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I’m starting to realize that sometimes my reviews are not really book reviews, but critiques of how the author writes. And on some level, part of me feels like ‘What gives me the right?’ but most of me just sees it as looking at what I like and dislike about authors’ writing styles and learn from it. As a writer, I think that this helps.

BishopHeirSo, Anne Bishop’s second book in the Black Jewels Trilogy. I really like Heir to the Shadows and that surprised me. For one, I was put off by the violence of the first book and for two, it took me a few chapters to get into Heir. But once Jaenelle pulled herself back to her body and started to heal, the book became interesting. I loved seeing the young Queens and their partners come together, not just the humans but the kindred as well.

Heir also took place in Kaeleer instead of Terreille and while Kaeleer is on it’s way to following Terreille, it isn’t there yet. There is still respect between the Blood females and Blood males; the females are still seen as creatures to be protected and the perverted males appear to be fewer than in Terreille. It was a balm to my mind not to see the same perverted minds from the first book.

And the few that were seen are clearly suffering.

Jaenelle is still healing, but I expect to see that throughout any Black Jewel book; you never entirely heal from a traumatic experience like rape. Part of it, repressed or not, always weighs on your soul. But this time, Jaenelle has a positive environment to heal and grow.

Saeten, High Lord of Hell, brings in her friends. These are characters that were only mentioned in the first book. But now they are living, breathing characters. And they are all teenagers. Male and Female. And the females are all Queens.

Did all the blood just drain from your face?

It isn’t all about Jaenelle. Lucivar is also saved from the salt mines and now healing. He isn’t the same brooding character that we saw glimpses of in the first book, but a happier version of himself, still a Warlord Prince and still a force to be reckoned with, but happier.

He also happily fills the role of aggravating older brother for Jaenelle.

Bishop doesn’t help all her characters; Daemon has had his mind shattered and is wandering in the Twisted Kingdom the way his mother, Tersa, has. And Surreal has given up prostituting and switched completely to her true profession as assassin. And she has acquired some new enemies because of it.

There is still a third book, which I would have started immediately if I hadn’t felt the need to eat. And then this started fermenting in my brain and I had to sit down and write it. But the third book has a lot to cover; Daemon has to take his place as Jaenelle’s Consort and Jaenelle has to put down Dorothea and Hekatah. Plus, I would love to see what happens with Titian, Queen of the Harpies, and her daughter, Surreal; and I would like to see what has become of Cassandra, who was Witch before Jaenelle.

The next generation of Queens has risen to power and yielded to Jaenelle.

What will the Queen of Darkness be?