I already loved and hated, in some cases these characters They already felt real to me I know some people will read this series and say that some of the characters are without flaws, but I don t care I followed Phedre and Joscelin into the most realized interpretation of Hell I have ever experienced Seriously, as they were traveling there, I had chills and I was shivering When they lived there, I felt so sick I could barely bear to keep reading This particular version of Hell was just a distant country feared by everyone else, but I think it was supposed to represent a Hell on Earth, and it did She went there because she knew her God, Elua, was calling her toI dug the prophet vibe, and I got yet again chills when Carey described the feelings that came over Phedre when she realized what she had to do Its so funny I know, that I found so much religious meaning in a book so full of strange gods.
Anyway, absolutely brilliant end to this trilogy of the series I ended it than half in love with both Phedre and Joscelin, and I dare you to read them and not feel the same.
Not quite a 5 star read but my favorite of the trilogy The writing is nearly superb for most of the book, with so much meaning and depth packed into each sentence, and with every arc that began in the first book coming to a head, there s never a dull moment It s pretty much edge of your seat action for the last 500 pages However, as much as I love this book, there s a good chunk about 300 pages I will never ever read again Ever view spoiler Drujan Darsanga That zenanashuddershide spoiler Although I did enjoy the first two books in this series, it was with a bucket of reservations repetition, overblown language, and inadequate characterization of the supporting characters, which made the impressively plotted political machinations so much less involving.
The third book, however, overturned most of these There is still repetition I will own, if I ever hear that phrase again I will go mad , but the high flown language comes into its own describing the lengthy journey undertaken by Phedre and co The thinly veiled copy of our world almost seems like a whole new fantasy land.
There is some dark unpleasantness in the middle of the book that felt like a step too far for me significantly beyond what occurred in earlier books I didn t like it, but it was somewhat redeemed when it proved to be integral to the plot.
Above all, as other reviewers found, the personal and philosophical nature of this book and the characters motivations made it a much enjoyable read In particular, the development of the relationship between Imriel, Phedre and Joscelin was moving and genuine, and gave a satisfying conclusion to the series.
Carey writes very well Her turns of phrase and choice of imagery are excellent Her command of language is exquisite She tells a deep and detailed story through well imagined characters I have found this true of all her books, and I can readily recommend them to anyone who can enjoy fantastical fiction.
I don t want to spend too long on the whole series, but I haven t written an in depth review of these books yet, so I ll quickly cover the highlights Carey s world is detailed and vibrant, with a rich theological backstory and a history just five degrees off the history with which we are familiar Her main character is a spy, a sexual masochist, and a fate stricken toy of the gods all three aspects reinforce the others As this setup may signify, the stories are rich in political intrigue, the prose is sensual bordering on luxuriant, and the scope of the books is epic.
Occasionally, Carey s turns of phrase will reveal to me the wide eyed fangirl behind the sophisticated writer, and I cherish those moments almost as much as the passages that leave me feeling awe Occasionally, her editor lets a misspelling slip through usually one word where another was meant or a roleplayer s cliche slips out into the ordinarily inventive phrasing In those moments, I feel I know Ms Carey like an old friend.
This book in particular is the culmination of Phedre s story, and it is a fitting swan song for our anguisette The story ranges across the Middle East and Africa, offering looks at several cultures The book comes to climax three times and rides each out gracefully into buildup for the next Each climax is warranted, but having multiples is not entirely without cost.
In some ways, this book feels slightly cramped In certain scenes, the ordinarily sumptuous dialogue and in depth characterization has been elided in favor of advancing the story Here I m thinking primarily of scenes at court in Egypt and Africa much of the journey through Africa seemed to unfold quickly than expected.
Also, in previous volumes, we saw a great deal of Phedre s masochistic sexuality in this volume, we dwell on how awkward it is for her a great deal, but we spend very little time exploring that aspect of her sexuality, and much on her romantic life Where previous volumes read like sensual or erotic fantasy, this volume definitely reads like romantic fantasy I don t begrudge Phedre her love, but it was a different kind of story.
These observations aside, the story was epic and sweeping, the writing as elegant and well tooled as ever, and the characters rich and fascinating Carey s attention to theological detail and delicate touch with myth make this volume almost philosophical intrigue than political, but no less enthralling for that This volume caps off Phedre s story very nicely, a graceful glide into a warm loving glow.
