The Black Jewels

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The Black Jewels[1] is a series of dark fantasy novels and short stories by Anne Bishop. The first three books were originally published individually and then together as a trilogy in a single omnibus collection. The series takes place in a world where those born with dark power/magic rule in a deeply matriarchal society.[2]

Series[edit]

The Black Jewels Trilogy[edit]

Winner of the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award, 2000.

Daughter of the Blood[edit]

Heir to the Shadows[edit]

Queen of the Darkness[edit]

The Black Jewels Novels[edit]

Stand-alone novels published after the award-winning trilogy.

The Invisible Ring[edit]

  • Prequel, set prior to the events in Daughter of the Blood
  • Published October 2000

Tangled Webs[edit]

  • Includes the short story By the Time the Witchblood Blooms
  • Published in March 2008
  • MM Paperback ISBN 9780451462220

The Shadow Queen[edit]

  • Related to events and characters from The Invisible Ring
  • Published in March 2009
  • MM Paperback ISBN 9780451462862

Shalador's Lady[edit]

The Black Jewels Short Stories[edit]

Anne Bishop has published two complete Black Jewels short story anthologies. Two additional short stories can be found within other publications.

Dreams Made Flesh[edit]

  • Contains the following four short stories:
    • Weaver of Dreams
    • The Prince of Ebon Rih
    • Zuulaman
    • Kaeleer's Heart
  • Published in January 2005
  • MM Paperback ISBN 9780451460707

Twilight's Dawn[edit]

  • Contains the following four short stories:
    • Winsol Gifts
    • Shades of Honor
    • Family
    • The High Lord's Daughter
  • Published in March 2011 (collection of short stories)
  • MM Paperback ISBN 9780451464057

By the Time the Witchblood Blooms[edit]

  • Originally published in Treachery and Treason[3] (Anthology) in March 2000
  • MM Paperback ISBN 978-0451457783
  • Second publishing in 2008 in Tangled Webs

The Price[edit]

  • Published in Powers of Detection: Tales of Mystery and Fantasy in October 2004
  • MM Paperback ISBN 978-0441014644

Plot Overview[edit]

The Invisible Ring[edit]

A powerful warlord named Jared, who has been a pleasure slave for nine years, goes up for sale at a slave auction. He expects to end up working in the salt mines, but instead is purchased by a mysterious, powerful and feared witch, the Gray Lady.

Dorothea SaDiablo, High Priestess of Hayll, is a member of a long-lived race who is working to rule or control the entirety of the world of Terreille. The Gray Lady has been fighting her and so Dorothea decides to have her assassinated as she travels to her home territory from the slave auction.

The Gray Lady receives a mysterious warning about the attempt to kill her so she buys a wagon and horses and sets off cross-country with her new slaves, hoping to elude her killers. During the trip, Jared discovers that they are traveling not with the Grey Lady but rather her granddaughter, Lady Arabella Ardelia. He also discovers that he is in love with her.

The chase leads them to Jared's boyhood home where he discovers that Dorothea's forces have already killed all of the witches in the area and most of his family, including his parents. With the help of the few who remain, they defeat Dorothea's army and escape into the Gray Lady's territory. Jared is encouraged by Daemon Sadi to follow his heart and to help Lady Ardelia in her fight against Dorothea to preserve as much as possible that is good for the eventual coming of The prophesied Witch who will have the power to defeat Dorothea and cleanse the blood of the taint she has spread.

Daughter of the Blood[edit]

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 Realm 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...

Jaenelle, is destined to rule the Blood, if she can reach adulthood. 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?[4]

Heir to the Shadows[edit]

Jaenelle's adoptive father, Saetan, and her foster-family of demons shelter her. To restore her memory and emotional balance, they move to Kaeleer, where Jaenelle gathers a circle of young Queens. She also heals Lucivar, Daemon's half-brother, who offers a brother's love and a warrior's fealty. As she recovers strength and memory, Jaenelle resolves to restore Daemon and cleanse Terreille. She claims her place as Queen of Ebon Askavi and secures Kaeleer from the growing threat of Tereille and the corruption that exists there. [5]

Queen of the Darkness[edit]

Jaenelle Angelline now reigns as Queen-protector of the Shadow Realm. No longer will the corrupt Blood slaughter her people and defile her lands. But where one chapter ends, a final, unseen battle remains to be written, and Jaenelle must unleash the terrible power that is Witch to destroy her enemies once and for all.

