The Shadow Queen by Anne Bishop
My friend Amy started me reading Anne Bishop a few years ago and it’s been a love affair ever since, at least with her Black Jewels novels. (I’m not so fussy on the other books I’ve read.) That being said, I wasn’t thrilled with this one.
The Shadow Queen is the sixth novel-length story set in the Realms of the Blood and, although there are some familiar faces as secondary characters, the plot is centred on Cassidy, a Queen whose court has left her, and Theran, a Warlord Prince from a different realm whose territory is in need of a Queen. Needless to say, there is friction between them from the outset. Comic relief comes in the shape of a Sceltie named Vae and there are welcome interludes featuring Saetan, Daemon, Lucivar, Jaenelle and their household.
Although the story is well constructed and the secondary characters in Theran’s world are interesting, I found the story less compelling than the other Black Jewels stories. I think it’s because I didn’t find myself invested in the characters – Cassidy doesn’t seem very deep and Theran is such a turn-off. It makes me sad to write anything less than positive about the story but I just didn’t find the protagonists that interesting, although I did start to care a bit about them toward the end.