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on 23 June 2017
I bought Daughter of the Blood because it is so often recommended in the same breath as Sharon Shinn and Jaqueline Carey, both of whom leave me breathless.

This is a good book, but it is not an excellent book. The world building is interesting and the system of power (based on the “jewel” that a person receives at birth, and then the “jewel” that they later receive at a later date) is fascinating – really this is one of this book’s great strengths.

The premise is solid, if somewhat cliché (but who doesn’t enjoy a bit of cliché in their fantasy? Clichés are often popular for a reason). This is a matriarchal land, in which a system that used to function as a meritocracy has been sabotaged and corrupted by a power-mongering Queen who has systematically eradicated any who might stand against her and continues to purge herself of potential rivals through destroying any young girls born to powerful jewels. The true Queen (or Witch, as she’s called) is prophesised to appear and set things to right.

One of the main problems that stopped me from enjoying this book as much as I might have is that the Witch is not a character that the reader can really empathise with at all. I hesitate to say it, but she is at times reminiscent of a Mary Sue: exceedingly powerful, infinitely wise whilst still a child, and just immediately able to complete feats of great power with little to no instruction.

I would also warn any potential readers that this is a book that has instance upon instance of rape and of paedophilia. In fact, much of the plot is based upon these two things as it is the means by which the evil Queen breaks the “jewels” of potential characters. Please do bear that in mind. It also includes torture of male genitalia.

Overall, it’s the sort of book that pulls you through whilst reading it, but once finished I was undecided as to whether I wanted to buy the sequel.
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on 17 April 2017
I came to this having read Bishop's series about 'The Others' which I thoroughly enjoyed. This is much darker. Her ability to build worlds is still excellent, but I found the grisly content too much. Whereas in the 'Others' Bishop places a childlike innocence into some of the adults, here it is the children who are the victims. The plot kept me turning pages, but the last chapter was so awful I do not feel able to continue with the series.
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on 7 December 2014
This series is something else, I have since gone on to read just about all of the related spin offs. It is very dark for what I took to be a young adult series, none of the lead characters have easy lives, living under the vicious and sadistic regime of magic users who have perverted the intended use for their gifts. Really you have to read these books yourself, I would put them on a level with Anne Bishop's Written in Red for world building, character building and the way they just pull you in. These books feel real and even when you're horrified by what's happening you're desperate to read more. In this book Jaenelle who is Witch, Dreams made Flesh, and who it is prophesied will bring about a regime change and restore the rightful order when (and if) she comes into power is only a girl. In spite of the part of her that is WItch and ancient, she has incredible powers but little understanding of them, she is the hope of many people and many races in all the realms but the book focuses particularly on three men who have been waiting her prophesied arrival and the regime change she will bring about with a desperate hope. They will do anything to keep her alive until she can mature into her powers, but one man in particular is afraid that the greatest danger to her may be himself.
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on 23 March 2016
I never read this author before and stumbled across it as I was reading some other top 500 reviewer , its a most compelling read I have read in a long time me being not the brightest took a few chapters to understand the jewels and meaning but as pages turn it becomes very clear to understand even 4 me, I loved the main charters the story line was also nothing I have read before there's plenty of action that grips the reader and also a heart rendering tale of love, family and loyalty . I just glad I don't have to wait fore the books to be published on to my next ;-)
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on 27 December 2009
I reviewed the three books in the Black Jewels series as a trilogy when I first read it over three years ago; and since rereading it for the fifth time or so I'll try a little harder to explain why this book (and its two sequels) is so wonderful.

"Daughter of the Blood" begins with a prophecy that "Witch" will come to the realms, a prophecy that keeps alive the dreams and survival instincts of three strong males for over seven hundred years before she makes her appearances to each. To Saetan, the High Lord of Hell she will be the beloved daughter of his soul, to his son Lucivar she will become a cherished sister and to his other (living) son Daemon Sadi, she will become the lover he has dreamed he was born for.

