I have read 12 books this month and although some of them were quite lovely I want to grab this chance and recommend only one author and her books:
Anne Bishop: The Black Jewels
She is one of my favourite authors and as the next book in her “The Others”-series (which will be “Murder of Crows”) will be released on March 4th I want to call your attention to this excellent writer.
Return to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop's "phenomenal" (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others - where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules...
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.
The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside's shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.
As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.
Reading Order “The Black Jewels”:
Daughter of the Blood (Book 1)
Heir to the Shadows (Book 2)
Queen of the Darkness (Book 3)
The Invisible Ring*
Dreams Made Flesh (anthology)
Tangled Webs (anthology)
The Shadow Queen**
Shalador's Lady** (sequel to The Shadow Queen and I think it is my favourite book)
Twilight's Dawn (anthology)
*The Invisible Ring is a standalone novel which could be read before or after the trilogy but I’d recommend to read it after the first three books. Otherwise you might be lost and / or (even worse) bored.
**The characters in The Shadow Queen and Shalador's Lady are connected to the main characters in The Invisible Ring.
Bishop created a unique world, a very dark and violent world which is certainly nothing for the faint of the heart: the three main male characters aren’t called Saetan, Daemonar and Lucivar for nothing and Saetan is the High Lord of Hell. Add to these facts that the heroine of most of the books Jaenelle Angelline is all of seven years old when we first meet her and you can guess that you’re not in for a quick and easy read.
These books show us the realms of the Blood – people who are gifted with different Jewels at a Birthright ceremony and who can gain darker jewels when they make their Offering to the Darkness. These Jewels enable them to wield different kinds of magic, the darker the Jewel, the stronger the power the Blood wield.
The colour of their jewels puts them in different castes. The strongest males, the Warlord Princes, have a deep desire to connect themselves to the strongest females – the queens. A queen can rule anything from a small village to a large territory. The males are there to serve the queen (imagine that!!) A good queen will do anything for the benefit of her people but now there are two twisted queens who corrupted their courts and eventually their realm.
Those who know about her have been waiting for Witch – the strongest queen who will eventually clean the corrupt courts.
I bought the original trilogy in one book and it’s well over a thousand pages. If I recall correctly it took me about 6 days (and nights) to devour them. There are so many characters, events, side stories that you will find yourself smiling, laughing, gasping and perhaps even crying a little.
These books belong to the fantasy genre and frankly I haven’t read many series which managed to hold my interest over so many years as Anne Bishop has done with this series and her new one about The Others.
I believe Aurian has already recommended “Written in Red” and I want to emphasize how good this book is for me, too.
I also want to draw your attention to C. L. Wilson’s (the author of Tairen Soul) finally to be published book “The Winter King”. It will be released in July. Ignore the cheesy cover (it’s almost as bad as the one that was used for her first German edition- and the title then was even worse and more misleading.) I think that might be a good book.
After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.
Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom - and her first taste of overwhelming passion.
As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion - she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.
So – enjoy the Black Jewels while you are no doubt waiting for “Murder of Crows” as impatiently as I am.
Aurian: Thanks for the recommendation Karin! I absolutely love Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series, I have read them all often, and I have read Written in Red six times already. I am waiting most impatiently for a Murder of Crows. I am also a big fan of C.L. Wilson and pre-ordered Winter King three years ago, but the date just keeps moving further and further away.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian