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Return to the world of the national best-selling Black Jewels novels with this sequel to The Shadow Queen. In Anne Bishop's realm, witches and warlocks channel their power through magical jewels - and one Queen has emerged from the shadows to bring hope to an impoverished people.
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. 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.
Sequel to The Shadow Queen, Shalador's Lady follows the lives of the males loyal to the rose-jewelled Queen Cassidy (and some of those plotting against her). If you have never read Anne Bishop before, this is not the best place to start as it definitely assumes a familiarity with her world and the events of previous books. If you are interested in a dark magic / romance type story, definitely check out the original Black Jewels trilogy.
I am glad Anne Bishop wrote this sequel to The Shadow Queen, because while the Shadow Queen had a great plot and definite ending, there was room to tell Gray's story. That is exactly what Shalador's Lady is about, Gray growing into the sort of man who is worthy of Cassidy. At the same time, we get to see Cassidy get over her insecurities and make a real difference for Dena Nehele. As expected in an Anne Bishop novel, there is plenty of fun melodrama and a warm fuzzy safety that comes with knowing the main characters were never really in any great danger.
I find reading Anne Bishop similar to Traci Harding, comforting and easy. There are plenty protective and completely reliable males crowded around the lucky female without impinging on her one actual romantic interest (isn't that every woman's dream). Add to that a decent helping of erotic suggestion without getting boring or explicit and you have a Black Jewels novel, not exactly Pulitzer Prize winning, but certainly readable.
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"The wheels on the bus go round and round ..." Everyone knows the song. But now the bus is going around beautiful New Zealand and its passengers you just might know: kiwi, penguin, tuatara, fantail and many more. Come along for the ride!
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