Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop
What is it about:
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. And even though the refugees found sanctuary in Dena Nehele, they have never been able to call it home.
Now that Dena Nehele has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore the land and prove her ability to rule. She knows that undertaking this task will require all her heart and courage as she summons the untested power within her, a power capable of consuming her if she cannot control it.
And even if Lady Cassidy survives her trial by fire, 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…
What did I think of it:
This book continues the story of Cassidy that began in 'The Shadow Queen' and I can advice to read it only if you read the previous book. It does have a bit more bite to it than 'The Shadow Queen' although it still doesn't reach the gritty, dark atmosphere that hangs over the original Black Jewels trilogy. Which doesn't make it a bad book btw, it's beautiful and as well written as any other book by Bishop I've read sofar. (I'm beginning to supect Bishop can make a grocery list sound beautiful if she set her mind to it.) I like how characters introduced in the previous book got even more character depth and how Bishop succeeds in introducing new characters that impress however small their roles were in some cases. And I absolutely loved the Scelties (some sort of magical and intelligent dogs), that have been mentioned in other books before, but shine in this one. I want a Sceltie as a friend now.
Why should you read it:
Don't tell me I have sofar failed in getting you interested in the Black Jewels books! They're awesome.