Review of THE INVISIBLE RING by ANNE BISHOP
(fourth in THE BLACK JEWELS series)
For everyone who finished THE BLACK JEWELS trilogy with that bittersweet emotion the best writers evoke - wonderful story…but I wasn’t ready to leave - you don’t need to say goodbye to that world yet! This prequel can be read without reading the original trilogy, but why would you skip the original trilogy? It’s incredible!
While I loved this prequel, I did catch a sniff of cheesiness on occasion that I never noticed with the trilogy. Acute readers will guess the secret behind the invisible ring upon its first mention or soon after, and it’s a bit of a groaner. However, Bishop still makes the emotions behind that twist so sharp that I’m willing to forgive a slight predictable and saccharine taste.
I enjoyed the villain in THE INVISIBLE RING better than the original trilogy. Technically, Dorothea is still the villain, and one that does indeed make me shudder. However, she never reveals a single sliver of light. Vicious villains have their place in stories, but I’m always impressed by bad guys who might be good in their own tragic tale. We find that struggle in Lord Krelis. One can argue that he has a darker nature than our “good” characters, but poor fortune and cruel choices lured any sinister traits to the forefront of his personality. He had a sense of honor once, but when he saw what happens to men of honor in this harsh, twisted society, he decided honor no longer had a place in his life.
Bishop possesses numerous strengths as a writer, including character development, but now I want to talk about pace. Her books always grip me tight from start to finish and she knows exactly how to build the tension towards a brilliant showdown. THE INVISIBLE RING is no exception.