Even so, she cannot stand alone. Somewhere, long lost in madness, is Daemon, her promised Consort. Only his unyielding love can complete her Court and secure her reign. Yet, even together, their strength may not be enough to hold back the most malevolent of forces.[4]

Dreams Made Flesh[edit]

Dreams Made Flesh consists of four stories.

The first tells the story of how the Arachnids became the first race to possess Craft after the Dragons.

The second story tells of how Lucivar Yaslana meets, courts, and marries his wife. It takes place after the events in Heir to the Shadows and before Queen of the Darkness.

The third story tells some of the backstory of Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, and how his then-wife Hekatah tried to manipulate him, including sacrificing his newborn son. It concludes with the terrible retribution he exacted.

The fourth story tells of Daemon Sadi and Jaenelle and how they began to rebuild their lives after the conclusion of Queen of the Darkness.[6]

Character summary[edit]

Protagonists[edit]

  • Jaenelle Angelline is the main character, (though the story is never told from her point of view) the young witch destined to become Queen of the Darkness, aka "Witch". (Witch is Dreams Made Flesh—the incarnation of dreams heard and then woven into tangled webs by the Weaver of Dreams, or the Queen Weaver, a small spider found on Arachnia) She has 12 uncut Jewels, one of every color, for her Birthright, along with the 13 uncut Black Jewels. After her offering, that she offered only 6 of her black jewels, she came away with the Ebony Jewels. She lost most of her power after the war, but was granted another new Jewel: Twilight's Dawn. With Twilight's Dawn, she is able to do the simple craft that she was not able to do before like call in her own shoes.
  • Daemon Sadi (SaDiablo) is the son of Saetan and the broken Black Widow, Tersa, and fiercely loves Jaenelle/Witch to whom he proclaims being destined to be Witch's lover. He, like his father and brother, is a Warlord Prince with Birthright Red Jewels. He later descended to Black Jewels after his offering to the Darkness. He and his father are the only known Black Widow males in history. His father became one through craft, while Daemon is the only natural Black Widow male in the history of the blood. He is also known as "the Sadist" for enjoyment and use of pain in the bedroom during his years as a pleasure slave in the courts of queens tainted by Dorothea and Dorothea herself. He is the strongest male in the history of the Blood.
  • Saetan Daemon SaDiablo is the High Lord of Hell, High Priest of the Hourglass, and Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. He is Jaenelle's spiritual and adopted father. He received an uncut Birthright Red Jewel, and received an uncut Black Jewel after his Offering to the Darkness. He is the second strongest Male in all the realms, after his son, Daemon.
  • Lucivar Yaslana (SaDiablo) is the son of Saetan and the Eyrien Luthvian. Lucivar, a half-Eyrien, has batlike wings, and has a strong brotherly love for Jaenelle. His Jewels are the birthright Red, then later descended to Ebon Gray. Like his brother, Daemon, he was enslaved as an adolescent and forced to serve in the courts of Dorothea and her followers. His explosive temper sent him to the salt mines of Pruul. He is the third strongest male in the Realms, after Sadi and Saetan.
  • Surreal SaDiablo is a prostitute and assassin. Her Jewels are birthright Green, and later descended to Gray. She is the daughter of Titian, the result of her mother's rape by Kartane SaDiablo, making Surreal a Hayllian and Dea al Mon half-breed.

Kindred[edit]

The Kindred are animals who have been granted their own Jewels and are fully Blood. Jaenelle reestablishes the connection between Kindred and human Blood, which was broken in the war between Terreille and Kaeleer started by Hekatah.

Most humans discount Kindred's power and intelligence as myth, and need personal experience with one to accept them.

Antagonists[edit]

  • Dorothea SaDiablo is the incestuous High Priestess of Hayll. She is a member of the Hourglass Black Widow coven. Birthright jewel Blood Opal/later descended to Red.
  • Kartane SaDiablo is the son of Dorothea SaDiablo. He was also once a close friend of Daemon Sadi. He is also Surreal's father, having raped Titian. He was also one of Briarwood's "uncles." Birthright Blood Opal/descended to Red.
  • Hekatah is the demon dead, self-proclaimed High Priestess of Hell, and the former wife of Saetan SaDiablo. She instigated the wars between Kaeleer and Terreille. Birthright jewel Blood Opal/descended to Red. Hayllian born, and died in the great war between Terreille and Kaeleer. She is also the mother of Mephis, Peyton and another son which she killed in order to manipulate Saetan SaDiablo. Hekatah also gave birth to Andulvar Yaslana's child, Ravenar. She is behind many of Dorothea's plots in an ultimate attempt to make herself ruler of all the Realms.
  • Robert Benedict claims to be the father of Jaenelle Angeline. He runs the hospital known as Briarwood, where Blood males subject underage Blood females to perverse tortures, including rape. He is also an influential member of the male council in Chaillot, the goals of which undermine the power of the matriarchal system and thus his mother-in-law, the Queen of Chaillot. Birthright unknown descended to Yellow.
  • Jarvis Jenkell is a newly discovered Blood male who attempts, in the novel Tangled Webs, to disclose his nature through his writing. When his semi-autobiographical "Landry Langston" novels are mocked by the Blood, he and three Black Widows create a haunted house intended to punish and ultimately kill members of the SaDiablo family and Blood who made a mockery of his book.

