Three things you should know before getting this book. It's very dark and very mature, and if those things are okay with you, the author will take yo..Show More »u on a wild ride through the world she created.
The darkness of the book comes from the world it's set in. Some of the characters have names we are familiar with... Saetan, Daemon, and Lucivar... however their names have nothing to do with their namesakes. This is a fantasy world that has nothing to do with ours. To be honest it could have been easier to just name them something else, yet since those names come with connotations, they impress upon us the dark/evil nature of these men... sortof. For instance, Saetan is the High Lord of Hell, yet he's an old man who walks with a cane and acts more like a grandfather. I'll admit it took me a good hour to become comfortable listening to the book because of the names and circumstances but it was worth it.
The mature content is pretty much everything under the sun, tho it could be worse. There's graphic violence and those who take pleasure at watching it, some not-so-graphic sex scenes, the bad guys of the book have a thing for young girls, and the women are uber-sexual females that use some males of their kind as pleasure slaves. However, all that said, the way the book is written, not all of it is smiled upon... it was almost as if the author was showing a world caught up in the worst part of itself. How it needs to be saved. And there's a promise of a young witch who just might.
The world is really well imagined and will definitely appeal to those who like the darker side of novels. There are some moments of revenge that you are hoping will happen, and there's even room for a bit of humor. Imagine two really tough brutal guys falling head over heels for a young girl, one becoming a father-type, the other a protector, both having no clue how to handle someone so powerful and so innocent.
If you're a fan of the dark side, it's a credit-worthy read.
I recommend this book and the Black Jewels series to anyone who likes well written fantasy. You won't be disappointed. I waited until the whole seri..Show More »es (to date) was released in audio and started with book 1 (recommended) and listened to all of the books in order. I was absolutly enthralled. Anne Bishop just became my favorite author.
John Sharian is outstanding as a narrator of this series. He does a wonderful job with all of the different voices/characters but deserves special notice for his depiction of the High Lord and Daemon. Thanks for this great audio production!!
Note: Although this is supposed to be a standalone novel, I don't believe anyone would be able to follow the story without reading the Black Jewels t..Show More »rilogy first. And, if you read this book first, you may never read another Anne Bishop book so don't start Black Jewels here.
I really enjoyed the original Black Jewels trilogy so I didn't worry much that there were no reviews of this prequel and picked it up with high expectations. What a disappointment - absolutely pathetic. I would normally return a book this bad, but I wanted to post a review just to warn others. I now realize why there were no reviews even though there are many people who have read it. Any time you post a critical review of a beloved author, you get slings and arrows, but just in case anyone is interested before listening to this dud, I will brave it and advise you to SAVE YOUR CREDIT for something better.
Everything I liked about the original trilogy - engaging characters, intricate magical system, grand world building - is gone. Everything I was afraid might be in the original trilogy and was happy to find it wasn't there, has made it into this book. Women who behave like naughty 3-year-olds sulking and pouting and men who find that idiocy attractive and "handle" women like they were children even though the male characters are written to be just as immature and stupid as the female characters. Jared's big romance is the driver for the whole book and even if I liked Romance as a genre (which I don't), this is a REALLY lame romance with two of the most boring characters of all time. The only male character in this novel with the kind of fascination factor of the original is a "walk-on" appearance of Daemon and there is not a single female character that comes anywhere close to being as engaging as Jaenelle, Surreal, or Tersa. In addition, Bishop's writing, that I found rather pedestrian in the trilogy becomes truly lame in the Invisible Ring. Some cringe-worthy samples that will give you a flavor of this rather painful listening experience:
"He'd said goodnight to Lady Cuddles and woke up to Lady Grumpy." (ugh)
"I should take you over my knee and wallop some consideration into you." (Said by a grown man to an unrelated grown woman - I do not have words for how much I despise this kind of interaction between male and female characters in novels.)
""It knocked me down", she said, pouting. She sounded like a little girl whose best friend has snatched her favorite toy." (This is Bishop's description of a grown woman, gray-jeweled witch after using her magic. I'm betting Surreal would have called up her stiletto to use on this girl!)
