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Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“A terrific writer...the more I read, the more excited I became because of the freshness of [her] take on the usual high fantasy setting, the assurance of [her] language, all the lovely touches of characterization that [she slips] in so effortlessly.”—Charles de Lint
“Darkly mesmerizing...[a] fascinating, dark world.”—Locus
“Lavishly sensual...a richly detailed world based on a reversal of standard genre cliches.”—Library Journal
“Vividly painted...dramatic, erotic, hope-filled.”—Lynn Flewelling
“Intense...erotic, violent, and imaginative. This one is white-hot.”—Nancy Kress
“A uniquely realized fantasy filled with vibrant colors and rich textures. A wonderful new voice, Ms. Bishop holds us spellbound from the very first page.”—RT Book Reviews
“Mystical, sensual, glittering with dark magic.”—Terri Windling, coeditor of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror
“Dark, morbid, sinister, and yet it holds you completely fascinated and spellbound by its beauty...One of the most original and readable books in the fantasy genre.”—The 11th Hour
About the Author
- ASIN : B000Q9EXYE
- Publisher : Roc (March 1, 1998)
- Publication date : March 1, 1998
- Language : English
- File size : 3776 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 388 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,968 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Also, several people have said that if you're a fan of Jacqueline Carey you'll be a fan of this series, but I personally think that the two authors aren't all that similar. I have read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy and Naamah Trilogy more times than I can count and though the subject matter between that series and this one are loosely matched, I believe that Jacqueline's books have MUCH more world and character building, along with politics, intrigue, and adventure. If that's what draws you to Jacqueline's books (like me) then this series may not do it for you. If you're familiar with the Kushiel's Legacy series, then the level of intensity of this book is around the level of Daršanga, but for the whole book. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with this series or stop after this first book because all the pedophilia is really squicking me out, but I am curious about how the plot will turn out.
So, in conclusion, just read with caution.
The one thing I love about the Daughter of the Blood is the 4 main characters.
We have a young girl, Jaenelle who has magical powers who can become the most powerful Witch. She is innocent and has been able to make many friends in different realms. She is not aware of how much power she has, so she does things her own way. Jumping from region to another one using magic without her family being aware. She's so powerful that little things magically speaking don't come easy for her, to the point that her family in Terreille thinks she's without much of a gift.
Second, we have Daemon Sadi SaDiablo, one of the two princes, sons of Saetan. He is terrifying in his "coldness". For centuries, he has been forced to live as a pleasure slave. A pleasure slave that hates being used this way but who sometimes uses it to his advantage when it's necessary. He has a Ring of Obedience which is used to hurt him by Queen Dorothea.
Third, we have Lucivar, the other son. Also a slave in another region. He's less dangerous than Daemon but has a bad temper. Sometimes, he wants to stop the pain but he hopes that someday, he could serve a Queen who deserves it.
Last, we have Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, the High Lord of Hell. He was forced to leave his two sons in the hands of an evil woman who wanted nothing else than to cause him pain and destroy his kids' will in the process.
Jaenelle, a young girl will be the catalyst for these 3 powerful men to dedicate their lives to love her and protect her.
I enjoyed the storyline but I do have to mention, there were plenty of scenes that were hard to read. Most of them involved rape, sexual abuse, and torture. If you can't stomach it, please skip this book.
I'm intrigued enough by the story, to continue reading the next book in this series.
And because I am me, the editing is pretty awesome. If you look hard enough, you can always find mistakes as everyone involved in a book is human, but these were minor and rarely if ever knocked me out of the story enough to notice them.
I'm not overly squeamish and usually don't mind dark or violent books. But I couldn't finish this book... I didn't even manage to get very far into it and I have an almost obsessive need to know what happens next, even with books I don't really care for. I kept thinking I'll just get past this part so I can enjoy the rest of the book, but I gave up when I realized sex and violence (usually at the same time) was going to be a pretty prevalent theme throughout the book.
Since I didn't finish the book, I didn't feel it was completely fair to give it a low review so I gave it 3 stars. I'm sure it has some redeeming qualities and may very well be the great book the majority of the readers say it is, but I couldn't force myself to continue reading past the non-stop, explicit sexual abuse to find out.
Top reviews from other countries
The world the author has created is complex enough that it should have felt like a fulfilling read but compared, say, to Sarah J Maas, the plot didn't feel that it was moving forward very well. When I'm in the middle of a book I love, I find myself thinking about it even when I'm not reading it, and I can't wait to pick it up. At times, I felt that I was forcing myself to read on. I should also say, as others have, that this will definitely not be the book for you if material concerning rape, abuse, paedophilia and torture are likely to be triggering. Now to qualify that because, really, who loves reading about these topics, they are handled well within the context of the book, and aren't gratuitous; a lot is hinted at. The whole system of control and rule the author has built means that both men and women have become very distrustful of each other. Powerful women - the witches and Queens - attempt to control powerful men by using 'rings of obedience' which are attached to the genitals, and send bolts of pain to the region if the men step out of line. At the same time, men of the Blood attempt to break young girls before they come into their birthright power by 'spearing' them in a way that causes distress (and the fracturing of their minds) on their virgin nights. Bit of a spoiler ahead now, so stop reading if you don't want to find out more ....
