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Audiobook Review: Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

Audiobook Review: Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
Daughter of The Blood by Anne Bishop
Narrator: John Sharian
Series: The Black Jewels #1
Published by Penguin Audio
Published on: April 6, 2010
Genres: Fantasy
Length: 16hrs & 57mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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Seven hundred years ago, a Black Widow witch saw an ancient prophecy come to life in her web of dreams and visions. Now, the Dark Kingdom readies itself for the arrival of its queen, a witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But she is still young, still open to influence - and corruption.

Whoever controls the queen controls the darkness. Three men - sworn enemies - know this. And they know the power that hides behind the blue eyes of an innocent young girl. And so begins a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal, in which the weapons are hate and love - and the prize could be terrible beyond imagining.


Fantasy HellNo @!-#


Ordinarily, this audiobook would never have landed on my to-be-read pile, but after listening to (and loving) Anne Bishop’s THE OTHER series, I found myself in desperate need of more. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a High Fantasy novel, so don’t let my less than stellar review discourage you because quite frankly I probably don’t know jack about this genre. The world-building and character development continue to be where this author’s strengths lie; although at times I did struggle because of the sheer magnitude of it all. There’s also an inherent creepiness factor that made the story difficult to appreciate because my growing sense of horror distracted me from the writing. DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD wasn’t bad per say, but it was something alright. I’m just not sure what exactly.

Stepping into a new-to-me Bishop universe was exhilarating and I enjoyed learning about the inner workings of THE BLACK JEWELS. Women are clearly the more powerful sex in this world with men having the urge to serve actually bred into them, and then of course there’s the ring of obedience—which, for the record, is exactly what it sounds like. So, right now you’re probably thinking “sweet, girl power”, right? Yeah, not so much. The males are obviously super unhappy with their lot in life, so to get even they play sick games with little girls before they become witch. I spent most of this audiobook thinking “yes this is really creepy, but there’s no way the author’s going to go there, right?” And… then she does.

I liked Jaenelle well-enough, and quite frankly, I’m tempted to continue listening to this series just to see her enact revenge because those uncles sure do deserve a good ass whooping. I loved how “other” she was; it’s clear early on that she’s no ordinary witch child. It was interesting to see her interact with her unusual group of friends; one moment she’s having tea with Saetan and the next she’s chatting up Surreal, the prostitute assassin. Her innocence and ignorance about her true nature was endearing, and I thought it was curious how she ran before she crawled craft-wise.

I’m still not entirely sure whether John Sharian’s narration helped contribute to this audiobook’s overall ick factor or if I would have felt the same way had I read this title instead. There are more male POVs than female ones, so it makes sense to use a male narrator, but I can’t help but wonder whether a woman’s voice in my ear would have lessened the blow. Mind you, I don’t think there’s any way you could possibly sugarcoat the fact that a bunch of ancient men are obsessed with a little girl. That point aside, I enjoyed Sharian’s delivery and wouldn’t hesitate to listen to him again in the future.

The next installments in this series have huge potential, and I can definitely see myself enjoying this trilogy going forward, but first I had to survive DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD. This book is not for the faint of heart.


The Black Jewels Series



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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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79 Comments

  1. I’ve heard that this book is really dark. I want to get it into my schedule at some point. It is a book that has been on my Goodreads To-Read Shelf for years and I just never got to it, but after The Others series, this is moving up the list. Can’t wait to give this one a try. Thanks Carmel.
    Melanie recently posted…review: Aces Wild (Sin City Collectors Novella #1) by Amanda Carlson Review

    • Loupe talked me into listening to this one. I’ll probably continue the series because I like Bishop’s writing style, although I’m not going to make it a priority. I still need time to recover from this one. LOL

  2. I agree, Bishop has a knack for creating great worlds and characters. I don’t think I’ll listen to this because of ye ick factor. After listening to Styxx I’ve discovered that my dark reads doesn’t make for great listening.

    • I might read the next one just to see if it lessens the creepiness factor any.

  3. Not sure on the audio book or even the first book alone. I have/read the omnibus of all three books in the original trilogy. I loved it as a whole but I also love high fantasy.
    Kristina D recently posted…Some Thursday Randomness

    • That gives me hope that you loved this trilogy as a whole, because if I were to go off this book alone, I’m not sure I’d continue it.

