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The Queen’s Bargain (2020)

von Anne Bishop

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1236178,488 (4.18)9
"Return to the dark, sensual, and powerful world of the Black Jewels in this long-awaited new story in the New York Times bestselling fantasy saga After a youthful mistake, Lord Dillon's reputation is in tatters, leaving him vulnerable to aristo girls looking for a bit of fun. To restore his reputation and honor, he needs a handfast--a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young Eyrien witch from Ebon Rih, who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian's true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih. Meanwhile, Surreal SaDiablo's marriage is crumbling. Daemon Sadi, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, recognizes there is something wrong between him and Surreal, but he doesn't realize that his attempt to suppress his own nature in order to spare his wife is causing his mind to splinter. To save Daemon, and the Realm of Kaeleer if he breaks, help must be sought from someone who no longer exists in any of the Realms--the only Queen powerful enough to control Daemon Sadi. The Queen known as Witch. As Jillian rides the winds of first love with Dillon, Daemon and Surreal struggle to survive the wounds of a marriage turned stormy--and Lucivar has to find a way to keep everyone in his family safe...even from each other"--… (mehr)
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I love returning to this world, and although I feel like certain characters sometimes acted very unlike themselves, and it didn't necessarily resolve itself by the end, I still can't wait to see what happens next. I really want more of Daemon and Surreal figuring out where they stand with each other and how to get to a good place again. I want more of Lucivar and Marian dealing with their offspring and figuring out their new normal. And I always want more Scelties.

I can hardly wait for the next installment! ( )
  bookwyrmqueen | Oct 25, 2021 |
Listened to audio narrated by Gary Litman. He did a very nice job but I was very disappointed this latest installment wasn't narrated by John Sharian. I've come to love his narration as much as this series. Litman gives a grittier narration but it was still well done, I just preferred John Sharian's work.

I love this series and being able to revisit was both wonderful and sad. We've jumped in time where Lucivar and Daemon have children of their own and this book takes us on a journey with the SaDiablo family, we find out that Jaenelle left a lot of gifts behind to take care of those she loved even after her death.

Lucvar's honorary daughter Jillian is starting the transition to young woman. She's an Eyrien and one of the long lived races and she's starting to spread her wings. When a young Lord from another province comes to Ebon Rih, charming her, she believes she's in love.

Lord Dillan has always wanted to serve as an escort, but a cruel young queen abused his trust, used him cruelly before ruining his reputation. As in past books, the men of the blood who've been used cruelly often turn cruel themselves and we see Dillan's journey of bright potential take a terrible turn. By the time he gets to Ebon Rih and sets his sights on Jillan he has no idea how wrong things are about to go for him and that how much his actions are the catalyst for major changes.
Marion has given birth but she isn't recovering and the heartbreak of it is palpable, I could feel the suffering, worry and stress of everyone.

It was also very sad to see Daemon and Surreal struggle so hard, I remember them having a more open talkative relationship and to see things go so wrong for them, watching them suffer unnecessarily was difficult. Daemon is fighting so hard to do what he thought was the right thing, threatening his life and sanity and Surreal turning into a stranger. It was hard to recognize the confident assassin from previous books with the woman struggling, and out of control with Daemon's heat. It was so frustrating watching these two talk but not TALK to each other about what was going on.

I hadn't realized Jaenelle was going to return to these stories, she's just as wonderful as she was in the past but it's also very sad. I have no idea where the author is going to take Surreal, Daemon and Jaenelle but I hope in the end it will be happiness.

If all of the above isn't enough, we still have Scelties and some wonderful new characters as well as the children growing up, having their own strong presence leaving us with great reading now and even more possibilities for the future. This book will take you on a journey with the SaDiablo's and 'everything has a price.' I don't want to give too much away but I will say as soon as I finished it, I started to read it again.

The next book, 'The Queen's Weapons' is set to be published in 2021!. It's going to be a long year to wait.