Next to her, of course, her faithful companion following his oath, and he understands that he is guided by similar passions that seem to mirror those of his beloved Phedre is made to love the pain and to find pleasure from it, with trepidation, however, she finds that this passion does not seem to have any limits and that it can get her to enjoy even the most humiliating experiences, her partner, even if he does not want to admit it, he enjoys the pain he causes to his enemies with his fighting skill The pain and the pleasure it causes is once again the issue as our heroine is the victim of the most violent abuse, a question that perhaps causes us a special thought, making us wonder whether a dark part of ourselves enjoys its description.
In these dark depths our heroes are wondering about the role of the gods in all this Where are the gods of light and righteousness where the darkness prevails and the violent people crash bodies and souls Are they willing to intervene decisively and punish what is unfair Difficult questions that do not have a clear answer But is the answer to this, in the end, love Is this their offer and the great weapon they give us to defeat every evil Nevertheless, they have no choice but to deal with the difficult situation in whatever way they can and then try to heal the wounds that this effort will cause them.
As you understand, to write like this, it means that this third book has a special force within it, capable of making you excited, troubled in general before giving you a glimpse of light That is, to let me have the same impressions as the previous two The only problem is that I feel it reaches its climax too early, so the continuation seems rather subdued, as if the writer is left out of ideas, which somewhat spoils the excellent impressions I get to the middle In the end, however, we understand that she still has an ace in her sleeve that plays it creating a touching finale that puts the crown in this excellent trilogy, recapping all its meaning.
To summarize, after reading the third book, I can say that this is one of the best fantasy trilogies I have ever read Anything we can ask from its genre is in it as well as much that I would need many pages to describe What will most be left to me is of course our beloved Phedre, one of the most special heroines that have been created A beautiful woman, both internally and externally, strong and determined in the difficult situations but also very sensitive, a creature that despite everything that she suffers she still has love for the others as her motive Above all, however, she is a heroine that is not perfect, having her own weaknesses and her own personal demons that perhaps resemble ours I say goodbye to her with regret but from what I always understand she is somewhere around is on the land of the Angels.
Of course, another element that remains is the imaginary world the author creates While it is basically just the world we live in, the author recreates it in such a way that it remains familiar but at the same time it is completely deferent she takes elements from many civilizations and many different eras, from antiquity to the very present day, adding her own completely imaginary elements, making us go through a charming journey to human history, to culture to different religions.
But the element that makes the big difference is Jacqueline Carey s amazing writing It is so beautiful, so poetic when it should, shows such sensitivity, she knits words so exceptionally, she creates so many images and so many emotions that it is difficult in the end not to feel moved There are, of course, many erotic scenes that some may also use as an argument against the books, but they are written in such a beautiful way, with the absence of any kind of vulgarity and many of them are literary jewels But even in the most difficult situations, where she has to show the pain of the heroine and her sufferings, the beauty of writing remains Interesting is also the way she is narrating the battles, by reading you feel like being descriptions of dance than of bloody fighting So at the end without a trace of exaggeration I can say that in this field is one of the best writers I have read.
To finish my comment, with every reservation for those who may be shocked by sadomasochism, I recommend most people to grab these books, overcoming any prejudices, so that they can get to know a writer whose value I believe exceeds narrow boundaries of fantasy literature Kushiel , Jacqueline Carey ,.
As I finish this trilogy for the second time, I am no kidding hugging the book to my chest and willing for Ph dre s story to continue That is how much I love Kushiel s Legacy How do I describe my love for these books Is it Ph dre s courage, to falter at no boundaries in order to achieve what she believes in Or Joscelin s faith, to putting it simply protect and serve Maybe it is that without a doubt, I would drop everything in a heartbeat to take up residence in Terre d Ange and follow Blessed Elua Whatever it is, these books make me think, they make me believe I love them for it.
