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REVIEW: Twilight’s Dawn by Anne Bishop

Breaking from our usual procedure at Dear Author, this is an early review. Twilight’s Dawn doesn’t come out until next March but Jane and I believe that readers should be forewarned. The first half of the review is spoiler-free. The second half, however, is not. I’ve clearly marked where that section begins so readers can skip the spoilers if they so wish, but this is one of those cases where you don’t want to skip the spoilers. Trust us.

Dear Ms. Bishop,

I’m a long-time fan of your Black Jewels books. The series has occupied a place on my comfort reading shelf ever since I devoured Daughter of the Blood over a decade ago. The series has had its ups and downs since then, but I have a soft spot for them despite their flaws. Alas, all things must come to an end and unless I’m mistaken, this collection of four novellas is our farewell to the Black Jewels world. And what a farewell it is. As for whether that last sentence is a compliment, I’ll leave that up to the readers to decide.

anne bishop twilight's dawn“Winsol Gifts” takes place after Tangled Webs, in which Surreal escaped a haunted house with the help of Lucivar. I wish I could find something meaningful to say about this novella, but I can’t. It’s 75 pages of domestic antics as the characters we’ve come to know and love speed towards the Black Jewels’ version of Christmas.

There’s nothing especially new or original here. It features the character dynamics and interactions Black Jewels readers know well: Lucivar and Daemon being confused by their women and the things they do, Saetan laughing at his sons, and Daemonar destroying everything in his path.

It’s familiar and comforting, and I can see why people would like this sort of story. But speaking for myself, this isn’t why I read books. If I wanted to see my favorite characters in domestic scenarios, I would read fanfiction. In fact, I have read fanfiction of this sort. That said, “Winsol Gifts” sets the stage for the three novellas to follow and echoes the larger theme of the Black Jewels books: the ties that bind families, both blood and chosen, together. D

“Shades of Honor” immediately follows “Winsol Gifts” and covers both Surreal’s emotional healing from the events of Tangled Webs and Lucivar dealing with his second-in-command, Falonar, who’s grown dissatisfied with the Eyriens’ lot in Kaeleer. Readers may also remember that Falonar is Surreal’s former lover (as shown in the original Black Jewels trilogy) and that in the Lady Cassidy books (The Shadow Queen and Shalador’s Lady), we learned that something unfortunate happened to him. “Shades of Honor” details the events leading up to that fate.

To my surprise, this novella ended up being my favorite of the entire collection. It featured the intensity and drama I loved about the original trilogy. It also focused mostly on Surreal and Lucivar, which is always a plus in my book. One of my biggest disappointments with Tangled Webs was that Surreal lacked the bite I’d come to expect from my favorite courtesan-assassin, and I think we see her regain a bit of that edge here. I also enjoyed the closer look at Eyrien society and what it means for a race of warriors to live in a place of peace.

Like “Winsol Gifts,” “Shades of Honor” sets the stage for the two novellas to follow, especially with regards to Daemon and Surreal. B

Fast forward ten years, and we come to “Family.” The story opens with Lady Sylvia, the Dhemlan queen and Saetan’s former lover, taking her two sons for a visit at another Blood family’s estate. We soon discover that not all is right at the estate, a serial killer with a penchant for young boys is on the loose, and things take a rapid turn for the worse.

The first chapters of this novella are misleading. Maybe “Shades of Honor” set me up for false expectations but based on the novella’s opening, I thought we’d be getting a more mystery/thriller-based storyline. Serial killers, missing children, hostages, ransoms… The premise and what happens in those first pages certainly lent support to that assumption, as far as I’m concerned. Unfortunately, that tension peters out quickly and the drama is resolved easily, leaving the final chapters to reprise more of what we saw in “Winsol Gifts.” It was a little disappointing to see the tone shift but I think some readers might be interested in the resolution to the Saetan and Sylvia issue. C-

The interesting thing about Twilight’s Dawn is that the novellas all build upon one another, leading from one to the next. We did see a similar effect in Dreams Made Flesh, the previous Black Jewels novella collection, but I don’t recall the thematic arcs and foreshadowing being as strong there. I mention this because the first three novellas in Twilight’s Dawn serve as the foundation for the final one, “The High Lord’s Daughter.”

Before I continue with the review, I must give a very strong SPOILER WARNING. I cannot talk about this novella without spoilers, and they are going to be detailed spoilers, and I am not going to hide them behind a spoiler cut because I think these are spoilers that Black Jewels readers should know before going into this collection. Why? Because I think these spoilers are potentially series-destroying, in the sense of being able to destroy a fan’s love for a series. If readers absolutely do not want to be spoiled, then stop reading now. But don’t say I didn’t give advanced warning. I think what I am about to say will be of great interest to the readership of Dear Author, which in the end is a romance blog. I consider myself a fantasy reader first and foremost and even I am aghast at what happens in “The High Lord’s Daughter.”

