Naamah's Blessing (Kushiel's Legacy)
by Jacqueline Carey
Cover Artist: Alan Ayers
Review by Ellen Russell
Grand Central Publishing Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780446198073
Date: 29 June 2011 List Price $26.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Tender and poignant, uplifting yet heart-wrenching, Namaah's Blessing is a masterwork. Jacqueline Carey never lets her readers down. Namaah's Blessing is the third and final book in Carey's latest trilogy set in the realm of Terre D'Ange and its surrounding countries. After her adventures in the Far East, Moirin is finally heading back to Terre D'Ange with her faithful husband Bao. She arrives only to learn that King Daniel's only son, Thierry, has led a voyage to the new world, Terra Nova, against his father's wishes.
Moirin quickly becomes attached to the king's motherless young daughter, Desiree. However, just as she unearths a plot to exploit Desiree, Moirin discovers that she must go to Terra Nova to rescue Thierry, who has gone missing in the strange and savage land. What she discovers in the jungles of Terra Nova is beyond belief, but she knows she must bring Thierry home in order to save Terre D'Ange, and the innocent Desiree from the plotting of greedy nobles.
Carey's prose is stunning. Her descriptions are lush and beautifully worded, painting detailed pictures in the mind of the reader. Her dialogue is true to life, with interactions that never sound forced or contrived. The plot trips along at the perfect pace, like a dancer gliding through a waltz: slow enough to allow for character development, but fast enough to keep the reader engaged and guessing what will happen next. Carey's characters also spring to life in such a way that there is no question: these people are real. Their actions, motivations, and words all ring with authenticity. The main characters, while exhibiting the traditional traits of hero and heroine are also relatable human with their own quirks and flaws. In addition, the antagonists are also well fleshed-out, not one-dimensionally evil, with their own histories and motivations. Even the lesser characters are fully-formed with personalities and histories of their own.
In addition, her world building is also fantastic and shows both a lot of research and a lot of imagination. Terre D'Ange is on the one hand, a re-imagined Europe and on the other hand, a completely new country with a unique history and culture. There is enough familiarity that the reader can relate to the setting, but enough novelty and imagination to keep the setting interesting. The culture of the people and their history are also fully fleshed-out, giving the reader even more insight into events and character motivations. Carey knows how to set the scene for a fascinating story to unfold.
Namaah's Blessing, as is typical of Carey's work, is tightly plotted and keeps the reader hooked. The pacing is excellent and the flow of the story never feels forced. Readers who enjoy epic fantasy, fantasy with strong female protagonists, and historical fantasy will love Namaah's Blessing. Although Namaah's Blessing has the potential to stand alone, readers will benefit from an understanding of what occurred in the first two novels, as it sets the backdrop for what occurs in the third. This trilogy is an excellent addition to any library.