops her readers into her complex world without introduction – you have to get to know the characters and their world as one goes along. Some of the confusion is caused by some of the main characters having names out a very familiar mythology – Saetan, Lucivar and Daemon. But although this Saetan IS the High Lord of Hell, and Lucivar does have wings, you really can't apply what you think you may know to these characters.

However, the story is certainly long enough that by the time the end comes along, you know everyone very well, and that initial disorientation is long forgotten....

Bishop's magical system is also a bit rigid – ‘The Blood' are the magic users, who are intended to guard and protect the land and its non-magical inhabitants, but who at this point in history, are far more interested in political power and intrigue. During an initiation, each member of the Blood gets a magical jewel – the color represents how strong the ‘witch' is – so a green jeweled person will always defeat a white jewel, and always be beaten by a red jewel, etc. This rigid structure reminded me a bit too much of gaming, and also in some ways seemed to not fit in very well with Bishop's overall philosophies of personal freedom, etc.

Overall, though, this was a very enjoyable saga in the dark fantasy genre, with a satisfying and emotional conclusion ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Daughter of the Blood:
This is another of my most favorite series. I love all of Anne Bishop's book and this is a re-read for me in preparation for 'Twilight's Dawn' coming out in a couple of months. I read the book in the HUGE trilogy book all together in one sitting but I decided to separate the books for review so I could better explain my love for each book.

This is the first book in the series and I think it's the darkest of the three. Bishop openly and widely talks about rape, slavery, and pedophilia...I know, I know what you are thinking...sounds like 'WHAT!?!?!' huh? Yes, these are all themes in the series...as are family, trust, friendship, and love. This book, as I said before, is dark. It starts out pretty gruesome and then continues on and gets a bit worse, and then ends horribly, and the whole time you read it all you can think is 'I can't do anything but keep reading!!'

As gruesome and horrifying this book is, it is balanced by the amazing characters, the love and devotion you feel for this world in every page, and the sheer addictiveness of the writing. There is not one single part of this book I skip over, even on the fourth re-read. I can't stress to you enough how amazing this story is as a fantasy...be warned though, this is not for the weak-minded or the weak-stomachs.

Heir to the Shadows:
This the second book in the Black Jewels series. It is still somewhat gruesome, but way less horrifying and somewhat hopeful. I read this book as the last one in one sitting, all in one day. I can't even begin to describe to you the addictive quality of this author's work...if you she writes a short story on a napkin, I would sit down and read every single bit of writing on it, crinkling my neck the whole way.

The characters and the entire world together, perfectly blended are what make this story the amazing piece of literature that it is. I feel in love with Jaenelle and Daemon in the first book (who I imagine in my head to look Damon for VD a tad bit older) and I keep falling in love with them as I continue to read...they are a love story beyond love stories. I was sad we had to spend most of this book without Damon but...I know he comes back in full color in the next.

I loved meeting all of Jaenelle's true family and friends in this book. It is amazing to imagine a world so large and so wide-spread and yet, she got here there and everyone to be with everyone when she was a child. I like this book more the the first one and less that the third. Once you dive in, you won't be able to come back out. I love this series so much!

Queen of Darkness:
This is the third book in the Black Jewels series and my absolute favorite. This book is in my top ten favorite books of all time, oh yes. I have gone on and on about this author's ability to write and make her entire world an addictive need for a reader. I have no told you have well she spins a tale. It is amazing the small details she has expertly woven into this world and these characters. The tiniest little things that separate a story from a fantasy.

By this point I am so emotionally invested in these characters I can't imagine the ending when I have to close the book...I don't want to even think about it, it is that devastating a though as I read. This book had a bit more of Ms. Bishop's signature darkness in it's pages but less than the first still. I loved seeing a different side of some of my favorite characters. You only show your true colors when there is real danger and real need and some of the characters in this book, truly do that.

I will say again, I love this series, I love Janaelle and Daemon and that, I promise you, will not be the last you hear about my love of this series. ( )
  rosetyper9 | Nov 12, 2015 |
The Black Jewels Trilogy is an amazingly complex good-versus-evil dark fantasy trilogy which sends you on a highly strung rollercoaster of emotions. The trilogy is made up of the three books: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of Darkness.

The world that Anne Bishop creates is a matriarchal society led by queens and based on the caste system of the Blood jewels. There are queens of villages, towns, districts and provinces. The hierarchy dictates that a village queen serves the town queen, the town queen serves the district queen and the district queen serves the province queen. The Blood Jewels caste system relates to the amount of power or magic that a person or animal (Kindred) has. There are landens, those without magic and the Blood those with magic. The Blood are given jewels which represent their power level: birthright jewels and the jewels given after they make their offering to the Darkness – this is usually a darker jewel than their birthright jewel. The darker the jewel the more powerful the person / animal.

