Daughter of the Blood; Heir to the Shadows; Queen of the Darkness (Anne Bishop) 2*

Why did I read these? People are either good or bad. All animals are good! Bad people have lots of nonconsensual sex but good people make love offstage. Everything “bad” (demons, hell, darkness) is good, and Saetan is an exasperated, loving father. The worldbuilding is nonsensical and puppet shows have more plot. Anne Bishop has built an entire franchise on two good characters.

The abrupt writing made more sense after I noticed that Anne Bishop is a storyteller by profession. The repetitive hooks (“lazy, arrogant smile,” “midnight voice”) and one-note characters clearly come from an oral tradition. Still, it’s not exactly rosy-fingered dawn on the wine-dark seas. I find this series inspirational in the manner that in-flight magazines and Good Will Hunting are inspirational. It really gives the sense that anyone can make it.

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