The Queen's Bargain
POWER HAS A PRICE. SO DOES LOVE.
Return to the dark, sensual, and powerful world of the Black Jewels in this long-awaited new story in the New York Times bestselling fantasy saga.
After a youthful mistake, Lord Dillon's reputation is in tatters, leaving him vulnerable to aristo girls looking for a bit of fun. To restore his reputation and honor, he needs a handfast--a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young Eyrien witch from Ebon Rih, who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian's true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih.
Meanwhile, Surreal SaDiablo's marriage is crumbling. Daemon Sadi, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, recognizes there is something wrong between him and Surreal, but he doesn't realize that his attempt to suppress his own nature in order to spare his wife is causing his mind to splinter. To save Daemon, and the Realm of Kaeleer if he breaks, help must be sought from someone who no longer exists in any of the Realms--the only Queen powerful enough to control Daemon Sadi. The Queen known as Witch.
As Jillian rides the winds of first love with Dillon, Daemon and Surreal struggle to survive the wounds of a marriage turned stormy--and Lucivar has to find a way to keep everyone in his family safe...even from each other.
Bishop revisits her Black Jewels romantic fantasy series almost a decade after Twilight's Dawn with this erotically charged but unremarkable 10th installment, which reads primarily as setup for future works. Lord Dillon falls victim to a love spell cast by a woman named Blyte, who uses the enchantment to manipulate Dillon into sexual favors and tarnish his reputation. Blyte's father pays Dillon to leave town, but gossip travels with him, and aristocratic girls see him as easy prey: "That one can't keep his trousers zipped. He'll give anyone a ride." Desperate to salvage his good name, Dillon uses the same love spell on the witch Jillian, intending to marry her but he doesn't know she's protected by powerful connections, among them her uncle, Warlord Prince Daemon. For his part, Daemon has lost control of his ability to rein in the supernaturally enhanced sexual heat he gives off, putting both his wife and the entire realm of Kaeleer in danger. The actual stakes don't emerge until late in the plot, but the slow-burn buildup pays off with a stirring conclusion that paves the way for a dramatic sequel. Returning readers will be excited to learn what's next for the people of Kaeleer.