PDF The Black Jewels Trilogy (The Black Jewels, #1-3): PDF

by Anne Bishop

My brain melted, and not in a good way
"Have you read this?" a colleague asked recently, "It's so wonderful!"
It so happened I had read the Black Jewels Trilogy, long ago. I remembered it as a Masterpiece of Unremittingly Awful. Could it be as bad as all that? Surely not.

Oh wait. It was. mindbendingly dreadful on so many levels.

The premise is potentially interesting: in a set of interlinked worlds/realms, a power-struggle is growing. In the Realm of Terreille, the Blood — people with magical abilities — are under the cruel thumb of Queen Dorothea who is enslaving males and destroying powerful females to retain her own position. In another realm, Hell, the ancient and world-weary Saetan rules the dead. Into this mix, comes the child Janelle.

Janelle is a Special Person, the blond-haired, sapphire-blue-eyed central figure, around which the story revolves. Misunderstood by her "normal" family, she's also amazingly magical (most powerful witch-queen EVAR) and the foretold saviour of our heroes and the Blood. Saetan recognises her instantly as the daughter of his soul. Saetan's son, Daemon, slave of Dorothea, knows she's his future love.Everyone Bad wants to destroy or control her with inept and stupid plots. Can we all say "Mary Sue"?

In this story, the BAD people are BAD (you can tell this, because they are all sexually abusive, increasingly physically repulsive, whiny miserable cretins). The GOOD people, on the other hand, are handsome and wonderful anddarkly powerful. This power-imbalance gets ridiculous at times. Seriously: Dorothea, highest powered-BAD person has the same magical rank as the Saetan's butler. What is going on there?

The characters are cardboard cut-outs with variously blazing eyes and snarly voices. (Snarl, snarling, snarled and snarly are used about 228 times. I counted.) We are told over and over again how dangerous and powerful characters are, but seldom or never see itdemonstrated.For example, Saetan is 50,000+ years-old undead vampire and fearsome Lord of Hell, yet he generally frets and moans and sighs with all the threat and malice of a harried school teacher. For the entire three books. No matter their age, everyone behave and speak so. . .adolescently.

Later in the book, when fluffy magic animals appear (hordes and hordes of damned magical animals), I lost the ability to distinguish between several significant male characters and the psychic ponies. Though to be fair, my brain was melting out my ears at that point. It becomes a magic psychic fluffy companion animal bonanza: Unicorns, ponies, puppies, big kitties, wolves, dragons, spiders... They all come to worship Janelle.

Then, of course, there's all the sexual-abuse & enslavement rape, incest, paedophilia, torture and other sundry macabre horrors flying every-which-way. Really, its hard to keep track of it all and rather pointless (BAD people are BAD, remember? Yes, I got that the first hundred times). Oh, did I mention that men are controlled by magical cock rings? They are. Magical cock rings.

All this sex and violence isn't edgy or daring, it's just gratuitous and eventually dull.

On the surface, this series has some interesting things going for it. The female-dominated magic system is unusual and the interaction between caste and magical "jewel" power levels promised a potentially complex social system.Unfortunately, this is never developed. Nor are the worlds more than sketched. I never figured out what technological level these people were at. We've got magic, who needs consistency? Sometimes it is psuedo-medieval... other times we have city blocks, showers, modern plumbing and shopping sprees.

So there we have it. In some ways it is so bad, it is fascinating. Perhaps that is why it was this a bestselling series.

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Book Title
Book Author
Release date 02.12.2003
Pages count1204
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
File size3.4 Mb
Book rating4.39 (8854 votes)
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