  4. I totally understand how you feel, but if you manage to continue a least the first 3 books you might see this book in a different light. This is a wonderful and very smart review, I get it.Violence against children is one my most uncomfortable subjects so I see how easy this can take people out of the comfort zone.
    Thanks Carmel.
    Lupdilup recently posted…Shield of Winter Audiobook by Nalini Singh (review) #Audiobooks

  5. I’ve heard some really amazing things about her Other series and can’t wait to read it, but this one sounds like maybe it might be a bit much for me. I sometimes enjoy books that are meant to make me uncomfortable, but some of the things you mentioned above I think will make me the kind of uncomfortable I really don’t want to be:) Thanks for your thoughts Carmel!

    • This book’s definitely not for everyone, but I hear that it gets better. The Others is a MUST READ though!

  6. I’ve been recommended this series as well and I’m like you, high fantasy isn’t really my strong point, I don’t really read a lot of those either. I’m actually slowly reading my way through Way of Kings and when I say slow I mean SLOW. Lol.

    Thanks for letting us know that this book contains disturbing elements though, it breaks my heart when I read about abuse, especially on children. If I do read this, I think I will go and do the audiobook route too and I have to keep in mind that this book can be quite disturbing. Awesome review Carmel!
    Amir recently posted…Review: Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echolls

    • I tried to be as nice as I could in my review, but I’m not going to lie, this book traumatized me a bit!

  7. I love her Other series and I was going to try this one but I’ve heard too much about it and know it’s not my cup of tea. And I really hope that she doesn’t take this direction with The Others.

    It’s dark & violent but there’s also this sense of sweetness to it that I love.

    • Agreed! If Bishop takes this route with her The Others series I just might cry because currently I <3 it.

  8. I have so much trouble with high fantasy that I would probably have to pass on this one.

    Wonderful honest review though!! Have a great weekend!!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: The Dare by Hannah Jayne

    • I hear ya; I took a risk with this one, and I’m not sure that it really paid off. LOL Still, it’s good to broaden your reading horizons every now and then!

  9. I was looking into reading more of Bishop after I finished both book in The Others series,but your review makes me think I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to go into a book that has an overwhelming ick factor. I think I will pass. Bummer, though.
    Heidi recently posted…Friday Forecast June 15th-21st

    • It might be best if you keep your impression of Bishop intact.

  10. I really want to get to Anne Bishop’s THE OTHER series, both you and Kimba have amazing reviews that have me so excited to start it. I have heard that this series (The Black Jewels)has some wonderful and unique elements to it like you mentioned. Wonderful review, Carmel! Have a great weekend 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Blog Tour: Rules of Survival by Jus Accardo

    • You haven’t read The Others yet, Kim? What gives!? 😛

  11. It’s been a really long time since I read these and I don’t think I finished them… Hum. I might have to go back and do a reread, especially since, like you, I’m loving The Others series by her. Excellent review!
    Mary recently posted…A Triplet of Dates with Devi: The PARADOX series

    • I think it originally started out as a trilogy, so my goal is to read at least the first three books. I’ll see how I feel after that!

  12. I can read most any genre but I have never listened to audio books before.
    sherry fundin recently posted…Awesome Cover for Intriguing new novel – Time Shifter by Laura N Anile

    • They aren’t for everyone, but for me audios are a huge time saver because I can blog and read at the same time!

  13. I’ve been wanting to read this author. Hm… I’m thinking that this might be better for me to read than audio. For some reason there are just some fantasy books I do better at reading then listening. Perhaps this one is the same for you? Still, will have to try her Other series. Great review!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Blog Tour: The Given (Celestial Blues #3) by Vicky Pettersson with Giveaway!

    • Audiobooks can be hit or miss, depending on the narrator, genre, etc. I listened to her The Others series, and I thought I’d be safe with this one. Obviously not!

  14. I have all 3 but I am afraid I will hate it
    blodeuedd recently posted…Preternatural – G.S.Anderson

    • It’s hard to say for sure. Maybe try book 1, and see?

  15. I don’t think I have ever read any high fantasy. And I have never read this author. All you had to do was mention the child being abused and that was it for me. However, I finally got my first audible book due to your recommending them and will be listening to Sterling tomorrow on my 9 hour drive to Kentucky. Thanks!

