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Naamah's Curse Hardcover – June 14, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Moirin's Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sequel to 2009's Naamah's Kiss, Moirin, the devoted servant of a sex goddess, journeys across half of a fantasy version of Asia in search of her soulmate, Bao. In Tatar territory, she finds Bao... and his wife. His father-in-law, the Great Khan, is willing to go to great extremes to keep Bao and Moirin apart. Captured by the fanatic Patriarch of Riva, Moirin escapes to find that Bao has vanished again, this time headed toward the distant lair of the Spider Queen and her army of assassins. The romantic tale is marred by Moirin's narcissistic awareness that she is destined for a glorious fate that lesser mortals like Bao's jealous wife may only envy. Carey's storytelling ability is top-notch, however, and readers will applaud her willingness to resolve major plot threads in the middle book of a trilogy. (June)
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From Booklist

Still chasing her destiny in the sequel to Naamah's Kiss (2009), Moirin follows the urging of her diadh-anam across Tatar territory, looking for Bao, her Ch'in lover, who holds the other half of her divine soul-spark. She finds him married to the Great Khan's daughter, and their plans to smooth this wrinkle go disastrously wrong when the Great Khan arranges to have Moirin kidnapped by fanatical, pious Vralians, while Bao is led into the lands of the Spider Queen. Though this book is packed with new people, new lands, and new gods, the pacing is slow and the tone reflective. Carey's involving depictions of several religions also grow rather pointed. While Bao is never present long enough to gain depth, Moirin grows in strength and compassion, confronting several interesting crossroads in her faith and her way of life. Despite a “middle book” feel, series fans will love it, and an ominous warning about Raphael de Merliot, whom Moirin must “reckon with,” gives us something to look forward to in the next book. --Krista Hutley

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Product Details

  • Series: Naamah
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (June 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446198056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446198059
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ashley Megan VINE VOICE on June 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Jacqueline Carey released "Kushiel's Scion," the first of the Imriel trilogy, I admit to being a little worried. I wasn't sure she could pull off the shift away from Phedre no Delaunay de Montreve, the inimitable and incomparable heroine of the first trilogy of the Kushiel's Legacy series. Well, I was wrong, and Imriel's trilogy turned out to be brilliant. Then she started a third trilogy, and once again I was apprehensive. After "Naamah's Kiss," I wasn't entirely reassured, but I still held onto hope for Moirin's story.

After "Naamah's Curse," that hope is crushed.

I can't put my finger on the exact moment when I realized that everything had gone horribly, horribly wrong, but I do know that every time I picked up this book, the spark of anticipation was weaker, and every time I set it down the disappointment was stronger. I kept waiting for it to pull me in, to entice me, seduce me, to just make me care about these characters. It never did.

By far the greatest sin in "Naamah's Curse", greater than the ridiculous plot contrivances and deus ex machinas, greater than the senseless bouncing around from location to location, greater than the little editorial errors that signal a rush to print, is that the characters here are unbelievable, flat, and one-dimensional. Now, I was never a fan of Bao - my last review described him as a poor man's Joscelin. Well, after this book, I take that back - it's offensive to both Joscelin and poor men. The various minor characters are your basic stock archetypes - the evil religious fanatic, the wide-eyed naïf, the enlightened ruler.

And Moirin? Moirin, who could have been the most unique and fascinating D'Angeline protagonist to date?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like a few other reviewers, I had high hopes for this book. Moirin, while not my favorite narrator, felt like she had some spark to her, some reason to struggle, to fight, to grow, and to be alive. Unfortunately, the revival of Bao at the end of the first book meant the death of Moirin in the second.

I understand, or at least I like to think I understand, what Carey was going for. She'd already created a ground-breaking character in the form of Phedre, and completely enchanted me with Imriel's tale (despite a rocky start in the likability polls). For the third series, she needed to shake things up a bit. Back to writing a woman? Great, she's had time to mature as a writer and bring it all together. Phedre and the others left in the annals of history? Excellent, removes the temptation to bring them into a story they would overwhelm. Resist the Mary-Sue temptation to make her a direct descendant? Eeeengh, not quite; although she's not directly related to the Delaunay clan, it's close enough to make me wonder if there's a draft out there with her as a great-great-granddaughter.

So Moirin's different enough to quiet the fans... or is she? In the first book Carey did a decent job giving Moirin her own life, but the moment sex entered the tale it all went down hill. Globe-trotting Moirin just can't help herself, hopping into bed with just about everyone in the first book, a trend that continued into the second. If anything Moirin's tales should be called "Eiseth's Travels", because damn if Moirin doesn't manage to come up with an excuse for every single liason. Half D'Angeline boy who's terrified of sex? A little coitus'll fix that right up. Woman with evil stone got Moirin's panties in a twist? The nearest queen will do.
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Format: Hardcover
Curse is a disappointing, but not unreadable, continuation of Carey's Moirin trilogy. The language is as rich and enjoyable as ever, and this alone is worth reading the book. The world building continues to be interesting, with an intriguingly familiar alternate world.

Unfortunately, the story itself was rather dismal.

Moirin began the series with so much promise that it's quite a disappointment to me. A child of the wild, innocent, ruled by passions and too honest for her own good, fighting for her independence...unfortunately, she has been thoroughly tamed beyond recognition. Forced plot contrivances, deus ex machina, flat characters and a complete inability to suspend growing disbelief plague the novel.

Similar to Kiss, Curse is divisible into two very distinct novellas following the initial introduction. Also like Kiss, these have very little - nearly nothing - to do with one another.

The plots themselves are fine, but it's the docile meandering of the characters through them that's painful to read. Kidnapped and held captive, Moirin does nothing to aid herself: never lifts a hand in defense or struggles to form a plan other than attempting to win over a rescuer, doesn't even really try to resist much, too cowed by threats. It seems like a pitiful low for a high spirited forest sprite to come to, and even after her escape (which mostly involved sitting around waiting, rather than fighting for survival) I felt a large part of her had died.

The second half was slightly better - Moirin at least seems to show some bravery - but the situations were so forced that it was hard to enjoy.
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