This book is a terrific end to an amazing trilogy. Now that most character relations have been established, Carey can really play with their relationships and make us feel for them even more than we could before. Except for a very uncomfortable section of the story, the necessity of which is obvious but still disturbs me, the novel is well plotted and engaging, moving quickly. Even though this was my second read-through, I was still surprised by certain things and had forgotten a great deal of the plot in four years.
I think most of all I love the relationship between Phedre and Joscelin. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it feels real, because I don’t think real people could endure what they do, but that’s part of what makes it amazing and touching. Their strength is unrealistic, but also admirable and makes us care for them even more. Watching them with another person in their family dynamic is interesting and does make them more human despite their many super-human qualities. I think their relationship is, to be honest, one of Carey’s triumphs. But then, I love the first Kushiel’s Legacy trilogy, and this book is probably just as good as the first – it dips a bit in the middle, slowing down, but overall, it’s all amazing, and I’d recommend these books to almost anyone, not just those who read fantasy. They are long, but in return they have almost every quality of an amazing, epic tale.