cover image The Shadow Queen: A Black Jewels Novel

The Shadow Queen: A Black Jewels Novel

Anne Bishop, . . Roc, $24.95 (429pp) ISBN 978-0-451-46254-1

Bishop's capable seventh Black Jewels fantasy soap opera installment (after 2008's Tangled Webs ) surges with spellcraft and engaging romance. The former queen of Bhak is now just plain Lady Cassidy from Dharo, since her entire court resigned to go serve prettier, better-connected Lady Kermilla. Warlord Prince Theran Grayhaven seeks a partner to help him restore his family's land after a violent uprising. With the help of the High Prince of Hell, he finds Cassidy, whose friends encourage her to accept his proposal and return to being a queen. All seems well until the pair run into compatibility problems, and Cassidy meets a mysterious gardener who calls to her heart. Bishop's epic has a complex history and will best be appreciated by readers familiar with earlier books. (Mar.)