We have always known that the great romance between Daemon and Jaenelle would not last forever. Like his father, Daemon comes from one of the long-lived races. His lifetime will span millennia. For all that Jaenelle is Witch, dreams made flesh, she does not come from the long-lived races. By comparison, her life is short and fleeting. We have always known this in the back of our minds.

But I never expected the Black Jewels books to go there. I never expected it to happen on-page. And to be honest, given the Mary Sue-nature of Jaenelle’s character, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see her become something akin to a god, complete with extended lifespan. That doesn’t happen here. Jaenelle grows old. She grows old with Daemon, and fans may be pleased(?) to know they kept sexing it up well into her 80s, but you can’t fight the onslaught of time. She dies.

Yes. She dies. And that’s not all.

Now how does Surreal play into all this? After all, she’s enjoyed more page time in these novellas and there’s been heavy foreshadowing about things to come. There’s a reason why I kept bringing her up and it’s not just because she’s my favorite character. When I reviewed Tangled Webs, I wondered why Surreal couldn’t seem able to find her true love, her grand romance. Why, as with Falonar, they always tended to fail. “The High Lord’s Daughter” finally answers that question.

At some point after “Family,” Surreal became Daemon’s second-in-command. She’s also taken on the unofficial role of scaring off women who’ve come to harass Daemon, especially in Jaenelle’s later years because what could Daemon — still in the prime of his life — possibly want with an old woman like that. And so, as should be no surprise to anyone who’s read a Harlequin Presents, Surreal is also in love with her boss, Daemon.

Surreal being in love with Daemon is actually not a surprise. Like I said, when that was explicitly stated in the text, so many pieces fell into place. We already had a hint of this in the very first Black Jewels book, when we first meet Surreal and learn about the awkward state of her relationship with Daemon. Readers may recall that she’d wanted to know what it’d be like to sleep with him (as the Sadist) and of course, he obliged in all his cold rage. (This was pre-Jaenelle.) Time, and Jaenelle’s presence, healed that rift but it’s something that’s always lurked in the background.

Before she died, Jaenelle made Daemon promise that he’d mourn for only a year and then would go on living again (including finding love again). He does obey this final command from his Queen but only to a certain extent. He never lets another woman into his heart. Surreal is willing to go along with this, and they probably would have continued on doing so but then Saetan dies. And after his father’s death, Daemon assumes the mantle of the High Lord of Hell. And in their shared grief, Daemon and Surreal have a one night stand. After which Surreal becomes pregnant.

Yes, that is correct. The “daughter” in the title does not refer to a daughter of Daemon and Jaenelle. They never had any children. The “daughter” refers to the child of Daemon and Surreal. And I think it was at this point that my already-taxed suspension of disbelief snapped and catapulted straight into WTF-land. I say this well-aware of the fact that I probably left many readers behind on the page where Jaenelle died.

This is a very tricky narrative. I actually like the idea of this narrative. It’s a storyline I would like to read elsewhere: two people have known each other forever but one married someone else, and then when that someone else dies, they find love again with the person they’ve known forever. Unfortunately, the characters involved are Daemon and Surreal and a part of me recoils at the thought, even though I like Surreal and the idea of Daemon and Surreal as a couple makes sense once you stop and think about it (and pretend Daemon and Jaenelle never happened).

However, the Black Jewels series is centered around Jaenelle. Jaenelle is dreams made flesh. She may never have had a narrative role in the novels but without her, there would never have been a story to drive these novels. Even when I thought the books should have moved on to other characters and stories, she was still there and ever-present in her influence (the Lady Cassidy books, for example). Because of everything we’ve seen before, I cannot imagine a Black Jewels story without Jaenelle and I don’t even like her.

And for Daemon to find love again with Surreal is upsetting in two ways. First, it bluntly reminds us that HEAs don’t last forever, even in fantasy worlds featuring near-immortals. If HEAs can’t happen there, then where can they happen? Secondly, Surreal still doesn’t really find her grand romance! She plays the role of the second wife who Daemon will never love as much as his first. And while I think the narrative was trying to show that Daemon’s two loves for Jaenelle and Surreal were different but equal, I was never 100% convinced. And I know part of that is because we saw Daemon’s love for Jaenelle shown over the course of several books and novellas while Daemon’s love for Surreal is depicted in a single 100-page novella through the lens of raising their daughter. That’s a tall order and it falls short here.

If “The High Lord’s Daughter” is meant to provide closure to the Black Jewels series, it does do that. I’m not talking about the general WTF reaction to the premise to the novella but in terms of the narrative itself. Daemon and Surreal’s daughter is also dreams made flesh but a different set of dreams than the ones that gave rise to Jaenelle Angelline. I suppose you could say it brings the series full circle. Some people don’t like that sort of thing but I’ve always been fond of that kind of indulgence, even if the execution ends up being twee here. Of course, this is the Black Jewels world we’re talking about so accusing something of being twee is silly. The main problem, however, is that this closure is overshadowed by the premise.