Of course, these books are not without their flaws Carey is a rambler She goes off track times than I ever bothered to count She repeats the same thoughts over and over until you just want to scream, You know what WE GET IT There are points in Ph dre s journey where I could seriously fall asleep I cannot stand her continual musings of Hyacinthe, and how she always ponders what would have happened between them, as though Joscelin could be so easily discarded And yet And yet at the end of the day, despite its flaws, it is a brilliant story, an epic journey across lands and seas to save a friend, a traitor s get, and a country fit for angels Kushiel s Avatar is the darkest novel to date, pushing all characters beyond what they thought was their limit Even Melisande, who we always believed indestructible, displays her one weakness love for her son And that s what these books are all about At the centre of this book no, of this legacy lies one meaning, and one meaning only Love In all its forms, in all that it encompasses, nothing is greater or profound Love as thou wilt, is Blessed Elua s precept Love for a friend, or a lover a son, a country, a people, a patron Love within light, and love within hate It is all we need in the end, and maybe that is why I adore these books so much For such a complex series, the legacy is so simple On a completely unrelated and very foreshadowing note fucking Carthage I realised that whenever I turned to the map at the front of the book, seeing Carthage just made my blood boil It freaking takes up 2 3s of the map It was totally leering at me in all its ominousness hahaha However, I cannot wait to get into Imriel s trilogy again It s hard to stay away from these characters for too long that is how much I love them I miss them too much when they re not running amuck in my head.
The Land Of Terre D Ange Is A Place Of Unsurpassed Beauty And Grace It S Inhabited By The Race That Rose From The Seed Of Angels, And They Live By One Simple Rule Love As Thou Wilt Ph Dre N Delaunay Was Sold Into Indentured Servitude As A Child Her Bond Was Purchased By A Nobleman Who Recognized That She Was Pricked By Kushiel S Dart, Chosen To Forever Experience Pain And Pleasure As One Ph Dre S Path Has Been Strange And Dangerous She Has Lain With Princes And Pirate Kings, Battled A Wicked Temptress, And Saved Two Nations Through It All, The Devoted Swordsman Joscelin Has Been At Her Side, Following The Central Precept Of The Angel Cassiel Protect And Serve But Ph Dre S Plans Will Put His Pledge To The Test, For She Has Never Forgotten Her Childhood Friend Hyacinthe She Has Spent Ten Long Years Searching For The Key To Free Him From His Eternal Indenture To The Master Of Straights, A Bargain With The Gods To Save Ph Dre And A Nation The Search Will Take Ph Dre And Joscelin Across The World And Down A Fabled River To A Forgotten Land And To A Power So Intense And Mysterious, None Dare Speak Its Name A powerful conclusion to this epic trilogy It got very dark in the middle, so much so that I did put it down for a while, but i m so glad I continued Carey s writing is so beautiful it brought me to tears at the end Such friendship, such tragedy and yet such joy to be had Everything about this trilogy is bittersweet and all the emotionally powerful for it The characters are so well developed and remain true to their histories throughout, shaped and destroyed by the events that unfold Joscelin Joscelin is my favourite The world, religions and mythology are excellently crafted and I loved visiting Egypt, Venice, Cyprus, Croatia, among others , and how the separate mythologies we know today intertwined in this story and came to this beautiful conclusion Very good Further adventures of fantasy France s most beautiful traveling courtesan who is marked by the gods to have a lot of kinky sex.
I have a lot of thoughts about this series suddenly Funny, since in the past it was my go to law school exams reading choice.
Thing 1 I really like how this series talks about women s power political, sexual, subversive And how the thrust of the whole thing revolves around the love hate of two extraordinary and powerful women How often do you see that Thing 2 The shape of the book is a bit something It can best be summarized as our heroine travels to an isolated place and frees the people there by being braver or smarter or specialer than they are This was pretty interesting when she was lifting the harem of a psychopath into revolt A lot less interesting and a lot eyebrow raising when she starts doing it to other cultures.
Thing 3 It s funny just how unengaging I found so much of this Heroine is literally marked by a god to suffer, to be able to bear it so other people don t have to It s a literalization of the implicit shape of a lot of epic fantasy, and of course a pretty good metaphor for the relationship of writer to character You, my creation, carry this hurt, walk this dark path so I don t have to Yeah, I ve written that And I should like it, but I just eh Tepid Perhaps it s too literal How can a series with prose this purple and a premise this absurd be so gripping All three of these books have kept me up reading late into the night Purple or no, Carey s writing is engaging and somehow I completely buy into the idea that a prostitute with a heart of gold can use her astonishing beauty and hardcore masochism to save the world.
In this conclusion to the trilogy, Ph dre seeks nothing less than the Name of God, which she needs to free her friend who was trapped on an island by an angry angel in the first book She travels the world looking for it a significant part of these books is travelogue, giving us a glance at Carey s intriguing alternate history and along the way she undertakes to rescue the child of her greatest enemy.
The section in the middle where she s imprisoned in the hellish harem is absolutely nauseating, and I m grateful the author skimmed over most of the details.
The next trilogy focuses on the rescued child, Imriel, and I hope those books are as good as these first three.