Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, while his adoptive parents, Phedre and Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in beauty, art, and desire.
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.
Bestseller Carey's fifth book in her Kushiel's Legacy series, volume two of her Imriel fantasy trilogy (after 2006's Kushiel's Scion), is a moody tale of violence and divided loyalties. Phedre no Delaunay, the sexually adventurous heroine of the first trilogy, has become a placid foster mother to Prince Imriel, son of the unseen traitor Melisande Shahrizai. Carey's infamous explicit sex scenes now portray Imriel's illicit and often violent affair with Sidonie, daughter of Queen Ysandre. Their romance is frustrated by Imriel's obligation to marry Dorelei, an Alban princess, and beget future rulers of Alba. When Dorelei and her unborn son are betrayed and Imriel is badly wounded, he finds himself torn between his vow to avenge his wife and child and his desire to seek solace in Sidonie's arms. His inner conflicts are ameliorated by religious faith, a change from previous books that may please some readers and dismay others. Imriel serves well as protagonist, however, and events are clearly building to what promises to be a spectacular climax in the sixth volume. Author tour. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Unerring
Posted January 12, 2010 by MissLisa , B-townKusheil's justice is firm and decisive when dealing with his children's children specifically one. This is masterfully written and an easy read for anyone who is familiar with this world of twists religion and our own history alternate.
Grand Central Publishing
June 13, 2007
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Excerpt from Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey
By the time I was eighteen years of age--almost nineteen-- I'd been many things. I'd been an orphan, a goatherd, and a slave. I'd been a missing prince, lost and found. I'd been a traitor's son and a heroine's. I'd been a scholar, a lover, and a soldier.
All of these were true, more or less.
Betimes it seemed impossible that one person's mere flesh could contain so many selves. Mine did, though. I was Prince Imriel de la Courcel, third in line for the throne of Terre d'Ange, betrothed to wed a princess of Alba and beget heirs to that kingdom with her. And, too, I was Imriel no Montreve, adopted son of Comtesse Phedre no Delaunay de Montreve and her consort, Joscelin Verreuil.
Imriel. Imri, to a few.
When I gained my age of majority, eighteen, I tried to flee myself. My selves. I went to the University of Tiberium in Caerdicca Unitas, where no one knew me, and played at being a scholar. There I found friendship, passion, and intrigue. I found myself targeted by an enemy not of my making, and I dealt with it on my own terms. I found myself caught on the wrong side of a siege, and learned of grief, courage, and loyalty. I discovered that few people are wholly good or bad, and all is not always as it seems, including the very ground beneath our feet.
And somewhere along the way, I found a little bit of healing. It wasn't enough to undo all of the damage done to me when I was a child; that, I think, cuts too deep. But enough. Enough to lend me a little bit of wisdom and compassion. Enough to face the responsibilities of my birthright like a man. Enough to let me come home, even if it was only for a while.
Enough to face one last self.
My mother's son.
My cousin Mavros claims we must all face two mirrors, the bright and the dark. Perhaps it is true. I never thought I would confront the mirror of my mother's legacy. When I was fourteen years of age, she vanished from the temple in La Serenissima where she had claimed sanctuary for long years. No one has seen her since, or no one living who will confess it. Before that time, I had seen her only twice. The first time, I thought her beautiful and kind, and I loved her for it. I didn't know who she was; nor who I was, either.
The second time, I knew. And I hated her for it.
I thought she was gone from my life forever, but she wasn't. In the besieged city of Lucca, a man spent his life to save mine. Canis, he called himself; Dog, in the Caerdicci tongue. I'd known him first as a philosopher and a beggar, and last as a mystery and a bitter gift. On the streets of Lucca, he flung himself in front of a javelin meant for me, and it pierced him through. He smiled before he died, and his last words stay with me.
Your mother sends her love.
So I came home. Home to Terre d'Ange, to the City of Elua. Home to Phedre and Joscelin, whom I loved beyond all measure. Home to Queen Ysandre to agree to her political machinations; to Mavros and my Shahrizai kin. To Bernadette de Trevalion, who hired a man to kill me in Tiberium. To my royal cousins, the D'Angeline princesses; young Alais, who is like a sister to me, and the Queen's heir Sidonie, who is . . . not.
To my mother's letters.
For three years, she had written to me. Once a month the letters came, save when winter delayed their delivery; then a packet of two or three would arrive. I threw the first letter on the brazier, but Phedre rescued it. After that, she saved them for me in a locked coffer in her study.
I read them in single sitting, well into the small hours of the night. The lamps burned low in Phedre's study until they began to sputter for lack of oil. I refilled the lamps and read onward. Beyond the door, I could hear the sounds of Montreve's household dwindle into soft creaks and sighs as its members took to their bedchambers.
When I had finished the last letter, I refolded it and placed it atop the others.