Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Reread Challenge - The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop

Anne Bishop
The Invisible Ring

ROC October 2000
Rea Excerpt Here

After reading The Shadow Queen last month and doing a discussion/review with Renee, I felt the urge to reread The Invisible Ring, since two of the main characters are related to those from this one, however generations do separate them. They were frequently mentioned and even played a role in the events that took place in The Shadow Queen. The Shadow Queen whetted my appetite to finally revisit Lia and Jared and Dena Nehele.

I think I loved it more the second time around than I did the first. Made me weepy at the end. I don't remember getting weepy the first time. The romance between Lia and Jared was so good.

So for the past nine years Jared has been a pleasure slave. Tricked by a bitch-Queen, she slipped a ring of obedience on him when he was only 18. In a fit of rage, Jared kills the Queen who owns him and is put on the auction block in Raej. Expecting to go to the salt mines in Pruul, Jared is shocked when the Gray Lady of Dena Nehele buys him.

The Gray Lady is the last of the strong Queens of the Realm who opposes Dorothea SaDiablo, the Queen Bitch who rules the territory of Terrielle. Her evil, vile ways have so corrupted the land and its people. But the Gray Lady stands against her. However, last spring, after an attack the Gray Lady has been weakened. But they must not let Dorothea know, so a plan is formed for the Gray Lady to make her yearly trip to Raej to buy slaves, showing all that she is hearty and well.

The journey back to Dene Nehele with her twelve slaves is fraught with peril. Dorothea is determined to finish the Gray Lady once and for all.

A journey. Slaves. Secrets. Illusions. Evil, vile wickedness. Nobody appears who they truly are. Unlikely bonds form and before you know it, you are submerged into the world of the Blood. A world where Queens rule and males serve. The need to serve is part of who Blood males are. Their mental well-being needs the grounding of a good Queen to keep them healthy and whole. But over the centuries, under the rule of the Bitch Dorothea, there are no longer good Queens to serve, and Blood males are either broken, or slaves, very few are free, and the ones that are are corrupt bastards, but really, in the end, they are all still slaves too.

Anne Bishop's books are always so full of imagination and detail. I love what she does. I had forgotten how dark and delicious The Invisible Ring was. It left an impression on me when I first read it, but over the few years, most all the significant events slipped my mind, but the impression remained.

This book released after the trilogy but takes place several hundred years earlier. I think Anne Bishop did an outstanding job showing how fucked up the world is due to the corrupt ways of Dorothea. Even read after the trilogy, the stage was set perfectly to make you hungry for the events you know are to come with the coming of Witch. I had forgotten that one of the appearances Daemon has he mentions to Jared that there is one Queen he would serve, would honor without hesitation.
"I was a pleasure slave for nine years."

"Nine years," Deamon snarled impatiently. "What's nine years compared to centuries?"

"Would you ask a Queen to accept you as her husband?"

"In a heartbeat."

Jared sat back, awed and a little frightened by the terrible yearning that filled Daemon's eyes.

"You have some one you love," he whispered. "Who?"

Daemon's smile was gentle and a little self-mocking. "I don't know. She hasn't been born yet. But I've loved and served her all my life. I'll love no other. And I'll serve no other willingly."
And so sets the stage for the trilogy with Daemon, Jaenelle, Lucivar, Saetan and all the other amazing characters, where events unfold to purge the Realms of the Blood of the corruption that taints the land and the people.

There is one other passage I'd like to quote. People often say "May the darkness be merciful" or "Thank the Darkness", and other such sayings. The darkness is revered. It is honored and respected.
The Blood honored the Darkness because it meant endings and beginnings; it was the fertile dark of land and womb that nurtured the seeds of life; it was the psychic river of the Blood came from and returned to; it was the abyss the self descended into to reach its own strenght; it was the vastness that contained the spiderweb-shaped psychic roadways called the Winds. It was all those things, and more.
Her writing resonates in me like no other. It just wraps around me and swallows me up. I am able to immerse myself into her worlds. No other author or books have had that impact. Do you have an author or series that affect you on a deeper level than any other? I would love to know who moves you in profound ways.

Hell's Fire, Mother Night, and May the Darkness be Merciful!

Daughter of the Blood Review

Re-Read Challenge
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~ames~ said...

I read the Trilogy a few years ago and have all the sequels and everything. I haven't visited that world in a while and I'm definitely going back there! Thank goodness I have this book in my tbr pile too, it sounds really good!

Leontine said...

goose bumps Amy and one hell of an invitation to start reading this book, which I'll be doing very shortly!!! The quotes *be still my fluttering heart*

Amanda said...

This is a trilogy that is on my TBR pile and I always think about picking it up...... this was a great review now i'm intrigued... I want to read it!

I love Anne Bishops Ephemera books amazing!

Fantasy Dreamer (Donna) said...

Loved this book and I agree with you, Anne did a great job writing it. I enjoyed Daemon's small appearances throughout, helped soothe my cravings for him. Thanks for the reminder of why these are so great and I have yet to find another author who can stir the feelings that Anne Bishop has.


Amy C said...

