National bestseller, Anne Bishop, brings back her story of The Black Jewels with her newest fantasy novel, “The Shadow Queen.”
“The Shadow Queen” is the story of Lady Cassidy, a Queen whose entire court has resigned from service, Theran Grayhaven, a Warlord Prince who’s homeland is almost destroyed by war and the former queens who had abused it, and Jared Blaed Grayhaven, or Gray, Theran’s cousin who carries emotional and physical scars.
Theran wishes to find a queen who knows the “old ways” and will be able to sing the land back to its former glory, like it had been when his ancestors had once ruled. He travels to Kaeleer to call in a favor, in this case a queen, to a family acquaintance.
The acquaintance, who happens to be one of the main characters from Bishop’s “Black Jewels Trilogy,” Daemon Sadi tells him about Lady Cassidy and arranges a dinner for them to meet. When Theran meets her, he immediately rejects her: she’s not strong and she’s not pretty. However, she’s all there is, and he grudgingly accepts.
Lady Cassidy goes with him to Terreille. She, Theran and the people of the immediate village find it difficult to adapt to each other. Cassidy knows the traditions that are used in Kaeleer to rule, while Theran and his people only know abuse from their queens. Gray, despite his scars, sees that Cassidy is different from the former queens and is immediately drawn to her.
Throughout the novel, Cassidy attempts to prove to Theran, the village and especially herself that a capable queen does not need to be especially powerful in terms of Jewel strength, but in character. And Gray proves to Cassidy that beauty comes in a variety of forms.
Bishop’s newest characters shine through this novel, and she carries with them great characterization.
Fans of Bishop’s “Black Jewels” series will also enjoy the gracious amount of Daemon and Jaenelle, who give breaks to the main story with their own side story.
“The Shadow Queen” is a great read for the upcoming Spring Break. It will transport you to a new, dark and sensual world you won’t want to leave.