Review: Dreams Made Flesh, by Anne Bishop

Dreams Made Flesh
Anne Bishop

Product Summary (from
The national bestselling Black Jewels trilogy established award-winning Anne Bishop as an author whose “sublime skill…blends the darkly macabre with spine-tingling emotional intensity, mesmerizing magic, lush sensuality, and exciting action.”* Now the saga continues-with four all-new adventures of Jaenelle and her kindred.

While billed as a collection of short stories, Dreams Made Flesh is really four novellas, and even though they’re not full novels, they’re all meaty enough to satisfy even the most ardent lover of the Black Jewels trilogy, containing everything from fighting to sex to romance to baby clothes. Okay, well, maybe not baby clothes, but since one of the four stories is about the early days of Lucivar’s relationship with Marian, and involves setting up his home – their home – there is quite a lot of shopping. We learn, for example, that Lucian’s mother kept the money Saetan provided so that Marian could re-outfit herself, and that Marian herself had such low self-esteem that she had a hard time buying things for herself even when she could.

May I just say how much I love that author Anne Bishop injects so many things into her worlds? I mean, we know that Jaenelle can’t function before her morning coffee, and that even in the twilight and hell regions of this planet chocolate is considered an appropriate guilt gift from men to women. And the clothes…while I don’t know for sure what Earth-period the clothes match, I love the details…the fact that Jaenelle and her friends wear schmata clothes at home, and prefer trousers to skirts most of the time, or – as is the case in the above-referenced story – that the tailors are accustomed to adding wing-slits to the clothing Eyrians purchase, so were unphased about serving Marian.

Of course, the ultimate story in this collection is the post-trilogy story of Daemon and Jaenelle – the return of Witch, as well as the continuation of their romance. It also involves a lot of clothing – in this case dressing for court, and plotting at a party – but it’s more than just a fashion show.

In the seven Black Jewels books that exist, two are not part of the Jaenelle story, and the other is sort of a one-off in Jaenelle’s time, but about Surreal, though there’s another collection of Jaenelle stories coming out next year, I think.

In any case, these stories are a nice bridge, and made for a lovely, entertaining ramble through Kaeleer.

Goes well with: coffee and cheesecake.

The Black Jewels Trilogy

The Black Jewels Trilogy

Anne Bishop

It was my friend Liz who introduced me to Anne Bishop and the Black Jewels trilogy. I read the series as indiviudal novels, but it’s apparently available in an omnibus edition as well.

Essentially, it’s a fantasy series, that takes place in three different Realms (read: planes) of a single planet, and follows the life of a girl named Jaenelle from the age of 12 through her early adulthood. Most of the characters in the novel are witches (or warlords), and the jewels signify the depths of their powers. The fun of the books comes a lot from the names of the other characters. How can you not love a series that has folk called Saetan and Lucivar? How can you not love a race of winged humanoids, or telephathic puppies?

True, it’s not great literature, but mind candy is perfectly acceptable, and I’d argue that reading ANYTHING is better than not reading at all. And these novels may be mind candy, but they’re good mind candy.