Monday, September 8, 2008

Kushiel's Mercy by Jacqueline Carey

I really shouldn't even be bothering to review this book, as I am in no way objective about this series, but oh well. I love the Kushiel's legacy series by Carey. I spent my birthday reading this book, and I consider that a day very well spent. The world of Terre D'Ange is just so easy to immerse yourself in, and the story moves at a pace that drives you to keep reading no matter what. This is the sixth book that takes place in this alternate Earth that Carey has created. The main character, Imriel, has come clean about his love for the Princess Sidonie, but in order to prove that his love is true, he must bring his traitorous mother to justice. He is foiled by a plot to rip the country apart when magic makes all of those in the city forget about his betrothal and promise. They now believe that Sidonie was betrothed to the general of Carthage, whom she marries, causing Terre D'Ange to break one of its most important political alliances. Civil war threatens, as those who were not in the city when the magic was done can not understand why the Queen is making the decisions the way she is. And only Imriel's mother can help him undo the curse and bring Sidonie back.
Describing the plot of the book is entertaining, as it sounds a little bit ridiculous, but I suppose it is a fantasy. Terre D'Ange is a country ruled by the precept, given to them by their God Elua, "Love as thou wilt". All love is considered sacred, and by extension, so is every sexual encounter. Courtesans are held in very high regard as a result. A warning to any who would read these, especially the first three books in the series: the sex is described fairly graphically, and there are instances of sado-masichism as well, that Carey is not afraid to delve into. I wish that I was able to recommend these books more freely, because they are tremendously beautiful and engrossing, but the erotica aspect makes that difficult. But if you can enjoy that aspect of it, or at least get through it, then this is definitely worth the read.

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