The Invisible Ring by Anne Bishop
This 2000 novel is the 4th in the ‘Black Jewels’ saga and is a prequel to the first three. This has exposition, historical stasis, villains with zilch self-awareness, internalised misogyny, class betrayal and moral dereliction. The evil Queen dominates with downright malice and her ghastly thug sidekick serves her and her triumphalist myths. The hero Jared is hopelessly ill-informed and boring. Other characters have silly names and the magic system makes no sense. Baddies behave in disgraceful ways and the goodies are mawkishly engineered for maximum sympathy.
The heroine looms. The thug has displays of hauteur and no moral service just loathing, bitterness, regret and an arrogance of power. This is a feeble and largely formulaic novel and the author’s imagined narrative isn’t what she hopes. I don’t care about the rage filled bastards and toxic public mood that fill this tits and turrets S&M magic tale. This is written without any particularly original ideas and the characters are all petulant, blinkered, inflammatory, ill judged and profoundly silly.
“I’m sure it would make him feel better not to have those nasty urges.”
“No man trusts what he fears.”
“Dena Nehele will fall, won’t it?"