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Kushiel’s Avatar- Jacqueline Carey

Well, I did it.

2,443 pages

3 total books (for the first trilogy).

I swear I am mentally and emotionally drained. I’ll be honest, I don’t even know where to start with this review. It’s a good review, mind you, but my brain is literally swimming and trying to sort through so much information.

Regarding the trilogy: Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen, and now Kushiel’s Avatar, I don’t think I’ve ever been so enveloped in characters, as I have in these particular books. I feel as a reader, you invest so much time getting to know both Phedre and Joscelin, that you don’t really want to say good-bye to them.

Terre de Ange has had 10 years of peace; as predicted from the previous book. In those 10 years, Phedre has essentially drown herself with information regarding The Master of the Straits, her dearest friend, Hyacinthe.  Information can take one only so far. Phedre is missing a key ingredient in the recipe to free her friend; the Name of God. A name spoken at the beginning of existence and has never been recorded.

Phedre receives a correspondence from non other than the infamous Melisande. Melisande, who is still confined to the Temple of Asherat, requests to see Phedre in La Serenissima. With minor hesitation, Phedre and Joscelin travel once again to La Serenissima against the Queen’s wishes. Once there, it seems that Melisande will strike a deal with Phedre. Imriel, Melisande’s son, is missing. Thought to have been hidden safely in the Temple of Elua, no one can seem to find out what happened to him. In exchange for looking for her son, Melisande is willing to give Phedre all the information she has accumulated about the lost tribe of Dan; a tribe rumored to know the secrets of the Name of God. And how could Phedre turn that down? After 10 years of research with little to no progress, new information is better than going in circles.

Of course Joscelin accompanies Phedre every step of the way. What starts out as a hide and seek for the lost Prince, leads them to a truth or dare adventure in the darkest area imaginable. Imriel is first tracked at the Temple of Elua; the priest explaining that Imriel was tending the goats, and never returned. On the outskirts of the city of Siovale, Phedre discovers that Imriel was not the only child stolen. Their first quest is to find out what happened to the children. Receiving help from the Tsignano, it turns out that the children were sold. Once Phedre, Joscelin, and the soldiers of Siovale catch up to the child slavers, Imriel has been sold at a higher price, and taken to a distant land.

A darkness has settled across the land. What was once realm of the Lord of Light, has now become the land of the Lord of Darkness. And of course, this is where Imriel has been traced to “Love as thou wilt” is pushed to the limit in this book. Joscelin remains the perfect companion, enduring unimaginable anguish. And even though Phedre is an aguisette, even her abilities are put to the test. 

You’ll definitely have to read the rest of the book to find out what happens. Some things I can tell you about this book, and really say this series is for you:

  1. If you want EXTREMELY well written, in depth characters
  2. If you want a well written plot, and plot twists, that tie every single book together, and also make you want to continue reading
  3. If you want to get lost in a new world, that compares to no other you’ve read before
  4. If you want a book that keeps you up all night reading

I honestly cannot tell you the last time I was emotionally attached to characters. I’m the type of person who really gets lost in a book. The book quite literally plays out in my head. I would absolutely love if this trilogy came to the big screen, but I’m 200% certain that Hollywood would not do it justice. Some quotes that hit me throughout the book, really 3 in particular.

  1. Love as thou wilt- really the whole kit and caboodle of the theme.
  2. That which yields is not always weak.
  3. We speak of stories ending, when in truth it is we who end. The stories go on and on.

I wasn’t too sure starting this series if I would be a fan or not. When you see how many pages each book is, it’s a little daunting. You are hit with a TON of information and a TON of character names. Each book builds off of the previous one. And I am happy to say, this is a series that will forever remain on my bookshelf.

Thank you Jacqueline Carey for sucking me in to Terre de Ange, and getting to know Phedre and Joscelin. They will forever be a character that I will come back to.

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