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Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Book 1) Paperback – June 5, 2007
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Bishop's child heroine, Jaenelle, is destined to rule the Blood, if she can reach adulthood. Her power is hidden; her family believes her mad. Saetan, High Lord of Hell and most powerful of the Blood males, becomes Jaenelle's surrogate father and teacher. He cannot protect her outside Hell, where he rules. She refuses to leave Terreille, risking herself to protect or heal other victims of violence. Can Daemon, Saetan's estranged son, keep her safe from the machinations of the evil High Priestess? Or will he lose his battle to control his destructive urges and endanger her?
Readers may find some aspects of Bishop's world confusing; not least that most of the good guys live in Hell. But her protagonists are compelling, sympathetic characters who overcome terrible adversity. If you like Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton, try this one. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Daughter of the Blood is a concentrated form of literary magic. Like magic, one often finds oneself shocked and amused, unable to explain what you just experienced but blown away by the impact of it. The action takes place in a fantastic world where the land of the living overlays the land of the demon-dead, the very fabric of realities linked together with the beauty and force of powerful silken webs of existence so tiny that most of the living never suspect their existence. It is a dark universe where traditional good and evil transcend one another. In fact, the most positive of forces reside in Hell itself, led by Saetan, the High Lord of Hell himself. Two of his estranged sons, Lucivar and Daemon, exist among the living on the other side of the veil, enduring unbelievable hardships at the hands of powerful female witches. Women rule the world of the living, and even the most powerful of men are exploited and dominated. Those "of the Blood," both women and men, possess magical powers drawn from an assortment of multi-colored jewels, but even men of the Black (the most powerful jewel) are subjugated and enslaved to demented Black Widow queens and priestesses. Daemon has been forced to serve his queens in the most humiliating of ways for centuries; having never known his father, he has become the coldest of men, forced to wear the Ring of Obedience (and, let me tell you, you don't wear this particular ring on your finger) and suffer terrible brutalities. Only his dreams of she who is yet to come, the only woman he will willingly serve, keep him from falling into an abyss too deep to return from.
Everything changes, in both Hell and the world of the living, when the prophecy of a new and all-powerful witch is fulfilled in the form of a sapphire-eyed young lady named Jaenelle. She is not just "a witch;" rather, she is Witch. At twelve years old, she has little understanding of just what she is, but she travels between the realms to seek the instruction of Saetan in the Craft and continually amazes her new tutor with the power and knowledge she possesses. Daemon, whom Saetan first views as a possible threat to Jaenelle, ends up serving Jaenelle's grandmother and develops a powerful bond and a very real love for the young lady. He will become her protector from several forces of evil, namely the corrupted Black Widows and dark priestesses now holding sway in the land, women intent on destroying Jaenelle and the threat she poses to their continued rule by perversion. Daemon is one of the most impressively constructed characters I have met in a long time, as is Jaenelle. Surprisingly, there are moments of great humor to be found in these pages, most of them arising from the young girl's naiveté about the world and Saetan's attempts to answer her increasingly bold questions, but a continuously dark story takes a dramatically shocking dark turn toward the end as Jaenelle's secret life, the one she keeps hidden from Saetan and Daemon, is exposed, threatening to destroy her and the men bound to serve her. The romantic elements of the novel, seemingly problematic due to the character's young age, are handled with great care and beauty, revealing the hand of a true master craftswoman of words at work here.
Those who like their novels straightforward and easily understandable may balk at the richness of the world Anne Bishop has created here, but lovers of dark fantasy and well-constructed literature in general will find themselves immersed in a world they have never imagined. I don't have the words to describe just how powerful an effect this book had on my consciousness and emotions. This first book of The Black Jewels Trilogy is the most unique and easily the most powerful work of dark fantasy I have ever read. Thank goodness there are two additional books in the series, for I could not, at this point, leave this universe of Bishop's creation even if I wanted to.
Anne Bishop's wonderful sense of humor is expressed in many of the scenes between Jaenelle and the other main characters (namely Saetan and Daemon). This precocious 12 year old never fails to confound them, and the encounters can become hysterically funny as they try to find a way to deal with a young girl with powers beyond anyone's imagination. She's got enough power to do the unimaginable, but can't do the simple things. Their sheer terror at what she is capable of (or sometimes not capable of doing), is humorously mixed with exasperation, frustration, and tenderness. I laughed out loud at so many scenes that my mother, who doesn't read fantasy, demanded that she get to read it after me... She's also an Anne Bishop fan now!!
The book also deals with very dark issues, including abuse and the kind of society that results when trust, respect, and honor between men and women is destroyed. What's saddest about it is that a few people have systematically destroyed those bonds in order to gain power for themselves. Anne Bishop weaves these dark threads with those of hope that with the coming of the new queen, Jaenelle, that things will change. If they can protect her long enough for her to grow up...
And now on to the plot!
The Blood of Terrielle were once the guardians of the land. The Warlord Princes and the lesser blood protected their Witch, and in turn the witch cherished them and the land. But after hundreds of years of treachery and deception by one powerful and ambitious witch, Dorotea, hatred and distrust now rule the land where she is the ultimate and unchallenged ruler.
Under this warped, evil woman, males, through rape and cruelty, now break witches before they come into their power, and those witches who escape this fate enslave and torment the males out of vengeance in an endless circle of distrust and fear.
Into this land of horror is born Jaenelle Angelline, a loving and innocent girl, destined to be the most powerful Witch ever and savior of the land. She can pass at will from land to land, even into the land of the undead. She is befriended and taught by the High Lord of Hell, sworn enemy of Dorotea, and she sees wonders like unicorns and telepathic beasts. And she learns not to tell a soul about her strange experiences, for her own family comes to believe her to be mad and they repeatedly lock her away in Briarwood for treatments. Briarwood, where young, helpless, highstrung witches are sent for treatments, and come out mindless and passive, if they come out at all...
But Jaenelle is not without defenders for in her travels she has met winged Lucivar, an enslaved Eyrian Warlord Prince, and Daemon, a handsome warlord prince sent to Jaenelle's home to act as a household bedslave by Dorotea. Both recognize in her the potential to be Witch and will do anything, even endanger their own lives and sanity to save her from the unspeakable evil she has faced alone for so long.
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