Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Mercy

Having paid dearly for ignoring Elua’s edict to love as thou wilt, Imriel and Sidonie have finally come forward to publicly confess their love for each other—only to watch the news ignite turmoil throughout the land. Those who are old enough cannot forget the misdeeds of Imriel’s mother, Melisande, whose self-serving lies plunged their country into war.
In order to quell the uprising, Queen Ysandre hands down a decree: she will not divide the lovers, but neither will she acknowledge them. And if they decide to marry, Sidonie will be disinherited.
That is, unless Imriel can find his mother and bring her back to Terre D’Ange to be executed for treason….

I’m quoting the amazon synopsis on the book here, only to say that this absolutely doesn’t cover it. Sure, the whole Melisande/Imriel arc is part of the plot in the third and (sadly) final book of the Imriel trilogy, but the plot encompasses much more than whether Imriel will or will not bring his mother to justice. We have a spell, we have stark raving madness, we have Terre D’Ange at the brink of civil war, we have more strange, but awesome magic 😀

Can I just say I liked this book? A lot?

In my opinion this is the best book of the Imriel trilogy after Kushiel’s Scion was an interesting, but alltogether weak start of the trilogy. Sure, I liked it, but not as much as Kushiel’s Justice and now Kushiel’s Mercy gets even better. A lot of that is due to the fact that I really, really like Imriel as a main character that he had enough emotional baggage, heights and depths of character and overall complexity to carry the story and to make you turn page after page. Another thing is the tight plot. There are some lengths that slow the whole thing down (did I mention that I’m really not a fan of travelogues?), but all in all it’s a tense, tightly-woven plotline, in a way very different from the earlier Phedre books, but I’d say this one lives up to the first trilogy.

One thing I love most about Carey’s books is her writing style. She has an eye for details and is great at conveying her characters’ emotions without drifting off into purple prose. As always, there’s political intrigue, romance, an awesome scene when Imriel completely loses it as well as a great scene about Melisande which I quoted here.

And in the end, she delivers. The ending ties lose ends, brings up issues of previous books and is alltogether really well done. Makes me hope that this wasn’t her last Kushiel book yet 😀

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