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Shalador's Lady (Black Jewels Novels)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Shalador's Lady follows straight on from The Shadow Queen but this time it's a much better read! The weakness of the first one was the fact that although the story had new characters we only saw them half the time, spending the rest of the time with old characters that really had nothing to do with the story. This time though, we get far more of Cassidy and her newly formed court and appearances with the likes of Jaenelle and Daemon much less intrusive.
Cassidy in this book fairly blossoms into the Queen her people need. She's still beset with bouts of crippling self-doubt, particularly when Theran is around, but with her increasing confidence these become less and less.
Bishop seems to have more focus with this book and the story rolls along steadily with the older characters in supporting roles instead of pulling you out of the story as they did in the first. The romance between Cassidy and Gray is understated but still satisfying while Theran has his own journey which I won't spoil for you.
And the Scelties are just hilarious!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 March 2010
"Shalador's Lady" continues immediately on from "The Shadow Queen"; in which plain faced rose jewelled Queen Cassidy was selected by Jaenelle to rule the territory of Dena Nehele for a year. As the year passes Cassidy's relationship with her First Circle strengthens, yet her relationship with Theran, her First Escort remains strained as he continues to believe her unworthy of ruling Dena Nehele. Unfortunately Theran is soon in turmoil, as he meets a Queen he is willing to serve; the very Queen who destroyed Cassidy's self esteem when she stole her first court away from her.

Beautiful, vivacious and flirty Kermilla is everything Cassidy is not. She is also petty, conniving, greedy and all out nasty when she doesn't get her own way. Expecting Theran to hand Dena Nehele to her on a plate and keep Cassidy on for the daily duties required of a Queen that she is unwilling to carry out herself, Kermilla has no idea of the enemies she makes as she attempts to usurp Cassidy with Theran's all too willing help.

Jaenelle, Daemon, Saetan and Lucivar may not directly involve themselves in the conflict brewing in Dena Nehele; however they are far more than mere observers as they tactically and subtly show their support of Cassidy. Surreal at last makes an appearance, and has become if possible even sassier following an extended stay with the Dea al Mon after her "spooky house" experience (see "Tangled Webs"). Gray, Cassidy's potential lover in "The Shadow Queen" certainly steps up his game in this book; his development from a tortured boy to a Warlord Prince who is ready to ride the Killing Edge if his beloved Cassidy appears threatened is a wonderful subplot as Cassidy herself grows in power and self belief whilst bringing hope to a people long brutalised by cruel Queens.

AB is skilled beyond belief and has created yet another brilliant addition to her "Realms of the Blood" series. Whilst "Shalador's Lady" is predominantly Cassidy and her Court's tale, the strong presence of favourites Jaenelle, Daemon and Saetan make this book an absolute winner. Again AB adds laughter and delight to contrast her darker, more unsettling scenes; imagine twelve Sceltie pups invading your home and declaring random humans as "mine" or perhaps the normally sublimely skilled Daemon falling asleep mid seduction after running himself ragged babysitting one small Eyrian boy. Yet AB can quickly turn a reader's smile to a frown, and a twinkling eye into one that mists with tears during particularly heart breaking moments, which are sometimes as brief as just one small conversation between significant characters. A talented author able to completely immerse her reader in the dark world she has created, any "Realms of the Blood" books AB writes are definitely an automatic buy and ones for the keeper shelf.
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on 20 August 2012
I agree with many others that this is another excellent addition to the Black Jewels universe. It takes us deeper into the trials and tribulations of Cassidy and her fledging court of Dene Nehele and deals well with them. It has the touches of humour that mark Anne Bishop's book and lighten what are often some very gruesome subjects/scenes.

The one small criticism which doesn't lessen its five-star rating for me is that I feel Theran gets off too lightly. We already know he's disappointed in Cassidy as a Queen from the novel "The Shadow Queen". When Kermilla arrives on the scene he's ready to do the dirty on everyone to put her in Cassidy's place. This isn't unexpected and while in the end he comes to understand Talon's remark of "Sometimes it's better to break your heart than break your honor" I feel a slightly different ending where he admitted that understanding and apologised for the problems/heartache his actions caused would have made the ending more satisfying for me. As it is he turns up at the celebration at the end of the book, Sceltie Queen in tow, and is immediately forgiven. Kermilla meanwhile has been suitably punished, so given that it took two to make the mess as bad as it was, the final balancing of the scales for me is uneven.

It'll be interesting to see if Anne Bishop has further adventures in mind for the peoples of Dene Nehele and Shalador Nehele. I for one would like to see how the relationships between the two territories develop given their acrimonious parting of the ways.
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Shalador's Lady is the sequel to Anne's last novel, The Shadow Queen, and picks up where that novel left of, switching between Tereille and Kaleer. Queen Cassidy is slowly settling down in Terreille but Jared still serves her out of duty rather than the true bond which the other males of the First Circle have with her. As Cassidy starts to become more comfortable with being Queen of Dena Nehale she gets a rude awakening when an old rival turns up for a visit. Jared quickly forms a bond with the visitor and Cassidy must eventually choose whether to give up and go back to Kaleer or to stand her ground and fight for her new people. There is plenty of interaction between the new Tereille characters and the SaDiablo family in Kaleer, plus a few more familiar faces from the Black Jewels trilogy pop up as the story moves along. Naturally there are new characters added to the story, mainly in Terreille, and the story moves along at a good pace. Cassidy and Gray's relationship develops further and Gray also has to choose, whether to stay a youth in a man's body or whether to overcome his past and become the Warlord Prince he is capable of being.

This is not, in my opinion, a novel that can be read in isolation and it is recommended to read The Shadow Queen first. Readers of the other Jewels novels will definitely enjoy this new book in the series, new readers I would advise to read the Black Jewels trilogy first as this explains far more about the realms and the jewels as well as introducing some of the characters featured in this novel.
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on 16 October 2010
I love Anne Bishop and her novels. I had extremely high hopes for this book (following the first book) and Bishop delivered... but the ending disappointed me. I felt the story had been dragged out to make sure there was enough material for a third book and I just wasn't satisfied with the way certain characters were let off the hook so easily (don't want to give away the story!). Having said all this, you can bet I'll still want to read the next book when it comes out, so I still enjoyed it.
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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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I read a review of this book and almost didn't buy or read it,I'm glad I ignored this review as I found it be a fantastic read. The charecters and plot are compelling and have that feel good factor that makes you want to re-read it again and again which I have done whenever I feel I need cheering up I read this book. I like all Anne Bishop's books but this one is my favourate.
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on 26 April 2011
Yet another good book from the Black Jewels Novels Anne Bishop leaves you wanting to know more about her characters and their individual situations. I start reading her novels and the time dissapears. Would recommend anyone to start from the begining and you too will get hooked.
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on 31 August 2011
All the black jewels series are great, and this one is no exception. Possibly not as dark and deep as the others - i found this one very funny actually. Can't wait for the next jewels book :)
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on 27 April 2013
This is a great read, keeps to main characters. The storyline is well written, thoughtful and a cracking story. Recommended!
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