I picked up the book tentatively. This was the moment I had been waiting months and months for (ever since I emailed the author, and she told me there was one more book coming), and yet I couldn't bring myself to open the pages. Why? Because I accidentally read some reviews/spoilers for this long anticipated book by Anne Bishop, 'Twilight's Dawn'. Some readers expressed disappointment, whilst others stated that they were content. Hence my hesitiation at beginning the reading of this book.
Image taken from AnneBishop.com
Taking a deep breath, I opened to the first page and began reading. Big mistake. Not beacuse it wasn't good, but because I was so enthralled that I couldn't compel myself to put the book down. My boyfriend came and went, I barely noticed. My cats sat outside my locked bedroom meowing, I didn't hear them. I was deeply, thoroughly engrossed by the first three of the four novellas in the book 'Twilight's Dawn'.
The first novella, 'Winsol Gifts', made me giggle, and I felt the contentment of being a part of a happy, loving family.
The second novella, 'Shades of Honor', made me tut at the folly of others, and feel at peace with some questions I had previously had that were bugging me.
The third novella, 'Family', made me cry and feel sick to the stomach from the cruelty of others. I felt justice was swift and complete.
It is here that I paused and walked away from the book for an evening. None of the reviews I have read had said anything negative about the first three novellas. It was the fourth they had problems with, and I was not sure I could face it. I have fallen in love with all of the characters from the Black Jewels Saga, and I didn't want my ideals to be quashed by the ending to end all endings. Like a coward I ran away.
The following afternoon I locked my boyfriend and two cats out of the bedroom again, switched off my phone, and turned to the fourth novella, 'The High Lord's Daughter'. Weird but true - I felt nervous - and would have ripped the head off anyone who dared to distract me at this moment. I read. And I read. And I read.
And I put the book down. And I smiled. A wave of contentment washed over me and I felt at peace. The story line made sense to me. The webs that were subtly woven so early on in the series came to a point, and I felt a sense of rightness, not the wrongness I had read in the review.
With a huge grin on my face, I left the sanctuary of me bedroom, walked up to my boyfriend and hugged him.
"All is good," I said. "It was a beautiful way to end the saga."
And it was. Anne Bishop is a true literary genius. Here is someone who knows her characters inside and out, and who lovingly follows alongside them as they make their life-journeys. I almost feel as if the writer had no choice in the ending - it felt like a natural progression of events that the characters had to follow to stay true to their natures.
So, thankyou, Anne Bishop. You have made a young woman very happy.