KUSHIEL’S AVATAR by Jacqueline Carey


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Conclusion to Carey's huge and remarkable fantasy trilogy (Kushiel’s Chosen, 2002, etc.) set in a stunningly detailed and coherent medieval quasi-Europe. The exquisitely beautiful inhabitants of Terre D'Ange, descendants of angels, are bidden by their gods to “love as thou wilt.” For the “anguisette” Phèdre—her fate is to experience pain as pleasure—and her consort, Joscelin the ex-warrior priest, ten years have passed in relative tranquility. Phèdre has learned how to release her dearest friend Hyacinthe from magical bondage to the Master of the Straits: she must command the Master by speaking the hidden Name of God! Then a message arrives from her lover and rival, Melisande, confined on pain of death to a temple following her attempt to seize the throne. Melisande's son, Imriel, a royal heir raised in the deepest secrecy, has vanished. In return for Phèdre's help, Melisande offers the whereabouts of the lost tribe of Dan, whose elders may know the hidden Name. Imriel, Phèdre and Joscelin discover, was snatched by slavers. From the Pharaoh of Menekhet they learn that the boy was taken to Drujan, a grim, bloody, terrible place whose priests it is death to provoke and where invading armies are shredded by seemingly magical means. Drujan's ruler, styling himself the Conqueror of Death, needs a perfect sacrifice—Imriel!—to confirm his supremacy. The only way into Drujan, Phèdre reasons (for she has lost none of her sexual skills) is for Joscelin to sell her into the Conqueror of Death's seraglio!

A rousing finale to an altogether captivating saga.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-87240-2
Page count: 720pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2003


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