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on 17 January 2006
I've heard some reviewers say this isn't The Black Jewels trilogy and they are right - it isn't. Somehow, The Black Jewels is a work of art that stands out well beyond this but by no means should this triplet be dismissed. If you read the first book and think it a simple but enjoyable 'fairy' tale, I advise you to think again. Read the second and third book and you realise that Anne Bishop has created another entire separate work of art in its own right. Though I will never be able to love this as much as The Black Jewels, this trilogy probably had a more profound affect on me. It would take a hard soul to keep from crying, especially during the second book and at the heart-stopping pangs at the end of the third. Anne has taken a simple concept, woven a rich history out of it and created characters you would be proud to call your friends and that will remain with the reader always. Anne's writing often concentrates on the strength of the female and this trilogy is no exception but in this, she has taken events of darkest history and shown what a poorer world it would be, what male and female would be without the balance of the other. As far as the fantasy element of her work goes, she's queen of the genre.
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on 5 October 2001
The Fae ride their shining roads to and from the mortal world and Tir Alainn, a place where life is peaceful and easy, caring for little but their own pleasure. Slowly, those roads are disappearing, and with them the clans of Fae that live by them. The only clue to what is happening is a fragment of song, mentioning 'The pillars of the world', and terrible rumours about the evil wiccanfae, witches who are vessels of dark magic. On the night of the Summer Moon, one of the highest of them, the Lightbringer, meets Ari, a young woman who lives alone, shunned by her village. What Lucian doesn't realise is that Ari is a witch.
Anne Bishop has done it again. Every book is of such a high standard that it's difficult to compare it to anything else. I particularly liked the ending to this one, which is very different to what you might be expecting, but is so much better than the obvious one. If you want to find out how, you'll just have to read it...
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on 18 April 2002
I first came across Anne Bishop after reading another review on Amazon. I'm so glad I took that reader's advice, and bought the Black Jewels Trilogy (buy it, if you haven't already got it; you won't be disappointed!).
This latest offering certainly lives up to the author's previous works, and it's nice to find a one-off story, rather than trilogy+ which seem so common these days. The characters are all likeable, even the "fae" who come down from their elysian world to visit mere mortals for their own selfish amusement. The ending was rather unexpected, but not a disappointment. There's possibly scope for a sequel, but one doesn't feel anything has been left out.
Can't wait to see what Anne Bishop dreams up next!
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on 24 October 2001
The world of the Fae is slowly vanishing. The only person who can shed some light on the subject is Ari, a young witch who lives as a outcast in a small village in the human world. The Fae must must leave their usual amusing time among humans and look for same answers before the "Witch's Hammer" (kind of Spanish Inquisition) catches Ari.
A good stand-alone book in a medieval world with strong characters and a plot that leaves you wanting more.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 January 2010
In AB's fantasy world, a travelling bard may well turn out to be the Fae Lord of the Song, or the bird you innocently greet may in fact be the Lord of the Hawks. Yet the majority of the Fae in this book are not mischievous or benign, instead they are selfish, careless of the hurts they cause or maliciously spiteful in their quest for power or prestige.

Yet the Fae face extinction, their shining roads linking their perfect land of Tir Alainn to the human realm disappearing, leaving parts of Tir Alainn completely inaccessible and shrouded by heavy mist. Lost history is rediscovered and the Fae find themselves dealing with a young witch in the hopes she can keep the remaining roads open.

17 year old Ari is a witch able to wield both air and fire. Scorned or ridiculed by her village, she finds brief pleasure in the arms of a Fae Lord; none other than the Fae's male ruler Lucian the Fire Bringer. Yet even at her age Ari is all too aware that giving her heart to a Fae would be fruitless and looks for a more secure future, whilst Lucian and his sister Dianna the Huntress will do anything to ensure Ari stays in her home and acts as the anchor needed to keep Tir Alainn connected to the human realm; even at the cost of Ari's happiness or endangering her life should she stay in a realm in which all witches face increasing persecution, subjugation and a tortuous death.

Intertwining with the magical theme of this story is the spreading corruption and abusive subjugation of all women. Heading this movement is a villain on par with Dorothea from the Black Jewels Trilogy; a man able to wield his own special brand of terror and fan it throughout the land.