I’m very conflicted about “The High Lord’s Daughter.” It has many aspects I like, many ideas I normally love, and a core concept I would be all over if it’d been executed well. Weighing all those things against each other, I would probably have given this novella a C.

But the premise still leaves me speechless even now. I would not at all be surprised to see many Black Jewels fans swear off any and all future Anne Bishop books because of this novella, especially if they go into it unaware. (The cover copy does hint at what’s to come but I don’t think it encompasses the full WTF factor.) To be honest, there’s still a part of me that wonders if I had read bad fanfiction because Daemon and Surreal read like caricatures of themselves, even accounting for their ridiculously long lives and a love that developed over decades.

Because of this, my grade changes from a C to a Do Not Read At All. That’s not a proper grade but it’s the only way I know to express my feelings. I cannot send any reader, let alone a Black Jewels fan, towards this collection and especially the final novella without any warning. If a reader loved the Daemon and Jaenelle romance, never wanted to see it split apart on-page, never wanted to see Jaenelle die, never wanted to see Daemon find love again (and especially not after only twenty years instead of something properly over the top like five thousand), then I hope that reader does herself a favor and skips this book. Maybe they can pretend the original trilogy (and maybe The Invisible Ring) is the only thing that exists. I’m sure it will prevent heartache and book rage. Because I am still boggling. I suspect I will be boggling for a very long time.

My regards,
Jia

The digital links won’t work until closer to the release date.

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Jia is an avid reader who loves fantasy and young adult novels. She's also currently dipping her toes in the new adult genre but remains unconvinced by the prevalent need for traumatic pasts. Her favorite authors are Michelle West and Jacqueline Carey. YA authors whose works she's enjoyed include Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Megan Miranda. Jia's on a neverending quest for novels with diverse casts and multicultural settings. Feel free to email her with recommendations at [email protected]!

241 Comments

  1. Jia
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 08:27:13

    @FD: Was it 15 years though? I got the impression it was longer because it takes longer for long-lived races to age. I got the impression it was decades even though Jaenelle Saetien had some of the Dea al Mon in her. I kind of wished the previous books had given us a comparison for how long it takes long-lived races to age versus short-lived.

    I also agree with you 100% about Daemon’s sexuality.

    @Isabella: Twee means overly cute, quaint, or precious.

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  2. FD
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 11:29:35

    @Jia: Nope, that was my impression as well, but I re-read the key timeline bits before I wrote my comment, and at the Birthright Ceremony Daemon and Lucivar are having a conversation about Daemon’s anxiety re rights to the kid, and Lucivar says: “If you don't know the answer to that, old son, then you haven't been paying attention to the woman you've lived with these past fifteen years.” That seemed pretty definite to me.
    Now, previously, I’d always thought that the birthright ceremony was concurrent with adolescence, akin to a rite of passage, which made me blink a bit when I realised the shortness of the time period (I think I had it confused with the Offering to the Darkness which is definitely an adulthood marker) but it’s pretty clear from the conversation about ‘boys stuff’ (omg, could my eyes roll any harder, incidentally) that Titian and Daemonar have already been through their respective birthright ceremonies (their Jewels are mentioned) and that Titian is definitely pre-pubescent, and Daemonar, despite being well over seventy is only on the cusp. So I guess it’s similar to the pagan ritual thing that I vaguely remember (someone better at history help?) where the kid didn’t officially exist until it was through the dangerous baby/childhood stage when mortality was high. Therefore, I guess that all the races hold the birthright fairly early (as soon as the kid is past the danger period) but thereafter the gap between birthright and offering would be much longer in the longer lived races. I’m a bit headscratchy still though, because I could have sworn that Daemonar went from infant to toddler to kid in a relatively normal number of years.

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  3. Rob
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 21:10:55

    I hope this doesn’t end the series. I wanted more stories not connected to the sadiablos about the wars and hardships that arose in terrielle. After witches purge. Cassidys stories was a start but that only finished out what happened in one small part and she had sadiablo help. What about the rest of the realm. I also wouldn’t mind a book on saetan explaining things about his past like how he became highlord or why he was trained in the hourglass . If he is the high priest of the hour glass what does that make daemon? There are so many good stories she can write in this world I hope she doesn’t leave it like this .

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  4. Lea
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 01:49:44

    @FD: from what i got in the original trilogy, Daemon makes a reference to the fact that Terielle SaDiablo Hall was left to decay and the house he used to live in was destroyed when some event happened 1600 years ago – then found out later it was the day of his birthright ceremony. That would mean he was 100 years old for the ceremony. Which would make sense for Daemonar to have done the ceremony but not Titian. I’m guessing for Jaenelle S it was 15 years because she has some short lived blood in her, since Jaenelle A had her jewels by (and maybe before) the age of 7. They made reference also in DMF that the long lived races aged quickly like a short lived but then had very long periods of being at the same development before continuing to grow, Surreal aged like a short lived race then stayed the same development. So i’d say Jaenelle S will be similar to her mother but since she’s 3/4 long lived it’ll still take a bit longer, but not as slow as her cousins. I loved the fact Lucivar and Marian had 3 kids. I enjoyed this book, thought it was actually a good story too, but it deserved to be a book not a novella, it moved way too quickly.

