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Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

Daughter of the Blood

by Anne Bishop

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Black Jewels Series (1)

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Seven hundred years ago a Black Widow witch saw a prophecy in her tangled web of dreams. Now Witch, a new Queen who will wield more power than the High Lord of Hell himself, has come but she is still young, open to influence and corruption. Whoever can control Witch will rule the Darkness. And so begins a game of ruthless politics over the fate of one young girl and the Realms.

Daughter of the Blood is the first in Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy. It is a dark fantasy series set in the Realms of the Blood. Blood society is matriarchal with castes ranked by the color of the jewel you wear. The darker the jewel, the more power you have. Bishop has reversed typical fantasy roles. Not only do the women rule but she highlights the physical and social differences between the sexes and shows the fallacies of the system that the people of her world have accepted. She challenges typical gender roles regarding relationships, sexuality and power between men and women. She also explores the idea of how empowered women can be when they believe in themselves and just how easy it could be to destroy that empowerment.

The setting is also different. There are three realms: Terreille, Kaeleer and Hell. It is not medieval nor is it particularly modern. The best description I can come up with is otherworldly. Magic is used instead of technology. People are split into two groups, landen and Blood. Landen are your normal, every day people while Blood is the ruling class that wears jewels, has magic and is fairly long lived. Among the Blood this is broken down further into the living, the living dead and the demon dead with a few races mentioned. Each Realm is divided into territories, with each territory ruled by a Queen and her court. There are various roles in the Queen's court though details are left somewhat vague at this point.

While there are many side characters, the story focuses on four characters in particular: Saetan, Daemon, Lucifer and Jeanelle. The first three are almost pretty much exactly what you think. Saetan is the High Lord of Hell and Daemon and Lucifer are his sons. Daemon and Lucifer were taken as children and raised as pleasure slaves in their aunt's court. Both men have been tortured and abused for their entire lives, their only hope laying in the prophecy of a future Queen who is destined the cleanse the blood of their aunt's taint. Jeanelle is the youngest granddaughter of Chaillot Territory's Queen. Her family sees her as a disturbed young girl who makes up fanciful stories and has been in and out of a mental institution since she was five. Not is all as it seems at the hospital as many of the girls admitted never return to their families. Each character is caught in their own prison, some mentally, some emotionally, some physically, with each person struggling to break free as the story progresses. Each character also must face what they are willing to sacrifice to ensure the prophecy comes true.

The story is a slow reveal with many threads that is spread across all three books. This is a reread for me and it's fun to see just how each book builds upon the one before it. The first book ends on quite a cliff hanger so make sure you have the second one ready to go if you end up enjoying the first/

This series is not for everyone. There are graphic sex scenes and plenty of violence, especially violence against women and children. The scenes are very intense and can be uncomfortable to read. Light moments are mixed in to break things up but it is a series not for the faint of heart. ( )
  Narilka | Apr 25, 2016 |
I loved how this book dove right into the complex and beautiful world! The world and characters were fascinating! ( )
  LaPhenix | Mar 8, 2016 |
So silly! These are a fun read, and the world is an interesting one, but the gender situation is even more troubling than the author seems to realize. I admit to having a tiny crush on Daemon in this book. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Oh man this was a painful read. The beginning was terrible and honestly I didn't go much further than that. The world made no sense at all. Characters are unlikeable. Nothing much happened. I stopped reading. I give it 3 stars because it is probable not that bad, but I have been spoiled with really good books. This is just not good enough (for me). ( )
  lente | Dec 6, 2015 |
Alright, peeps, I've been recommended this series often enough to get curious especially after reading Anne Bishop's excellent UF series. I also noticed that many of you complained that this blog doesn't review that much fantasy.

So, starting Black Jewels served a few purposes, plus I am listening to this on audio which allows me to work through my chores while going through book after book in this series.

First of all, the narrator is a very unfortunate choice for this type of book. John Sharian's voice is creepy and doesn't differentiate between characters much. All women sound bitchy, all men creep the hell out of me, especially when we are talking about a lot of men submitting to power hungry, twisted witches and in turn taking it out on little girls. There is a huge issue of paedophilia in this book. It's my warning to anyone who considers this topic as their personal trigger.

