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Twilight’s Dawn consists of four novellas, some of which answer some unasked questions about things hinted at in Tangled Webs, The Shadow Queen and Shalador’s Lady. If you’re a fan of the Black Jewels series, you will probably like them, if you are not a fan of the series you will probably not be reading this anyway.
I both like and dislike the series simultaneously. The world building drives me insane, and Bishop’s gender dynamics are like a combination of David Eddings, Laurell K. Hamilton and Jennifer Roberson with a dash of Anne Rice–on the other hand I like many of Bishop’s characters, the writing is at least entertaining (if occasionally gross or ridiculously fluffy) and I think the Black Jewels ‘verse is one of the more interesting of her story-worlds.
After the events of Tangled Webs, Daemon has a domestic adventure as he interacts with his family during the holidays. He also manages relatives and friends of family who are being extremely obstinate concerning living arrangements and recuperating from major injuries. There are many heartwarming moments, a few of them verging on the saccharine.
Shades of Honor
In which we learn exactly what it was that Falonar did to get on the family’s shit-list forever (besides dumping Surreal that is). Falonar turns out to be a complete pig, though apparently not quite porcine enough to have ended up getting massacred along with those who were tainted by Dorothea and Hekatah. He starts causing trouble with Lucivar not realizing how much trouble this will get him into. Meanwhile, it turns out that Surreal has managed to acquire some post-traumatic stress from her experiences during Tangled Webs. Adorable Daemonar manages to set it off in a spectacular fashion.
When Lady Sylvia is ambushed and murdered, the family mobilizes to find her killers. This story is probably my least favorite of the four. (Possibly because I find it pretty annoying that Bishop chose this particular method to making a “happy ending” for the Sylvia/Saetan relationship.)
The High Lord’s Daughter
This takes place a long time in the future and is mostly about Daemon slowly recovering from a terrible loss. (It is also about how he ends up becoming the High Lord of Hell.) I probably would have liked this more if Daemon’s slow recovery process and the relationship he develops had been shown more. There are also a few extremely questionable moments that annoyed me a great deal. I did like this story but I think it could have benefited by being a little longer.
In general, I liked this book, though I felt that Family was particularly weak and The High Lord’s Daughter would have benefited from being longer. I recommend this book for fans of the series but not for the casual reader or someone who is mostly following along because of the train wreck factor. (Also, I feel that this would be the very worst book to start with for the series since it requires that you’ve at least read the previous series, especially Tangled Webs.)