    What I was a bit confused about was the fact that Surreal refered to Titian having her birthright stone but then said Daemonars as a normal colour, same as how she was refering to herself and Daemon. That gave me the impression Daemonar had his offering, which can’t be right cause he wasn’t old enough. Anyone else get that same impression?

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  5. FD
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 11:36:39

    @Lea: Well, iirc, at the ceremony, Surreal and Marian are talking and refer to Daemonar having birthright green. Green is a darker colour, but it’s still a birthright stone – it’s what Surreal started out with for instance.

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  6. restless
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 03:34:31

    wow. I’m completely gob-smacked by this review… although I’m probably going to enjoy the dynamics between the characters, I’m not sure what I’m going to make of the High Lord’s Daughter… that is just… @_@
    and in regards to this being the last book…
    I always thought she was going to write one with Tersa’s story and I was hoping one with Saetan’s rise to power as well T^T
    I am going to agree with the sentiment that Bishop’s writing has deteriorated over the years… hopefully if she ever writes the stories I mentioned above, she’ll go back to the way she used to write.
    -thanks for the review Jia!

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  7. AMarie
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 22:17:13

    I think there’s a lot of fuzzy math in the ages for the long-lived races. For example, Daemon’s been 1800 for the entire series. And as for the age of the birthrite ceremony:

    Jaenelle Angelline had already had hers when she first met Saetan when she was 7, and had already been through hers. Which allows us to assume that its our equivalent of going into the 1st grade (and not just for the age, but because they have already started learning basic craft which would be similar in turn to our alphabet).

    Because it is stated that Daemon and Surreal have been living together for 15 years, we can assume that at least in these first few years the long lived races age at about half the speed as the short lived ones – as we can see with Daemonars progression in the rest of the series. I think it’s after that that the long lived aspect kicks in, with increasingly longer plateaus for each life stage.

    I mean, if they aged proportionately to their lifespans, infancy would last a century!

    That said, Shades of Honor was by far my favorite of the novellas, because, I think it stayed truest to what the series had been. And while The High Lord’s Daughter was a completely game changer, I actually grew to quite like it. I think presenting it as a novella cut short some of the development they could have done with Surreal and Daemon, and would have been better as it’s own novel (though I don’t know if any fans would have bought it).

    [Just a couple nitpicks: Surreal became Daemon's second in command in Shalador's Lady, in the same chapter where we learn something happened with Falonar. And at the end of the Queen of Darkness, Draca asked if he would pick Jaenelle or the Queen - she would always be Witch regardless of her jewels.]

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  8. Rika Ashton
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 20:43:12

    Wow, talk about nearly 10 years of emotional investment in Daemon/Jaenelle gone down the drain. Granted neither Daemon or Jaenelle are my favourite characters in the series, I did like them.

    I knew both Saeten and Jaenelle were going to die in the novella long before it came out – couldn’t be avoided once I read the book blurb the author posted on her website. I was not expeting a Daemon/Surreal pairing…they gave me the BFF vide not lovers vibe.

    I keep wishing that this novella was a bad dream. And everytime I remember its real, I wanna cry. :’(

    The good thing is that Bishop confirmed that The Black Jewels series is not finished:

    Q. Is this the last Black Jewels book?

    A. These stories were intended to answer some of the questions readers have been asking for several years, particularly about what happens to Daemon after Jaenelle is gone. But the story isn’t meant to be the end of the series or the end of the stories about the characters we know. I’ve been immersed in the Black Jewels world for four straight years, so it’s time to take a break and work on other stories for a while. But I will come back to the Realms when the Blood are ready to share more stories, and those stories could take place before the events in “The High Lord’s Daughter,” and Jaenelle and Daemon might be part of them.

    —-

    Hopefully Bishop can fix this random fanfiction moment…

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  9. Lea
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 21:28:45

    @FD: they didn’t actually say birthright, they said Titian wears birthright summersky, and Daemonar wears the green. That’s what confused me a bit.

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  10. Isabella
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 23:19:37

    Looks like AB will have to write another book now just to clear up the confusion caused by this one.

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  11. Helen
    Apr 16, 2011 @ 11:31:03

    I wish I’d read this befor I read Twilight’s Dawn. I find that I fully agree with your assessment of the four stories and I wish I hadn’t read the last as to me it did not feel like something that could happen between those characters.

