I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time. I love the original Kushiel trilogy, and reread it in preparation for beginning this second trilogy (which is not yet completed, with two books published). When I came to this book, I have to admit that it disappointed me.
For one thing, I just don’t love Imriel as much as I love Phedre. This book is indeed a coming of age tale, and I really enjoy the developments in Imriel’s character, but I don’t like him nearly as much or find his story nearly as interesting. I think the fact that he grew up so much meant that less happened, plot-wise, although certainly things do happen, especially in the second half. More of the book was spent discovering himself, rather than discovering any part of the world, which normally I enjoy but I didn’t as much here, perhaps because there isn’t a sense of destiny about Imriel. He is in control, whereas things happened to Phedre and she dealt with them as she could. I suppose that is just my taste and doesn’t necessarily reflect as much on the book – just that it is definitely different.
I would also have loved to hear more about Melisande, rather than the tantalizing hints that we are given.
Otherwise, Carey’s style and prose are up to par. There’s nothing wrong with the plot, but the book is very long for the events within it. Overall, she just needs to convince me that I should care about Imriel!