Fantasy Audiobook Review: Daughter of The Blood by Anne Bishop

Daughter of The Blood by Anne Bishop (The Black Jewels #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Anne Bishop's debut novel, Daughter of the Blood, is like black coffee--strong, dark, and hard on delicate stomachs. Within the Blood (a race of magic-users), women rule and men serve, but tradition has been corrupted so that women enslave men, who seek to destroy their oppressors. Female children are violated before they can reach maturity; men are tortured and forced to satisfy witches' sexual appetites.
Bishop's child heroine, Jaenelle, is destined to rule the Blood, if she can reach adulthood. Her power is hidden; her family believes her mad. Saetan, High Lord of Hell and most powerful of the Blood males, becomes Jaenelle's surrogate father and teacher. He cannot protect her outside Hell, where he rules. She refuses to leave Terreille, risking herself to protect or heal other victims of violence. Can Daemon, Saetan's estranged son, keep her safe from the machinations of the evil High Priestess? Or will he lose his battle to control his destructive urges and endanger her?
Readers may find some aspects of Bishop's world confusing; not least that most of the good guys live in Hell. But her protagonists are compelling, sympathetic characters who overcome terrible adversity. If you like Anne Rice or Laurell K. Hamilton, try this one.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£2.98) | The Book Depository | Fishpond


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Alright, peeps, I've been recommended this series often enough to get curious especially after reading Anne Bishop's excellent UF series.  I also noticed that many of you complained that this blog doesn't review that much fantasy.

So, starting Black Jewels served a few purposes, plus I am listening to this on audio which allows me to work through my chores while going through book after book in this series.

First of all, the narrator is a very unfortunate choice for this type of book. John Sharian's voice is creepy and doesn't differentiate between characters much. All women sound bitchy, all men creep the hell out of me, especially when we are talking about a lot of men submitting to power hungry, twisted witches and in turn taking it out on little girls. There is a huge issue of paedophilia in this book. It's my warning to anyone who considers this topic as their personal trigger.

Daughter of The Blood is choke full of captivating characters whether they are good or bad guys. I actually noticed the same thing with Bishop in Written in Red. She writes such revolting villains, you want to turn back time and strangle them in their cradles. And her good characters and deliciously scary. They are not below revenge, and their revenge is usually savagely gruesome.

Plot wise I'm not repeating the synopsis, instead I have to talk about the good guys themselves.

Saetan is wonderful in his grumpiness, and both his sons are lethal and hate the witches they have to serve as slaves. Lucivar  is more straightforward in his hatred, but Daemon is much more dangerous. 

We are talking about very long lived species, so these men tend to be creative when they pay back for the torture they receive from the witches who held them captive. 

Jaenelle who is the centrepiece of the whole book is a very young witch prophesied to be born centuries ago. Prophesied as Saetan's daughter of his soul and Daemon's future Queen, I add - so you can imagine the men's confusion and bewilderment when first they met Jaenelle who is seven, and by the end of the book, she is just twelve. They really don't know what to do. Add to it abuse Jaenelle is suffering without telling her friends what's going on, and she is a troubled and very fragile soul with immense power at her disposal.

Without coordinating their actions they are all trying to look after Jaenelle, but she lives in the area which is closed magically to Saetan, so he can only look after her when she comes to visit. Lucivar doesn't know who Jaenelle is and where she is from, and only Daemon by sheer luck gets sent to a household where Jaenelle lives, so he ends up closest to her. 

At last, there are only two good female characters - Titian and her daughter Surreal, and it's Surreal who has been connected to Daemon for centuries, and ends up playing a huge role in saving Jaenelle. 

I think I connected with Surreal the most. She is a whore and an assassin. In fact, her first profession is just a convenient way to work on her targets as an assassin, and her attitude, her background and her way of dealing with things made me cheer for her all the time.

There are multiple plots and a lot of horrible things happen (especially in the end), and while it's disturbing and very hard to stomach, it's worth your effort in the end because it's an excellent dark fantasy which reminded me of Jacqueline Carey's writing. If you like Carey, you'd most likely enjoy it.

Surprisingly, despite a lot of plot revolving around sex, there are no graphic sex scenes, and thanks God for that! Daughter of the Blood is creepy enough without it. Anyway, recommended. I'm on the third book now, and it's only getting better.

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Очень тёмное фэнтэзи, полное ужасов, боли и тяжёлых, сомнительных тем, однако только вы сами сможете решить, читать вам эту книгу или нет. Для меня, несмотря на раскрытую тему педофилии, эта книга стоила прочтения, потому как Анн Бишоп создала великоленый, сложнейший мир с прекрасным преплетением как хороших героев, так и героев-злодеев.

Я ещё по её предыдущей серии Written in Red заметила, что мерзавцы у неё выходят настолько омерзительные, что задушить их читателю хочется в колыбельной. А вот герои у неё по-честному кровожадны, и следуют принципу " око за око", так что зачастую устраивают кровавую баню, верша правосудие.

Вот и в этот раз три героя - Сэтан, Дэймон и Люсивар - противостоят конгломерату злодеев, махинации которых напрямую или косвенно угрожают главной героине - Жанель: юной Ведьме, пришествие которой было напророчено столения назад и должно изменить мир.

В этой книге с Жанель мы знакомимся когда ей семь лет, а завершает она книгу жертвой насилия в 12. Она очень милая, добрая, живая девочка, и только из-за того, что её с детства приучили думать, что она выдумывает своих друзей и постоянно лжёт, и её всё время упрятывают в заведение для всихически больных ведьм, где над ней издеваются педофилы, она не может рассказать её друзьям, что с ней происходит и попросить помощи. 

Помимо мужиков, в этой книге только пара положительных женских героинь. Тициан и её дочка, Суррил. Суррил - ассасин и куртизанка, и именно она помогает Жанель под конец сбежать из сумасшедшего дома, где она чуть ли не умирает.

В общем, нелёгкая книга, и актёр, её читающий на аудио, только добавляет холодка по коже свои мёртвым, бездушным голосом. Однако, я уже на третьей книге, и мне кажется серия становится только лучше. Советую любителям Жаклин Кэрри и Роберта Джордана!

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