I mentioned Anne Bishop’s Twilight’s Dawn in earlier posts, but I don’t think I ever gave a detailed review of it.

It isn’t my favorite in the series, but it’s a solid addition that’s very enjoyable. Written in the same anthology style of Dreams Made Flesh, some of the short stories are more fun than others.

My favorite is “Shades of Honor” – it deals with the fallout with Falonar and gives some more into Surreal’s character. I enjoyed seeing how Lucivar takes to a position of power and how his half-breed status affects his ruling style. We get a little angst from Rainier, but we have Jaenelle and the SaDiablo family to snap him out of it. Their annoyance at Rainier’s stupidity and whineyness tempers my grumpiness. Add to that, that this angst actually provides character growth, so it’s tolerable in that regard as well.

“Winsol Gifts” is pure family fluff and fun. None of Bishop’s usual darkness enters into this story, which means it is easy to dismiss, but it gives a good laugh. Hooray for Sceltie puppies and small Eyrian boys!

“Family” has a lot of potential in that it takes on a lot of Bishop’s signature atmospheric creepiness and echoes some of the old brutality in the original Black Jewels trilogy. Unfortunately, as a short story, the climax feels rushed. I felt, as a reader, that I didn’t get to enjoy the sinister plot and the devilish scheming the way I wanted to.

“High Lord’s Daughter” is the story that a lot of fans objected to. I wasn’t too upset, since Bishop has been hinting at this inevitable end and subsequent pairing for several books now. The story didn’t really come as a surprise to me, so I didn’t feel cheated or upset. While melancholy, it isn’t a depressing story, but like “Family” , it feels vague and rushed.

So, a solid ending to the series (at least, I’m assuming it’s the end, but I could be wrong). I quite enjoyed the first two stories, but the last two disappointed me. Still, it’s worth buying when it comes out in paperback come spring!

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