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High Fantasy Early Review: The Queen's Bargain by Anne Bishop

The Queen's Bargain by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels #10)

ARC courtesy of Ace

Synopsis from Goodreads

Return to the dark, sensual, and powerful world of the Black Jewels in this long-awaited new story in the New York Times bestselling fantasy saga

After a youthful mistake, Lord Dillon’s reputation is in tatters,
leaving him vulnerable to aristo girls looking for a bit of fun. To
restore his reputation and honor, he needs a handfast—a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young Eyrien witch from Ebon Rih, who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian’s true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih.

Meanwhile, Surreal SaDiablo’s marriage is crumbling. Daemon Sadi, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, recognizes there is something wrong between him and Surreal, but he doesn’t realize that his attempt to suppress his own nature in order to spare his wife is causing his mind to splinter. To save Daemon, and the Realm of Kaeleer if he breaks, help must be sought from someone who no longer exists in any of the Realms—the only
Queen powerful enough to control Daemon Sadi. The Queen known as Witch.

As Jillian rides the winds of first love with Dillon, Daemon and Surreal struggle to survive the wounds of a marriage turned stormy—and Lucivar has to find a way to keep everyone in his family safe…even from each other.

Release date: March 10, 2020.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Audible US/UK | Book Depository


* * *
This was like a long-awaited reunion among old friends. I missed them all and I loved to have them back.

Daemon is older, mature and well into Saetan's role as High Lord of Hell. His daughter is growing and learning that with the power like hers she can not do as she pleases. It's a hard lesson to learn and one that all her friends and family are eager to impart.

Surreal finds it hard to adjust to Daemon's powers growing, and while she is panicking and retreating to save her independence, she doesn't do what all good relationships need to survive, - she doesn't communicate her fears. As a result, both partners are suffering and growing apart.

Lucivar faces his own problems, his wife's deteriorating health and his adopted daughter's first love.

And above all of it, there is an unshakeable power of Witch as all of them are still living in her shadow. As a result, it's a bittersweet book. Oh, how I wished to have Jaenelle there, and she was! But not truly there.

At last, parallel to this plot, there is a small plotline about Jillian meeting a young Warrior from a different non-long lived race, and the problems both of them face. There is a wrongness creeping back into Kaeleer, and it needs to be cleansed. Again.

I loved Daemon and Lucivar, all the scelties of course and Surreal anytime she wasn't interacting with Daemon. Jillian was a sweetie, Lucivar's kids were lovely, and Witch was as formidable as ever.

I re-read the series before reviewing this book, but to be honest, it was still very easy to follow even without refreshing your memories. If you are a fan of Black Jewels series and feeling nostalgic, please, pick up The Queen's Bargain. It was absolutely lovely and I was sad to get to its last page.

* * *
У меня было такое впечатление, что я встретилась со старыми друзьями и годы разлуки просто растворились в разговорах и шуточках. Чудесная просто книга была.

Годы спустя после смерти Жанель, Дэймон все больше и больше  напоминает Сэйтана в своей роли Высокого Лорда Ада, и его отношения с женой Сурреал находятся на грани разрыва. Суррреал не может принять изменения в Дэймоне, его увеличивающуюся силу и задыхается  от кажущегося давления, вместо того чтобы с ним эту тему обсудить. В итоге, она ранит его все больше и больше, и Дэймон от нее отстраняятся, чтобы выжить.

Их дочь, Жанель, учится тому, что ее дар не означает, что ей все может быть дозволено, что оказывается для девочки тяжелым уроком. Мне ее было жаль, конечно. Испорченный, любимый ребенок, которую назвали таким любимым именем, с которым ее все постоянно сравнивают.

У Люсивара тоже свои проблемы - ухудшающееся здоровье жены и муки первой любви удочеренной им Джиллиан. Хотя все детишки его просто чудесные!

Кстати, параллельно общему сюжету есть маленькая сюжетная линия Джиллиан и молодого воины из другой расы, в которого та влюбляется, и стоящие перед ними проблемы. Она показывает новые проблемы в реалмах Туррил и Колир, с которыми Люсивалу и Дэймону опять приходится справлятся.

И над всем этим висит глубокая тень Ведьмы, которая даже после смерти продолжает помогать тем, кого она так любила. Как же мне не доставало теплоты Жанель! Не было ее здесь, только проблески ее сущности Ведьмы.

Для фанатов серии - книга эта прекрасна, даже не надо ничего перечитывать, все-равно все вам будет понятно. Было тепло, душевно и читалось с большой ностальгией до самого конца. Очень рекомендую, дамы и господа.
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