Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by NYCitygurl, Jun 28, 2007.
While the tone of your review is overall somewhat negative, I suddenly want to read this book.
A lot of the stuff is very foreboding, but too much so. I can probably guess what will happen in the next two books.
I just hope it has more lesbian sex, because that's some of the more interesting stuff
However, on breaking down my first reading of it, I'd probably give it about a 4/10, which is below all the others.
Oh, plus, other than a sycophantic Shahrizai being annoying, there's no mention of algolagnia in the books, which I found really lacking. It's like, the hinge of her "universe".
I picked it up and read it in two sittings, broken up due to the need to raid Ulduar in World of Warcraft. I had picked up her other relatively new book, Santa Olivia, a few weeks ago, and I?m not really enjoying it. Santa Olivia feels like it was plotted and co-written with Stephanie Meyer. Obviously not ? I can?t imagine two authors writing SFF today with more different approaches to relationships in their books (when Meyer?s writes Bella responding to an argument with Edward by hopping into bed with Jacob, Alice and some silk rope, tell me ? I want to read it), but the plotting and sometimes the language used reminds me of Meyers as she was when she wrote The Host.
I can?t help but laugh a little at the thought of Carey and Meyers collaborating.
In any case, I can see where you?re coming from when you say that it felt like things happened to Moirin. To a very real extent, she feels like a spear-carrier more than she does a major player. First in Terre D'Ange, where she wanders through some of Carey?s standard political/romantic plotlines, and then in China where she wanders into a civil war and dynastic struggle. In both cases, she?s there, her presence affects how things fall out, but she doesn?t feel like much more that a catalyst. Events would take place without her, and possibly even take the same form without her in some cases.
In the first trilogy, you had Phedre acting as a spy, detective, diplomat, courtesan, and courtier, and while she didn?t always know what was going on or even have a specific goal in mind, she was always using her mind to unravel what was happening. Even when Phedre was lying around and enjoying herself she was still thinking and puzzling and working out peoples secrets and motives. Imriel was much less passive than Phedre, and going from Imriel?s boldness to Moirin?s lack thereof certainly creates some of the impression of passiveness. Imriel always seemed to be sailing or riding off somewhere to try to accomplish something. Even in the last scenes of the book, where Moirin is gearing up to travel again, she?s being pushed and pulled by events and the people around her.
On a different note: Moirin?s girlfriends are cooler than her boyfriends. Her boyfriends didn?t really interest me. One was a throw-away character, and it was obvious that he?d be thrown away one way or another before he was a page old. The other is a really pale copy of Joscelin Verreuil. One Joscelin was enough, really. Don?t get me wrong, Joscelin is my second favourite character in the series (Imriel somehow become my first, when I don?t know). His replacement uses a different background to provide the same temperament (without so many sexual hang-ups) and the same Warrior-Priest role. Meh. He can get killed by the Mongols for all I care. As I said, I much prefer her girlfriends to her boyfriends.
It?s a difficult book to rate. On the one hand, you have a main character that is really is just a narrator of major events going on around her. Yes, she has her own role and her own powers and such, but she?s not proactive like Phedre or Imriel. On the other hand: people differ. If Carey wrote a trilogy about a person with the same personality as Imriel or Phedre but a different name, that would not have been a good thing either. Note my objections to one character above, for being a carbon-copy of an existing character. While Moirin?s personal story feels bland, she ends up walking through other stories that are very much worth reading. Despite not feeling much for the main character, I can?t deny that I really enjoyed the book.
I?d give it a 7.5/10. Ranking the books in the Terre D?Ange alternate history series from best to worst: Kushiel?s Mercy, Kushiel?s Dart, Naamah?s Kiss, Kushiel?s Justice, Kushiel?s Scion, Kushiel?s Chosen, Kushiel?s Avatar. Failing to create a main character as interesting as Phedre or Imriel, and using a primary romantic interest that?s too close to being Joscelin are the main failings of the book; it?s balanced out by being well plotted, the events themselves work well, and the writin
*quietly flits into the thread*
Ahh...so there is an area that discusses Kushiel's Legacy and Jacqueline Carey as a whole here...can't believe I never thought to look before.
I'll have to be careful in here since I have yet to read Kushiel's Mercy or Naamah's Kiss...but for now I will say, that I love her books. Even the books I like the least of hers so far, are still very good.
Phedre & Imriel for the win.
So, Naamah's Curse is out in a month. And the spoilers seem... dire.
Picking up where Kiss left off, Moirin follows Bao up into Tatar lands only to find that he's now married to the Khan's daughter, who's extremely possessive and tries anything and everything to get Moirin out of the way. It also seems like we're going back to a certain country again, Vralia, which holds some interest to me as I want to see how ben Ximon's descendants are doing whilst waiting for warrior!Jesus to come back. Apparently, Ch'in and Bhodistan get visits too, so hopefully some more hot passionate lesbian sex with Xue Hu.
Reviews I've read rank it as one of the worst of the saga so far though. I find it hard to believe anything could go lower than Avatar, but who knows. This book seems like it'll be the first (and probably only) book in the series with no Terre d'Ange at all, which is sad.
But still, will probably buy.
Hopefully, Bao dies within the first chapter or two and we can get back to lesbian relationships.
Or really, relationships with anyone other than him.
Well, read the first 2/3 of this. Really, really dire. I mean, the Tatar stuff actually wasn't that bad considering what came next (basically a complete rehash of Phedre being betrayed by Melisande, only this time it's to Vralia, where religious fundamentalists exist and seek to make holy war on all heretics...) so yea... Really quite bad, until the return journey up to Nepal where Bao has disappeared to and became a drug addict thinking that Moirin is dead due to her diadh-anam being bound by silver chains...
The writing is pretty bad for Carey. Hell, she even managed to slip in a "cent" (as in, monetary coin)... not sure how she managed that. The stuff in Northern Ch'in with Bao's family is the best of the whole book so far. Really not sure if I even want to finish the damn thing.
Honestly, for the most part, the writing seemed fine to me. It seemed like fairly typical Carey, neither her best nor her worst. There was a certain sameness to it, nothing particularly new in it compared to her previous books. And Bao still does absolutely nothing for me as a character. My hope is that he'll trip and fall and die on the way out of the mountains.
Anyhow, I'm betting that in the next book they go to visit the Maya.
From what you guys are saying, I'm glad I decided against reading these, if the main characters are boring/similar
Hum, curiosity kills the cat. Perhaps I should buy them after all and read them, just to check out if they are really as bad as you people discribe.
I loved the first three Kushiel books and the next three Imri books as well. (We even did buy "Santa Olivia", my husband and I, liking it.)
Maybe borrow them from the library, in case you hate them
I do not think that the local Dutch libery is that good equipped. Perhaps when I move into another Dutch city at one point in the nearby future they might have that.
Or my husband is very generous for Christmas, giving it to himself or to me.
(He reads the 2 triologies now for the 8th time!!!)