Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
on 3 April 2008
I'm not going to go through a blow-by-blow (no pun intended) account of the plot. Suffice to say that we see the more mature side of Imriel emerging in this book, the second of the trilogy centred on him. I wasn't sure if Jacqueline Carey would be able to generate the same kind of excitement and unpredictability as she did in the earlier trilogy but I needn't have worried. This book really surprised me in its adventurous plot and unflinching character development. Carey allows her characters to have very human emotions - selfishness, greed, thoughtlessness, hatred but also hope, healing, self-sacrifice, love and devotion. We see all of these in Imriel!
As usual, we are introduced to new geographical locations and new cultures. We learn lots more about the Cruithne and Dalriada - the first part of the book is very focussed on their culture and much of it is based in Alba. Carey is also good at developing peripheral characters and allowing them to play essential parts in her stories - there's plenty of that in this book.
Having hugely enjoyed the whole of the first trilogy I was very slightly disappointed in some elements of the first book in Imriel's trilogy - although it was still a cracking good story. This book makes up for it with knobs on. There is less 'angst' in Imriel - although he still has huge problems in his life, he is becoming more comfortable in his own skin. This is due, mostly, to the interventions of two very different women - Dorelei (Drustan's niece) and Sidonie (the eldest daughter of Ysandre and Drustan, heir to the throne of Terre D'Ange). The core of this book is Imriel's difficult relationships with both of them. He learns that you can't always have what you want and sometimes you can't resolve the conflicts in your life without losing something precious.
I can't wait to get my hands on the final installment in the trilogy - pre-ordered in fact!
Update: I've had to pre-order the next book (Kushiel's Mercy) from the US site as it was withdrawn from the UK site - I've no idea why. It has now been shipped (as at 9 June 2008) so I'm waiting eagerly for the postman to arrive.....