The third book of Imriel’s engrossing epic delivers some surprises as Kushiel’s scion struggles with the legacy of his traitorous mother and forbidden love for Princess Sidonie, heir to the Terre D’Ange throne. Sidonie’s mother, the reigning Queen Ysandre charges Imriel with the task of bringing Melisande, his mother to justice before she will bestow her blessing and allow the couple to marry. Imriel agrees and begins a quest that will take him throughout the much of the world.
Meanwhile, powerful magic spreads across the land, convincing everyone including Sidonie that she is in love with Carthage’s Prince Astegal. Worse, that same magic threatens to tear Terre d’Ange apart as it is only residents of the City of Elua who have fallen under the horologists spell, believing Carthage and Terre d’Ange to be allies. Throughout this involved tale, love holds the power to transform and things may not always be as they appear.
Newcomers to Carey’s imaginative, complex world of Kushiel’s Legacy will want to start with one of the earlier books as several previous characters reappear, children have grown into adulthood and earlier adventures are touched upon. This book does a satisfactory job of tiding up several subplots but the pacing is not quite as smooth as those familiar with the series would expect. It is still a terrific read so dive in and enjoy a world where the Gods have a say in man’s affairs.