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Naamah's Blessing

by Jacqueline Carey

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6153929,720 (4.03)28
Just when King Daniel asks Moirin to be the oath-sworn protector of his daughter, he is sent on a quest by the spirit of Queen Jehanne, who tells him that he must first bring home Prince Thierry to rule.

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This was definitely my favorite of the Moirin trilogy. I wasn't looking forward to another far-flung journey, but Carey's description of the beauty and terror of Terra Nova and its people was compelling. I liked the deepening relationship between her and Bao and -- most of all -- the way this book gracefully gathered up some of the elements of previous books and brought them to resolution. ( )
  jsabrina | Jul 13, 2021 |
This was the very last book in the trilogy of trilogies that makes up Kushiel’s Universe. This last book had a good story that mostly held my attention straight through, and I was satisfied with how everything wrapped up. It’s often difficult for me to say much about the last book in a long series, so the rest of this review is more about the series as a whole.

This was a good series. Not perfect, but enjoyable to read. I occasionally felt mildly impatient when I thought things were being dragged out overly long, but mostly it held my attention well and I always looked forward to sitting down to read more. The characters are fleshed out well, and the stories are mostly interesting. They’re the sort of epic fantasy stories where you spend a lot of time growing up with each new main character, and there’s a lot of political issues and maneuvering and quite a bit of introspection, so that won’t appeal to everybody, but those things usually appeal to me. There’s also a fair bit of adventure. There’s very little magic in the earlier books, but that increases in the second and especially third trilogies.

Each trilogy is told from the first-person perspective of a different character and has an overarching storyline, but each book within that trilogy tells a full story with just a few threads that are carried through to the other books. The first two trilogies are more closely related to each other. They take place closely together in the timeline and characters from the first trilogy are often seen in the second. The third trilogy takes place quite a bit later and features an entirely new cast of characters. The middle trilogy was my favorite. Its stories appealed to me the most, and I adored the main character.

As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous reviews, these books have quite a lot of sex. Additionally, each trilogy has a romantic storyline running through it. I would have been happier with less of both things, but it was mostly done well. There were some sections that were too angsty for me, but aside from that the author didn’t use any of the romance tropes that annoy me the most, and she did write the relationships convincingly. I liked that she didn’t drag things out forever and allowed the characters to settle into more secure relationships with each other. I enjoyed it more when the characters were confident in their relationship and were working together to achieve common goals.

Aside from the romance, the stories feature relationships of all sorts, and I thought they were written very well. Characters and character relationships are definitely where the author excels most, but the stories and world-building were good too. At some point, not in the near future, but eventually, I would like to check out some of her other work. ( )
  YouKneeK | Feb 6, 2021 |
Amazing, loved this story so much better than the other two with Moirin. Would love to read more about her adventures staying in Alba, and their family. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
84 points/100 (4.25 stars/5).

Moirin Mac Fainche of the Maghuinn Dhonn is going home. After years in foreign lands and having more adventures and getting into more trouble than any one person should get in, she has spent months getting back home with her now husband Bao. Moirin heads first to Terre D'Ange, to see the daughter of her lover. However, events there lead her to journey halfway across the world once again to protect the little girl she has come to love before she can make it home.

I enjoyed the message of this book a lot. The message has always been "love as thou wilt". That is true here, as well. But the bigger message is "kids can be hurt in more ways than just the physical". That is a message I can get behind.

This is the most wholesome I think in the entire Kushiel universe. Yeah, a bunch of shit happens. Yes, I really wanted to strangle a few people in this book myself. But the kid, Desirée. She made it so wholesome. She is such a little kid, looking for validation from everyone, but she stays true to her nature. She isn't the easiest kid to raise. It causes her a lot of grief from those who don't understand her. Yet, she still hasn't been broken by those who have wanted to break her in their image. And Moirin does everything she can to be able to allow this kid to stay true to herself, and not let anyone break her. That is a worthy, wholesome goal.

However, the machinations of those who seek power to use this kid make me so goddamn angry. If I loved my ereader less, he would be in a lot of pain right now. I was really angry. How can you think to use a kid like that?! It makes me so angry. They all talk about forming this little girl to their will, wiping out everything that make her Desirée. It is so depressing.