Hey ames, one thing I loved about this one compared to the other books that have come after the trilogly is the dark and twisted deeds of Dorothea and the ones she influences. Tangled Webs and The Shadow Queen seemed much more on the lighter side. I loved Shadow Queen, but it didn't have that edge to it that this one and the trilogy have. Fabulous books though!

Thank you, Leontine! I hope you do read it soon. I would so love to read your thoughts about it. Have you read the trilogy?

Amanda! I love her Ephemera duology also! I thought the ending, how she made you feel sympathy for the evil, damn near made me cry. Everyone needs a little love, right? Have you read her Tir Alainn trilogy? That's one that is on my list for this reread challenge.

Amy C said...

Hey Donna! It is always so awesome to hear someone else feel the same as I do. Makes me not feel like a weirdo for loving her books so darn much!

Mandi said...

I didn't realize a book had come out that takes place before Daughter of the Blood! And what a book that was! I have the next two..not sure why I haven't started them. I think the first book was so intense, I just needed a breather. That book still gives me chills just thinking about it..so good.

Amanda said...

Hey Amy,

No I haven't read her Tir Alainn I mean to though!! My TBR pile seriously needs to stop growing so I can read some of it!

I thought how she ended the Ephemera duology was fantastic, I think I may have cried......

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

I just purchased an Anne Bishop book on sale somewhere and I picked it up because I remembered how good you said she was. It's Queen of Darkness, Book Three of the Black Jewels Trilogy. I have the first two books on order, so I'll read the series eventually. Is this book part of that series or is it before the series starts or after? All need to know information.

Thanks Amy!

Dottie :)

Amy C said...

Hey Dottie, The Invisible Ring is a prequel to the trilogy (Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness). However it was publsihed after the trilogy. So you don't need to read it first, but I would say read it first since you haven't read the trilogy yet :). You get a bit of Daemon in this one and then a whole lot more of him in the trilogy. You also get a very nice taste of the vileness of Dorothea SaDiablo to lead you into the trilogy and what that story arc is based on, the cleansing of that vileness! And also, The Invisible Ring is connected to the newest one, The Shadow Queen. I'd say read them in order if you can!

Amy C said...

Ha! Amanda, I am so with you, my tbr pile is ridiculous! And what did I do the last few days but reread another book! It was a hefty one too, Took me several days to get through it, but not for lack of holding my interest, just one of those very dense fantasies!

Erotic Horizon said...

I just got a set of her book.. and it was your recommendation...

So I am hoping to love them as much as you do...

I am loving the cover on this one...


Leontine said...

Hi Amy,
Yes I read the complete trilogy...I joined you and Renee in the discussion about *thinking now* was it The Shadow Queen?

I can't wait to inhale some Anne Bishop again, love her writing style and imagination.

Amy C said...

Oh Duh! Leontine! How could I forget you joined in the discussion at Renee's. Now I feel like an idiot! Yes, it was The Shadow Queen :).
I love your choice of words...inhale!

E.H., you have no idea how happy I am to hear you have some of her books to read! I hope you love them and will look for your thoughts when you get around to reading!

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Amy,
You make me so hungry to read these books. The first Bishop book is first on my "so need to get" list :D

Eva S said...

Hi Amy,
more for my wish list! I loved the trilogy, and will get more of her books! As for your question, I'll have to think about it... I don't think you wan't to know any author in swedish or finnish, LOL!

Renee said...

Great review, Amy! I really enjoyed reading this one, tho' I wish I had read it before The Shadow Queen, so I could have that little extra insight into Jared's and Lia's story.

I also have to add that the audiobook to this one is very good! The guy who does the reading really pulls off all the dramatic tension and large cast of characters.

Anne Bishop has really been able to create such a complex, original and compelling world.

Anna said...

Great review Amy!! I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Blanche said...

Hi Amy!!

Awesome review, I really really need to look into Anne Bishop!! :)

Judy H said...

I loved the trilogy, and I'm glad to see there are more coming out.....Guess I need to keep up on this stuff better.
I noticed you wrote another story, gonna have to read that first!
Anne Bishop is awesome!

SciFiGuy said...

This is a terrific series. I'm dying to try out the latest.

nath said...

Sigh, I need to re-read it as well. There is so many things I don't remember!! I think that knowing the connections with the current trilogy, it'll make the book better as well :)

Christine said...

Oh this one sounds REALLY good! I can't wait to get to it!

Today I'm at p. 230 or so of Daughter of the Blood and I already know I'll be reading the entire series and waiting on bated breath for any new releases! Thanks for turning me on to the Black Jewels, Amy! :)

Tracy said...

I'm so behind on blog hopping! Sorry this is so delayed!

I have this one on my shelf and haven't read it yet! Why not? I have no idea. Reading your review makes me want to pick it up. I'm diggin it out of the shelf and putting it in front - today! :)

Great review sweetie.

Amy C said...

Christine! You have no idea how happy I am to hear that! Well, maybe you do...just a little! LOL

Isn't it just awesome?? ANd the ending is just so damn intense!

That's okay Tracy :). I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this one! I'm sure you're going to love it.