by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Queen’s Weapons, and links to purchase it.
Daemon has two wives. One of them, Jaenelle Angelline, is dead, but she is a Queen of Power, a Witch, so she still watches over the Realm, her husband, his brother Lucivar, and the brother’s son Daemonar in Anne Bishop’s The Queen’s Weapons, the eleventh Black Jewels novel.
Daemon’s daughter, Jaenelle Saetiene, falls in with a coven of mean girls at an exclusive school, turning against her family and friends, a puppet in the hands of the queen bee of the group. She becomes willful, petulant, stubborn, and unlikeable. The clique’s systematic degradation of others is reminiscent of Stephen King’s Carrie (and that didn’t end well for a lot of characters, did it?).
The three men, weapons of the Queen, have sexual auras that touch people around them. Surreal, Daemon’s second wife, an occasional assassin and a former sex worker, finds it hard to deal with it, and with the most dangerous side of his fractured character, the Sadist, who does…sadistic things…sexually and physically (You don’t want to make him angry!).
The Queen’s Weapons starts out semi-idyllically, when the younger generation is still children, then jumps ahead centuries to the long-lived characters’ maturing late adolescence, and playful flirtations convert to dangerous date-rape drugs and coercion. It isn’t a children’s fantasy book. Bishop is a writer with strong skills, able to sustain a 530-page epic with ten earlier installments, as well as being the creator of the world of the Others (7 books in that universe, so far).
What do I like most about Anne Bishop? Her problems and solutions. The blocks she throws in front of the characters are solid, not easily dismissed. There is a strong chance they will not surmount the obstacles. The answers are satisfactory, even if punishment must come to individuals in whom readers have invested their sympathy.
With ten books worth of background, jumping into the eleventh may be like Acapulco cliff-diving. This is a series that deserves a slow journey from wading pools to deep water, but what a swim it will be!
To enter to win a copy of The Queen’s Weapons, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “weapons,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 15, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT MAY TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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