Review: Naamah’s Curse by Jacqueline Carey

May 18, 2010 Reviews 5

Naamah’s Curse by Jacqueline Carey

Preorder it Now: on Amazon.com (Release Date: 14 June 2010)

Description: Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the Kushiel’s Legacy series, delivers book two in her new lushly imagined trilogy featuring daughter of Alba, Moirin.

NAAMAH’S CURSE

Far from the land of her birth, Moirin sets out across Tatar territory to find Bao, the proud and virile Ch’in fighter who holds the missing half of her diadh-anam, the divine soul-spark of her mother’s people. After a long ordeal, she not only succeeds, but surrenders to a passion the likes of which she’s never known. But the lovers’ happiness is short lived, for Bao is entangled in a complication that soon leads to their betrayal.

This review is based on a review copy received from the publisher.

TDF Pamela’s Review:
Once again, Jacqueline Carey delivers a lushly written, erotic adventure that is deeply engrossing. I was so swept up in Moirin’s long journey that I could hardly put the book down, and often had to make myself go to bed at night.

As I said in my review of Naamah’s Kiss, I’ve read the first two Kushiel books, but I find Moirin so much more relatable and interesting a protagonist. She knows that the gods have great and difficult things in store for her, and while she accepts her destiny, she is still afraid and unsure of herself. What she wants wars with the tug of her diadh-anam; her hesitation and trepidation make her so much more believable a character. There are times when I feel like she accepts her fate a little too easily; I would like for her to have set off down the wrong path at least once or twice, if only to add a bit more conflict.

On the other hand, there is plenty of conflict for Moirin to deal with, from her dangerous journey across Tatar territory to… other things that I can’t say without spoiling the book. Darn it. This is the thing about Carey’s novels, and why my reviews of them will probably always be shorter than I’d like. They are epic adventures, and one event leads to another, so I can’t talk about one without spoiling the rest. And trust me, you definitely don’t want to be spoiled. There are some wonderfully gasp-worthy moments in Naamah’s Curse, and I don’t want to ruin them. I will simply say that Moirin’s journey in this book is full of beautiful highs and heartbreaking lows, and it kept me hanging on every word.

Carey’s world is based on ours, only suffused with magic and different mythologies. From the Kushiel books, we know of Elua, the god of Terre d’Ange, and his companions, including Naamah and Anael, two of Moirin’s personal gods. From Naamah’s Kiss, we know of the Maghuin Dhonn Herself, the great bear goddess who has accepted Moirin as her child. Naamah’s Curse brings in other mythologies as Moirin travels through the Asian lands. I love the way she blends religions and mythologies into her world, and I love how Moirin comes to learn about these other gods.

The places themselves are beautifully described, from the endless steppes of Tatar land to the massive mountains called the Abode of the Gods. Being a geography geek, I had fun putting Carey’s place names to real places. I think my favorites were Tufan, corresponding to Tibet, and the amazing valley kingdom of Bhaktipur, deep in the Nepali Himalayas. Carey is a master of writing gorgeous, vivid description without being flowery or purple, and I really appreciate that.

The third book in this series hasn’t been announced yet, but I’m already chomping at the bit. I want to read it now! [sob] I’ll just have to satisfy myself with a re-read of Naamah’s Kiss and Naamah’s Curse in the meantime.

Keep your eyes on TDF! On June 7, we’ll be starting a fantastic Naamah’s Curse giveaway!