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  12. Helen
    Apr 16, 2011 @ 11:36:35

    @Rika Ashton: I quite agree

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  13. Elaine
    Apr 17, 2011 @ 11:50:54

    as an avid fan of the black jewels series, i’d buy any book related to it just to read more about the world and characters i’ve come to love. i didn’t mind jaenelle’s story ending and reading about new queens (lia, cassidy) and knowing new characters, as long as they all lived in that world….meaning, i didn’t like the ephemera series. at all.

    i was excited about twilight’s dawn, until i read about the last story in the book. true to what you wrote, we all know jaenelle will die young, but to read it on-page was too factual/inflexible. and to pair daemon and surreal together is just unthinkable! why DIDN’T daemon and jaenelle have a kid?? ok, never mind that. what i’d like to say is, i will probably buy this book, but not read it until another book from this series is published. if this marks the end of the series, then i shall not read it at all. i do hope anne bishop will reconsider expanding this beautiful world instead of returning to ephemera…sorry.

    lastly, thanks for the warning. it is much needed.

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  14. Raymond
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 05:49:20

    I’ve always loved the black jewel series. It was one of the best I have ever read. Up till the last short story. The part where I read where Daemon and Surreal had sex, my mind kept shouting wtf wtf wtf wtf wtf.
    Sigh. This is quite a bad short story. I agree with you on the part where u say not to read it.

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  15. Kate
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 18:36:52

    Thank you for this review. I am glad I was warned. I loved the Black Jewels trilogy and even Dreams Made Flesh. It was my first intro to fantasy and has always been dear to my heart. If I read Twilight’s Dawn with no forewarning I would have been crushed, but at least now I can just pretent that the book doesn’t exist and continue loving the other books.
    I defnitely won’t be reading Anne Bishop any more though. If true love and devotion can’t outlast death in books then I don’t want to read anymore.

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  16. Channing
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 16:26:41

    Maybe Jaenelle couldn’t have children because no one had the power to drain her Jewels? Does it work like that? Daemon had to drain Surreal’s jewels…and he can because he wears the black? I don’t know, I don’t recall the pregnant jewel draining in any of the other books.
    The ending for me was painful…it did fell very much like a fanfic. Jaenelle S seems ok, hope to see more of her.

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  17. Jia
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 18:12:12

    @Channing: That theory would make sense if the novella hadn’t implied that Jaenelle was too “weak” to bear children, although I still think that was more an assumption on Daemon’s part than any basis in reality.

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  18. Channing
    Apr 28, 2011 @ 12:37:03

    FYI: If you go on Bishops website, she has a list of her characters from the black jewel books. She lists Daemonar as having “green/gray” jewels. This is in response to questions about Daemonar’s jewels. Also, may it hint to seeing more of Daemonar in furture books? Using the Gray? Fun!

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  19. Anna
    May 01, 2011 @ 21:39:57

    I’d like to address the purpose of her novels. Someone stated that the novels were about Jeanelle Angelline. They weren’t. She was only the common thread that tied them together. I remember reading a comment Anne Bishop wrote about how the Blood came to her when she explored the idea of men being as vulnerable as women.

    As far as I’m concerned, anything after the original trilogy is an epilogue an indulgence of the author to herself and to the fans. I’ve enjoyed all of them as well as her other series. Yes, I was shocked at the events of the Highlord’s daughter, but I also felt they were right. There was no man or woman strong enough for either one of them and Jeanelle A always knew. Just like Saetan felt the need to remain in hell I’m sure that by the end of her life Witch was probably ready to make her home in the abyss.

    Regardless, this last book did not ruin the series for me. I’ll read further ones and in the end, I think Ms. Bishop did right for her characters, though, I too would have liked to seen the professional side of Surreal more. I think the only time I felt it was expressed truely was for one tiny moment in The Highlord’s Daughter or perhaps in Queen of the Darkness when she scooped up a head into a bucket. I think she earned her happy ending with a man worthy of her.

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  20. What about those cliffhangers?
    May 03, 2011 @ 06:41:15

    [...] Dean (who I maintain was a group of authors ghost writing under one pseudonym); Anne Bishop’s Jewels series (not a romance but with a heavy romance base) and other similar series, all that have unhappy [...]

  21. Katherine
    May 24, 2011 @ 11:42:37

    I find your review to be a bit harsh in the “do not read” grade. I wholeheartedly loved this novel! (And I’ve adored this series for ages!)

    While I understand your discomfort at Surreal and Daemon’s relationship progressing after Janelle’s death, he and Surreal did not get together until 17 years after Janelle’s passing, and while they did get married and Daemon wrestled with his feelings over the course of several years, he does come to accept that he can love Surreal as his wife and still love Janelle as his queen, thus balancing out his guilt and helping him move on. The foreshadowing of what was to come did span almost every novel also, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

    Anne Bishop also stated that Twilight’s Dawn was not meant to be the final Dark Jewels universe novel, she is currently finishing a novel in the Ephemera universe and will come back to write for the Dark Jewels series again in the future.

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  22. Katherine
    May 24, 2011 @ 11:45:04

    @Channing:

    I doubt that was the actual issue. Once she wore the Twilight’s Dawn Daemon would have been able to drain them as his jewels were then dominate. (TD Only had a thread of black power)

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  23. Nephthys
    Jun 19, 2011 @ 01:15:28

    I previously wrote without having read the book, I’ve read it now and I have to stay I still don’t understand the furor about the book. The two shorter stories were nice, a family thing and I do like that Sylvia and Saetan got married.

