This blurb on the back of this
book describes it as "four revelatory adventures of Jaenelle and her
" It is, in fact, bits and pieces that presumably fill in some back
story to Bishops Black Jewels Trilogy and shows the life of the (I think)
protagonist after the finish of the trilogy.
The first and third stories are
unremarkable, typical fantasy fare.
Both the second story and fourth story are really novellas or short novels, romances
with a suspense story grafted on. I read lots of Mills and Boons, and these were
strongly reminiscent of them except the characters werent quite as realistic.
I enjoyed them as I enjoy a typical Mills and Boon. The suspense element in the two
stories is exactly the same, and I did wonder whether the author couldnt have spent
the time to come up with something a little different.
The world portrayed in these stories is a curious mix of things directly from our
society (manicures and pedicures, water taps) and more typical fantasy elements (rooms
heated by heat spells or fireplaces). Perhaps the trilogy gives some logic behind the
world creation, but it wasnt obvious to me, and I found it a bit annoying.
The main characters in the stories are warlords with magical powers. They are puissant
warriors, with a precarious rein on their tempers and the ability to destroy things and
people without mercy or regret. The descriptions of the warlords show great admiration for
them and their abilities, and the stories put them in situations where they react with
extreme violence in protection of their own. The point of these violent and savage actions
is, unfortunately, unclear. Perhaps if the stories were read in conjunction with the
trilogy they would be more meaningful.
I enjoyed the stories more than I expected to, and would consider borrowing or buying
more of Bishops books.