Tuesday, March 4

Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop

Today’s review is a buddy review with Kris from the Reading Spot :) So I’d like to thank her very much for accepting to buddy review Tangled Webs with me.

Thanks Kris :)

Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop
published by Roc in March 2008 (Hardcover)

The invitation was signed Jaenelle Angelline, she who had been both Witch and Queen.

It summons her family to an entertainment she has specially prepared. Surreal SaDiablo, the former courtesan and assassin, is the first to arrive. But as she and her escort enter the house, the door disappears. Surreal finds herself trapped in a nightmare created by the tangled webs of Black Widow witches...a nightmare where the monsters are all too real, and if she uses Craft to defend herself, she risks being sealed in the house forever.But Jaenelle did not send the invitation.Now, Jaenelle and her family must rescue Surreal and the others inside without becoming trapped themselves—and they also must discover who created such an evil place, and why. Because there is one thing they all know about this house: no matter who planned it as a way to kill members of the SaDiablo family, only one of the Blood could have created the trap…
Genre: fantasy
Series: The Realm of the Blood series

Nath: First off, I think that the back blurb is a bit too mysterious and misleading… When I first read the synopsis, I thought this book was going to feature Surreal as the main character, but it doesn’t. The main storyline is about Jarvis Jenkell, an author, who thought he was a landen (a human without magic), but discovers that he is actually Blood. Because “the power flows in his veins,” Jarvis starts having disillusions of grandeur and thinks that the Blood should consider him as their peer, although he doesn’t have actual magic. So he writes his own story in a new series of books where the hero discovers that he is Blood. The problem is that Jarvis doesn’t know much about the Blood, all his knowledge being second-hand and stuff that he has heard… and so, the Blood are now laughing at the antics in the books instead of enjoying the storyline or recognizing that Jarvis is modeling the hero after himself.

Vexed that the SaDiablo family has ignored him and that the Blood are laughing at him, he creates a spooky house with the help of three Black Widows and intend to trap Daemon, Surreal and Lucivar in it. However, only Surreal and her escort, Rainier, along with some kids, fall in the trap…

So now, what did we think of it?

Kris: I liked it. Not as much as the trilogy, but it was a nice story.

Nath: I agree with you, Kris. I enjoyed it and thout it was fun to catch up with the characters and all. However, I think that Dreams of Flesh was closure enough for the series/trilogy… and so Tangled Webs is a bit superfluous, especially since it doesn't add much to the series.

Kris: I agree with everything you said the story to me was almost like a really long novella. Most stories in anthologies are stories that are nice to visit but do not usually add anything to the series (i.e. In Death novellas). This felt like one of those. It was nice to visit but nothing extra was really revealed to add to the storyline. I was not as interested with what was going on inside the spooky house as outside the spooky house. I did have quite a few giggles watching the relationships between the characters and control for dominance.

Nath: Same with me. What I liked most about this book was seeing the characters again. I think that Ms Bishop handled that part very well. I had many laugh-out-loud moments and it was just fun :) However, the whole other plotline, i.e. Surreal and Rainier trapped in the spooky house and Daemon having to deal with the villain, that part was just meh.

One fact that I didn’t find realistic though was Lucivar forgetting that he’d be “summoned” by Jaenelle. Sure it was necessary to keep him outside of the house; however, to have him just forget it? Especially since his wife contributed so much to Jaenelle’s spooky house, I thought that it wasn’t in character with him. Also, the whole conflict between Lucivar, Daemon and Saetan where Lucivar feels he’s excluded because he doesn’t enjoy reading and he’s worried that the same will happen to his son in the future, I thought it was a bit forced. As if the author didn’t know what to write to make the book a bit longer, a bit fuller and so she thought up of the conflict.

I also found the whole dominance a bit overdone and overboard.

Kris: I liked the dominance, the ultimate Alpha male. But I think I like it because it is a fantasy and another world. On this world if a man behaved like that I would have issues. I like Alphas but there is a point with me where it is just too much.
I did love the scene with Lucivar and Marian when she became so dominant. And when he was talking with Saetan and asked him how this woman who had a lower jewel than him could make him cringe.

That whole reading thing was kind of out of the blue, but I was okay with it. I could see how it could feel forced.

Nath: So what is your final about this book? I’m giving it a B. Although I found the book superfluous, I really enjoyed revisiting the characters.

Kris: We are pretty much in total agreement about this as well as the grade, I would give it a B as well. It was well written, but like you said superfluous.

Nath: By the way, for those who are interested and are fans of this series, the author plans to write another book in the Realm of the Blood and this time, with new characters we’ve never seen. I have to say, I’m happy that her next book is going to contain new characters, because I don’t think that any future books using the present cast of characters can compare in intensity and storyline with the trilogy. All the characters have settled down, gone on with their lives and Daemon and Jaenelle got their HEA ending. However, I wonder if she should even continue with the Realm of the Blood. After all, the Black Jewels trilogy was intended to be a trilogy. The whole battle is over… I personally don’t want to see all of Jaenelle and Daemon work being destroyed in the future just so a new set of heroes can come and save the day… So perhaps the only option remaining would be to set the book in another kingdom?

PS - I know, I own you guys the Follow-Up Post about the polls. It's coming.

1 comment:

Marg said...

I am very much looking forward to reading this! My favourite Anne Bishop books are definitely the Black Jewels books, although I have liked the other books I have read by her.