A book in the Black Jewels series, published March 2011.
New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s “darkly fascinating” Black Jewel novels have enthralled readers and critics alike with their mixture of fantasy, intrigue, and romance. Now in Twilight’s Dawn, Bishop returns to the Blood realm with four all-new captivating novellas.
DON’T READ THIS IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ SPOILERS!!
Daemon, the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, is settling into his first year of married life with his Witch Queen Jaenelle. But as the thirteen-day celebration of Winsol draws near, Daemon finds himself being pulled in too many directions as he plays host to his formidable family…
The first two years of their married life, Daemon and Jaenelle were hurt, and healing. Not taking much interest in the organisation of Winsol. But know they are both fine, and they have the obligation to host the feast for their friends and family. The first few days are filled with parties, but the last few are for family only.
So Daemon has to learn his role in the festivities, the role his father used to fullfill. And one of those, is to guard the room with the presents against those who cannot withstand temptation. You know what happens when Daemonar finds them, unguarded? Lucivar and Daemon have to work very hard to restore all of them to their former wrapped glory …
Surreal drags Prince Rainier with her to the party. After they became wounded badly in the haunted house, they both are still healing. But Rainier will probably never be able to dance again, as he loved to, and is afraid to have to be dependent on his family who never stopped fearing him just for being a Warlord Prince.
This one is just a lovely family story, kind of a “what happened after”. I loved reading it. Catching up.
Shades of Honor
Still recovering from the ordeal that left her wounded and angry, Surreal returns to Ebon Rih on the orders of Prince Lucivar. And when her former lover Falonar ruthlessly challenges the rule of her family, Surreal may finally succumb to the darkness burning inside her…
Surreal and Prince Rainier are in Ebon Rih to train under the watchful eyes of Lucivar. But before Lucivar gets to Rainier, his second in command and Surreal’s ex-lover Falonar attacks Rainier under the guise of testing him. And while Rainier is on the ground, with his healing leg broken again, he attacks his mind to get information on Lucivar’s weaknesses. But Rainier has not been in Jeanelle’s second Circle for nothing, he knows how to guard his mind, so he feeds Falonar false data.
Falonar is not happy with the way Lucivar rules his lands and the Eyriens who live there. Falonar wants to go back to the old days, when the woman were little more than slaves, destined to please a man, and the aristocracy, meaning him, ruled. After all, in his eyes and the eyes of a lot of other Eyrien males, Lucivar is nothing but a half-breed bastard. It doesn’t matter that his father has acknowledged him, or that he is the son of the High Prince of Hell. He will always be a bastard to them. So Falonar wants to defeat Lucivar in order to take over Ebon Rih. He believes when that is done, he can rule as he wants. He doesn’t want to consider that Ebon Rih belongs to the Keep, that with killing Lucivar, the Eyrien race will cease to exist…
This one was a longer story, and again, I loved it. Surreal has to heal, not only physically, but also psychically. She blames herself for all those children she could not save, even though she had no chance at that at all. But she has to heal all the same. Daemonar playing hide and seek with her, really breaks her down, but it also makes her start living again. Her cousin wants her to visit the Dae-Al-Mon, her mother’s family. But Surreal senses something is wrong, and she won’t leave Lucivar, and stop guarding his back, till the matter is solved.
Rainier also decides he wants to live, and he accepts Daemon’s proposition to become his secretary. But his leg is now damaged so severely, not even Jaenelle can heel it again. But at least he gets a new reason to live.
And Falonar? He gets what he so richly deserves from the hands of Daemon, who proves for the first time he is the true heir of the High Lord of Hell.
When someone lays a vicious trap for Queen Sylvia and her sons, the fallout completely disrupts the lives of the ruling family of Dhemlan. Now, they have to uncover the identity of the warlord known only as No Face, before he returns to finish what he started…
Queen Sylvia and her sons are lured to a distant house, where a monster attacks her and leaves her Demon-Dead, while he goes after her youngest son, Mikal. Luckily, the Sceltie with them manages to warn Daemon and Jaenelle, and they arrive just in time to safe the boy. They are furious for the people who lured Sylvia and her family to this fate, and tolerate no excuses what so ever. They should have been told about this child molesting monster!
The children end up in their care, as their own grandfather would not have allowed them to become what they want to be. And the Saetan saves Sylvia as much as he can, going against all his own rules of the dead interfering with the living. They end up married, finally, for as long as Sylvia will be “alive”.
A short story, but a bit horrible too. Even though I love the fact that Saetan and Sylvia have a second chance at love.
The High Lord’s Daughter
After losing the two most important people in his life, Daemon has assumed his father Saetan’s role as High Lord of Hell and built a wall around his heart. But when he inadvertently forges a new connection, will it be enough to break him free from his loveless life?
I wasn’t planning to read this story, as I was warned about it a while ago. We are 70 years further, and Jaenelle has died. She was not from the long-lived races like Daemon and his family, she was Dreams Made Flesh. And so she grew old and died, while Daemon stayed young and handsome. Other woman kept making a pass at Daemon, not wanting to believe he really loved that old woman, and was faithful to her. Surreal did everything she could to shield them from those attempts, but if not successful and the woman provoked Daemon, she would never do so again….
But now Jaenelle has been dead for a year, and she made Daemon promise he would mourn her no longer than one year, and then move on with his life. A promise that is hard for him to keep. He has to go out in public again, facing all those Queens and Witches and Ladies who want to snare him. Surreal keeps acting as his escort, saving him from a lot of attempts, but sometimes he just has to give in to the desires of his body. But never will he involve his heart in a relationship again.
Then, 17 years later, Lucivar and Daemon find out their father doesn’t want to live any longer. He has waited 50.000 years for Jaenelle, and now that the daughter of his soul is death, he has no reason to linger any more. So with Saetan’s passing on, Daemon is the new High Lord of Hell, and the head of the SaDiablo family.
Consoling each other, Daemon and Surreal spend one night together, with the result of Surreal getting pregnant. Something neither of them could have seen. Daemon is determined to do the right thing, and that is to marry Surreal, and protect her and their child from everything necessary. Surreal has been in love with him for a long time already, and accepts that she will never have his heart as Jaenelle had. But it will be enough. And with the birth of their daughter, a part of Daemon’s heart is healing at last.
It is not easy to raise a daughter for Surreal and Daemon, especially a child like Jaenelly Saetien. Another Dream-Made-Flesh …
This last story was not something I was planning to read, but in the end I just had to know how Anne Bishop would make it fit. Daemon stopping grieving for Jaenelle after only one year? Why not after a thousand? After all, he had been waiting 1700 years for her birth. And why Surreal as his new wife? Why not a new woman?
But while I cried about what happened, and especially when Saetan died as well, I just kept reading. And somehow, it fits in the story. We could be looking forward to new books with Jaenelly Saetien as our leading lady, a grown Daemonar, new stories with the kindred. I also hope for new books set before this time, the sequel to Shalador’s Lady perhaps. Plenty of loose ends to make books out, I hope.
So, while I dreaded reading this one, while I was up in arms when I found out what would be in this book, I still loved reading it. Anne Bishop has not alienated me with this story as I was fearing. I have no idea if it was easy or difficult on her, writing this ending, and at this part in the series. I just hope this will not be the end of it.