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on 15 March 2009
I do agree with the previous review you will need to read the previous Black Jewels novels to truly appreciate The Shadow Queen.

The Shadow Queen is set in Terreille, Dena Nehele. The home of Jared and Lia, Thera and Blaed the lead character of Anne Bishops novel The Invisible Ring. It is two years after the physic storm that was unleashed by Janelle (Witch). The land of Dena Nehele has been decimated. The landens have fought a bitter war with the blood, decimating the land even further, and for the blood males there are no worthy Queens to rule the land. Theran Greyhaven is the last of Jared and Lia's line, brought up by Talon who is now demon dead, raised in the rouge camps. Theran believes that going back to the old ways of the blood will help his people survive the coming years ahead.

Cassidy is a Queen without a court. Her whole court resigned, breaking a part of Cassidy. Only bad Queens have their total first circle resign. Lady Cassidy must learn that she has more strength and determination than she gave herself credit for.

Gray, Jared Blaed Grayhaven, Theran's cousin, a man who never left childhood behind. His life stoped the moment a puppet Queen of Dorethea SaDiablo captured him and tourtured him for two years, must learn what it means to leave childhood behind and become a man.

Interwoven in this story is a story involving Satean, Daemon and Janelle.

Fans of the Black Jewels novels will enjoy this novel. I am glad that Anne Bishop has continued with this series.
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on 10 March 2009
To fully appreciate this book I feel you should read the Black Jewels trilogy first. Having read the previous novels, I really enjoyed this book! This time you are taken to Dena Nehele (the territory visited in the "Invisible Ring"). The characters involved are the descendants of Jared, Lia, Tersa and Blaed. They face the enormous challenge of rebuilding their homeland after it has been destroyed by Dorothea's tainted Queens.

Jaenelle chooses Lady Cassidy for the task and the Dena Nehele Warlord Princes are disappointed to receive what they think is a plain and weak Queen to rule over them. Also, Cassidy thinks she's a failure, a reject Queen of low cast, with neither looks or `Aristo' connections to recommend her.

Soon they all discover (with a BIG nudge from Lucivar!!!) that there are different kinds of power if you just bother to look beyond the surface. Cassidy herself discovers her own strength, especially through Gray, a damaged Warlord Prince from Dena Nehele. He, in his turn, perceives a different kind of beauty in Cassidy and has the possibility of being made whole again through her love.

My only reservation is that I wanted to see more of the Dena Nehele characters and less of Saetan's and Daemon's problems. I wanted to see more of Talon too. He didn't take such a backseat about Protocol with Jared in the "Invisible Ring" and I felt, considering what he was like before, that he didn't tick-off Theran enough here! There seems to be an unfinished story with Theran. But perhaps this is a ploy by Anne Bishop to keep me hooked! :)
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Yet again Anne Bishop has created another stunning story in which new characters are introduced whilst familiar faces play significant roles. Set two years after Jaenelle purges the tainted Blood from the realms, the Territory of Dena Nehele is on the brink of ruin. The heir to Grayhaven; Theran Grayhaven (a descendant of Jared and Lia from "The Invisible Ring) is determined to ensure the survival of his people and so calls in an ancient favour; petitioning Daemon Sadi for a Queen well versed in the old protocol to rule Dena Nehele.

It is Jaenelle that selects Cassidy to take on the temporary role of Queen yet Cassidy lacks confidence in herself after her entire First Circle resigned their positions in her Court to take service with a younger, much prettier Queen with more ambition than Cassidy ever displayed. Theran is disappointed in Jaenelle's choice and fails to conceal his distaste for her looks and the light coloured jewel she wears; however as First Escort in Cassidy's court, he has no choice but to interact with her closely.

With plenty of input from old favourites Jaenelle, Daemon, Lucivar and Saetan (unfortunately no appearances from Surreal although she is very briefly mentioned in a conversation) the new males in Cassidy's life begin to realise how important this unassuming Queen is. With quiet control Cassidy begins to show a new peaceful life without fear of harm is possible; however thoughtless actions and cruel comments threaten to drive her away.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cassidy's tale; deeply engrossed in her secret hunt to locate a hidden treasure able to restore Dena Nehele to its former glory, her growing love for a Warlord Prince and her battle to establish herself as a worthy Queen. There is also included several side plots involving Sadi and Jaenelle as they encounter an unusual relationship hurdle, whilst Saetan and Lucivar play their own games of domineering males when any woman they care for (including Cassidy) appears threatened. Anyone familiar with the "Black Jewels Trilogy" will be left well satisfied with an extraordinary addition to AB's twisted realms. The courtly actions that curb the savage rage we expect in these characters are abundant; as is the lip twisting humour and moments of pure gut wrenching emotion.
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on 22 May 2009
First I have to say I'm a massive fan of the original trilogy, they're one of my favourite comfort reads, however...

I've noticed that with Anne Bishop's subsequent sequels I've been a little disappointed. This was certainly the case with this book. Upon discovering that this book was about a court separate to the Witch's court, I thought Ms Bishop might take the chance to show the workings of a normal, non-extraordinary court. Sadly she didn't. The part of the story set in Terreille focuses directly on the Queen, her 1st escort and her gardener. It's a rather predictable romance thinly veiled as a story of self discovery.

For all that I've complained about the Terreille based characters and plot what really irritated me was that half the book was dedicated to Daemon and his still damaged psyche. Although of course gripping in the original trilogy I am quite frankly over it. I get it, he's damaged... Jaenelle is damaged, Saetan is damaged etc. etc. etc. I was looking forwards to something new, a view of the realms from a different point of view, a look the state of the world from an 'ordinary' Bloods perspective. Sadly half the book wasn't even touching on the subject, and the other half skimmed over the surface in favour of a sweet but predictable romance.

So why 3 stars and not less? Because even with all the flaws, if you're a big enough fan you'll probably enjoy the chance to read anything new about this world, just don't expect anything earth shatteringly novel or nuanced.
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on 14 December 2011
absoloutly fab book a defonate MUST buy its fab and i loved reading it its better to have the A% size book as more comfortable to hold but the story in the book istself is great and had muct drawn into it almost instantly was laughing and crying and wouldnt put the book down until i was almost asleep because i just wanted to cary one reading it and wanted to know what was next
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on 27 April 2013
As mentioned by others, too much of the story was centred around Jaenelle and Daemon instead of remaining with the supposed main characters of this story. However Anne Bishop remains one of my favourite authors and I still enjoyed this book but not wholeheartedly.
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on 8 August 2011
Another fine tale from Anne Bishop. I thoroughly enjoyed the interweaving of new characters with the ones that I have come to know and love in the Dark Jewels Trilogy. Looking forward to reading the second book!
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on 13 December 2014
yet another great series from anne bishop
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VINE VOICEon 15 July 2009
I have to say that I enjoyed this just as much as I have enjoyed the other Black Jewels novels, however i do have to agree with the other reviewers - some knowledge of the previous stories is definitely advised or the reader could be left with some confusion. The story itself is wonderful, it ripples along at a very pleasant face and the characters are interesting and well rounded as always. All in all, another very good book by one of my favourite authors!
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on 15 October 2015
Great series
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