The second in the Kushiel's legacy series, continues on exactly where the first novel left off.
Phedre no Delaunay, now the comtesse de Montreve, comfortably living in her country home with Joscelin and her three chevaliers, and spending most of her time learning Habiru, in the hopes of discovering the key to freeing Hyacinth from the yeshuite curse. But then a parcel comes from Melisande Sharizhai - Phedre's sangoire cloak - and there is only one way to interpret it; Melisande's games of politics and treachery and not yet finished, and she is inviting Phedre back into the game if she dares. And so Phedre goes back to the city, to take up service of Naamah again, to become again a courtesan and a spy. The first and greatest mystery being, who was it that aided Melisande's escape from Troyes le mont, and how far will Phedre need to go to find out.
I have to say, I enjoyed this one just as much, if not more than Kushiel's Dart. Near the end of the previous I was almost lulled into thinking there would be no more adventure for Phedre, that she was settling down with Joscelin, and that would be it. But of course the adventure was far from over. And really what an amazing adventure this time.. So many new lands, cultures and people in this one. Which only makes me wonder how far she'd have to travel in the third book in order to beat it!
As in the previous book there was no mercy for the heart, I believe Carey is one of those writers that will ruthlessly kill off beloved characters if it's important to the plot. She makes me cry so much, but I'm masochistic and I love a good cry, I can't help myself. Not telling who of course, you'll have to read it yourself and suffer the same as I did!
Some of the aspects that interest me most about this series is the mythology and the magic. At times you could almost believe it's a fantasy world without magic, just myths and legends for them, and then - as with the master of the straits in the 1st book - something just jumps out at you to show you that magic can touch Phedre's world. And if magic can happen.. then are Phedre's visions of her deity Kushiel 'real'..? I am still hoping for this mythology to go further. I don't have as much interesting in the Yeshuite mythology, as so far it's a bit of a mimicry of Jewish/christian beliefs, and as just doesn't shine as much as the other more fantasy elements, but it still hasn't bothered me much, and it does create some interesting characters.
If you were one of those, like I was, worried that the 2nd book would not live up to the 1st book.. just don't worry, keep reading, I promise it's great. And now I've proved to myself that it's just as good, (and I've got this review out of the way - my personal rule) I am now so so ready to jump into the 3rd book!!See my other reviews of Kushiel's Legacy:
← #1 Kushiel's Dart
| #3 Kushiel's Avatar