THE BLACK JEWELS TRILOGY: Book (1) One: Daughter of the Blood; Book (2) Two: Heir to the Shadows; Book (3) Three: Queen of the Darkness

Daughter of the Blood - Anne Bishop I'm not impressed with this book. I've struggled with rating stars and almost gave it two, but couldn't bring myself to do it. If there wre halves, I'd propably gave it 1,5. Just for the Jewels and unintended laughs.

There is the plot. Which isn't original. But it's allright. It contains some variation of Opressed Realm, Bad Ruler, Prophesied Hero, and The Oppostion. So it's allright.
There is the world. One of the kind which tries to cover imagination deficiency issues with Fancy Names. But still, somehow passable.
And there are characters. I am ready to forgive simple plot. I can grit my teeth and bear an universe that was made up just because there had to be some place it all happens. But when a fifty-thousand-year-old undead witch acts like a ignorant teen, and equally old High Lord of Hell (named Saetan Deamon SaDiablo, imagine that!) turns out to be quite a nice family man troubled by his young ward's misbehaviour, there's something a bit off with this whole business. Particularly the parts taking place in Realm of Hell. It felt as if on some level it was meant to be a sort of comedy for children, but then the author changed her mind and just throw in some maturity content and angst by creating the other Realms.
Like Terreile.
One of the main characters living here is a sex-slave (as all the other men). He's also a short-tempered sadist in constant cold rage, but still is capable of exchanging notes with his long-lost-just-rediscovered father (yes! the High Lord of Hell) on parenting.
There's a prostitute who's an assassin with grudge, and tens of sexually unfulfilled females, including the Main Villain, whose name should be Dominatrix instead of Dorothea. Also, some causes of pedophilia and chid abuse. Not to mention brutality, sadism and occasional slaughter.
And just to be clear on the subject, I have nothing against such elements in literature, as long as it is convincingly justified. And here, it is not. It was presented in such a way that I can't imagine any other reason for its presence in the story but author's whim. And a cheap bait, because, hey, maybe the whole thing is a real garbage, but who doesn't want to read a few spicy scenes featuring Cold Sadistic Bastard?

Another feeling I couldn't shake off while reading, is that the whole thing was a crappy fan fiction story. One of the kind where characters are almost comepletely deprived of their original mentality so their course of action could be shaped accordlingly to the plot the author wants to carry out while including her erotic dreams about them.
I've never experienced such a strong impression of Out of Character Behaviour, as reading this book. The peculiar part is it being an original work of ficion.

One thing I regret is that, despite everything, the book really had a potential. It coud've been genuinely dark, engaging story of a young Witch raising to power, of people struggling to gain control over their lives, of cruelty inspired by priviledge and its consequences, all set in a richly pictured, harsh world dominated by women. But for me, it wasn't.

If I really had to recommend it to someone, my best bet would be the darker and more mature part of Twilight fandom, with ability to stomach some sexual controversies. But, seriously, why bother buying such thing when there's pelnty of it on the Web, with more familiar names like, say, Edward?