AB has created a world of three realms; Terreille (the land of the living), Kaeleer (the isolated Shadow Realm now believed to be nothing more than myth) and Hell (the Dark Realm in which the demon dead dwell). In each of these lands different species reside; normal humans (Ladens), several long lived races such as the winged Eyrians and various ranks of the Blood, which include humans and long lived races able to wield the powers of a jewel; the darker the jewel the greater their power. The Blood are the caretakers of the Realms, created to protect the land and people by using the powers available to them through a coloured jewel which denotes their psychic strength. At the top of the hierarchy is the Queen, to whom all serve; normally a witch who wears a dark jewel; however only two males have ever worn the most powerful jewel of all; the black (Saetan and Daemon). Yet the delicate laws of the Blood, those protocols which allow strong Warlords to lovingly serve a Queen, and the Queen to accept and use the strength of her volatile Warlords rather than fear what they are capable of has become warped. This taint to the Blood is spreading throughout Terreille and soon enters both the Shadow and Dark Realms as two evil women (Heketah and Dorothea) seek power throughout all the territories. Now young witches (any female able to wear a jewel) are abused on their virgin nights (severing them from their power) and in turn frightened females control powerful Blood males with the "ring of obedience" placed on a certain part of a male's anatomy which channels pain to control. Lucivar and Saetan have spent the majority of their long lives ringed; abused mentally and physically and exploited sexually in the various courts they have served in; however their spirits have not been broken. Yet beaten and in pain Lucivar cries to the night, begging for a friend and a Queen he can willingly serve and is finally answered by his long awaited prophesised Queen; not just a witch with dark jewels, but Witch; the physical embodiment of dreams made flesh. He just never expected her to be only seven years old.

Jaenelle is pretty much ignored by her family and left emotionally battered by their disbelief when she talks of the people she has met in mythical lands. So adamant are they that this is just her imagination at work, a result of her inability to wear a jewel, Jaenelle too begins to doubt her own mind. Sent to Briarwood, an institute catering to those aristocratic young women who are highly strung and deemed emotionally unstable; almost all of Jaenelle's family remain unaware of the "treatments" available at Briarwood; a place where a man could glut himself on young virgin flesh with no repercussion.

Connected by their love for a young child and her potential to heal the Blood, Saetan, Daemon, Lucivar and other unique friends of Jaenelle strive to protect their burgeoning Queen, a girl already powerful enough to pose a significant threat to Heketah and Dorothea. With their deadly reputations Saetan and Daemon view each other as the possible greatest threats against Jaenelle; amid the political battles and acts of treachery taking place to either secure the powers of a black jewelled Queen or else destroy them by the simplest method available; brutal rape. As Jaenelle battles for the lives of those trapped in Briarwood; Saetan and Daemon find themselves fighting for the life of their Queen.

Richly drawn characters; the deadly and magical feats these individuals are capable of and the subtle humour found as Jaenelle remains oblivious to the chaos she has brought into the lives of the three most powerful men alive run heavily throughout "Daughter of the Blood" and create a beautiful reading experience despite the brutality of the end. I can only hope my review has done some justice to the darkly complex storyline and urge you to throw yourself into AB's twisted world; continuing with "Heir to the Shadows" and "Queen of the Darkness"
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on 19 May 2014
A bit confusing to start with but once you get to know the characters and how the writer has laid out the book it becomes a very enjoyable and imaginative story. I wouldn't recommend this for younger readers as there are some scenes not suitable.
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on 1 July 2014
An unusual book supernatural but clever, keeps you guessing and worth reading, part of a trilogy which once started you have to finish, i would recommend this book.
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on 8 April 2014
I keep returning to these books. Now I have them on my kindle app I do not need to carry the hard copy around with me on my travels. Enjoy a really good read of one of the fantasy classics.
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on 9 December 2012
And hooked for life. It is hard to review books without spoiling them, but if you are looking for something a little different to keep you occupied for a while, I couldn't recommend this more.
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on 3 January 2015
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