  16. It’s been a long time since I read this series, I do remember the series getting better as it goes, but it’s super dark.
    LilyElement recently posted…Photo a Day Challenge: Books

  17. Hmmm … I think I’ll pass on this one. Sounds like something that might be intriguing, but might not be my cup of tea.
    Nicole recently posted…Feature & Follow Friday – Book Location I’d Like to Visit

    • This series definitely isn’t for everyone. I’m not even 100% convinced that it’s for me. Heh

  18. After loving The others series I may be checking out this one as well! I have heard good things about this series and I love the women empowerment in there. Thanks for the review Carmel!
    Jeann recently posted…TFIOS Aftermath: Why do we love sad movies?

    • Book 1 is definitely NOT about girl power, but it should get better from here.

  19. Hahaha, this the first time I’ve seen the @!?# badge but I love it. The concept behind this one is really intriguing, it would be interesting to read something where the female was the power sex once in awhile. Glad you liked it!
    Alise recently posted…Marooned: Hidden by Marianne Curley

    • I only pull the @!?# badge out for special occasions. 😉

  20. I am not huge fan of high fantasy either, but I read the first three books of this series a long time ago and really enjoyed them. It’s hard to take sometimes because of the content and size of the books, but it’s so unique, I think.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #81: Mortal Heart!

    • I actually had a discussion about the darker aspects of this book on Twitter last night, and came to the conclusion that I can deal with it better on TV than I can in novels. Is that weird?

  21. I loved the Other series but I haven’t read anything else by the author. Now I also wonder if another narrator would have made a difference for you. I’m trying an ausiobook right now but I don’t think it’s for me. It’s really too long for me to listen everything.

    • I tend to stick with shorter audios as well. 9 hours seems to be my ideal length, but I had the opportunity to listen to this one, and I just couldn’t resist.

  22. I love this series, and re-read it at least once a year. I think the audio is making it worse than it is, perhaps. Yes, the uncle’s are horrible men, taking revenge because of how they are treated by the Queens, but those men are everywhere, especially in daily life. I did cry more for Daemon and Lucivar, I admit. But o yes, you have to finish the trilogy. It will only get better.
    aurian recently posted…Carolyn Brown – The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off

    • I know that men like that are everywhere, just turn on the evening news, but I’m not sure I like it when they show up in my reads. o_O

  23. I’m not a big High Fantasy reader either, and an audio would probably make my head hurt. lol

    It does sound really interesting though, so maybe one day?

    Great review.

    • If High Fantasy isn’t your thing, I wouldn’t rush to bump this one up your TBR pile if I were you. Just saying. LOL

  24. After hearing such amazing things about the author’s The Other series, I went and added this but I did see some not so positive reviews about it so even though I was interested, it kind of got pushed to the back of my list.

    Even though you had some qualms with it, I am definitely interested in this series now (again?)…

    Fantastic review, Carmel! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…Potato Prints #1: TFiOs, A Monster Calls, Way of Kings

    • Start with her The Others series, otherwise you might not be as tempted to read them if you tackled The Black Jewels first. These books might skew your opinion of this author, at least I know they would have for me.

  25. I’m sad you didn’t like it much. This is one of my all time favorite series (trilogy). I first read the book and last year I listened to the audiobooks. I agree with the ick factor, but that’s part of Bishop’s books. In The Others series what they do to the blood prophets is also despicable. I really hope you continue with this series and finish the trilogy.
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Movie Trailer: Home

    • You make a good point about the blood prophets. I do plan on continuing this trilogy, just not quite yet.

  26. I read the first 3 in the series a few years ago, but got bored with it. A friend of mine is OBSESSED with the series and is the reason I was forced to read it. lol. Bishop does some crazy world-building though.
    Christy recently posted…Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones

    • I was talked into starting this series by a friend as well. Sounds like we’re both victims of peer pressure. LOL

  27. I haven’t read anything by this author before but i’m loving the female impowerment in this one and i am a sukcer for dark reads lol even if this one sounds EXTRA DARK..like darker than most things i’ve read before!
    Lily
    Lily recently posted…Summer of Yesterday: Review

    • It might be a tad too dark for me, but a few of my blogging peeps who like this sort of things swear by these books if that helps.

  28. I could not get into these books. Picked them up because I saw a lot of reviews comparing this to the Kushiel series which is my favorite ever, and just didn’t see it, which could have played into my disappointment too. I wasn’t interested in the characters at all, though I did love the world building. I almost gave up on the author completely, but then I was recommended her Others urban fantasy series and told it was very different so I gave it a shot. I ended up liking it a lot more!
    Mogsy recently posted…Mogsy’s Book Haul

    • I’m glad that you have Bishop’s The Others series a go despite your thoughts on this one. Those books are a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

  29. Yeah, this is SO going on my TBR. I don’t think I’ll listen to it though – Anne Bishop is just TOO GOOD at creating vivid pictures for me to couple them with audio – I had to quit Written in Red because it was too vivid for me on audio and I’m going to try reading it instead. But I love the world and the way what should be super cool gets so twisted. I haven’t read High Fantasy in a while either, so we’ll see 🙂
    Berls recently posted…When do you listen? #JIAM | Fun Questions

    • You make a good point about this author’s descriptions being too vivid for audio… I listened to The Others and was fine, but this book was a bit much for me.

