The first book in the Black Jewels series. Daemon is a black-jeweled warlord who has been turned into a pleasure slave for the Queens and is biding his time for his true Queen to be born to throw off his shackles. Dorothea is trying to unite all the lands under her influence and is trying to keep Daemon under her control. Jaenelle is a young girl born with extraordinary powers who will be the prophesied Queen and Witch...if she lives long enough and remains undamaged enough to take that mantle. Saetan is Daemon's father, High Priest of Hell, and now the teacher of Jaenelle who managed to find her way into his realm.
I will warn people from the start that there is serious child-abuse in this book. It's not totally graphic but the scenes can be intense and it also deals with the damage to the psyche in some cases as well, if there is a psyche left to be damaged. I understand why it's there but I wish the author had chosen another way to achieve those ends.
Basic fantasy plot with Jewel colors equaling position and power levels. There are a lot of characters to keep track of but so far, they seem fairly formulaic without much depth. It's been intriguing enough that I'll keep reading the next couple since I have them sitting around and we'll see where it goes. Not my favorite first book in a series, not entirely gripped by it, but willing to continue giving it a chance to see if it grows on me.
Page count: 375p/31,614p ytd