As he comes of age, plagued by unwanted desires, Imriel shares their fears. When a simple act of friendship traps Imriel in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess and where a dead man leads an army, the prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.
©2006 Jacqueline Carey; (P)2008 Tantor
"Intelligent, sexy, heartbreakingly human.... Carey at her intoxicating best." (Booklist Starred Review)
"Credible and gripping, this is heroic fantasy at its finest." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
The story builds slowly, and it probably helps to have read the first three books in the series, but the last three can stand on their own. The characters are interesting, and the story is fun to follow. It's also deeply frustrating, because it leaves off so you have to read the next book. These shouldn't be read if you embarrass easily. There is some serious adult content. If that doesn't bother you, then the world the author creates is interesting, and you'll be left wanting to know how things turn out.
I have read 5 of the 6 books in this series. This one provides the basis for Emriel, who goes on to be the major character in the next three books. The rest of it wasn't what I cared for, but necessary for the plot structure. If you're into plot, character development, intrigue and a great basis for alternate history this series is totally what you're looking for. I really started to understand the "Love as Thou Wilt" precept. Moral ambiguity set aside, Carey managed to develop an entirely different universe with Terre D'ange. It is a great story that's hard to put down.
i really enjoyed this story. i'm still having trouble with the narrator but not enough to take away from the story. i understand the reasoning for the change in narrators but i don't care for the male narrators interpretation of the voices of many of the characters. but again Jacqueline Carey's writing is what saves the story. to the narrator you seem to have made many of the characters sound very old.
I love this series. I really enjoy the plot and intrigue and characters. If I hadn't read this book before listening to it I wouldn't have liked it I don't think and all because of the narration done by Vance.
Simon Vance doesn't do this author justice at all. After listening to this story from a woman's point of view over the last 3 books it is natural to find some adjustments going to a male narration, but he can't pronounce half the names, titles and places correct and his inflections for each character are totally bazar. Having a lot of trouble getting through this book. Wish he would have stayed closer to the other narrations.
I listened to the first three Kushiel's books on audible and thought they were fantastic. I gave up on this one and purchased the Kindle version. The narrator selected was totally wrong for this book. Instead of sounding like Imri, a young teenager, he sounds like a grandpa recalling something from the distant past. He takes the vibrant young characters like the Queen who are clearly in their 30s and makes them sound like elderly British monarchs. His pronouciations were also completely inconsistent with the first narrator, which was jarring. I think this narrator would be fine for different material, but not this series. I am looking forward to picking this up in book form.
This is a good book, and fairly well narrated, except that the voices of the "Tiberians" all sound like Transylvanian vampires.( This is NOT a vampire book) I found it wildly distracting. The earlier books in the series which feature Phaedre and Jocelyn are much more interesting, but the horribly pedantic narrator of those books ruined things for me. I couldn't even listen to the whole preview(I tried, I really tried), so I settled for the better of two narrators from a series I really love. Read the books instead- and make up your own voices.
I love Phaedra ' s trilogy, but Imreal's storey ha as its own merits. this whole series has such depth, the culture and back story are so interestingly developed, I just wish there were more.
Note: While this is Book 4 in Kushiel’s Legacy (also referred to as the Terre D’Ange Cycle) it is Book 1 in the second trilogy and focuses on Imriel de la Courcel, who we met in Book 3, Kushiel’s Avatar. Kushiel’s Scion can be read on it’s own.
Set in an alternate history mixed with a bit of fantasy, Imriel de la Courcel, who we met in the first trilogy, is growing up and he’s muddling his way through it. Certain things that come easy to his friends (like flirting) are difficult for him. It’s a long road full of blunders, missteps, and embarrassing moments. But there are also these gems of self-realization, beauty, and love. His teen years are full of various experiments, like him working alongside the Montreve folks to clear a new paddock, his early friendship with Eamonn mac Grainne, and his first visit to the Court of Night Blooming Flowers. This book is really the story of how Imriel becomes a man.
Eamonn goes off to Tiberium in Caerdicca Unitas to learn at the great universities and Imri follows soon enough. Both Phedre (Imri’s adopted mother) and Imri are curious if Phedre’s mentor Anafiel Delaunay learned the arts of covertcy in Tiberium when he was a young man. Imri makes it one of his goals to find out. He finds so much more than he expected, including himself. Living through Master Piero’s lessons, a riot, a siege, a wedding, the loss of a friend, Imri comes out of it wiser and more patient with himself and those around him.
Each of the first three books had distinct plots that arose early in the story. The second trilogy is a bit slower paced and I think of it as a plot that extends over all three books, taking longer to show itself. So, what was the main thread for this book? It was Imri learning how to be a man, but also what kind of man he wants to be. He spends much of his inner monologue worried over 1) whether he can be a good man and 2) whether he will choose to do so. He has this darker side, one that is prone to moodiness, anti-social behavior, brooding, and darker desires in the bedroom. Whereas the first trilogy has a distinct goal and hence plot for each book, this story is more subtle and takes more patience to pick out the main threads. Certain parts of the tale do tend to linger a bit overmuch (such as the teen angst that Imri goes through).
Then we all the good stuff. Melisande, Imri’s biological mother and a traitor to the kingdom of Terre D’Ange, still has a pinky in the mix. Imri becomes entangled in a torrid affair that brings him closer to the answer of who taught Anafiel such interesting skills. So much subtle intrigue! The siege is also interesting because it involves the ghosts of the city as well as the living. I won’t spoil this, but I found this to be the most interesting part of the book. Imri learns so much about love and friendship in it’s many shades in this tale.
As with the first trilogy, this book does have detailed sex scenes. They are hot and steamy, the author not flinching away from including both emotion and action in her descriptions. She’s a master at keeping them in context and using such scenes to either move the plot along or show you depths in her characters. Some of the scenes are a bit more robust than others, but most of them are sweet in nature.
I think I will always enjoy the first trilogy the most because it introduced me to this wonderful world. However, it was great to revisit Imriel’s tale once again, this time as part of a on-line group read. Nuances that I had missed reading on my own were brought up in the numerous discussions. This book definitely has stood up to scrutiny.
The Narration: Simon Vance gives a great performance as the voice of Imriel. He has that smooth cadence that is perfect for Imriel’s brooding thoughts or his well chosen words. I loved his accent for Eamonn and his Italian accents for the people of Caerdicca Unitas. All his characters were distinct and he had more than one female voice. He sounded very comfortable with the sex scenes.
I absolutely would. Jacqueline Carey has created an incredibly well done alternate history series that seamlessly works in the history and mythos of multiple cultures. She handles it all with great tact and aplomb. The characters are clear and easily understood even if there are a hundred of them.
While she was not the nicest character I loved Claudia. A married woman who sought power and adventure in a land where women are little more than curtains for their really boring husbands. Claudia took control of her own life and her own sexuality by getting involved in a spy organization and seducing a Prince. While she could be a bit difficult at times she was a passionate woman and I loved it.
I haven't listened to Simon Vance before this, but his reading was good. My only criticism is that he pronounced the names of people and locations differently than the woman who voiced Phedre's series. I really wish that he had listened to how she pronounced them so that I wasn't jolted out of the story by different voices.
Since it was over 25 hours long...no I did not. However, it was one I listened to during my nightly routine.
I will be getting the next one.
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