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Is this finally the end?
on 4 March 2011
AB has done herself proud with "Twilight's Dawn" and remains an impressive writer in the world of dark fantasy. This book contains 4 novellas set in the Realms of the Blood and as always, it is beautifully written and heartbreakingly poignant in places. Expect smiles and giggles, but also have plenty of tissues close to hand as some of these stories are emotionally battering.
Set after the events in "Tangled Webs" Surreal and Rainier are still healing physically from their ordeals but seem in no way to be healing emotionally. The whole family feature as Daemon is caught in the chaos of Jaenelle preparing for their first proper Winsol together yet Saetan begins his withdrawal from their lives. For a powerful, intelligent man he wrongly assumes Daemon, Jaenelle and Lucivar will let him slip quietly away.
This is a mix of whimsy and heartbreak as the more emotional moments are balanced by the antics of Daemonar and his growing excitement over Winsol. Even Daemon has a hard time handling his young nephew.
Shades of Honor
Set just before "The Shadow Queen" Surreal rises to the Killing Edge as she finds it difficult to deal with the deaths that haunt her and ex-lover Falonar acting like an idiot. As Falonar's mask slips and his true personality emerges, he strives to eliminate his greatest rival; Lucivar Yaslana.
Well for those readers that always wondered what happened to Falonar the truth is finally revealed. Lucivar may show some mercy on occasion, but his brother Daemon will leave no debt unpaid.
This short story is a real tear jerker as a likeable and familiar Queen is murdered and her sons go missing. Whilst Saetan deals with this new demon-dead Queen, Lucivar, Daemon, Jaenelle and Surreal trace the missing youngsters and hunt the rogue warlord responsible for the death of a dear friend.
This Queen's death is shocking, violent and will leave fans of this series with their jaws hanging down to their knees. I could almost hate AB for killing off this character but in her dark world just because you're dead doesn't mean your life has to end ;)
The High Lord's Daughter
Sorry to mention this but it such an important part of this tale (and it is revealed in the dust-jacket) but the last story is set initially one year after Jaenelle's death. I always thought that AB would write something wonderful to eliminate the vastly different life expectancies of Jaenelle and Daemon but she does not; instead he has just 7 wonderful decades with the woman he loves.
The rest of the story spans another 3 decades or so, and if you find "Family" upsetting, then prepare to have your heart ripped out of your chest in "The High Lord's Daughter". Just thinking about this short tale makes me well up as an all time favourite character of mine becomes a whisper in the Darkness. Yet countering this loss is a bunch of new arrivals, including a special daughter born to some extraordinary parents.
This last story offers a lot of closure, and whilst I would love this series to continue, I don't think it could survive the loss of such important characters. That said a new generation of "Blood" books would be very entertaining judging by the personalities added to the SaDiablo family.