    Now for the other two.

    Shades of Honour was good, people were surprised that Falonar became the bad guy but it was there and obvious throughout the other books that he was jealous of and resented Lucivar to an extreme degree. It was interesting that it came out Falonar was quite elitist and racist but I wasn’t surprised that there was conflict. Because Falonar’s time in courts was vastly different to Lucivar’s, it was expected that Falonar would have different opinions and ideas – didn’t love that it turned out he thought all women should be there for sex only but it was what it was. Plus I think it also gave Lucivar time to shine and have his own ‘nemesis’.

    High Lord’s Daughter, the bone of contention with everyone. I loved it, I thought it was poignant and beautifully written – it was by far too short for the content of the story but I had no problem with it. In my original post I also mentioned I had no problem with this pairing. It made sense to me, and Jaenelle also confirmed it in HLD when she said that Daemon needed someone who knew him before. I think the story was the ideal compliment to Daemon and Jaenelle’s relationship, their’s was passionate and full on, his and Surreal’s was much quieter, more content.

    I love that for this young daughter, the Kindred reappeared and that Jaenelle Angelline helped guide her, mostly unbenknownst to her parents. It was a good end, and like I said previously, the Black Jewels series was never about Jaenelle, she was an instrument to heal and bring together three embittered and broken men, she was there to teach them to love again and to be whole, to show them there were women worthy of their love, respect and pampering (like Surreal) and to make sure that they could go on happily for the rest of their lives.

    Jaenelle Angelline was never meant to be Forever nor was she meant to come back in the guise of some one else, she served her purpose and as much as I loved her as a character, I think it worked because her lifetime was finite and short. She had so much to do in a short time to ensure the happiness of those she loved. Would she have been so moved to do so much if she was from a long lived race? I think not. I also like that Jaenelle Satien got Twilight’s Dawn, people seem to think that there is some affront and that Anne Bishop changed the rules on this jewel, but if memory serves, Lorn said there would never be another Jewel like it, not that some one wouldn’t again wear Jaenelle Angelline’s and I do believe it was implied in HLD by JA being at JS’s Birthright Ceremony that JA was in fact passing her jewel to JS.

    Overall I loved Twilight’s Dawn, I think that it was a great book and a great end to the Black Jewels series. If Anne Bishop writes more BJ books I will read them, I don’t feel the anger or disappointment.

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  24. lisa
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 12:45:15

    I am conflicted. I haven’t read the book and probably wont read this last series. Janaelle dying isn’t so much an issue with me but I’m choking on the Daemon/Surreal pairing. They were like bother and sister to. Having them paired together, borders on incest (IMO). Despite what others have said about this pairing being foreshadowed, apart from that one incident (and Surreal admits that she was drunk), there was nothing sexual or flirty in Surreal’s mannerism towards Daemon. Even when she took care of him while he was in the Twisted Kingdom, there was no hint of ANYTHING, so it seems weird that all of a sudden there is this great romance. I am a bit pissed off that a character like Surreal had to settle, even if it is with Daemon. She will always be second to Jaenelle. It was one of the reasons she left Falonar. I love Daemon but Surreal deserved better. Gracia’s queen (can’t remember her name) would have been a better pairing for Daemon…kiss, kiss

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  25. lisa
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 12:51:50

    I hate the pairing of Daemon and Surreal. it borders on incest for me. And despite what others have said, aside from that one incident (and Surreal admits she was drunk), there was never any inkling of anything sexual between Surreal and DAemon. NOTHING…even while she took care of him while he was in the Twisted Kingdom. The Glacia Queen, Kasia, would have been a better match. I love Daemon, but Surreal deserve better. She should have had her true love. That was one of the reasons she left Falonar

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  26. Nephthys
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 00:49:43

    @lisa: Incest? Hardly, after all if Daemon and Surreal are considered incestuous so too would the First Circle pairings. After all, they all came to the Hall and were ‘family’.

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  27. Amarie
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 22:08:13

    What’s with all the Daemon and Karla shippers? Not to mention that she was from a short lived race like Jaenelle, and therefore had likely passed? Or the fact that she was a lesbian?

    And I think the incest label goes a bit too far. Most people, even in RL, through around the word ‘family’ with long-term friends. I would have liked for Surreal to have found a passionate, true love – that was hers alone – but the Daemon/Surreal pairing has definitely grown on me. And it certainly won’t stop me from reading more in the series.

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  28. Mimi
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 05:44:46

    I wish I had read this review before I read the story. I would have read stories 1, 2, and 3 and STOPPED!!! As it is, quite astute that Bishop is likely to lose fans on principle alone with that particular conclusion. I’m still in the ‘coping’ stages, having just finished the story but I’m ready to chuck my copies of ALL the books over this and that has never happened before in a lifetime of reading! I have never been so turned upside-down about a series ending, not just because it’s ending but because I honestly feel BETRAYED by the ending, that sick to your stomach sort of feeling you get when you find out you’ve been cheated on. I want to wash my mind out with bleach and undo reading The High Lord’s Daughter! GAH!