Like the other Black Jewels books, this one is heavy on the sadism, but unlike the original trilogy, the sexual perversions and tortures are almost totally gratuitous and do nothing to further the plot or character development. And the constant discussion of "Moon Blood" and "Virgin Nights" was it's own kind of torture for me. The book is 400+ pages and I'm guessing the word "bitch" must be used an average of 2 times per page. Throw in a generous helping of "slut" and "whore" and you can probably tell that the misogyny quotient for this novel is huge and it's just a lazy, tedious, manipulative way to make you hate the bad guys.
The Invisible Ring not only doesn't measure up to the original Black Jewels trilogy, it is just plain bad.
I have been patiently awaiting the audio release of Dreams Made Flesh. Even though I've read the book, I looked forward to listening to the stories t..Show More »hat tie the trilogy together. I'm very glad that Mr.Sherian reverted back to the voice we were used to hearing when he portrayed Jaenelle. In Tangled Webs he made her sound like Morgan - she had a Celtic lilt to her voice. Listening also helps me focus on parts that I somehow missed while reading. I love the worlds of Kaaleer, Ebon Askavi and the other realms and can't wait until Twilight's Dawn is released.
Why this is offered and not the series it comes from, I don't know. This book can only be understood if you've read Ann Bishop's Dark Jewels Trilogy...Show More » If you haven't - don't bother. You won't understand any of it.
If you have and liked the series enough to want more - then I recommend it. This is pure escapism and as such is low on shocking plot twits or anything of that sort. It's just the characters we all know and love from the Black Jewels Trilogy coming out to play again.
It's actually something of a Halloween story but would be fun at any time of the year.
Not great literature, no. But all the more fun for it's touch of silliness.
I really enjoyed this story. Theran is an ass. Cassidy is the ugly duckling. The story is one of hope and growth and bullying and finding oneself as t..Show More »hey mature.
There is a bit too much about Daemon and his Sadist urges though - I thought it was more like an add-on to bring back old characters and had little to add to the actual story of Cassidy and her Court. There is also a little substory about Saetan which was also sort of odd in the context of Cassidy's story, but I guess Bishop wanted to keep us up-to-date on the goings on with the "family".
It's not as dark or heavy as the trilogy, but is quite similar in tone to the Invisible Ring - although it was more about internal angst and in-fighting and stereotypes than fighting versus an external enemy. I'm starting the next in the series right now - it didn't really end in a cliffhanger, but you know there's more to Cassidy's story so you'll want to read the next book in the series to find out what happens.
This is the only book in the series I've listened to in audio and, for the most part, the narration was good - he mispronounces a few words and Jaenelle is read with an "Eastern Canadian?" accent in this book which didn't really fit what I expected. But otherwise, you can tell who's talking from tone/accent and whether or not they are speaking or using psychic communications.
I have read all the books in this series and this is by far the best. This is book number 8 called Shalador's Lady. It is tightly packed with the miss..Show More »ing action from the previous book, because now is the time for our characters to dig in and fight for who they want to rule Dena Nehele. That's right... another Queen from Kaeleer stirs things up. There are three divisions in this book: Cassidy and her Court, Kermilla and those who want her, and the sideline observers--the SaDiablo family and some important rulers of Kaeleer. The reader builds a deeper understanding of the ruling system of the Blood and which lines are not to be crossed. How involved should outside help be in the influencing a Territory, especially when that Territory is straining under a tug-of-war for leadership? How to fight for land and people without decimating what's left with war? There are hard decisions to be made, in order to accomplish the original premise of The Shadow Queen--restoring faith and the Old Ways of the Blood to weary and wary survivors of Dena Nehele. Fascinating, how this plays out.
I, like many others, anticipated this book for so long. Wanting to find out how Ms. Bishop would wrap up the saga of 'Witch'. She certainly pulled so..Show More »me stuff out of her literary hat. As there was a bit of a sneak preview to how the story ended, many readers went a bit ballistic and quite a few blogs indicated there would be many that refused to read it because of the twists and unexpected climax. I for one am too curious and was not let down by the anthology. I really enjoyed hearing all of the familiar characters and as usual, Mr. Sharian narrated the tales beautifully. We all would like to see happy endings for everyone in Askavi, but life and death happens and I can't really find fault with the way it finished. I will miss the characters gone, and if Anne decides to give us more Jewels, I'll be happy to continue listening as long as I'm entertained.