If you haven’t read the Black Jewels Trilogy then stop reading this review, go and buy, borrow or request them from the library this instant! You won’t be disappointed and they are without a doubt among my top 5 must read books.
The Shadow Queen is a novel set in the Black Jewels world and introduces new characters set in Dena Nehele in the realm of Terreille. Dena Nehele was the location where The Invisible Ring was set but this story is in the present. After the Witchstorm was unleashed and all the blood who carried the taint and corruption of Dorotea were wiped out, many places in Terreille were left vulnerable and open to attack from the ordinary Landens. The bloodline of Lia and Jared has weakened and only one male heir is left, and he is desparate to restore Dena Nehele to it’s former glory and return to the old ways of the Blood. To do so he needs a queen and as a legend was handed down through his family line, there might be a man who owed the family a favour and could help. He didn’t bank on that man being Daemon Sadi nor have to petition the former Queen of Ebon Askavi Jaenelle Angelline, who is also Witch and Daemon’s wife.
I loved this book. I loved having new characters brought into it who had connections to those from The Invisible Ring but above all I loved seeing Daemon, Jaenelle, Lucivar and Saetan again. Anne Bishop created something so magical when she wrote the Black Jewels Trilogy and I go back and read them time and time again and still fall in love with them anew. Her writing is beautiful, fluid and so easy to read, her characters attractive and lovable. Her plots tend to follow along similar lines but there is an overall reason and really, the plot is secondary to the characters. I think I would read absolutely anything written by her to do with the Black Jewels world and I hope she continues to write about it and let us play there in our imaginations. I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in pretty much one sitting, and now I want to go and find the original trilogy and start all over again, including the additional, later books.