DREAMS MADE FLESH by Anne Bishop was very good. It is made up of four stories set in her Black Jewels world. They were wonderful--I stayed up all night to finish them. Two of the stories are quite short and deal with some of the history of the world she created. Two of the stories are almost novel length and definitely count as SFR. "The Prince of Ebon Rih" is the story of Lucivar's courtship of Marian and fills in a gap between books 2 and 3 of the Black Jewels trilogy. The last story, "Kaeleer's Heart, tells what happens to Jaenelle and Daemon after the ending of QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS. Both stories are very passionate and had me riveted. This book is a definite recommend, and if you liked the trilogy, worth the trade paperback price. It goes on my keeper shelf.--Shelley (13 Jan 05)
DREAMS MADE FLESH is four stories of various lengths, but let's face it, most of us are reading it for the two longer stories: the Marian/Lucivar courtship story and the epilogue of the Daemon/Jaenelle story. Bottom line: the stories are OK-to-good, with problems, on their own but are absolute must-reads for anyone who's a fan of the Black Jewels Trilogy. A big thank you to Anne Bishop for gifting fans with two hot, sexy, funny (not to mention dark) stories about Daemon and Lucivar that tie up loose ends from the Black Jewels Trilogy. A lot of authors wouldn't have bothered.
My three huge, major problems with the Lucivar and Daemon stories are the following:
1.) Immature, selfish, covetous women as villains got old real fast. Going from a Dorothea or a Hekatah to these minor witches as villains was anti-climactic. These bad girls regretably weakened the power of both stories, which would have been better served not to have such pettiness demonized to villainy.
2.) Is it possible for Daemon to seem like a complete joke? Yes, it can. Daemon, we all know that you're too sexy for your shirt, so sexy you hurt. And powerful. Now stop acting like such a tool with the icy rage.
3.) And did I mention constant repetition, constant repetition, constant repetition? Midnight voice, anyone? Crooning, anyone? The multiple scenes of characters struck with terror when they realize they've been messing with the wrong overly-power-laden hero/heroine getting old to anyone? And, heck, if I never saw the words "dreams made flesh" again....
Unlike with the original Black Jewels Trilogy, where I was utterly absorbed in the narrative, I was often tempted to snicker or roll my eyes at scenes in "Kaeleer's Heart, Daemon's and Jaenelle's story, in DREAMS MADE FLESH.
4.) Lucivar's rut-fest was amusing, but edged from sexiness into silliness for me. But this was a minor point in a generally good story.
WHAT I LIKED:<
1.) Lucivar and Marian's story was genuinely funny and moving. Bishop has a real gift for humor that I've never seen displayed to such an extent as here. The romance was sweet and sexy at the same time. Besides the one aforementioned "rut" scene, I thought "The Prince of Ebon Rih" was terrific. I only wished there had been a scene of Marian flying because the story arc her damaged wings didn't have the payoff I was expecting.
2.) Jaenelle is made into a reasonably-powered character, which was nice to see as I'm sick of all the all-powerful types in fantasy literature. The fact that Daemon can outlive Jaenelle by thousands of years was avoided, but that's such a downer, I'm not surprised it didn't have a place in a story about Daemon and Jaenelle's love being cemented in the aftermath of years of turmoil.
3.) Despite my problems with some aspects of the stories, the thrilling romances of two really sexy guys are really the star attraction, and on that level, DREAMS MADE FLESH delivered handsomely. Anne Bishop wrote some hot, hot scenes for our lovers. (The stories that showed the creation of the first Blood creature and the other about a turning point in Saeten's history were fine, but not why I'm reading this collection.)
And hey, despite, everything I say I didn't like about DREAMS MADE FLESH, I immediately re-read the book upon finishing it, then skimmed/read the Black Jewels Trilogy again, and then read DREAMS MADE FLESH a third time. That's the power of Daemon for you.--Preeti (30 Jan 05)