Daughter of the Bloodby Anne Bishop
Series: The Black Jewels #1
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Published on March 1, 1998
Format: Audiobook Source: Audible
Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions. Now the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence—and corruption.
Whoever controls the Queen controls the darkness. Three men—sworn enemies—know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, where the weapons are hate and love—and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining...
I thought that I should read this book because I’m a big fan of this author’s Others series. This is her first book and a different series that she is well known for. There are still books coming out in this series so I figured I’d see what it was about.
The premise is interesting. Several long-lived people are given a prophecy about a powerful magical queen who they will serve who will bring their world out of the darkness it is in. When she appears 700 years later, she is a seven year old girl. They realize that they are going to have to mold her into the good leader that they were told about. If they make a mistake she could go very, very bad because she is so powerful. That’s a cool premise. Too bad the execution isn’t so good.
I’m putting all the spoiler and trigger warnings here because this gets dark quick.
What is this author’s obsession with the torture and rape of young girls? In the Others series the abused girls are getting away. The series is about them finding ways to thrive in their new lives and go rescue their friends. You know what has happened to them but it told through flashbacks mostly. There is also a lot of fluffy piled on top of the dark stuff – werewolf puppies, grumpy ponies, etc.
Nothing softens this book. The magical system is built around inborn power being strengthened when a girl loses her virginity. If she is brutalized during this (and there is a whole class of men who love doing this) she has a psychic break that lasts forever. I hate any storytelling that gets all wrapped up in the importance of virginity.
The sexual violence is unrelenting in this book. One character is even referred to as The Sadist and he’s the good guy. Men and young girls are used for sex against their wills.
The descriptions are way overblown. No one has a feeling. They grip the chair to keep from plunging into the darkness, etc. It’s exhausting.
I probably would have DNFed this audiobook in the first hour if I didn’t have the goodwill towards the author. I’ll be sticking with her other books from now on.