The Dark Court[edit]

First Circle[edit]

  • Warlord Prince Daemon Sadi (Consort) - Birthright Red descended to Black - Warlord Prince of Dhemlan Kaeleer (succeeded Saetan SaDiablo)
  • Warlord Prince Lucivar Yaslana (First Escort) - Birthright Red descended to Ebon-Gray - Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih
  • Warlord Prince Saetan SaDiablo (Steward) - Birthright Red descended to Black - Warlord Prince of Dhemlan Kaeleer
  • Warlord Prince Andulvar Yaslana (Master of the Guard) - Birthright Red descended to Ebon-Gray - Warlord Prince of Askavi Kaeleer
  • Warlord Prince Chaosti - Birthright Green descended to Gray - Warlord Prince of Dea al Mon
  • KINDRED: Warlord Prince Kaelas - Birthright Opal descended to Red
  • Warlord Prince Mephis - Birthright Red descended to Gray
  • Warlord Prothvar Yaslana- Birthright Opal descended to Red
  • Warlord Prince Aaron - Birthright Green descended to Red - Warlord Prince of Tajrana, Nharkhava
  • Warlord Khardeen - Birthright Purple Dusk descended to Sapphire - Warlord of Maghre, Scelt
  • Warlord Prince Sceron - Birthright Opal descended to Red - Warlord Prince of Centauran
  • Warlord Jonah - Birthright Summer Sky descended to Green
  • Warlord Morton - Birthright Rose descended to Opal - First Escort of Glacia
  • Elan - Birthright Opal descended to Red
  • KINDRED: Warlord Ladvarian - Birthright Opal descended to Red
  • KINDRED: Warlord Prince Mistral - Birthright Rose descended to Opal - Warlord Prince of Sceval
  • KINDRED: Prince Smoke - Birthright Tiger's Eye descended to Purple Dusk
  • KINDRED: Warlord Sundancer - Birthright unknown descended to unknown
  • Black Widow Healer Queen Karla - Birthright Sapphire descended to Gray - Territory Queen of Glacia
  • KINDRED: Black Widow Queen Moonshadow - Birthright Rose descended to Opal - Territory Queen of Sceval
  • Black Widow Healer Queen Gabrielle - Birthright Opal descended to Red - Territory Queen of Dea al Mon
  • Queen Morghann - Birthright Purple Dusk descended to Green - Territory Queen of Scelt
  • Queen Kalush - Birthright unknown descended to unknown - Territory Queen of Nharkhava
  • Queen Grezande - Birthright unknown descended to unknown
  • Queen Sabrina - Birthright unknown descended to Green - Territory Queen of Dharo
  • Queen Zylona - Birthright unknown descended to unknown
  • Queen Katrine - Birthright unknown descended to unknown
  • Queen Astar - Birthright unknown descended to unknown - Territory Queen of Centauran

Second Circle[edit]

  • Warlord Prince Rainier - Birthright Rose descended to Opal. Dance instructor to Jaenelle
  • Warlord Prince Jared Blaed Grayhaven - Birthright Purple Dusk descended to Purple Dusk
  • Warlord Prince Ranon - Birthright Rose descended to Opal

Ranon and Jared Blaed Grayhaven had the potential for Second Circle, but were not in the Second Circle or same Realm.

Others[edit]

  • witch Surreal SaDiablo - Birthright Green descended to Gray ("cousin" to Daemon Sadi)
  • hearth witch Marian Yaslana - Birthright Rose descended to Purple Dusk - Eighth Circle, wife of Lucivar Yaslana
  • Prince Butler - Birthright Purple Dusk descended to Green - unofficial member of the Dark Court
  • witch Wilhelmina Benedict - Birthright Purple Dusk descended to Sapphire - Jaenelle Angelline's elder sister

References[edit]

Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop

External links[edit]