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Publisher's Summary

The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good...and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt. Phèdre nó Delaunay is a woman pricked by Kushiel's Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. Her path has been strange and dangerous, and through it all the devoted swordsman Joscelin has been at her side. Her very nature is a torturous thing for them both, but he is sworn to her and he has never violated his vow: to protect and serve.
But Phèdre's plans put Joscelin's pledge to the test, for she has never forgotten her childhood friend Hyacinthe. She has spent ten long years searching for the key to free him from his eternal indenture, a bargain he struck with the gods - to take Phèdre's place as a sacrifice and save a nation. Phèdre cannot forgive - herself or the gods. She is determined to seize one last hope to redeem her friend, even if it means her death.
The search will bring Phèdre and Joscelin across the world, to distant courts where madness reigns and souls are currency, and down a fabled river to a land forgotten by most of the world.And to a power so mighty that none dare speak its name.
©2008 Jacqueline Carey (P)2009 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Karin on 03-21-10

Lushly-written and engrossing

This is one of my favorite fantasy series, and Anne Flosnik's narration really helps to bring Phedre, Joscelin, Imriel, Melisande, and others to life. The first Kushiel trilogy comes to triumphant conclusion as Phedre and Joscelin embark on a quest to find the kidnapped boy Imriel, son of Melisande and third in line to the throne. Their search leads them to Ptolemaic Egypt, then to Khebbel-im-Akkad, as they pursue a dangerous and degrading undercover mission to the harem of a mad cult leader.

Carey's alternate-history Europe, where Christianity remained a minor Jewish cult and Islam never rose in the Middle East, is brilliantly realized, as are her landscapes and cultures. The D/s themes and frank sexuality of these books mean they're not for everyone, but they are an amazing escape to another world... Highly recommended, and I look forward to starting the next Kushiel trilogy.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By David on 08-03-09

Fine writing marred by self indulgence

Carey is obviously a gifted writer in many different ways. The world she has created (actually just a variant of our own but with a new cast of characters) is richly researched, reimagined and rendered. Her plotting is as sure handed as it is intricate. And she mines some pretty unorthodox psycho sexual material fearlessly. Her characters are engaging and consistent. Now if she could just shake her self indulgent penchant for spending huge amounts of time reminisciing about the events in her previous Kushial stories, she would cut the length of her book by thirty percent, move it along at a much more enjoyable pace and lose nothing. If I want the details of what went before, I will read the books I have missed. I came very close to giving up on this one by the end of the first section. Happily the story finally began to happen, gradually, at that point, though there were still far too many flashbacks for my taste. Between those flashbacks there was a really good book.

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13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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