Despite the magical theme, this first book in another AB trilogy is very different from her "Black Jewels". Yes the Fae could be likened to those that wield the darker jewels, yet the former mostly lack the humour and compassion found in characters such as Saetan or Damon Sadi. Yes the Summerland could be likened to the Dark Realm but there is no further interaction with a character in this book when they pass the veil and enter the Afterworld. Yes this is another set of books in which ultimate power rests in a female's hands, a woman supported by powerful males, but their dynamics, the powers they wield and how they harness this power are all brand new. What AB does exceedingly well is in all her books is create powerful , charismatic leads which a reader can really care for; despite their dark sides, and this book is no exception.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 January 2010
In AB's fantasy world, a travelling bard may well turn out to be the Fae Lord of the Song, or the bird you innocently greet may in fact be the Lord of the Hawks. Yet the majority of the Fae in this book are not mischievous or benign, instead they are selfish, careless of the hurts they cause or maliciously spiteful in their quest for power or prestige.

Yet the Fae face extinction, their shining roads linking their perfect land of Tir Alainn to the human realm disappearing, leaving parts of Tir Alainn completely inaccessible and shrouded by heavy mist. Lost history is rediscovered and the Fae find themselves dealing with a young witch in the hopes she can keep the remaining roads open.

17 year old Ari is a witch able to wield both air and fire. Scorned or ridiculed by her village, she finds brief pleasure in the arms of a Fae Lord; none other than the Fae's male ruler Lucian the Fire Bringer. Yet even at her age Ari is all too aware that giving her heart to a Fae would be fruitless and looks for a more secure future, whilst Lucian and his sister Dianna the Huntress will do anything to ensure Ari stays in her home and acts as the anchor needed to keep Tir Alainn connected to the human realm; even at the cost of Ari's happiness or endangering her life should she stay in a realm in which all witches face increasing persecution, subjugation and a tortuous death.

Intertwining with the magical theme of this story is the spreading corruption and abusive subjugation of all women. Heading this movement is a villain on par with Dorothea from the Black Jewels Trilogy; a man able to wield his own special brand of terror and fan it throughout the land.

Despite the magical theme, this first book in another AB trilogy is very different from her "Black Jewels". Yes the Fae could be likened to those that wield the darker jewels, yet the former mostly lack the humour and compassion found in characters such as Saetan or Damon Sadi. Yes the Summerland could be likened to the Dark Realm but there is no further interaction with a character in this book when they pass the veil and enter the Afterworld. Yes this is another set of books in which ultimate power rests in a female's hands, a woman supported by powerful males, but their dynamics, the powers they wield and how they harness this power are all brand new. What AB does exceedingly well is in all her books is create powerful, charismatic leads which a reader can really care for; despite their dark sides, and this book is no exception.
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on 12 December 2011
The book starts like this: Ari the witch receives a fancy from Granny Gwynn, which demands that she swear to offer her body to the first male she sees on a certain festival night. She wants to avoid giving the fancy to a man she doesn't like. Meanwhile, the Fae learn that wiccanfae are the reason the shining roads to Tir Alainn are closing. And an inquisitor is leading a hunt for witches. As the story continues, these threads of plot merges.

I was hooked on The Black Jewels Trilogy and decided to try out this other series by Anne Bishop. I was glad I did. This book includes romance, the plot is exciting and the characters are fleshed out enough that you learn to either love or hate them. The book doesn't get five stars since I liked the Black Jewels even more, however. If you, like me, liked the Black Jewels, don't be afraid to test this series out.
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on 17 June 2013
I'm a huge Anne Bishop fan - everything she writes is soo good.
This a first book in a trilogy that keeps getting better and better with each book
first one though I consider the weakest one - maybe because the coplexity of the wolrd shows in the second book, and during this first one - you just find - oh there are witches, humans and elves... that's not complicated.... what the heck? is it really Anne Bishop book?! and then the second book comes with more delight in every page.
still first book is entertaining enough to read on ;)
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on 18 March 2010
As far as I'm concerned this trilogy doesn't quite hit the spot. There are some interesting ideas in there but the whole thing never quite gells. I think that there could have been a good book in there but that it needed very heavy editing .

The trilogy was published after the commercial success of the Black Jewels and I can't help wondering if it's hastily tarted up early work.
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VINE VOICEon 12 June 2004
I haven't read Anne's other very highly rated trilogy and bought this purely on reading other readers reviews.
This for me, started off quite slow, but, once it got going it was fantastic, the Tir Allain, Wiccanfae etc all the characters are brilliantly and Anne bishop weaves this story so fantastically, I could picture myself there seeing the whole story unfold before my eyes.
The part of Ari and her pentagram I found particuarly intriguing and especially Dianna's reaction, so true of todays climate.
This is a fantastic book and I cannot wait to read the other 2 in the series, this has also tempted me into buying the Black Jewels trilogy.
I loved this ae fantasy story I do hope Anne writes more in a similar vein to this soon.
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