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Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop
Review by Madeleine Yeh
Roc Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0451460138
Date: 30 January, 2005 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Anne Bishop created a very interesting world, which had most of the stereotypes inside out and upside down. The three books in the trilogy, Daughter of the Blood, Heir to Shadows, and Queen of Darkness were very, very good in a grim way. The bad guys were totally evil: wicked and vicious and dangerous; and the good guys were more dangerous, but hard pressed to fight the evil hordes. In Dreams Made Flesh she returns us to this world and fleshes out these stories in ways that will delight her fans; though they may not have quite enough background for newcomers to her realm.

The first story ?Weaver of Dreams? is a very short story set back in the ancient prehistory of the universe, before the first of the kindred appeared, when all the people and animals were mundane. In this story a small spider has her first encounter with magic.

The second story ?The Prince of Ebon Rih? is actually set in the three year interlude between the second and third books. Marian, a low powered witch whose specialty is housework, finds herself stranded in a strange world and employed as a housekeeper by Lucivar Yaslana, a legendary figure known for his power, his temper, and his violence. This is a fairly peaceful episode in a history which had careened from one major crisis to another.

The third story ?Zuulaman? is set some three or four thousand years before the Black Jewels Trilogy. It's a story about Saetan SaDiablo when he was still a living man, the doting father of two young sons, looking forward to the birth of a third.

The last story ?Kaeleer?s Heart? is set just after the end of Queen of Darkness. Jaenelle had purged the evil from the Blood, but had destroyed her magical powers and nearly killed herself doing so. Now after a long slow recovery she is a feeble invalid with little magic, and her family and her lover are greatly distressed. The author tries to give the story some tension by throwing in a pair of minor villains. This doesn?t work very well. The heroes have just successfully waged war against two powerful women of great experience and ruthlessness and cruelty, who led an entire world of powerful trained and experienced magic users, who wanted to conquer our heroes? world. Now the heroes are faced with a young witch of very little power, who has the aid of a few feckless friends, and who has conceived a silly romantic obsession with Daemon. It?s like watching a wolf eating a mouse. While I greatly enjoyed the epilogue to Queen of Darkness; it can be summarized as ?and they lived happily ever after?.

I was very happy to get this book, and I think any of Anne Bishop?s fans would also be overjoyed to find it. However these stories don?t stand alone, they are simply ornaments on her Black Jewels Trilogy. Reading these stories made me go back and reread the original books, which is a mark of a successful sequel. The stories are carefully written with lovely language and great characterization and humor. The stories might be unnecessary fluff, but its very enjoyable fluff.

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