Daughter of the Blood is a brutal and twisted tale and isn’t going to be for everyone. Heck I think that with a lot of the things touched on in this book nine times out of ten it wouldn’t be for me, but Anne Bishop’s writing and ability to weave a tale kept me captivated. There is so much brutality in this against Men, Women and children that it goes really dark at times. The story also touches on child molestation and a bit of human trafficking neatly disguised as something else. There are times that the story made me uncomfortable, as it should with the subject matter, but there was no time that I wanted to put the book down as I was so engrossed in the story.
Anne Bishop has built a unique fantasy world full of complicated and broken characters. This dark world has been twisted from what it should have been. Some people, known as the Blood, are gifted and wear jewels. The color of the jewel indicates the power level of The Blood and they are given from the mist or a different realm at birth and then at other major moments in someone’s life. The Blood used to be the protectors of the land, but their power has been twisted by a bad ruler who has either enslaved the strong Blood or killed them, but there is a prophecy that Witch will come and set right what has been broken.
***“They twist things to suit themselves. They dress up and pretend. They wear Blood Jewels but don’t understand what it means to be Blood. They talk of honoring the Darkness, but it’s a lie. They honor nothing but their own ambitions. The Blood were created to be the caretakers of the Realms. That’s why we were given our power. That’s why we come from, yet are apart from, the people in every Territory. The perversion of what we are can’t go on. The day is coming when the debt will be called in, and the Blood will have to answer for what they’ve become.” ***
There are a lot of characters in this story, but the majority of it is seen though three character’s arcs. Daemon, an enslaved Prince forced to be a whore for the aristocracy, Saetan the guardian of the dead and not really a bad guy, and Jaenelle a child with extraordinary power and the prophesized Witch that will one day put right all that was wrong in all of the realms.
Any book that can make Saetan into a mentor and father figure is a win in my mind. I really liked the twist that the characters that are normally going to be the bad guys in any other book are really the good guys in this one. Saetan is a friend and teacher to Jaenelle, she is a little girl with so much power that most fear her and what she will become, or they want to control her. But Saetan has a different plan, one that just might work.
***“So she can’t move furniture around a room, but she can destroy an entire continent.” “She’ll never do that. It’s not in her temperament.” “How can you be sure? How will you control her?” They were back to that. He took his cape back and settled it over his shoulders. “I’m not going to control her, Cassandra. She’s Witch. No male has the right to control Witch.” Cassandra studied him. “Then what are you going to do?” Saetan picked up his cane. “Love her. That will have to be enough.” ***
It is slowly teased out the danger that Jaenelle is in and how this little girl sees and does things so different from the rest of the world. She isn’t understood by her family but innocently she is collecting friends from all the realms and will one day be a force to be reckoned with if Saetan can protect her until she reaches adulthood.
Daemon’s story is so sad. He has been enslaved for most of his life and didn’t know that Saetan was his father for a long time. Daemon has been waiting for Witch to come for seven hundred years, since the night the prophecy was spoken. He knows that one day he will be her consort and it is the only thing that has been keeping him sane. When he finally encounters Witch he is so surprised that she is only twelve at the time. He wants desperately to protect her from all the evil surrounding her but his position as a slave is precarious and so he plays the game and bides his time, watching over her and trying to protect her. I did love their interactions in this. It was fun to see how well Jaenelle could twist not only Daemon but also Saetan up.
***“Daemon had written: "What do you do when she asks a question no man would give a child an answer to?" Saetan had replied: "Hope you're obliging enough to answer it for me. However, if you're backed into a corner, refer her to me. I've become accustomed to being shocked.” ***
Like I’ve said before there is a ton of dark moments in this. If you have a sexual hot button it is probably going to press it. There is incest, pedophilia, molestation, rape, human trafficking, torture and much much more. I wanted most of the aristocracy in this book dead and while every part of the dark deeds done in this added to the story and it is written really well the moments are uncomfortable and sometimes devastating.
I really loved the world created her with the different realms, creatures, magics and lands. It is unique and interesting and I can’t wait to read more of the story. I was drawn in and completely captivated by this tale.