Books, Series Saturdays

Series Saturdays: The Black Jewels

Welcome to Series Saturdays! In these posts I will share a series I’m currently reading, or just one that I love. Feel free to share a series you love in the comments. If you’ve read the one I’m discussing this week, share what you liked about it.

Series: The Black Jewels by Anne Bishop

What’s it about?

Anne Bishop’s critically-acclaimed Black Jewels Trilogy is the saga of one young woman’s destiny played out against the backdrop of three powerful realms…

Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions.

Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence–and corruption.

Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three men–sworn enemies–know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love–and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining…

Recommended Reading Order

  1. Daughter of the Blood
  2. Heir to the Shadows
  3. Queen of the Darkness
  4. The Invisible Ring*
  5. Dreams Made Flesh
  6. Tangled Webs
  7. The Shadow Queen**
  8. Shalador’s Lady** (sequel to The Shadow Queen)
  9. Twilight’s Dawn

*The Invisible Ring is a standalone novel which could be read before or after the trilogy.
**The characters in The Shadow Queen and Shalador’s Lady are connected to the main characters in The Invisible Ring.

First Line of the Series

“I am Tersa the Weaver, Tersa the Liar, Tersa the Fool.”

Favorite Character(s)

Lucivar Yaslana

For all of the darkness that this series holds, Lucivar Yaslana is quite the breath of fresh air. He’s funny, he’s dangerous, and he can fly. He’s an Eyrien, which means he has golden brown skin, black hair, gold eyes and large membraneous black wings, and is a Warlord Prince. One of the things I like best about Lucivar is his inability to tolerate pretense and supposed rules of civility. While most of society kowtow to a complex series of rules of behavior, Lucivar ignores all but a few, and those he does follow, he bends to fit his own interpretation. Since he wears an Ebon-Gray Jewel of power, and is one of the 3 most powerful males in all the realms, he can pretty much do as he pleases. Even when forced to serve as a slave, he is a dangerous, capable of ruthless destruction. His temper is coupled with a strong desire to protect the few people he truly cares about. His relationship with the main character Jaenelle is delightful to watch as it develops over the course of the story. I adore him.

Surreal SaDiablo

She’s a deadly assassin, so how can I not love her? Surreal has a complicated and painful past, and she uses it to fuel her work. I love how deceptive she appears to most of the world, but she still allows the few she cares about to see her clearly. Surreal is half Hayllian, half Dea al Mon and a Gray-Jeweled witch, though to most of the world she presents only her Green Jewel, so people will think she’s less powerful than she really is. I like the way that she makes even those more powerful people around her just a liiiittle bit nervous. And she doesn’t spend a whole lot of time dwelling on things that go wrong for her. She’s a problem-solver, and wonderfully pragmatic. She’s also a big-old softie when it comes down to it. One who really, really likes knives.

Honorable Mention goes to ALL the Kindred. Especially the Scelties. I won’t say more about them. You have to read the series to find out.

Favorite Book in the Series

An almost impossible choice, but in the end Heir to the Shadows takes the top spot for me. Though, I also really enjoy Shalador’s Lady as well. It warms my heart.

Series Rating

5 Footprints (my version of stars)

What is it about this series?

I was around 14 or 15 when I began reading this series, and Anne Bishop quickly became my favorite author. I don’t remember what originally made me pick it (probably the intriguing original covers.) But that was over 15 years ago, and I have read at least the first 3 books in this series every year since then. In reading and rereading these stories, I discover new things each time, and Bishop’s writing style never fails to enthrall me. This story revolves around the life of the young heroine Jaenelle and the three men who love her most. It is a dark, sensual tale, at once compelling, shocking, and at times, extremely violent. It is also heartwarming, exciting, and deeply emotional. This story explores issues of class and racial struggles, violence against women (and men for that matter,) incest, and violence against children. Themes of power, justice vs. vengeance, and the importance of loyalty are prevalent. Anne Bishop writes with a delicacy that keeps me turning page after page, and I always have a difficult time putting it down. As a student of writing, literature, and publishing, this is the most fascinating and unique story that I have ever come across. For me, The Black Jewels transcends fantasy, and is something everyone should try reading.

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