While I could handle the system of power and control the writer had set up, the one thing I found very distasteful was Daemon's relationship/feelings towards Janelle. At the time when Daemon (a powerful, ringed male) meets Janelle properly, she is twelve years old. Although Daemon is a 'pleasure slave' to powerful queens and witches, he is unable to have full sex, due to the ring which, it appears, keeps him in a flaccid state (this was something I didn't entirely 'get' - if they're going to have pleasure slaves, why limit what they can do!) However, even though Janelle is just a child, Daemon believes she is the lover he's been waiting for, as she is Witch (a powerful Queen/Witch whose coming was prophesied 700 years earlier). Daemon begins to have 'stirrings' if Janelle brushes against him and, clearly, he feels a sexual draw to her, even though he reins this in. Personally, I found this distasteful, as it was a main character having these feelings. It's even worse bearing in mind Daemon is one of the long-lived peoples (I'm not sure how old he is supposed to be, but he's clearly been knocking around for a thousand years plus!) It's one thing that the 'baddies' are engaging in such behaviour, but when you hear one character say to the other, re Daemon, than he's unlikely to be able to 'resist her twelve year old body', that's a big no-no for me. I would have far preferred the relationship between Daemon and Janelle - and the hint of potential future romance - if she'd been, say, seventeen or eighteen. I know that's not the way the Black Jewels world has been set up to work (and virgin nights are had younger), but I feel there could have been a way for Witch to come into the novel with a bit more maturity on her side, while still retaining her naivety.
In conclusion, I'm not really sure how I feel about this series. I can't say I'm chomping at the bit to go onto book two - and, as a heads-up, this is definitely not a stand-alone book. You'll need to read the rest to find out what happens. I'm hoping that everything is tied up within the first three books; it's described as a 'trilogy' but I see there are a LOT more than just three books in the Black Jewel series. I probably will give the second book a try at some point, but this world definitely hasn't grabbed me in the way a lot of other fantasy settings have. It's well-written, hugely imaginative but, for some reason, fell a little flat for me.
This is a good book, but it is not an excellent book. The world building is interesting and the system of power (based on the “jewel” that a person receives at birth, and then the “jewel” that they later receive at a later date) is fascinating – really this is one of this book’s great strengths.
The premise is solid, if somewhat cliché (but who doesn’t enjoy a bit of cliché in their fantasy? Clichés are often popular for a reason). This is a matriarchal land, in which a system that used to function as a meritocracy has been sabotaged and corrupted by a power-mongering Queen who has systematically eradicated any who might stand against her and continues to purge herself of potential rivals through destroying any young girls born to powerful jewels. The true Queen (or Witch, as she’s called) is prophesised to appear and set things to right.
One of the main problems that stopped me from enjoying this book as much as I might have is that the Witch is not a character that the reader can really empathise with at all. I hesitate to say it, but she is at times reminiscent of a Mary Sue: exceedingly powerful, infinitely wise whilst still a child, and just immediately able to complete feats of great power with little to no instruction.
I would also warn any potential readers that this is a book that has instance upon instance of rape and of paedophilia. In fact, much of the plot is based upon these two things as it is the means by which the evil Queen breaks the “jewels” of potential characters. Please do bear that in mind. It also includes torture of male genitalia.
Overall, it’s the sort of book that pulls you through whilst reading it, but once finished I was undecided as to whether I wanted to buy the sequel.
Set in a world with many layers of realms bound together by webs of magic, powered by jewels held by the Blood, is a story of tortured and desperate members of the long lived races bound together by the hope of a better world.
Daemon is bound to service to the priestess Dorothea and has been for the last 1,700 years. Forced to service her fellow priestesses or face her wrath and the binding that wraps him in torment if he disobeys. Still he would retaliate if it wasn’t for his brother, Lucivar, a man similarly bound and controlled by another priestess. Lucivar isn’t as powerful as his brother but he has a strength of will that matches. Together they could destroy all around them so they are always kept apart.
After their very long lives they start to feel despair of never being free when they catch glimpses of a boundless power, that of Witch, emerging into the world. All their hopes are bound up in the ideal of Witch, the unparalleled force of dreams made flesh. In order to gain freedom for themselves and their world from the darkness that has infected it for centuries they need to find and protect her mortal form.
This tale weaves around multiple points of view, mainly between Daemon and his father, Saeten, the High Lord of Hell, who has been waiting for 50,000 years for Witch, the foretold daughter of his soul. Saeten was forbidden from raising his son so they cannot support each other in their search for, and support of Witch. There is a delicate dance between them and a longing for the familial love long denied them.
The other character who tells her story is Surreal, a woman who was the product of rape and raised herself up from the years on the streets selling her teenaged body to survive. Now she is a sought after courtesan and master assassin. Tied to Daemon with bonds of gratitude and past friendship wrapped in guilt for the pain she unwittingly inflicted on him decades ago. She too, longs to cleanse the world of the darkness Dorothea has spread throughout the Blood, the magic users who should protect and nurture and instead hurt and maim.
All these characters are wonderfully detailed and captivating. The story crafted around them is enticing and delicately draws you into the web the author weaves. They are gently placed in a wonderfully constructed world and each page reveals more detail to enrapture.
This is a wonderfully dark world that draws you in until you reach the end of the book and emerge with eyes blinking into the light.