Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shalador's Lady - Anne Bishop

Shalador's Lady
Anne Bishop
Roc Publishing
Copyright: March 2, 2010

The product description:
For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. Now that their land has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore it and prove her ability to rule.

But even if Lady Cassidy succeeds, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land-and Lady Cassidy-forever...
 Shalador's Lady, the sequel to The Shadow Queen, Anne Bishop's newest book set in the world of the Black Jewels picks up soon after the previous book left off. Where that book ends with a happy ending, this one left me wondering what had happened in the interim: the characters had returned to the same tense standoff that they'd had for much of the last book, particularly between Theran and Ranon.

Cassidy's past, only alluded to in The Shadow Queen really plays the pivotal role in Shalador's Lady, as do the Shalador people, now living only on small reserves within the province of Deha Nehele and forced to hide their customs.

One of the things I like about this series is the way each of the books adds to the world Anne Bishop has created. Each one explains some facet of the role that the Blood are supposed to play in the working of that world.

On the other hand, I hope you've read The Shadow Queen some time recently. The entirety of Shalador's Lady assumes familiarity with the content of the previous book. I found, when I read Shalador's Lady that I was a bit lost in terms of the background for the story, sending me back to re-read The Shadow Queen. Even so, I really enjoyed the new book a lot, finishing it the say day I bought it.

I will admit that the series isn't going to be for everyone, but if you like the world of Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series, Shalador's Lady is likelty to catch your mind and imagination as you read it. I definitely found it worth the price to buy in hardcover.

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