This book arrived while I was reading two other books. I had started one, and then decided to switch. Then the latest Anne Bishop showed up and I switched again. I began reading the evening of the 18th, I think it had actually arrived the day before. I finished it the evening of the 19th, and only because I had to work on Friday morning did I not stay up and read it Thursday night.
I enjoy the world that Bishop has built, and it sucks me in every time. It was great to see new and old characters together, and I felt they were well balanced too. Some of the story lines with the older characters weren’t necessarily needed, but overall the two groups of characters seem to meld well together. I enjoyed having some of my favorites show up, like Karla, while still keeping up with Cassidy and her new court. I felt sorry for Theran, but the ending gives me hope. Cassidy and Gray are amazing, and I loved Gray’s growth and transformation. It was good that he grew slowly over the two books, and it wasn’t an instantaneous change.
I went through the spectrum of emotions as I read; laughing, crying, anger, sympathy. The Black Jewels books in general are pretty good at pulling out my emotions and it’s something I enjoy. I treat it as the mark of a really good book if I’m emotionally invested enough in the characters to cry when something sad happens, and laugh at a moment of humor.
Now, since I have so many books I want to read, I need to resist the urge to pull out the original trilogy and go back to the beginning of Jaenelle’s story. I think the Black Jewels can sit on the shelf a little longer as I enjoy some other stories that have been wanting my attention.
I hope that Bishop will write more of the Black Jewels Realms. Some people may believe that she’s milking her money cow, and perhaps to a degree she is. But if the stories are good and enjoyable, what’s wrong with that. Bishop created a world that works, and she knows it. So it doesn’t bother me a bit if that’s her impetus for writing more stories in the Realms of the Blood. I’ll happily buy and read them as they come out.