In a tumultuous world ruled by witches and warlocks who wear their power as jewels, one Queen’s chance at redemption is the last hope for a desperate people in this novel set in the world of the Black Jewels…
Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to restore the land of Dena Nehele. But first he needs to find a Queen who knows Protocol, remembers the Blood’s code of honor, and lives by the Old Ways.
Languishing in the Shadow Realm, Lady Cassidy is a Queen without a court, a castoff. But when she is chosen to rule Dena Nehele, she must convince bitter men to serve once again.
Theran’s cousin Gray is a Warlord Prince who was damaged in mind and body by the vicious Queens who once ruled Dena Nehele. Yet something about Cassidy makes him want to serve—and makes him believe he can be made whole once again.
And only Cassidy can prove to Gray—and to herself—that wounds can heal and even the whisper of a promise can be fulfilled…
“A lot of us have scars… the biggest difference between you and the rest of us is you haven’t learned to live with yours yet.”
This really felt like half a book, like the publisher made her split the book in two so they could publish it easier, and she chose a random spot to do it in. That said, I really enjoyed this book more than I expected I would. This is the follow-up to the prequel, The Invisible Ring, as well as a following through with the events that happened at the end of the trilogy.
I think Bishop did a great job of including just enough of the characters that I had come to love in the original trilogy, while also introducing the new set of characters. It got me interested in the book because I was able to see them and it didn’t feel so jarring, not in the way The Invisible Ring did (even though that book did have Daemon in it). Unfortunately, by the end of the book, I actually would have liked for Bishop to not have included them after the initial introductions between Cassidy and the descendent, Theran, other than checking up on Cassidy. They totally steal the show, and I want more of them and not more of Cassidy. They did not need their own plotline, they needed to supplement the new one. I hope they back off in the next book some.
I like the idea of what Bishop is going for with Cassidy going to the Terreillee to help the land heal. However, I never got to actually see that until the end. The first 85% of the book is focused more on her hurt feelings (which I’ll get to later), and the Daemon/Jaenelle storyline. We literally only see her truly get to act as a Queen once the entire book. Unless you count trying to get her court to treat her as a Queen, in which case, chock full of that.
Back to the hurt feelings. Holy hell, the amount of time spent on this characters looks was insulting. It went on and on and on. As far as I could tell, she wasn’t Quasimodo, just not “beautiful” like they expected, and pretty… “ethnic” due to her red hair and freckles. But, man did it give some wickedly mean lines.
He didn’t want Cassidy. Who would? But her voice was the kind that could heat a man’s blood—as long as he didn’t have to look at her face.
He smiled again. “I can fulfill my duties to the Queen. When it comes right down to it, all women look the same in the dark.”
I love Daemon and Jaenelle and their relationship. Now that Daemon feels safe, he is started to experience PTSD and is afraid for Jaenelle because he is lashing out. Someone played with him and his relationship with Jaenelle again and it was just a bit too much for Daemon’s sanity. And, because it was affecting his son, Saetan became a bit unhinged and needed calming down, too. If you hadn’t read Dreams Made Flesh, you might be a bit confused on part of it, but it isn’t anything necessary.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, however it just felt like half the story. A little much too time was spent on previous characters, and not enough time was spent devoted to the problem at hand.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the The Black Jewels series page!