From Publishers Weekly
The promise of Kushiel's Dart (2001), the first volume of Carey's immense trilogy set in a skewed Renaissance world, is more than realized in this splendid conclusion. In the 10 years since the action of the second, relatively uneventful volume, Kushiel's Chosen (2002), the winsome and gritty anguisette Phedre, bidden to seek pain in love by her demi-gods, the cruel Kushiel and the loving Naamah, has matured gracefully. Now the Comtesse Phedre no Delaunay de Montreve, she enjoys maintaining an estate together with the swordsman Joscelin, her faithful consort. She still follows her calling, though accepting but three patrons a year. Only the lonely fate of her imprisoned childhood friend, Hyacinthe, who's courageously volunteered to become Master of the Straits, disturbs her serenity. Then the beautiful, treacherous Melisande Shahrizai asks the anguisette to rescue her kidnapped son, Imriel. In return, Melisande promises to help Phdre find the Name of God, the key to freeing Hyacinthe. Having traveled west in the first book from the French-Italianate city-state of Terre d'Ange, Phedre here journeys south into the equivalents of the Middle East and Africa, where she triumphs gloriously. Effortlessly rich in adventurous incident, with a huge cast of well-defined characters, this poignant and robust story will appeal to both fantasy lovers and fans of erotic romance.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Terre d'Ange's inhabitants are the descendents of angels, a race of breathtaking beauty whose highest law is Love as Thou Wilt. Extraordinarily skilled as a courtesan as well as in diplomacy and espionage, Phedre no Delauney has risen to be a queen's companion and peer of the realm. Ten years earlier, she was critical to Terre d'Ange's defense against invaders. Peace and her life were bought with the sacrifice of her friend Hyacinthe, who assumed an ancient, eternal contract as apprentice to the master of straights. Phedre vowed to free him, and has finally discovered how. She must speak the true name of God, which will banish the embittered angel Rahab, who controls Hyacinthe's fate. To discover the true name, Phedre journeys to distant lands and dangerous places, and not the least of the latter lies within. For Phedre is the only living anguisette
, chosen by the god Kushiel to experience pain and pleasure as one, and to maintain divine balance in the world. At the hands of the insane warlord and servant of the dark god Mahrkagir, Phedre learns what true horror is, nearly losing her soul to keep the covenant with Kushiel. As her spirit and strength drain away, the love of her life, Josceline the Cassiline warrior priest, must stand by. Carey's lush, sensuous prose again makes her heroine's story a savory feast for mind and heart. Paula LuedtkeCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved