Naamah's Kiss by Jacqueline Carey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've read the original Kushiel trilogy three times, but haven't been able to finish the last book in the series involving Imriel de la Courcel. I've had Namaah's Kiss sitting beside my bed for well over a year and finally decided to pick it up and was instantly swept back into that world. Carey's writing is so elegant and her ability to paint a picture with her words is undeniable. Of course, I could be biased because I already know the world and most of its history, but I don't believe a new comer would be lost.
This trilogy begins many generations after the events of the last six books, which makes it a refreshing return for me. The histories of many events and people are often mentioned, but only in a way to quietly remind old readers and to subtly inspire new ones to seek them in their entirety.
Once again, we have a main character, Moirin, who is an outcast, but unlike Phedre and Imriel in the past, she is not a victim. She has grown up knowing unconditional love, which serves to guide her in finding her destiny as much as the various gods of her heritage do.
The blurb for this is misleading. It implies great adventure, but in fact, Moirin does not embark on the mage/warrior-princess/dragon-filled epic until almost 500 pages in. That leaves 500 pages where Carey artfully defines her character and all the intricate relationships and political intrigue of Terre D'Ange.
When it comes time to depart for Ch'in, the departure is just as jarring for the reader as it is for Moirin. Here it was a slightly less compelling read because of this, perhaps. Whereas with Kushiel's Dart, the heroine's journey climaxes in a war where we already know the setting and the people, here, it is slightly more difficult to appreciate these new characters and what is at stake.
Still, despite a somewhat disappointing ending because of the disconnect, it is still enough to entice me to read on...
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