Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Dreams Made Flesh Dreams Made Flesh
by Anne Bishop
Harper Voyager

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Katie Boyle

This blurb on the back of this book describes it as "four revelatory adventures of Jaenelle and her kindred…" It is, in fact, bits and pieces that presumably fill in some back story to Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy and shows the life of the (I think) protagonist after the finish of the trilogy.

The first and third stories are unremarkable, typical fantasy fare.

Both the second story and fourth story are really novellas or short novels, romances with a suspense story grafted on. I read lots of Mills and Boons, and these were strongly reminiscent of them – except the characters weren’t quite as realistic. I enjoyed them as I enjoy a typical Mills and Boon. The suspense element in the two stories is exactly the same, and I did wonder whether the author couldn’t have spent the time to come up with something a little different.

The world portrayed in these stories is a curious mix of things directly from our society (manicures and pedicures, water taps) and more typical fantasy elements (rooms heated by heat spells or fireplaces). Perhaps the trilogy gives some logic behind the world creation, but it wasn’t obvious to me, and I found it a bit annoying.

The main characters in the stories are warlords with magical powers. They are puissant warriors, with a precarious rein on their tempers and the ability to destroy things and people without mercy or regret. The descriptions of the warlords show great admiration for them and their abilities, and the stories put them in situations where they react with extreme violence in protection of their own. The point of these violent and savage actions is, unfortunately, unclear. Perhaps if the stories were read in conjunction with the trilogy they would be more meaningful.

I enjoyed the stories more than I expected to, and would consider borrowing or buying more of Bishop’s books.

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