Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kushiel's Justice; Jacqueline Carey

This is the second in Jacqueline Carey's new Terre d'Ange series. I read the first first book, Kushiel's Scion, here. Carey's gifts are showcased in epic fantasy and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent reading this. Now I have to wait until next year for the next one. *SOB*

Imriel and his distant cousin Sidonie, who also happens to be the kingdom's heir apparent, have fallen headlong, passionately in love. Trouble is, Imriel's family history and his cousin's political heritage clash violently. Sidonie is under age when this whole thing begins, and besides- her mother is not likely to ever approve. Officially or unofficially.

Ms. Carey offers a unique and insightful look at dynastic marriages, one I came to appreciate after some intial scepticism. If one is raised from earliest childhood to understand that marriage has everything to do with politics, land, money or alliances then personal feelings, attraction, and mushy bullshit like love, lust and passion are totally irrelevant. And dangerous. Two total strangers are united into one of the most intimate relationships humans can create. This breeds insight and a certain level of perceptiveness that would unnerve most of us.

Toss into the mix a religion that teaches one and all, "Love as thou wilt." What are the consequences of disobeying this precept? Even if there are, seemingly, good and defensible arguments for said disobediance? Can your gods follow you across oceans? Hear the anguish in your heart when you most need to be heard? What about a faith practice resulting in believers who think they can see the future? A religion that engenders in its followers a belief that only they can see and preserve the future of an entire island? Hubris much anyone? And we all know pride goeth before a fall.

Kushiel's Justice has it all: lust, intrigue, enchantment, ritual, hot sex, political intrigue, religion, cross continent adventures, vengeance. The soul deep satisfaction of knowing you've found your soul mate. And what about Imriel's long vanished, much vilified mother Melisande? Who manages to rescue Imriel's sorry ass way the hell up in what on our maps would be Russia. Where does she come into this? Read KJ and find out!

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