Anne Bishop plunged into dark fantasy with her first book, Daughter of the Blood. She described a world where Blood Witches have always ruled, drawing males to their courts through seductive power. An ambitious High Priestess destroys more powerful females before maturity and has enslaved the strongest males, weakening magic and corrupting natural bonds between men and women. Sexual violence permeates Terreille. Jaenelle, born to be Queen, is vulnerable until adulthood. Though guarded by male Warlord Princes, Jaenelle is violated. Daemon, her destined Consort, rescues her but is convinced he attacked her and goes mad.
In Heir to the Shadows, Jaenelle's vampiric, adoptive father, Saetan, and her foster-family of demons shelter her. To restore her memory and emotional balance, they move to Kaeleer, where Jaenelle befriends the kindred--animals with magical and communicative powers--and gathers a circle of young Queens. She also heals Lucivar, Daemon's half-brother, who offers a brother's love and a warrior's fealty. As she recovers strength and memory, Jaenelle resolves to restore Daemon and cleanse Terreille.
Bishop subverts readers' expectations; the "darkest" powers reside in virtuous characters, demons and vampires are kindly, and Jaenelle's adolescence is more comically normal than horrific. Her vibrant characters and descriptions will keep readers hooked, anxiously awaiting what promises to be a riveting conclusion. --Nona Vero [via]