10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Heart wrenching short stories...,
This review is from: Twilight's Dawn: A Black Jewels Book (Kindle Edition)
New readers to Bishop should not start with this book as the novellas deserve to be read within the context and knowledge of the series chronology so you can truly appreciate the gentle but tart humour and dark events that the characters wrestle with.
"Winsol Gifts" takes place after the events in "Tangled Webs". "Shades of Honor" takes place before the events in "The Shadow Queen". "Family" occurs ten years later and "The High Lord's Daughter" occurs after a main character's death. The interplay of protocol, power, status and human emotions (as always) help shape these novellas so that they explain events that previously been glossed over by references made during conversations between the characters in the books of the Dark Jewels series and show the development of the characters during the interim periods between novels and main story arcs.
I both love and hate this book as it's a brave author who will acknowledge within their worlds the reflective of nature's cycle by letting their characters age or die. While I love knowing what happens to each of the characters over the years, it is interesting Bishop decided to explore themes of loss and grief of popular main character(s) before readers have stopped demanding more books about them (I am not naming name(s) here as that would be a major spoiler)... It tugged on my heart strings and I STILL want more. Write more Ms Bishop, I haven't nearly had enough yet!
I am annoyed, however, by the previous reviewer who stated that it wasn't clear it was 4 short stories... That is what a novella is; a story longer than a short story but shorter than a novel and it states in the description this book contains novellas... To give the book three stars because they didn't know what a novella is and BEFORE they'd even READ the book is just ignorant as well as rude. Why bring its rating down based on this? Besides, if they'd bothered to look at Bishop's website, it's quite clear this is another collection of short stories and it even contains the extracts from some of the novellas...