Series: Kushiel's Legacy #8
Published: 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
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Over the past month or so, I’ve been reading Naamah’s Curse by Jacqueline Carey with a group of blog friends. Naamah’s Curse is the second book in the third trilogy of the Kushiel’s Legacy series.
In a nutshell–at the end of the last book, Moirin, a Celtic bear-witch, saves the life of Bao, a Chinese martial artist. In the process, her soul spark is divided in two, with Moirin and Bao each carrying half. Bao freaks out and runs away. Moirin waits a while, then decides to take fate into her own hands and go save her lover. She travels to find Bao amid the Tatars, only to accidentally make enemies and get herself into a sticky situation.
My favorite character in the book though was the deeply flawed Spider Queen Jagrati, who whose frustrations with the caste system led her to rebel and create her own order, terrorizing the countryside and keeping a harem of lovers seduced by her magical diamond. I love it when villains are complex and have believable motivations for what they do.
The one thing I didn’t like is a carryover from the last book–I find Bao to be insufferable. In the last book, it was because of stylistic choices involving his accent, which made him seem too much of a caricature. Thankfully, that’s no longer an issue in this book. But he’s still self-centered and keeps making really stupid decisions that end up backfiring on Moirin. I’m hoping that since he’s still pretty young that his character will mature in the next book.
I enjoyed Naamah’s Curse a lot more than I expected to. After reading the previous book, I had thought this was by far the weakest trilogy in the Kushiel’s Legacy series, but after Naamah’s Curse this trilogy is definitely growing on me. Moirin is fiercely independent, sometimes to her own detriment, and that’s why I love her. She doesn’t take anyone’s bullshit.
I’m looking forward to seeing how her story concludes.