Returning to Terre d'Ange, Moirin finds the royal family broken. Wracked by unrelenting grief at the loss of his wife, Queen Jehanne, King Daniel is unable to rule. Prince Thierry, leading an expedition to explore the deadly jungles of Terra Nova, is halfway across the world. And three-year-old Desiree is a vision of her mother: tempestuous, intelligent, and fiery, but desperately lonely and a vulnerable pawn in a game of shifting political allegiances. As tensions mount, King Daniel asks that Moirin become Desirée's oath-sworn protector. Navigating the intricate political landscape of the Court proves a difficult challenge, and when dire news arrives from overseas, the spirit of Queen Jehanne visits Moirin in a dream and bids her undertake an impossible quest. Another specter from the past also haunts Moirin. Travelling with Thierry in the New World is Raphael de Mereliot, her manipulative former lover. Years ago, Raphael forced her to help him summon fallen angels in the hopes of acquiring mystical gifts and knowledge. It was a disastrous effort that nearly killed them, and Moirin must finally bear the costs of those bitter mistakes.
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The final installment was a wonderful and exciting ride. I am sad it is over, but look forward to reading many more books from Carey in the future and hope she will revive stories set in Terre d'Ange and not give up on the wonderful world she has created.
I highly recommend the entire series. The narrator is spot on. Start at the beginning of the series if you really want the full effect!
Note: This is the third book in the third trilogy set in the Kushiel’s Legacy series. However, this last trilogy is set a few generations later and stands on it’s own. This book, as the third in this trilogy, works best as the finale to the trilogy.
This book opens with Bao and Moirin heading back to Terre D’Ange from the far east. They’ve been on a ship for months and are just coming upon Marsilikos where they learn that Raphael de Mereliot’s sister has passed away. From there, it’s on to Terre D’Ange and the royal court where things are not well on many fronts.
King Daniel has been thrown into a deep funk by the death of his second beloved wife, Jehanne. Even though they have a toddler, Daniel can barely stand to spend time with her because she so resembles her deceased mom. Moirin and Bao can see right away that Desiree is suffering from neglect. Meanwhile, Prince Thierry, Desiree’s much older half-brother, went on a trade and exploration voyage to Terra Nova. Word reaches the court that Thierry has disappeared but Moirin is convinced he’s still alive.
Leaving the D’Angeline court in a bit of a disarray, Bao and Moirin make their way to Terra Nova on a quest to seek out Thierry and bring him back to set things aright. Of course, it’s not that straight forward. There’s plenty of hazards and Moirin and Bao have their doubts from time to time.
Terra Nova adventuring was deadly dangerous, thrilling, and so very well done. There’s human sacrifice, deadly ants, sorcery, Aragonians, native allies and enemies, betrayal, old loves, new friends, and gods that demand to be satisfied. I was impressed with how the blood sacrifices were addressed in this story. Human sacrifice was part of more than one culture in Terra Nova. While this is difficult for Moirin to wrap her mind around, she does try and eventually she and Bao have to make a hard choice on this front.
The jungle scene was great too. So many insects, reptiles, and plants! There’s plenty of reasons the Aragonians want a monopoly on trade agreements with the local government. Terra Nova offers not only riches but novelty goods that Aragonia has never seen. However, the Aragonians have not been fully honest with the first Terre D’Ange expedition nor have they treated the local population with respect. Moirin, always the polite young lass, offers much in the way of mutual respect and the Nahuatl king recognizes this.
The ants! Oh my! The ants were terrifying. We run into them perhaps half way through the book after the group has survived more than one betrayal along with flooded rivers and illness. Raphael had traveled with Thierry on the first ill-fated expedition and in the heart of the jungle, Moirin and her companions finally come across him. Their joy at finding him alive is short lived as they soon learn the state of things.
All of Moirin’s powers are put to use in this tale. Cloaking herself in Twilight serves her well in more than one instance. Then her ability to quicken green growing things saves plenty of people. She also puts her linguistic skills to use as more than one culture makes up this adventure in Terra Nova.
One of my favorite scenes is with the Nahuatl King. He offers Moirin vital info and a skilled guide to help track Thierry in exchange for a night with her. He also offers his youngest wife to Bao for one night, claiming that is more than enough honor for any man. Moirin’s counter was awesome. She lays out her own great deeds and skills and declares that one night with her is more than enough honor for any man. It was a great scene.
In the end, Bao has to do one last thing to prove himself. There’s some loss in this tale but much happiness. New ties have been made and a strong foundation laid for Moirin’s future. I definitely enjoyed this book a bit more than Book 2, Naamah’s Curse. This was not only a solid, satisfying ending for this trilogy but also for the entire Terre D’Ange Cycle.
The Narration: Anne Flosnik brings us home as Moirin in this final book of the series. I think I say this every time, but Flosnik has got some skills on her! Yet more accents are added to her repertoire as we explore Terra Nova. Also, there’s some strong emotions in this book, what with human sacrifice and what not. Flosnik does a great job expressing these often nuanced emotions. Her male voices are believable and all her characters are distinct. A most excellent narration all around.