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  29. Helen
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 05:52:33

    Despite my dislike of High Lord’s Daughter (which i’ve talked of above), I am going to continue reading the other books, and anymore that may or may not come. Also I feel I should add that at th end of the day this is not our story but Anne Bishop’s and is her’s to do wih what she will.

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  30. ChristinaC
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 19:56:09

    I am. . .rather upset and appalled that I did not march onto this sooner. I despise spoilers. I truly do. But in this case? I would have welcomed it with open arms. Skipping this book would have done me -alot- more good. I don’t think I can even. . D; bother reading after my, ‘WTF’ moment.

    Probably the first and last time I will ever throw a Black Jewel book on the ground, glare, and yell at it.

    Jaenelle dying, I can understand. It’s sad, and I wouldn’t know how the hell Daemon will get around that one. Because, unlike some people, I -do- like Jaenelle and Daemon being together. But as soon as I stumbled upon Surreal requesting to sleep in the same room, I skimmed the next page, then…that’s pretty much when the book went flying.

    Then picked up again. Skim-quickly through pages. . .and then swore that I probably won’t read a whole page after my fit.

    D; I just…Surreal was like a sister to Daemon. So seriously, WTF?

    They just . . .

    And then. .

    And Saetan finally fading to the darkness and. .

    Yeah.

    @_@

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  31. Yuki Nagato
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 21:06:49

    @cosmo: Octavia Butler’s (RIP) name be mentioned in context of this kind of Romance novel w/ fantasy trappings fluff fiction is mind boggling. The woman was a true artist. Her novels were also generally dark enough to make The Black Jewels books look like Disney. And weighty enough to transcend the genre of science fiction as true literature (though she NEVER was ashamed to call herself a Sci Fi writer).

    Personally I think all the people crying about Jaenelle’s death should go back to reading Silhouette Romances and then maybe the writers who cater to them will gtfo of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi aisle and go back to writing Regencies or something. What did you think Jaenelle was going to pull a Goku and go Super Saiyan4 and live forevah? And how cheap and boring would that be if she did? At least Bishop isn’t the hack most of these transgenre writers are (exempli gratia: Laurelle K. w/ her wash, rinse, repeat formula of cut rate pr0n + Super Sailor Moon style “uber” powers that solve everything w/out a single main character fatality) and knows when to bring a close to something before it just turns into a parody of itself.

    It’s these kind of writers taking over a genre I have loved since I was like 9 that is the reason I mostly read manga nao.And then when the poor woman tries to expand herself and write something real? people cry. I mean I haven’t read the book yet, and if the problem is poor execution, bad writing, weak plot, that’s one thing. But I don’t except that a novella can’t be just as powerful as a full length (Harlan Ellison) when executed by a professional hand, so lenth is not a valid criticism for me in and of itself. Especially as most of the people who seem to be really upset by this installment keep harping on Jaenelle, Daemon, Surreal, no HEA, no be all end all love. Most fantasy is not based around providing those things for their characters.If characters attain those things: fine, but it is not the foundation upon which all else is built. The driving force that moves the story, or at least not always or typically.

    Perhaps Bishop was not rebelling against the Black Jewels per se, so much as against the perception that she is primarily a Romance writer w/ a few goth trappings? Perhaps she wanted to remind her readers that she, at least, considers herself a fantasy writer, first and foremost? At any rate I will reserve my judgment til I have actually read Twilight’s Dawn.

    Whoever was talking about an OVA that didn’t follow Rurouni Kenshin manga? Are you talking about Samurai X? Just curious. As it ends very equivocally, or something later?

    ReplyReply

  32. Yuki Nagato
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 21:08:57

    @Yuki Nagato: *being

    ReplyReply

  33. The Twilight Saga Breaking
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 04:50:18

    I’m no longer certain where you are getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or figuring out more. Thank you for wonderful info I was in search of this info for my mission.

    ReplyReply

  34. revisiting Anne Bishop’s grossness – more on Rape Jewels! « Requires Only That You Hate
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:18:57

    [...] broken by rape, than men? How does this… disrupt patriarchal values? Oh, someone finds the sex scene “fun” too. Fucking romance [...]

  35. Laura
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 15:08:51

    I accidentally read this spoiler on another website and was definately in WTF mode for a good few days. I’m just re reading the trilogy and have read tangle webs and dreams made flesh which i really enjoyed.

    However, as far as I’m concerned that’s where the trilogy ends for me. I don’t want to think about Jaenelle dying and Daemon moving on. It’s to much like real life. I don’t like it when it happens here let alone in the worlds I escape into!! Seriously W.T.F!!!!

    The thing that annoys me is that Jaenelle always felt like nothing more than a plot device. Therefore, it would have been nothing for AB to make Jaenelle immortal. All she had to do was become a guardian like Cassandra and Saeton and that would have sorted that problem. It’s not like she wrote herself into a corner like so many writers have done!

