Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey

This is a book by one of my favourite authors!!! And as I started reading it all I could do was sigh happily at the familiar awesomeness of her writing. It just caused such a feeling of contentment and comfort and enjoyment! :) This is the 2nd book of the Imriel trilogy which is part of the Kushiel’s Legacy series. Imriel was the adopted son of Phèdre the main character of the previous trilogy in the series. I find the movie Dangerous Beauty (see post below) gives a small sense of what Phèdre’s world might be like! :) So all the books in this series are truly awesome! And I love the way Carey writes self-contained novels that although part of a bigger story complete their individual stories with satisfying conclusions. This is sweet, welcome relief in comparison to unending series writers like George R.R. Martin, Kate Elliott, and Robert Jordan (who even died before he finished).

Buuut... and I really say this reluctantly... I must admit I found the story lines getting boring even around the 2nd and 3rd books of the Phèdre trilogy which has led to less excitement reading each of the Imriel books. Which after the 1st and 2nd I’m still not excited. Maybe when you try to wrap thing up each time causes problems finding interesting ways to do so without finishing the plot overlying the trilogy? Not sure. I just found it felt like each novel of the Phèdre trilogy just had to find a bigger, badder enemy for Phèdre to overcome. But despite the change in enemies, the story line went the same route. And this Imriel trilogy doesn’t have a single enemy to overcome each time, but can maybe be described as stages in Imriel’s growth, emotionally and physically? Which is totally cool (especially with how Berlik’s end came to be), but isn’t terribly captivating somehow. Hmmm... Carey’s recommended Guy Gavriel Kay books to her readers coz he also writes ‘historical fantasy’ for want of a better word. And I think I would say he is actually the best author I’ve read (ie. has the highest percentage of his books that are masterpieces to me) so I’m trying to compare his to Carey to see what I find different. Maybe Kay produces a bigger plot climax with more complex weaving of how you get there? I think I might say Carey’s plot climaxes are attained by following a more linear path, while Kay has many paths combining into a striking climax?

Wow this was gonna be short but here I am going on and on! I also wanted to mention that I love the world Carey created in Terre d’Ange and I love their precept “Love as thou wilt”. What a great thing to remember! I also love the principle exemplified by Phèdre that to yield is not to surrender!! Another great thing to remember! But I must admit I’m not a big fan of reading so much about Judeo-Christianity (or is just Judaism?) partly coz I’m an atheist, partly coz those religions are well represented in our world and if anything I would love to learn more about all the pagan religions that existed before. As well although there are new cultures and lands explored in every book, they are discussed from the perspective of our main character who is simply the visitor so it doesn’t suck you into the world of these cultures and give you a different experience like you have if a character actually lives there or is from there. Although we do get a great taste of Alba in this book! :)

So all in all it was still a thoroughly enjoyable book!! Although I find myself being more excited by her books in other worlds: Santa Olivia (semi-scifi who’s main character is a female boxer! which is cool coz i box and love it!) and The Sundering duology coz that was such a great, innovative take on the classic epic fantasy (à la Lord of the Rings) from the viewpoint of the so-called ‘bad guys’! She is truly an amazing amazing writer!!!