If you like my reviews I hope you will follow my blog. https://wyldheartreads.wordpress.com/

( )
  wyldheartreads | Dec 14, 2020 |
I pre-ordered this book as I do for every Anne Bishop book when it was first announced nearly a year ago, and I've been waiting and dreading it ever since that time. Daemon Sadi and Jaenelle's story is one of my very favorite romances, and I wasn't quite sure how I'd handle Daemon and Surreal's marriage.
However, I should have just trusted Anne Bishop to write the perfect story to carry on the Black Jewel's legacy. And we get lots of the regular characters: Lucivar, Marian, and their brood, the people at the Hall, and Karla (kiss kiss). There's a nice subplot involving Lucivar's ward, Jillian, and a young lord Dillon who has been twisted by the machinations of a young witch.
Daemon is following the Twisted Path once again, and his relationship with Surreal is strained, not helped by her fleeing him rather than accepting him as he is. I don't want to give too much away, but all is resolved with the exception of some loose ends that (I hope) will lead to another book in this fabulous series. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Apr 8, 2020 |
I was excited to receive a copy of Anne Bishops new book The Queen's Bargain. She has a refreshing way of redefining expectations of society, gender, and relationships. She continues her great world, and character building in this brief followup into the lives of Surreal/Daemon, and Marian/Lucivar. I would say that this book is more about domestic problems, rather than the romance and danger featured in her previous Black Jewel novels. They spend a majority of the time making scrambled eggs in Marian's kitchen, and wrangling the mischievous scelties. It is great to see how the family is taking such care to raise their children with love, boundaries, and protection. I enjoyed the chance at seeing these characters find some rest, and deal with a few lingering problems, before the next storm. ( )
  VictoriaGD | Apr 7, 2020 |
The Queen's Bargain is the 10th book in the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop. I was so excited when I heard this book was going to be released as I have missed these characters and I thought the series was completed. I think this is a case of "be careful what you wish for." I'm not going to attempt a synopsis as there's no way I could do it without spoilers since the plot of this one is fairly simple. Needless to say the story focuses on Daemon, Surreal, Lucifer, Marion and introduces two newer characters in Jillian and Dillon.

Ok, I'm just going to say it. In may ways this story feels like a light weight retread of things that have gone on before, one that captures some of the story previously without much of its heart. The first half of the book feels very YA instead of the very adult tone of the original trilogy. The second half picks up and begins to feel more Black Jewelsish though never quite reaching the same level as prior books. Still it is a lot more enjoyable than the first half.

I love these characters and this world and was so bothered when many of these characters were NOT acting like themselves. Since when does Surreal run from a fight? Why does Daemon always have to be walking the edge of the Twisted Kingdom? He's so much more interesting when he can act like the strong lead he is. Thankfully Luciver is still Luciver. I really did not like Dillon's character much though I could at least sympathize with his situation to a certain extent. Jillian I have conflicted thoughts about, but that's mostly due to how Bishop handles maturity in the long lived races in this book, which I don't remember previously.

Still, there are some excellent moments. I would dearly love a short story about Perzha, the Queen of Little Weeble, and her sunlight allergy. You can also never go wrong with the Scelties. There are some truly touching family moments in the Yaslana household. And even though I was dubious at first, it was great to go back to the misty place to visit with Witch.

This book is definitely for die hard fans of the series, one of which I admit I am. In some ways I'm glad I read it. In others, I wish I'd stopped with book 9. Still I just know if a book 11 is ever written, I'll have to read it too! ( )
  Narilka | Mar 27, 2020 |
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Facing the freestanding mirror in her bedroom, Jillian used Craft to secure the pendant that held her Purple Dusk Jewel to her green tunic so that it wouldn't swing when she moved or flew.
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"Return to the dark, sensual, and powerful world of the Black Jewels in this long-awaited new story in the New York Times bestselling fantasy saga After a youthful mistake, Lord Dillon's reputation is in tatters, leaving him vulnerable to aristo girls looking for a bit of fun. To restore his reputation and honor, he needs a handfast--a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young Eyrien witch from Ebon Rih, who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian's true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih. Meanwhile, Surreal SaDiablo's marriage is crumbling. Daemon Sadi, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, recognizes there is something wrong between him and Surreal, but he doesn't realize that his attempt to suppress his own nature in order to spare his wife is causing his mind to splinter. To save Daemon, and the Realm of Kaeleer if he breaks, help must be sought from someone who no longer exists in any of the Realms--the only Queen powerful enough to control Daemon Sadi. The Queen known as Witch. As Jillian rides the winds of first love with Dillon, Daemon and Surreal struggle to survive the wounds of a marriage turned stormy--and Lucivar has to find a way to keep everyone in his family safe...even from each other"--

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