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The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness
by Anne Bishop
1204 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

I found the omnibus edition of this at Half-Price Books and couldn't resist, given how much I've heard about Bishop's original series. While I was devouring all 1200+ pages, I kept describing it as "cracktastic" (and then having to explain that term)--because oh, its reputation is so true. Jaenelle is the most blatant Mary-Sue I've actually liked; Saetan/Daemon/Lucivar aren't much better as Gary Stus. (Speaking of which, can the demonic allusions be any more obvious and irritating?) The power dynamic became annoying at times, but it was also comforting to know that she would always save the day. This is definitely dark fantasy, complete with explicit scenes (sex, violence, or both) and magnetically disturbing anti-heroes. On an academic level, it's also a good case study of a matriarchy, and I've been collecting those. I think I may have some issues with gender roles; it feels very rigid, and wrong in that sense, but I can't articulate why.

Bishop's strength, by far, is characterization. I can think of no other explanation as for why I enjoyed reading the series so much, but can't say I loved or even really liked it. I hear that the later books can be messy--which should I avoid, if any?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-11 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One of her books (Tangled Webs?) is about a haunted house. If you're feeling addicted, you could try reading the first few pages and the last few pages, but it's really just a long, long pointless haunted house book... Even if you like the characters (and I adore most of her characters, which is why I enjoyed the books as well) it isn't really worth reading. The other books I've read have at least been decent -- I quite liked some of her book of four stories (Dreams Made Flesh, I think).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-18 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I also didn't really enjoy Tangled Webs, although I read the Black Jewels trilogy very quickly and enjoyed most of it. I agree with you that the books aren't that good. I personally found Jaenelle annoyingly passive. I also don't think much of how Bishop presented a matriarchy. Especially towards the end of the series, all of the actions were taken by men, and the women seemed more like figureheads. That said, I still thought the books were fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-08-19 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't like her fairy books very much-- they felt like they'd been conceived before the Black Jewels and sold later, and just... eh. Sebastian and Belladonna are not as good, but I was also older when they came out. I have heard good things about the latest book in the Jewels world.


keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

January 2011


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