Review: The Queen's Weapons by Anne Bishop
When it comes to the Dark Jewels Series, the original trilogy is the best. Returning to this world is mixed because I love the characters, specifically Daemon and Lucivar. When Twilight's Dawn came out, I cried with loss and grief because it was the end of an era and it came to a beautiful closure. So it was surprising to see The Queen's Bargain come out and bring back a beloved character. It also foreshadowed the events in this book, the Queen's Weapons. This is not a standalone book. It is best to read at least the first 3 books in this series and the Queen's Bargain before reading this book.
I am mixed. I remember when Twilight's Dawn came out and there was an uproar of angry fans demanding to know how it is possible that Daemon and Surreal not only married but had a child. They were angry and felt this should never have happened. Whilst I was surprised by the turn of events, I thought it was beautifully done. In the last book and this book, it seems Ms. Bishop is catering to the loud, noisy fans that ranted about that turn of events and demanded a re-do. What is this, the Marvel Universe? I guess so.
What did I like about this story? I loved Daemon and his sexuality. No lie. I would be the embarrassing female trying to contain myself if he walked by with all his erotic and sensual masculinity. Plus his sadism is my type so I'd be all over that. I'd shove Surreal so hard to the side to jump at Daemon and unfortunately get him so pissed, he'd probably kill me. But what a way to go.
I loved the Scelties because they are the most adorable and I love how they herd humans. I am not sure I would want a special friend Sceltie, but it would be educational. Seeing Daemonar grow up into a fine and upstanding young man makes my heart sing. He was an ornery little boy now a strong and moral warrior.
I am surprised and liked how Ms. Bishop shows the dangers of helicopter parents and perhaps parents that overprotect their child. There must be some kind of balance. And oddly it is Lucivar and Marion who are the good balance. My theories as to why this couple is better than others is not going to be popular so I am going to abstain from vocalizing it. I am thrilled that there are consequences to actions and that Ms. Bishop clearly shows that there are debts owed and they will be paid in blood. The social commentaries of this story mirror quite a bit of today's society that it appeals to me. Unlike reality, in this book, those who are behaving badly are taken to task. I liked how it showed those who thought they are superior and above the law are not protected by money. I loved how the crappy teachers who only focused on their own agendas and greed were executed. This all appeases my thirst for vengeance.
I found it to be interesting that a name could impact a person so much. That a person gifted with a great name could become so petty, jealous and and epic failure. I am disappointed and I am not thrilled with this turn of events even though it was hinted at in the last book.
I am mixed how the taint of the Hayllian way comes back. I am pleased by how Ms. Bishop writes this so that it shows why and how history repeats itself. It is an excellent example of why our world today is acting the way it is and it also depresses and disappoints me. Not that it was written this way, that in reality we are falling in the same trap and blindly following Delora/Dorothea wanna-bes.
What bothers me about this story is the intentional break of Surreal and Daemon and the return of a Queen who was not to ever return. It is as if the angry vocal fans demanded it; Ms. Bishop caved and tried her best to write it in a way that made sense. What ended up happening is basically a Queen of Darkness reboot 2.0 book without the intensity, complexity, and sensuality. There is still emotion but instead of sadness and fear, it is more disgust and disappointment invoked.
I did love the characters in this book and I enjoyed it so much I ended reading it to the wee hours of the money and experienced a major book hangover. This fantasy is recommended to readers who enjoy sensual powerful men who are the quintessential renaissance man ... well read, thoughtful, strongly masculine, loyal, and able to cook and chivalrous to a fault.
*provided by NetGalley