Book Reviews – Kushiel’s Legacy Series by Jacqueline Carey

Jaqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy series is really a collection of three trilogies. The first, consisting of Kushiel’s Dart, Kushiel’s Chosen, and Kushiel’s Avatar tell the story of Phedre nó Delaunay, a courtesan in a land where sex is an act of worship, and her sworn protector, Joscelin. What can I say about this trilogy? It was lush, romantic, sensual, mythic, epic. I have never read anything like it before or since. In Terre d’ Ange, Carey has created a richly detailed, fascinating world. Her take on religion and politics alone is enough to create an interesting story but her characters and their relationships elevates the books to an entirely different level.

I was so enamoured with the Phedre and Joscelin trilogy that when I heard that Carey was writing a second trilogy, (Kushiel’s Scion, Kushiel’s Justice, and Kushiel’s Mercy), telling the story of Imriel, Phedre and Joscelin’s complicated and horribly wounded foster son, I had my concerns. I was worried that the Imriel books could never live up to the quality of the Phedre books but I was wrong. The Imriel trilogy continued and completed the story perfectly.

The last trilogy, (Naamah’s Kiss, Naamah’s Curse, Naamah’s Blessing) is set generations into the future. It had its good points, but never really lived up to the first two trilogies. 

(I should mention that these books are not appropriate for all ages. There is lots and lots of sex (most of it varied and explicit) in these books so they are really intended for a mature, open-minded audience. And Carey takes a lot of liberties with religion and culture so it you are easily offended by alternative history versions of real-world religions, then you should pick up a different series.)

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About Ciarrai

Hi. My name is Kerry but here online I tend to go by the Gaelic version of my name, Ciarrai. I am a woman in my mid-30's who lives on Long Island, NY, with my husband, Rob, several guitars, a Nikon D40, more yarn, beads and books than I care to admit to and a cat who has a million nicknames and quite a few theme songs. I have a B.A. in Psychology and have recently returned to college to pursue a teaching degree so that I can eventually get a job as a High School English teacher. In addition to my major obsessions (Reading, Beading, Knitting, Music and Photography), I also enjoy playing Board Games, going to Renaissance Faires, Museums and Broadway Musicals.
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2 Responses to Book Reviews – Kushiel’s Legacy Series by Jacqueline Carey

  1. Grace says:

    Love love love this series. I agree that the third trilogy didn’t have the same touch that the first two did; I felt like the author might have gotten bored with it and run out of ideas, but the first two were phenomenal.

  2. Ciarrai says:

    They were! I was so worried that the Imriel books weren’t going to live up to the Phedre trilogy but I was so ridiculously happy when they did. My husband is in the middle of re-reading the series and were just having a conversation about how it was so ironic that growing up, all Imriel wanted was to be like Jocelyn and then when he got older and he was trying desperately to keep Sidone alive, this passionate, incredible woman with the same infuriating habit of doing the right thing no matter who wants to kill her, he realizes that he is exactly like Jocelyn.

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