    It pisses me off when writers get like this about a beloved series. Conan Doyle did it with Sherlock Holmes, chucked him off a cliff with Moriarty to kill him off, then had to make it that he faked his death when his fans were in uproar and brought him back. JK Rowling about Harry Potter (suddenly too good a writer to be bothered with writing more of those for her fans) and several others I can’t remember now because I’m so pissed off!! They seem to forget who they owe for their success. If we didnt read the darned things they would be still living in a bedsit with no heat and eating beans on toast!!

    You owe us ANNE BISHOP we made you what you are so write another bloody book where Jaenelle steps out of the shower and it turns out that Daemon was just having a bad dream (ie jump the shark!!)

    PS. I never really got over the Demon Dead all dying in Queen of Darkness TBH. Another plot horror, where if you die, you become a sort of alive half dead person who can still see their family, but when you REALLY die you become a whisper in the darkness…. what? no heaven? no reincarnation? no “We’ll be together in the next life”?? why the hell does this series have to be so bloody depressing

    can you tell I’m upset??

    I WILL NOT READ THIS BOOK

    thanks for posting the spoiler my love. you have saved my sanity probably :)

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  36. Sadie
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 04:32:14

    “They seem to forget who they owe for their success. If we didnt read the darned things they would be still living in a bedsit with no heat and eating beans on toast!!”

    Excuse me, but you are above the age of 13? What method of thinking leads you to believe that Writers OWE us readers anything? Yes, we pay for their books. Yes, we rush to get their new novels, and pass those novels to our friends, and keep track of news about our favorite authors. But despite the money they make for us through their publishers, let me be clear – they do not “owe us” ANYTHING.

    Authors pour their hearts, their muses, and their creativity out onto the printed pages that we are then able to read. The world of the Black Jewels books belong to Anne Bishop, and she can choose to do what she wants with it. It is esstentially her world. She owes snoddy readers like you absolutely nothing. :P Just because you didn’t like one book doesn’t mean you can trash the author at your leisure.

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  37. Spoiler Review: ‘Twilight’s Dawn’ by Anne Bishop « I Remember Delight
    May 15, 2012 @ 12:17:13

    [...] did I think of the book before reading it?  Honestly, when I first came upon the review over on Dear Author I was shocked.  I suppose you could say horrified.   I just couldn’t believe what I was [...]

  38. Morgaine
    Jun 22, 2012 @ 21:44:09

    @Selene:

    I would just like to second this post and add that “The High Lord’s Daughter” is what re-affirmed my faith in Anne Bishop the author. For so long, in the sequels to the trilogy, in her other novels, it seemed that she became more of a fairy tale romance writer than a fantasy, world-building author. I feel by actually going there with both Jaenelle and Saetan’s deaths (though I find Saetan’s death more tragic) she re-gained some of her strength as a writer in my view.

    And as said in this post, I too never really bought the great love of Jaenelle and Daemon; I believed the love between Witch and the Black Widow Warlord Prince (because even after she lost some of her power, she was Witch), but I always felt that there was a separation of sorts between Daemon and Jaenelle after the events of the trilogy. They supposedly loved each other, I’m told that, but there IMO was always a formality. I remember early in “Daughter of the Blood” when we see Daemon first thinking about Witch he talks about wanting to weave his live thoroughly with hers so that their individual lives would be indistinguishable from each others; I don’t think that ever really happened, those two always seemed to be two people who happened to be a couple because nobody else could equal them in power. I think Witch and the natural Black Widow Warlord Prince were attracted to each other’s power (not power hungry, but the power was the attraction) and I can understand that Surreal and Daemon would just work because of their history.

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  39. Natasha lareina
    Jul 17, 2012 @ 20:21:50

    SPOILERRRR:

    lmao I was seriously furious and crying at the same time when I finished that last story, definitely didn’t see that coming (I mean like you said, of course J lives a much shorter life than D but still didn’t want to read it or not like this anyway). Your review is EXACTLY what I thought too. I wanted to torture Daemon. I thought Saetan’s reaction should have been what Daemon should have done sorta. I mean come on Jaenelle was his TRUE love, his other part, etc and this is how he reacted?! Or like you said waited for at least 5000 yrs instead of 20 yrs which would be like 2 days for me. Oh well…. what is done is done, will def reread the first trilogy for the 20th time or something but never again twilight’s dawn…NEVER I say! :P

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  40. Tania
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 00:40:49

    The Daemon/Surreal thing I suspected was going to happen was the reason I put off reading these novellas until so long after they came out. I get it – but I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel fair to Surreal! I was so disappointed with that ending.

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  41. Rosa
    Mar 08, 2014 @ 10:12:39

    I went into this expecting a Saetan and Jaenelle story. Was all WTF and was mortified for the longest time after reading this.. took me ages to pick up the original story again.
    WHAT HAS BEEN READ CAN NEVER BE UNREAD

    ReplyReply

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