Daughter of The Blood is choke full of captivating characters whether they are good or bad guys. I actually noticed the same thing with Bishop in Written in Red. She writes such revolting villains, you want to turn back time and strangle them in their cradles. And her good characters and deliciously scary. They are not below revenge, and their revenge is usually savagely gruesome.

Plot wise I'm not repeating the synopsis, instead I have to talk about the good guys themselves.

Saetan is wonderful in his grumpiness, and both his sons are lethal and hate the witches they have to serve as slaves. Lucivar is more straightforward in his hatred, but Daemon is much more dangerous.

We are talking about very long lived species, so these men tend to be creative when they pay back for the torture they receive from the witches who held them captive.

Jaenelle who is the centrepiece of the whole book is a very young witch prophesied to be born centuries ago. Prophesied as Saetan's daughter of his soul and Daemon's future Queen, I add - so you can imagine the men's confusion and bewilderment when first they met Jaenelle who is seven, and by the end of the book, she is just twelve. They really don't know what to do. Add to it abuse Jaenelle is suffering without telling her friends what's going on, and she is a troubled and very fragile soul with immense power at her disposal.

Without coordinating their actions they are all trying to look after Jaenelle, but she lives in the area which is closed magically to Saetan, so he can only look after her when she comes to visit. Lucivar doesn't know who Jaenelle is and where she is from, and only Daemon by sheer luck gets sent to a household where Jaenelle lives, so he ends up closest to her.

At last, there are only two good female characters - Titian and her daughter Surreal, and it's Surreal who has been connected to Daemon for centuries, and ends up playing a huge role in saving Jaenelle.

I think I connected with Surreal the most. She is a whore and an assassin. In fact, her first profession is just a convenient way to work on her targets as an assassin, and her attitude, her background and her way of dealing with things made me cheer for her all the time.

There are multiple plots and a lot of horrible things happen (especially in the end), and while it's disturbing and very hard to stomach, it's worth your effort in the end because it's an excellent dark fantasy which reminded me of Jacqueline Carey's writing. If you like Carey, you'd most likely enjoy it.

Surprisingly, despite a lot of plot revolving around sex, there are no graphic sex scenes, and thanks God for that! Daughter of the Blood is creepy enough without it. Anyway, recommended. I'm on the third book now, and it's only getting better. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne Bishopprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
correiacristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Innis Matthew D.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Blair Boone and Charles de Lint
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I am Tersa the Weaver, Tersa the Liar, Tersa the Fool.
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Book description
In a world plagued by corruption and desperation, three extraordinary men share a vision of hope -- Witch, dreams made flesh, a queen that could save them all from themselves. But Witch isn't what anyone expected, and she may be the one in need of saving.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451456718, Mass Market Paperback)

Anne Bishop's debut novel, Daughter of the Blood, is like black coffee--strong, dark, and hard on delicate stomachs. Within the Blood (a race of magic-users), women rule and men serve, but tradition has been corrupted so that women enslave men, who seek to destroy their oppressors. Female children are violated before they can reach maturity; men are tortured and forced to satisfy witches' sexual appetites.

Bishop's child heroine, Jaenelle, is destined to rule the Blood, if she can reach adulthood. Her power is hidden; her family believes her mad. Saetan, High Lord of Hell and most powerful of the Blood males, becomes Jaenelle's surrogate father and teacher. He cannot protect her outside Hell, where he rules. She refuses to leave Terreille, risking herself to protect or heal other victims of violence. Can Daemon, Saetan's estranged son, keep her safe from the machinations of the evil High Priestess? Or will he lose his battle to control his destructive urges and endanger her?

Readers may find some aspects of Bishop's world confusing; not least that most of the good guys live in Hell. But her protagonists are compelling, sympathetic characters who overcome terrible adversity. If you like Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton, try this one. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Three men, sworn enemies, vie for sway over the girl witch--a blue-eyed innocent--who is to rule over the Dark Kingdom, commencing a ruthless game of politics, magic, and betrayal, in which the weapons are love and hate.

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