I just read this book.
And you guys.
It is Anne Bishop fanfic. Unequivocally! Terms and social structures are duplicated!
Lisa is a nurse at a New York hospital who has magic diagnostic powers – she only needs to touch a patient to know what is wrong with him/her! Obviously we must first see her doing this to a cute child. But within two pages, a man checks into her ward and immediately uses his magical powers to “touch her like a lover’s invisible fingers, stirring foreign urges and feelings within her that she had never felt before!” He’s bleeding all over the place at the time, but it’s cool – one of those feelings within her is bloodlust.
His name is Gryphon (excellent.) and he is on the run from the evil Mona Sera, his Queen, whom he serves because it is the natural order of things for men to serve the women who are born with the magical powers that make them Queens. If you are descended from the moon people, which he is. Turns out, Lisa is three-quarters moon person herself! In fact, she is the very first half-breed Queen ever! And could she also be… the most powerful Queen ever?! (Obviously yes.) Gryphon vows to serve her, and she vows to fix his evil-rape-y society – if they can find a cure for the poison that will kill him within 30 days!
Please assume that I got all these exclamation points directly from the book.
Incidentally, all of the moon people are combination werecreature-vampires, but Gryphon doesn’t actually transform into a griffin. I consider this cheating and will be be writing the author to complain.
So we have a matriarchal society ruled by Queens, and the society used to be very nice and pleasant, but evil Queens have turned it all rape-y and sex-slave-y! Exactly like in Black Jewels! (Except how everyone is additionally a werecreature-vampire from the moon.) Men are sold to Queens at trade fairs, just like in Black Jewels! There are Demon Dead who live in Hell and drink blood, who are exactly like the Demon Dead who live in Hell and drink blood in Black Jewels!
There are even characters named Janelle and Tersa! (Though not in the same roles.) Some of the other names – like, say, Gryphon, Amber, and Chameleo – appear to have come out of a similar random-name generator to the one that gave us “Surreal.” And in case you were wondering about the book’s sexy Prince of Hell status: this book contains a sexy Prince of Hell. His name is Halcyon. This is very disappointing. I want a “Don’t blame me, I voted Saetan SaDiablo” bumper sticker.
On the differences side: the sex scenes are a lot more graphic and frequent. A lot. So, that’s new! Sex involves “filling [your partner] with light,” which gives people magical powers and heals wounds and stuff, so that it is Lisa’s duty to sleep with all the hot guys surrounding her.
Also, there’s the present-day-US setting – the evil Queen Mona Sera lives in Queens, which is obviously a fabulous thing. Except the author got sick of New York pretty quick and moved everyone to a sketchily-described palace that the magical people have in a forest someplace. The second book, which I am going to acquire as soon as possible, is apparently going to be set in New Orleans. Pre-Katrina Anne Rice-ish New Orleans, I guess? We’ll find out.
If you are not yet decided as to whether you want to read this excellent book, please know that Bertrice Small and Patricia Briggs both wrote blurbs for it. Hopefully that cleared everything up for you.