After a year abroad to study at university, Imriel returns from his adventures a little older and somewhat wiser. But perhaps not wise enough. What was once a mere spark of interest between himself and his cousin Sidonie now ignites into a white-hot blaze. But from commoner to peer, the whole realm would recoil from any alliance between Sidonie, heir to the throne, and Imriel, who bears the stigma of his mother's misdeeds and betrayals. Praying that their passion will peak and fade, Imriel and Sidonie embark on an intense, secret affair.
Blessed Elua founded Terre d'Ange and bestowed one simple precept to guide his people: Love as thou wilt. When duty calls, Imriel honors his role as a member of the royal family by leaving to marry a lovely, if merely sweet, Alban princess. By choosing duty over love, Imriel and Sidonie may have unwittingly trespassed against Elua's law. But when dark powers in Alba, who fear an invasion by Terre d'Ange, seek to use the lovers' passion to bind Imriel, the gods themselves take notice.
Before the end, Kushiel's justice will be felt in heaven and on earth.
©2008 Jacqueline Carey; (P)2009 Tantor
"Superbly crafted...unforgettable.... Highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Another stunner in the Kushiel series." (Booklist)
I have read all the books preceding to this one. Carey is a detailed author so if at this point you haven't found that out or this is your first - beware. The story does not reveal itself in an hour and end in the next.
Carey weaves intricate lines of lineage, history, and associations to create another masterpiece.
The sensuality, the adventure, and dedication was wonderful. I felt like the listener literally grew up a little more with each of Imriel's years and experiences. I did also enjoy Simon Vance - just wait till Kushiel's Mercy to see his talent bloom even more.
Justice is a good book, but there is very little of some of the characters I loved from the last book. There are some new, good characters though. This is not the best written book I've ever read and it drags a bit at times. Plus, the lead can be so whiney. Yes, you're a tragicly tortured boy... we get it. Despite this, there are some excellent scenes and the love story makes you root for the romance. All in all, worth the read if you've got nothing better to do.
The narration of this story was wonderful, I love Simon Vance! But, even under his excellent narration, the story line was weak and inconsistent, sounding more like a shallow romance novel and much less like the intricate adventure stories that preceded it. This book was not nearly as interesting as the previous books, and in some parts was painfully predictable, cliche, and sappy. Phedre and Joscelin are barely a part of this story, with Phedre coming off more like Mary Poppins and Joscelin spouting an inane comment here and there in her wake. She has none of her whit or cunning and poor Joscelin has practically been neutered he's so bland and unimposing. And what happened to Hyacinthe! Why bring him into the story at all if you're not going to develop his character somewhat? It's just way more irritating than interesting, and it certainly doesn't help the story. It would have been better to leave out some of the characters, rather than water them down to a shadow of what they'd been in the previous books. What happened?
Artist, Yogi, lover of strange books
I adore this series! I love the characters, the plot, the SEX! And Simon's voice is perfect for this story. Not for people who are faint at heart about love making though.
Note: While this is Book 5 in Kushiel’s Legacy (also referred to as the Terre D’Ange Cycle) it is Book 2 in the second trilogy and focuses on Imriel de la Courcel, who we met in Book 3, Kushiel’s Avatar. Kushiel’s Justice can work as a stand alone, though there are plenty of characters and situations referred to from the previous book.
Imriel de la Courcel, a Prince of the Blood and adopted son to Phedre no Delaunay de Montreve, has returned to Terre D’Ange from his time in Caerdicca Unitas where he was attending university. He grew up quite a bit in the previous book and those around him think he may be ready for more responsibility. Unexpectedly, passion erupts between him and the heir to the Terre D’Ange throne, Sidonie de la Courcel. Not wanting to embroil the nation in the politics of their potential union, Imriel acquiesces to marrying a royal of the Alban family, Dorolei. Things go awry. Terribly, terribly awry and Imriel is propelled on a quest that takes him far afield of either nation.
Out of the first six books, I often found this book to be the slowest paced. It’s still a worthy read, yet I found it to have the fewest action scenes and long periods of travel and/or contemplation. However, this time around I read it with an on-line group and new little gems were revealed to me. It’s a time of change for Imriel and also of challenges that will define what kind of man he becomes going forward. It took him quite a bit of time and agonizing to figure out who he wanted and yet, now he has to make the hard choice of serving his country or alienating half the kingdom. Elua’s precept, love as thou wilt, was set aside.
Setting the gushy feelings aside for the moment, this installment to the series allows the reader to explore more of Alba and the Maghuin Dhon (the Bear Witches). Alais, Sidonie’s younger sister, travels with her father, the Cruarch of Alba, and Imriel, exploring the countryside as they make their slow progress to Dorolei’s home. The Alban nobles are not quick to adopt Imriel. They test him in several ways, including a cattle raid. But before long, tragedy strikes. My heart went out to Imri! I think he went a little insane with it for a short time, as to be expected.
From here, Imriel has a quest to undertake in order to fulfill an oath. But it’s more than that. There’s honor and duty in the quest for sure, but there’s also the need for vengeance. Something important was taken from Imriel, and from others, and he can’t let that abide. His quest takes him further east than he has ever traveled, into lands that barely exist on D’Angeline maps. Throughout this lengthy travel, Imriel meets many characters and several have views on vengeance versus justice. Indeed, this becomes one of the main themes of the second half of the book.
The sex scenes are just as compelling as the action scenes, and are more numerous. Carey doesn’t waste the reader’s time with flippant or empty romance scenes. While detailed, the sex scenes are beautifully written and always provide extra insight into the characters. After all, how we treat someone in private in intimate moments can be very revealing of our natures.
This series continues to render a rich and vibrant world filled with many cultures. Carey does an amazing job of fleshing out characters, even minor ones, giving them their own motives. I never feel like words are wasted when reading Carey. I love that I don’t always agree with a character’s choices, but I almost always see where they are coming from. Carey also includes different religions, food, and daily practices. The landscape and weather shape the backbone of the story. Indeed, I feel immersed when reading this series. The journey was worth the reread.
The Narration: Simon Vance’s skills are on great display with this book. His abilities with accents are surely put to the test with this tale! French, Gaelic, and Russian are just a few of the accents needed for the large cast of characters. There are also several moments of deep and complex emotions and Vance does a great job of showing these in his character voices.
This story is much improved from the last book. Emeril has come into his own and had a lively quest. Great love dilemmas and twists on the story. I look forward to the next one.
I enjoyed the continuation of this series but I do wish that the original characters played a stronger part. I wouldn't actually consider it a part of the series, rather a continuation of the fictional world of the first 3 books. But, a great listen none the less.
Imriel was raised a goatherd, stolen away into horrific slavery and rescued by two of his realm's greatest heroes. Both his parents were traitors, and a desire to mete out suffering is his heritage from his angelic ancestor, Kushiel. Constantly, he struggles to live up to his adopted parents. He prays to be good. He never wanted to be a prince of the blood, and he wants even less to marry a woman he barely knows for political reasons, especially since he's fallen madly in love with the one woman he can't have.
But for the good of his kingdom, he marries out of duty and goes to live in his wife's country. Once he arrives, he learns that not all the inhabitants welcome their union. A group of mysterious, magically gifted folk seek to drive him out, or failing that, to control him. When they cannot, they take drastic steps to prevent a future that their visions warn of, at a terrible cost to Imriel and themselves.
Seeking vengeance, he finds justice and mercy, and compassion and love.
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