Summary from the author’s website:
New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s “darkly fascinating”* Black Jewel novels have enthralled readers and critics alike with their mixture of fantasy, intrigue, and romance. Now in Twilight’s Dawn, Bishop returns to the Blood realm with four all-new captivating novellas.
Daemon, the Black Jeweled Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, is settling into his first year of married life with his Witch Queen Jaenelle. But as the thirteen-day celebration of Winsol draws near, Daemon finds himself being pulled in too many directions as he plays host to his formidable family…
Still recovering from the ordeal that left her wounded and angry, Surreal returns to Ebon Rih on the orders of Prince Lucivar. And when her former lover Falonar ruthlessly challenges the rule of her family, Surreal may finally succumb to the darkness burning inside her…
When someone lays a vicious trap for Queen Sylvia and her sons, the fallout completely disrupts the lives of the ruling family of Dhemlan. Now, they have to uncover the identity of the warlord known only as No Face, before he returns to finish what he started…
After losing the two most important people in his life, Daemon has assumed his father Saetan’s role as High Lord of Hell and built a wall around his heart. But when he inadvertently forges a new connection, will it be enough to break him free from his loveless life?
My thoughts on Twilight’s Dawn:
The latest installment of the Black Jewels series, and probably the last, was like a family reunion for me. Back to the characters I’ve known and loved for years. Never has a book pulled at my emotions so much. I laughed, I cried, I raged.
Each novella built on the one before it, and there was quite a bit of foreshadowing for the last novella, so I wasn’t surprised by how Anne Bishop ended it. And while I should’ve expected it, given that the blurb for The High Lord’s Daughter mentioned Daemon losing two people, I was still surprised about who the second person was, though I shouldn’t have been.
I liked the first novella, Winsol Gifts purely just because we see everyone just in every day situations, getting ready for the holidays. Shades of Honor was my favorite of the four, even though a certain character made me angry at how he could possibly think that way. Family was bittersweet, but reminds us that family is not always just about who you’re related to by blood. Family goes beyond that.
The last novella, there isn’t much I can say without spoiling it for those of you who have not read this book, or the rest of the series. The only complaint I have is that Daemon and Surreal, especially Surreal, felt different. Not quite themselves. And with all the foreshadowing in this book, I was not surprised by how Anne Bishop chose to end this. It even makes sense, when you look at the series as a whole. While this felt like the end, it felt left open. Like Anne Bishop could come back to this someday and expand on the new direction the characters take.
A word of warning to long time Black Jewels fans: I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews, fans feeling betrayed, because of the last novella. I will not spoil anyone here, so you’re free to find the spoilers on your own, but I really think you should give Twilight’s Dawn a fair chance. Because this is the author’s world, not ours. She chooses how it ends. And I for one can respect that.