  30. You know how much I love “The Others’ series and I think you also know that I am not very tough. I think this one is one that I will have to skip and just experience it through your reviews. I know…I am a scaredy-cat. This one just seems to dark for me.
    Ginny recently posted…Series Spotlight and Giveaway: Touched Series by Nancy Straight

    • In that case, I would definitely steer clear of this series if I were you!

  31. I will definitely be reading this series, but unfortunately no on audio. I listened to a sample thinking the narrator would be female, the narrator was a bit too creepy for my taste so I’ll just go with the ebooks instead! I don’t mind the dark elements I just don’t want to hear about them…LOL Great review Carmel, hope you enjoy the rest of them!
    Lori recently posted…Vampire Trouble Special Pre-Order Gift!

    • See? Negative reviews really do sell books. LOL And, so do late night Twitter conversations! 😉

  32. I actually have owned this series for almost 8 years and still haven’t read them, instead I read Written in Red. When I had my cob logger Tina read Written in Red she was like you and just HAD. To have more Anne Bishop and when she told me about it the reaction was pretty similar to yours, creeped out lol
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Hungry by H.A. Swain

    • I think I ranted to # 1 for like an hour about this book when I finished it, and then I wrote my review. LOL

  33. This book sounds really good and your review doesn’t make it sounds as bad as you think it does. I might just check this one out sometime! You did have me laughing at the bunch of old men obsessed with a little girl part 🙂

    Great post Carmel!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.
    Chene Sterckx recently posted…Book Review: Son of Set (Descendants of Isis #2) by Kelsey Ketch

    • I’m relieved to hear you say that! My goal wasn’t to bash the book itself, just make it clear that it wasn’t really my cup of tea.

  34. I to was horrified by the first book, it was really hard to read. It was uncomfortable but still the story was intriguing. I got through the first 3 books of the series and looking back it was a pretty fun ride. I’d encourage you to continue on while waiting for the next Others book that is 🙂
    Tina recently posted…Review: Hungry by H.A. Swain

    • I don’t think I’ll be able to last another 6+ months without more from Anne Bishop, so I’m sure book 2 will find itself at the top of my TBR pile sooner rather than later.

  35. I think I’ll stick to reading this one. I’m not sure I would really enjoy listening to something that dark on audio. Now…off to add it to the TBR 🙂
    Traci recently posted…Character Interview & Giveaway ~ Fighting Fate ~ Carrie Ann Ryan

  36. Sounds like an interesting read… I’m a little freaked by the Uncles just from your review! I hope she does get her revenge!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
    Naomi recently posted…Review/Giveaway ~ Fall to You by Lexi Ryan

    • I hope she kills ’em all, or at least screws with ’em Girl with the Dragon Tattoo style.

  37. This is a SUPER helpful review, thank you so much, Carmel! I love The Others so much, and the first question everyone asks me is whether I”ll be reading Black Jewels anytime soon. I’d heard about the skeevy thing, and I would agree with you that a female narrator would probably help a great deal with the subject matter.

    I’m not too rabid (heh!) of a fantasy reader either, so I think I’d probably fall into the same area as you as far as enjoyment goes. I’ll be watching to see what you think of the rest of the series!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda: Exclusive Cover Reveal + giveaway

    • Happy to help! I’m sure a lot of readers out there were tempted to give this series a try after The Others, so it’s good to be forewarned. Right? 🙂

  38. Great review, Carmel. Anne Bishop is an author on my tbr list, but I’ve yet to pick her up. I don’t know what I think of high fantasy, as I haven’t read much, but she was recommended by a coworker. I’m glad you enjoyed the worldbuilding and the story overall, despite the ick factor. Do you think you’d have enjoyed it more if you’d read it rather than listened?

    • I think I would have been a lot less creeped out had I read it instead, but there’s no avoiding the obvious ick factor. If you haven’t tried her The Others series yet, I’d start with that one first if I were you.