Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey

Naamah's Blessing (Kushiel's Legacy)
Naamah's Blessing is the final volume in the trilogy of books about Moirin that began in
Naamah's Kiss and Naamah's Curse. Moirin and Bao, her Chi'in husband, arrive back in Terre d'Ange after their long journeys through Chi'in and Vralia, hoping perhaps to resume a quiet life in the capitol. They find that the crown prince, Thierry, has led an expedition to Terra Nova (analogous to The New World in our reality), to establish trade with the natives there, rivaling the missions of the Aragonians there. King Daniel is still grieving Jehane, who died birthing their daughter, Desiree, and doesn't spend much time with his daughter, as it brings back too many painful memories for him. He beseeches Moirin to become the girls oath-sworn protector, for the sake of Moirin's love for Jehane, for whom the girl is a near double (tho much younger, of course).

I can't recall, from the first novel in the series, whether Daniel was a weak person to
begin with or not, but he's not portrayed well here. When Thierry's expedition returns
without Thierry, reporting that he has been lost and perished in the jungles of Terra Nova,
Daniel takes his own life, leaving Moirin and Bao to deal with the ensuing chaos. One of
Daniel's chief counselors, Duc Rogier, assumes the regency, and his family begins to scheme
to betroth Desiree to his son, Tristan.

Moirin has a dream/vision about Jehane, who is caught between the world of the living and
the world of the dead, who reveals to her that Thierry is still alive, and that Moirin is
the one chosen by the gods to find him and return him to Terre d'Ange. Some sleight of hand
ensues as Moirin and her unlikely allies manipulate things so that Rogier must endorse the
mission, and eventually they set sail for strange lands once more.

As we've come to expect from Carey, there are plenty of very difficult and dangerous
situations which Moirin and her crew encounter and conquer. The novel contains an
interesting take on the practice of human sacrifice, as practiced by the peoples of Central Nova. Again, Moirin and Bao's struggles and sacrifices are moving, and
many of the descriptive passages about their travels and encounters with the natives and the
wildlife are very moving.

The only downside is that this book finishes off the Moirin saga, and I'm afraid that we'll
have to come to know and love a different hero or heroine when she returns to Terre d'Ange
once more.

No comments: