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This is the fourth in the Kushiel's Legacy series. I have loved all of these books. Ms. Carey is a master storyteller, directing her characters through a plot so fascinating that you can't stop reading. She exquisitely weaves the themes of war, love, peace, elements of sadism and masochism, angel lore, and the motto "Love as thou Wilt" into the fabric of the story. If you like epic fantasy you will enjoy these books. (Also recommended by George R. R. Martin on his website under: What I am reading now.)
Synopses & Reviews
Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phèdre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty, and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies...and there are many who would see the young prince dead.
Some despise him out of hatred for his birth mother Melisande, who nearly destroyed the realm in her quest for power. Others because they fear he has inherited his mother's irresistible allure — and her dangerous gifts. And as he comes of age, plagued by dark yearnings, Imriel shares their fears.
At the royal court, where gossip is the chosen poison and assailants wield slander instead of swords, the young prince fights character assassins while struggling with his own innermost conflicts. But when Imriel departs to study at the famed University of Tiberium, the perils he faces turn infinitely more deadly.
Searching for wisdom, he finds instead a web of manipulation, where innocent words hide sinister meanings, and your lover of last night may become your hired killer before dawn. Now a simple act of friendship will leave Imriel trapped in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess; where a dead man leads an army; and where the prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.
Jacqueline Carey, the bestselling author of Kushiel's Avatar and the award-winning Kushiel's Dart, returns to her sensual, richly textured world of Terre d'Ange in a thrilling new epic fantasy of dark intrigue and intimate passion.
"The magnificent fourth book in Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series marks the start of a new trilogy set in Terre d'Ange, the author's reimagined Renaissance world. The story picks up where volume three, Kushiel's Avator (2003), left off, though Imriel n Montrve de la Courcel, a prince of the blood, now narrates in place of the unforgettable heroine of the previous books, Phdre n Delauney. As a boy, Imriel is abandoned by his treasonous parents and subjected to terrible indignities by pirates. Later rescued and adopted by Phdre, he grows into a position of authority and learns many skills, including sexual prowess. He has a torrid affair with a married woman, and finally survives a terrible siege at a walled city he courageously defends. The specter of Imriel's sinister, absent mother, Melisande Shahrizai, looms over the action. Credible and gripping, this is heroic fantasy at its finest. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Intelligent, sexy, heartbreakingly human, Carey at her intoxicating best." Booklist
"[Carey's] exotic alternate earth, set in a Renaissance-like time of cultural flowering and sensual gratification, provides a lush backdrop for a cast of compelling and fascinating characters." Library Journal
"...skillfully rendered, sensual and thoroughly engrossing." Kirkus Reviews
Imriel de la Courcel's birth parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phedre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood; third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies...and there are many who would see the young prince dead. Some despise him out of hatred for his mother, Melisande, who nearly destroyed the entire realm in her quest for power. Others because they fear he has inherited his mother's irresistible allure...and her dangerous gifts. As he comes of age, plagued by unwanted desires, Imriel shares their fears. When a simple act of friendship traps Imriel in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess and where a dead man leads an army, the Prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.
About the Author
Jacqueline Carey is the author of the critically acclaimed "Kushiel's Legacy" series of historical fantasy novels and The Sundering epic fantasy duology. An avid reader, she began writing fiction as a hobby in high school. After receiving B.A. degrees in psychology and English literature from Lake Forest College and realizing she still didn't know what she wanted to be when she grew up, she took part in a work exchange program and spent six months working in a bookstore in London. While living abroad, surrounded by books, the desire to write professionally emerged as a driving passion. Upon returning she embarked in earnest on a writing career, which came to fruition a decade later.
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