Daughter of the Blood charts the emergence of Jaenelle Angelline (‘Witch’, ‘Dreams Made Flesh’) through the viewpoints of Daemon Sadi (‘The Sadist’) and Lucivar Yaslana – half brothers and their estranged father, Saetan Daemon SaDiablo – the High Lord of Hell. Both Saetan and Daemon are the only ones to wear the Black the most powerful jewel before Jaenelle comes into the picture. There are three realms: Terrielle, Kaeleer (‘The Shadow realm’) and Hell. Saetan rules Hell and protects Kaeleer. Daemon and Lucivar are pleasure slaves in the court of Dorothea, the self- appointed high priestess of Hayll. She is not a queen and only queens are supposed to rule. She craves power so much that she corrupts the realm of Terreille by destroying all of the powerful queens and effectively destroying the harmonious relationship which is supposed to exist between the queens and their males, the most powerful of which are called Warlord Princes. The males are supposed to choose whom they serve and serve by their own will. Instead Dorothea rules by fear, the females fear being ‘broken’, losing their magic either through breaking their mental shields with magic or by rape. If broken badly enough they can be lost to the Twisted Kingdom (a place of mental insanity) or even die. The males fear being ‘shaved’ (becoming eunuchs)for Dorothea's entertainment (outside of Terreille this can be a punishment for rape).

As a seven year old child Jaenelle Angelline asks Saetan to be her mentor, to teach her craft, when he sees that her birthright jewels are the Black and that she not only holds one but many he agrees. During the next few years she goes missing and Saetan attempts to find her but there is one place where the dead cannot enter. Jaenelle has protected against him. Dorothea with the help of Hekatah, Saetan's evil ex-wife, she finds out about Saetan's new obsession and sets out to either destroy Jaenelle or lure her to their side.

In Heir to the Darkness, more than two years have passed Jaenelle is still in the abyss that is the Black, she is fearful and will not return to her body. When she finally comes out of her coma she does not remember the trauma that precipitated it. Saetan does his best to help her heal by inviting her old friends to visit her, which helps her find herself again. Meanwhile Daemon is looking for Jaenelle, unable to remember what he has done, only remembering the blood on his hands. He worries he has killed Jaenelle. He goes to break his brother Lucivar out of a prison camp but is met with hostility. Lucivar was told that Daemon raped and killed Jaenelle and says as much to Daemon who runs off and becomes lost to the Twisted Kingdom tormented by what he believes he has done.

When the Dark Council come to believe, through Dorothea's manipulations, that Saetan is harming Jaenelle they attempt to take her away from him, she fights back in the most extraordinary way which leaves the council begging. Lucivar breaks out of the salt mines and makes for his homeland battered and broken. He is found by Jaenelle and Saetan who over the course of many months help him heal. He becomes Jaenelle’s protector, even protecting her from herself. After many attacks on her friends from the Kindred lands Jaenelle is forced to make her Offering to the Darkness and comes out with the unheard of Ebony jewels, she sets up her own court and becomes Queen of Kaeleer, the most powerful Queen there has ever been in order to protect them. Eventually Jaenelle remembers what happened to her and can’t believe that she forgot Daemon. She goes into the Twisted Kingdom and leaves a trail for him to follow with the promise of the Consort’s Ring and that she will be there when he comes out.

In Queen of Darkness, people are pouring into Kaeleer from Terrielle desperately trying to escape a society where rape and torture are apart of everyday life. Jaenelle is reunited with Daemon but Dorothea and Hekatah have found a way to get the power they have always craved, Terreille will go to war with Kaeleer but will Kaeleer go to war with Terreille? No? Then who will go to war with Terreille? Witch. But will she survive? After all, 'Everything has a price'.

This book (or books) may be too macabre for some but it takes the very worst and the very best that humanity has to offer and sends the reader on a fantastic journey. There are manipulations and misunderstandings aplenty with some doing evil because they are evil and some doing evil in order to do good. Your expectations of the characters are twisted especially with Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, the High Lord of Hell and his two sons Daemon Sadi and Lucivar Yaslana being good guys, who would have guessed!

This trilogy is both terrifyingly sadistic and beautifully triumphant. And at times it can be hilariously funny. I would say this trilogy is a cross between Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel trilogies and Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician’s trilogy. This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read.
( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
There is sex, there is blood, there is violence.

When I first got this book (it was a gift), I looked at it with a little reluctance (mostly for it's massive size seeing as it was 3-in-1), but it came from a friend who's reading habits I trust and mostly share, and so I started reading.

I don't regret it one bit. Although between the first and second book I put it down for about a month, the rest of the time I was glued to the pages, wanting to know just what would happen next.
I thought at first it wouldn't quite be my cup of tea, but I was left wanting to read more of [author: Anne Bishop]'s works as soon as I was done reading.

There were some things in between that didn't sound too... concise; however, I loved the story and characters nonetheless, the whole hierarchy and concept was very interesting.

If you like fantasy, and you are okay with the three stated above, I'd say chances are you'll like this one. ( )
  AshuritaLove | Apr 7, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Bishopprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jones, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, RayCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451529014, Paperback)

The award-winning trilogy, now in one volume—with a new introduction.

Anne Bishop’s critically-acclaimed Black Jewels Trilogy is the saga of a young but still-innocent Queen more powerful than even the High Lord of Hell—and the three sworn enemies determined to win her and gain a prize that could be terriblebeyond imagining…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:15 -0400)

Three men, sworn enemies, vie for sway over the girl witch Jaenelle, destined to rule over the Dark Kingdom, commencing a ruthless game of politics, magic, power, and betrayal, in which the weapons are love and hate.

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