Friday, May 02, 2008

Rating : 4.5/5
Number of Pages : 398
Number in Series : #4 Black Jewels Realm
Reason for Reading : TBR Challenge 2008, Once Upon a Time II Challenge, I love The Black Jewels Trilogy

Set in the realm of The Black Jewels Trilogy but before the events of the trilogy and subsequent books. Jared is a Red-Jeweled Warlord and as such is a powerful threat to any Queen. Unfortunately for him he was tricked nine years ago into putting on the Ring of Obedience (it's a ring only men can wear and it doesn't go on any of their fingers...) forcing him to be a pleasure slave to be humiliated and debased by whoever controls him. It all became too much for him serving one particular Queen and he killed her and her brother Prince causing him to be put up for auction with the possibility of being shipped off to tormet in the mines at Pruul.

He is bought at auction by the mysterious Gray Lady, a Queen who holds out against Dorothea DaDiablo with a fierce reputation. The slaves she buys have a tendency to disappear and never be seen again. She removes his painful ring and replaces it with the Invisible Ring which Jared knows little about. Jared and a small group of hand-picked slaves are then taken and the journey back to her land of Dena Nehele begins. Dorothea suffers no competition and employs a new Master of the Guard, Lord Krelis, to track down the Gray Lady and eliminate her once and for all. During the journey Jared finds himself wanting to serve and protect this mysterious Queen, urges he thought never to feel after his treatment by the distaff gender.

At first I felt sympathy for Lord Krelis, he was in a position where he could be blamed for everything that went wrong, but as the story progressed he became crueller as his lust for power overtook his reason and honour. Jared, the Gray Lady and the others in her band were an interesting assortment of characters and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as much as the others in the series. The woman are always strong and I like the way the inner stuggle within the male characters being torn between a desire to serve and protect is dealt with. I was glad it featured Deamon and references to Lucivar and Surreal who are great characters from earlier novels. Deamon is such a fasciniating character and it is always a chilly pleasure finding out more about The Sadist and why he got his nickname.


Literary Feline said...

I really enjoy reading about this world. I agree about Deamon. He is quite fascinating.

Ana S. said...

It's good to know I have this to look forward to when I'm done with the trilogy!

Rhinoa said...

Literary Feline - I would love to read more about his past as a pleasure slave. A whole book devoted to him would be great.

Nymeth - There is also Dreams Made Flesh which follows on straight after The Black Jewels Trilogy and then the new hardback Tangled Webs. I have succumed and actually ordered a hardback as I just can't go much longer without any more Black Jewels books after reading this one...

Clare said...

I have not read this for some reason - I so loved Black Jewels I might re read it and then get this.