Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels) by Anne Bishop Review

Series: The Black Jewels #1
Publish: March 1st 1998 by Roc
Format: ebook, 416 pages
Rating: 5 / 4
Synopsis: The Dark Kingdom is preparing itself for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy the arrival of a new Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But this new ruler is young, and very susceptible to influence and corruption; whoever controls her controls the Darkness. And now, three sworn enemies begin a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal...and the destiny of an entire world is at stake....
  I usually read books that are recently released, but some of the times I find little jewels from the past like this one, most of the time they are high fantasy and quite edgy. I found this book after finishing Murderer of crows, one of the authors other books. I really liked her style so I searched for her other works and I got The Black Jewels series.

  Anne Bishop has a unique talent to create interesting and original worlds for her stories and she did it with this book to. Although in this case we get an extremely complicated and dark world and it takes quite a while to really get an understanding about how the society works. So you don’t get a clear picture about the structure of it until almost the end of the book and even then you only see the life of the higher ups in the hierarchy. It’s an amazing world but incredibly deprived and most of the time disgusting. During reading it I often thought that there isn’t as many pervert, ugly and abusive people in the whole world as in this book. Even so I just couldn’t stop reading it. The story simply sucked me in and it was impossible to stop reading it. I can’t call the story beautiful because there is too much graphic negativity in it but it’s certainly fascinating and well developed. There is so much sexuality in it, savagely and vividly described but in case of the more crude words Bishop uses symbolism.
  The whole story is built around a really twisted, pleasure based politics but not the good kind of pleasure. They use it as a punishment, and all of the leaders have a sadistic, pervert and arrogant personality, so in my opinion their world is doomed.
  One of the strangest thing about it, that despite the fact that the story’s told from a couple point of view, maybe even from too many, but neither of them is Jaenelle side, yet we get a full picture. We don’t get into her head so it’s harder to connect with her but with a bit of persistence you got there. It’s a new solution at least for me, and I think it’s harder this way to give a balanced and complete story. Well the author executed it perfectly. So yeah, maybe there is a couple of unnecessary point of view in there which makes it feel like that the story has too much different angle, but as I mentioned previously in the end the writer balanced it out perfectly. But it’s true in the beginning this kind of multi- leveled plot makes hard to follow the storyline.

  Daughter of blood is a quite long book and covers a relatively long period of time, namely years if I remember correctly. Overall I would say that the whole first book of the series is about character introduction and world building, but there is a little bit action too.
  However I had a serious problem with it. There is a list of jewels and a short description about some of the titles in story, but honestly a world map or even just a detailed characterization about the people from different realms would have helped more in regard of following and understanding the story. It’s a minor oversight on the writer part.
  Thanks to the multiple POV there is a lot of important character. Almost all of them is dark, intense, and original and has a strong presence. Sure some of them are terribly arrogant and power hungry but the main characters still loveable despite their shortcomings. My favorite was Daemon with even with his cruel and mean moments. I think he has perfectly justifiable reasons for his actions. I think I would have loved Lucivar too, but unfortunately he has a really short appearance and in the end his accusations pissed me of.
  I surprisingly liked the book. It’s very well done even more so since this was the author debut novel. But I have to mention that you need a really strong and resilient mind if you want to read it since there are a lot of taboo and cringe worthy elements in it. The story is very dark, savage and harsh. The writer is extremely talented and has a twisted imagination, but I like her style. I’m certainly going to read the next book.

By Viki

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