Warning: deals with sensitive topics including rape and the death of loved ones
In the second novel set in the “darkly fascinating world” (SF Site) of Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, ambitions unfurl as the realm’s dreams of a liberator have finally been made flesh…
The Blood have waited centuries for the coming of Witch, the living embodiment of magic. But Jaenelle, the young girl singled out by prophecy, is haunted by the cruel battles fought over her—for not all the Blood await her as their Savior. Some dismiss her as a myth. Some refuse to believe. And still others look forward to using her, making her a pawn to their shadowy devices.
Only time and the devotion of her loyal guardians have healed Jaenelle’s physical wounds. But her mind is fragile, barely able to protect her from the horrifying memories of her childhood. Nothing, however, can deflect her from her destiny—and the day of reckoning looms near. When her memories return. When her magic matures. When she is forced to accept her fate.
On that day, the dark Realms will know what it means to be ruled by Witch.
“Forgiveness doesn’t work that way. You may want to forgive, but you can’t do it yet. Forgiving someone can take weeks, months, years. Sometimes it takes a lifetime.”
Oh my gosh, this book. I am in love. I finished this book with a huge, huge smile on my face that you could not have slapped off me. The last book I was in near tears after, so this was a vast improvement. The terror and stress I have built while reading this is tempered by the moments of pure hilarity and eased with the pure love I felt between the characters. This book speaks to the core of me in ways I didn’t even know I needed in the first place. I never wanted to stop reading this at all, though I did have to stop occasionally just to breathe and let the anxiety normalise a bit before diving back in.
This is a book of a young girl becoming a teenager becoming an adult, all while having enough power that no one can stop her when she wants to do something. This is about a young woman who has to learn the balance between keeping herself healthy and giving too much to save everyone. This is about the healing of a young woman in the aftermath of a terrible event – while more terrible things just keep happening. This is the story about someone who has been hurt not wanting to potentially hurt anyone else by leading them, but having to make a decision about that anyway. While the last book explored themes on sex, this book dealt with how to heal, and how one does not always heal fully when wronged heavily.
There is no one villain in this series. There are many. The Blood, the ones in power, are all easily swayed to become evil, to believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong. And, what they believe to be right is vile. This world is depressing and horrifying. I want to kill them all. I want Jaenelle to sweep them all up and kill them all, even though it would pain her to do so. They make me so mad!
Bishop builds up the people into power into evil things. However, in this book she also works on the world-building for her magic system, as well. In Daughter of the Blood it was a bit light on details and a bit confusing. Heir to the Shadows solves those problems. There is so much new information on the world-building crammed into this book, all without feeling out of place or crammed down your throat all without giant blocks of text. Well done, Anne Bishop! She introduces an array of new creatures including unicorns and dragons and centaurs and wolves and other fantasy staples in addition to explaining about magic and how it came to be. How the realms were able to come to the point where they are now.
I love how Bishop plays on what a family is. She deals with friendship, too. This has produced some truly hilarious scenes. I always love all the scenes of belonging and love in these books. They are what carry you through the bad times, the times you want to rage, the times you want to cry. I feel at peace when Jaenelle is at peace.
This was the book I desperately wanted to read after the first in the series. It had everything I could have wanted except one thing (which I’m annoyed about, I wanted it damnit. Give it to me early next book, would you Bishop?). I loved this book to pieces. I honestly cannot wait to start the next one immediately after finishing this review.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Black Jewels series page!