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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Update: I've had to pre-order the next book (Kushiel's Mercy) from the US site as it was withdrawn from the UK site - I've no idea why.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.....
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on 23 December 2016
At first, I hungered for Phedre's point of view. But I gradually lost myself in young Imreil's growth from wishing to do the right thing on to the way he fell in love with the goodness of his bride. The desert of his effort served to produce a strong surge of tears in me.
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on 19 June 2013
This book took a long while to get going. There's too much soul searching and much of it is very repetitive. Once it does get going it's quite interesting, though I think it would have benefited from extensive editing, and cutting out all the repetitive stuff.
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on 29 July 2010
This book was slower than her previous books and I found it difficult to get into but I read it to the end. Normally, I can read 10, 12, 15 books in a series, like Ramond E Feist or Terry Brooks and find every single one amazing but, I couldn't get into this one. I am giving 3 stars because at the end it wasn't too bad.
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on 8 November 2014
Gripping as always but the character development seems much less than the previous trilogy. I couldn't bring myself to care at all about Sidonie, even though we're supposed to support his adulterous desires for her.
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on 15 July 2016
I absolutely love all of Jaqueline Carey's books and this series has been perfectly written. It's a wonderful extension to her Kushiels Chosen series and just as thrilling to read. Absolutely wonderful!!!!
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on 22 February 2013
These books glow. Sensitively constructed & executed with love & deep understanding. Carey is a true talent. Can't wait to start the next one
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on 5 April 2014
Brilliant!
Loved following the story of a prince of the blood!
Enjoyed every passionate, nail biting, heart breaking sentence.
Can't wait to read book two
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on 16 February 2016
There were 50 pages missing from this book!!!! Brilliant though as always with Jaqueline Carey
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on 15 July 2014
Loved the firsst series to this also (Kushiel's Chosen).
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