Over the course of the Kushiel story, we have travelled all over the world. We start in Western Europe with Phèdre, traveled to Skaldia (Germany) and Alba (England), ended up going to Menekhet (Egypt) and Jebe-Barkal (Ethiopia) after being taken to Khebbel-im-Akkad (Iran). With Imriel we traveled even further from home, started out going "close" to home in Caerdicca Unitas (Italy), and Alba (England) again, before having to go deep into Vralia (Russian) territory and sailing to Carthage in Northern Africa. So far with Moirin we have gone to Ch'in (China) and Bhodistan (India). Now, we're going even further from home. Now we're going to Terra Nova in the Americas.

The Americas shown to us are pretty neat. They start in the Mexico area and end up traveling through vast jungles into what appears to be Peru. If you know anything about geography you know how awful that trip is today, with cars. (Hell, you can't even drive the whole way, even today. The landscape doesn't allow for roads for portions of this trip!) It is jungle and worse.There are more ways to die than there are to live on this trip. That is the journey they have to take.

On the one hand, I love it. I love the new scenery, I love hearing about it all. Yet this is the ninth book in a row with such a massive undertaking of a journey. There are bits left out in the journey, because it is so, so long. They're gone for two years on this journey, between travelling from France to Mexico to Peru to Mexico to France. This was a long, long journey. Cutting out parts of it saved my sanity, but it also made it feel sort of rushed. What was shown was mostly shown to put some peril in their way that is unique (or mostly unique) to the Americas, like malaria, or giant fucking snakes. Again, this saved my sanity, which is on a tenuous thread already, but it just felt rushed and curated to a very specific end.

We knew we would have to deal with Raphael de Mereliot now, it was going to be the last chance. We've been told that confrontation was coming. We knew since Naamah's Kiss that the fallen angel wasn't done with Raphael. That reckoning has come. It is.. Raphael has gone completely bug nuts. It is incredibly entertaining, very frightening, and kind of really made me angry at parts. I really like how Carey tied in small little parts that you wouldn't have expected to come up again to this maddening of Raphael.

It is also interesting how beliefs of the area were tied into this story. In Naamah's Curse, I got upset because every religion that was brought up had something wrong with it they had to change. Once again, the accept the local religions. I'm not angry this time. I'm just relieved.

Moirin's destiny, her diadh-anam, is what drove this entire series. She is always following her diadh-anam, she is always consulting it to make sure she is going in the right direction. I began to wonder if it was worth it, if all she had gone through was worth this destiny. Phèdre's fate was worth the journey. Moirin's fate is mostly worth it. There was a lot of pain, a lot of people saved. She travelled a long, long way. She has the guy of her soul. But, did the pain outweigh the good? Mostly. Was the journey worth the destination? Mostly.

This is the end of the trilogy. This is the end of the current Kushiel world, at least until Carey decides to write more. I think this series was definitely worth the read if you like Phèdre's trilogy. You just have to set aside the belief that it is going to be the same story. It isn't. Moirin and Phèdre are two different people. However, it does feel to me like Moirin's tale isn't over. Phèdre got Imriel to raise into a good person with his own destiny to follow. Moirin gets Desirée, who hasn't had a chance to tell her tale yet. I can't believe that Jehanne's child isn't going to have an amazing tale to tell.

I'm really glad I read this series. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
Listened to audio narrated well by Anne Flosnik. Morin and Bao return to Terre D'Ange to discover the King still in deep morning and a regent with high aspirations. Moirin becomes Champion to the little princess, Desirée, and finds herself off to rescue the Prince Thierry. in a far away land, when the Regent betroths his terrible son to the Princess. The allusion of how the Spaniards treated with the Aztecs/Mayans. As Moirin searches for the Prince she discovers Raphael has aspirations to godhood and it takes Moirin and the magic of the Ancients to save everyone from his madness. There is a lot of story and I liked how the author weaves real history into this fantasy. This is a long tale but I enjoyed all of it, even the sad parts. Carey's rich landscapes and storylines just take me away, it's very difficult to stop listening. Even at the end I still wanted to know more about Bao and Moirin's future.
( )
  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
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Unable to sleep, I stood in the stern of the ship, watching the past fall father behind me.
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Just when King Daniel asks Moirin to be the oath-sworn protector of his daughter, he is sent on a quest by the spirit of Queen Jehanne, who tells him that he must first bring home Prince Thierry to rule.

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Average: (4.03)
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