Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Re-read Review ~ Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop


*New review/thoughts in Purple*
TITLE: Daughter of the Blood
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop
COPYRIGHT: 1998
TYPE: Fantasy Romance
PAGES: 416
SERIES: Yes the first in a trilogy

REASON FOR READING: Everyone rants or raves about this book and I thought *shrug* why not join in.

SUMMARY: [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?

THOUGHTS/OPINION:
Okay at first this book confused the hell out of me literally. I should mention that I tried reading this book the first time in the Urgent Care where I was working so it's no wonder it confused the hell out of me. Secondly this book opens with a vision in a world I didn't know yet. However, after saying all that I think that it started right where it needed to. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Why this was so important and how the hell one 7 year old could mean so much to so many people. After a while I finally caught on to this complex world the Ms. Bishop has created. Warning: this is not a book to read in spurts you need to have time to sit down and fully enjoy her imagination and story line. And what an imagination it is. HOLY COW to not only create this vivid world but the characters who all have different features, different places they live, different customs. OMG her head must have been swimming while writing this.
Warning 2: this is not a story to read before bed your dreams will be very dark. This is actually a book that many have had a hard time getting into with all the darkness and violence that surrounds the main characters. Seriously up until the very very end this book makes you cry out in pain at what they are all put through. Warning 3: LOTS and LOTS of violence in this story that will either turn you off or if you stick with it help you understand this violent world and why things are the way they are. I'll admit I'm the freak of nature who likes violence b/c I will believe the story line better. The easier the characters have it the more I tend to roll my eyes and pull away. The more they suffer the more I'm invested. It is worth the violence if you can handle it.

Things I enjoyed:
there were quite a few things I enjoyed about this book that others didn't. I have heard people complain that Janelle was this Mary Sue heroine that grated on their nerves. While I personally found her refreshing. Now I'll be the first to admit that she does come off a little innocent when you first me her but COME on she's 7 and she's been told her whole life that everything she believes isn't real and that she isn't good enough b/c she can't do basic craft. So when she tries to help those out in need its out of a longing to belong and a need to help others b/c she can. Living in the time period she did surrounded and violated the way she was she still managed to keep some innocence around her. In her world she managed to keep the happiness and good that they need in a future queen. Had she given in to the darker urges this book would have been done and over with in a couple hundred pages. And really quite boring had this happened. The fact that she could depend on those around her to help her keep this happiness is a great thing.

As it is she is going to grow into a powerful woman if she can survive. I also enjoyed the men that surrounded her and made her appear to be the Mary Sue type. They loved her, they are and were willing to lay down their lives for her and they understood why her innoncence was so important. And all they wanted to do was keep her pure so that others wouldn't abuse her and so that she could turn into the woman she needed to be. They appreciated seeing a being that wasn't corrupt, a person that would fight with honor not fight to gain strength or greed. Because of this she made the King of Hell bow before her.

His sons who have been dealt a fate worse than death fell in love with her goodness and vowed to do whatever it took to keep her alive. This is key b/c together they could've destroyed the evil in their lands for a while but it wouldn't be enough. They lived knowing that one day they would be with a Queen who deserved and respected them.

I also enjoyed the fact that Ms. Bishop didn't hold back. She showed us a world so ugly, so repulsive that it almost made me feel dirty to be reading about it and unable to stop it. She made me feel anger and hurt but at the same time I felt that all would be righted if only we could get the proper Queen to power. I felt as if I was one of her subject just wanting her to get to the proper place to help clean up this world. And OMG did she take long enough for it to happen LOL but oh it was so worth it!

That's how powerful of a writer Ms. Bishop is.

Things I didn’t care for:
the thing I didn't care for was the same thing I respected in the book. The violence and the way the little girls were treated. I'm sure you can figure out what that is so I won't go into details. It was very hard to get past these parts, it was hard to continue to read without getting angry but I managed. Barely even the second time around I found myself getting angry at what these little girls had to suffer and how they were treated out of fear. The whole idea of breaking a person on purpose before they get "too" powerful nearly sent me on a soap box I wouldn't get off of. And because I managed and worked through the hard emotions I discovered that the book was richer for it. Could I have done without the violence? yes however, it was needed to show a richer world.

Would I recommend this book? Yes I would highly recommend the first and I will let you know about the rest. In fact anytime someone ask me what book I should read I suggest this series to them. Although half of the time they hand it right back LOL

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Keeping Yeah this didn't help to clean out the TBR shelf at all. In fact I want them in Hardcover LOL

1 comment:

  1. I stumbled on your blog because of Anne Bishop's fan page on Facebook. I too am re-reading the Black Jewels Trilogy and you are absolutely right, the world is so imaginative and complex it just draws you in. The violence is something that also bothered me to an extent. As you say in someways it makes you appreciate what is not touched by that violence, or has fought against it. I guess since I'm still cringing after 3 readings of the books its ok, lol. I started them again after reading Shalador's Lady. I think they are definitely worth re-reading. I find something new each time and I'm always glad to re-vist such rich characters as Daemon, Lucivar, Saeten, and Janelle. You have a great blog, and I look forward to reading your other reviews.

    Since you like the Black Jewels novels so much, you might also want to try Anne Bishop's Ephemera Series. The first one is Sebastian, followed by Belladonna. I find that world to be as rich as the realm of the Black Jewels novels, with equally rich and compelling characters.

    I look forward to reading what you have to say about future books!
    -Ashley

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