Length: 482 pages
Setting: soon after the events of Daughter of the Blood, various locations within the Realms
Summary: Short version: Jaenelle heals and draws friends into her official Court
Long version: Jaenelle was rescued from Briarwood, but it takes her a long time to heal from that trauma. Even when she’s physically healed, her psychic scars mean she has a hard time being around others. The kindred (Blood in animal form) help, as does the arrival of Jaenelle’s friends at the Keep. All of Jaenelle’s friends are Queens are Warlord Princes and they grow in strength, friendship, and knowledge together. Lucivar finally breaks free of the salt mines and is stunned to discover Jaenelle is still alive. He acts as an older brother (and ultimately her First Escort) to keep her safe and mentally stable. Heketah is still trying to gain control of Kaeleer and uses her minions in her schemes. She is blocked every time by Jaenelle and her coterie. Finally, Jaenelle is compelled to make the Offering to Darkness and set up an official court to keep her friends (both human and kindred) safe.
Final thoughts: Another great book I couldn’t put down that still suffers from a story line that relies on rape of young women for control. This book is all about healing from trauma and the amount of time it will take. The book covers eight years in Jaenelle’s life. While there are constant improvements in her life, there are still things that will set her off. She has a fierce loyalty to her friends and adopted family. Anything that threatens them is likely to get eliminated with extreme prejudice. Luckily she’s being raised by someone who emphasizes honor and control so all that power can be safely channeled. There are plenty of people in the story who would like to have that power under their control. Only Saetan is willing to have that power under Jaenelle’s control and her whims. He’s used to being the one that others fear because of his power. Therefore, he knows how he wishes others would act around him and applies that knowledge to Jaenelle. The men around Jaenelle do a lot of growling in frustration and anger, or suppressing laughter because it’s inappropriate but of so fitting. This book focused on the brotherly relationship between Jaenelle and Lucivar. Daemon was absent most of the book, lost in the Twisted Kingdom of madness. The story sets up a reunion between Jaenelle and Daemon in the next book, with Jaenelle old enough to consummate the relationship Daemon wants.
Title comes from: At the end of the book, Jaenelle names her Court and is given rule of the shadow realm of Kaeleer.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #22 for 2019
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