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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weaves a spell of dark magic that will leave you entranced, 26 April 2004
This review is from: Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels Trilogy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Wow! I mean Wow! Daughter of the Blood is one of the most mesmerizing,powerful, unforgettable books I have ever read. Talk about making asplash with your first published novel; Anne Bishop does that and more. This is the kind of complex, intricately crafted novel that almost demandsmultiple readings if one is to grasp all of the nuances worked seamlesslyinto the story. The universe Bishop brings to life here is unlike anyother I have had the good fortune to tread, and while I sometimes feltunsure of certain elements of the plot and a little confused about severalof the large number of characters featured herein, the writing isdevastatingly captivating. Some people call this a mix of romance andhorror; for all my horror loving friends out there, don't let the mentionof romance stop you from immersing yourself in this incredible novel. Iwould categorize Daughter of the Blood as a sensuous dark fantasy of atype many horror fans should love.
Daughter of the Blood is a concentrated form of literary magic. Likemagic, one often finds oneself shocked and amused, unable to explain whatyou just experienced but blown away by the impact of it. The action takesplace in a fantastic world where the land of the living overlays the landof the demon-dead, the very fabric of realities linked together with thebeauty and force of powerful silken webs of existence so tiny that most ofthe living never suspect their existence. It is a dark universe wheretraditional good and evil transcend one another. In fact, the mostpositive of forces reside in Hell itself, led by Saetan, the High Lord ofHell himself. Two of his estranged sons, Lucivar and Daemon, exist amongthe living on the other side of the veil, enduring unbelievable hardshipsat the hands of powerful female witches. Women rule the world of theliving, and even the most powerful of men are exploited and dominated. Those "of the Blood," both women and men, possess magical powers drawnfrom an assortment of multi-colored jewels, but even men of the Black (themost powerful jewel) are subjugated and enslaved to demented Black Widowqueens and priestesses. Daemon has been forced to serve his queens in themost humiliating of ways for centuries; having never known his father, hehas become the coldest of men, forced to wear the Ring of Obedience (and,let me tell you, you don't wear this particular ring on your finger) andsuffer terrible brutalities. Only his dreams of she who is yet to come,the only woman he will willingly serve, keep him from falling into anabyss too deep to return from.
Everything changes, in both Hell and the world of the living, when theprophecy of a new and all-powerful witch is fulfilled in the form of asapphire-eyed young lady named Jaenelle. She is not just "a witch;"rather, she is Witch. At twelve years old, she has little understandingof just what she is, but she travels between the realms to seek theinstruction of Saetan in the Craft and continually amazes her new tutorwith the power and knowledge she possesses. Daemon, whom Saetan firstviews as a possible threat to Jaenelle, ends up serving Jaenelle'sgrandmother and develops a powerful bond and a very real love for theyoung lady. He will become her protector from several forces of evil,namely the corrupted Black Widows and dark priestesses now holding sway inthe land, women intent on destroying Jaenelle and the threat she poses totheir continued rule by perversion. Daemon is one of the mostimpressively constructed characters I have met in a long time, as isJaenelle. Surprisingly, there are moments of great humor to be found inthese pages, most of them arising from the young girl's naiveté about theworld and Saetan's attempts to answer her increasingly bold questions, buta continuously dark story takes a dramatically shocking dark turn towardthe end as Jaenelle's secret life, the one she keeps hidden from Saetanand Daemon, is exposed, threatening to destroy her and the men bound toserve her. The romantic elements of the novel, seemingly problematic dueto the character's young age, are handled with great care and beauty,revealing the hand of a true master craftswoman of words at work here.
Those who like their novels straightforward and easily understandable maybalk at the richness of the world Anne Bishop has created here, but loversof dark fantasy and well-constructed literature in general will findthemselves immersed in a world they have never imagined. I don't have thewords to describe just how powerful an effect this book had on myconsciousness and emotions. This first book of The Black Jewels Trilogyis the most unique and easily the most powerful work of dark fantasy Ihave ever read. Thank goodness there are two additional books in theseries, for I could not, at this point, leave this universe of Bishop'screation even if I wanted to.
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