Naamah’s Kiss

I thought I wouldn’t be as interested in Moirin’s trilogy after I heard that it takes place so long after Phedre and Joscelin and Imriel’s time. I was wrong.

There’s an entirely different approach to this one. It’s the same in that the story starts with Moirin as a young girl, and we watch her grow up and grow into herself. Rather than being tutored in espionage and pulled into intrigue, though, Moirin is called by her goddess to leave the comfort of everything she’s ever known, and seek her destiny.

It sounds vague, right? Seek her destiny. But that’s part of the charm. It keeps you turning the pages. And there’s so much delightful misdirection! Moirin herself is fumbling around, trying to be true to herself and figure out her destiny and hopelessly drawn to sex with the most inopportune persons of state and importance. It’s silly at times, but in a lovely, innocent way.

If you read the Imriel trilogy, you’ll understand more about Amaranthe’s character than you did before by reading about Moirin. She’s a descendant of Amaranthe, and called again and again to fulfill the same type of companion role. It’s beautiful, how much perfect love one person can hold in their heart for different people.

I love that Moirin comes from the forests, from Nature. She’s naive in a deep, magical way. Her heart is more pure, her wisdom more true, because of it. And yet the complications of modern society work to complicate her life again and again, and she’s irresistibly drawn in each time.

I don’t want to give anything away, but Carey fulfills expectations by taking us to a far country we haven’t seen before in her books. AND she folds magic and mythology into this tale as seamless as ever. Without giving any spoilers, there is one rather—different—character who I have a great fondness for. And I have a lot of respect for the other players in Moirin’s tale. Each one is complex and beautifully-wrought, their desires often at odds or just at a slight angle to Moirin’s. It makes for a gripping tale, and realistic relationships. I can’t wait to pick up the second book in this trilogy.

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