Kushiel’s Avatar (Kushiel’s Legacy #3) – by Jacqueline Carey



The land of Terre d’Ange is a place of unsurpassed beauty and grace. It’s inhabited by the race that rose from the seed of angels, and they live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt. Phedre n Delaunay was sold into indentured servitude as a child. Her bond was purchased by a nobleman who recognized that she was pricked by Kushiel’s Dart, chosen to forever experience pain and pleasure as one. Phedre’s path has been strange and dangerous. She has lain with princes and pirate kings, battled a wicked temptress, and saved two nations. Through it all, the devoted swordsman Joscelin has been at her side, following the central precept of the angel Cassiel: Protect and serve. But Phedre’s plans will put his pledge to the test, for she has never forgotten her childhood friend Hyacinthe. She has spent ten long years searching for the key to free him from his eternal indenture to the Master of Straights, a bargain with the gods to save Phedre and a nation. The search will take Phedre and Joscelin across the world and down a fabled river to a forgotten land . . . and to a power so intense and mysterious, none dare speak its name.


There’s something about Carey’s words that I slip back into her world not unlike a comfortable bathrobe. No matter how much time has passed, it envelopes you in comfort and begs you to sit there and read. And lucky for us, her journey is as worth reading as ever. I will not lie: these books can be a heavy read, for in each of the three books of Phedre’s she winds up in slavery, and third time is easily the worst as what she suffers goes past sadism into torture, only her love of pain allowing her to keep her sanity. Thankfully, this section of the book is relatively small and handled well. We feel more than we see, and she never lingers. Instead, the bulk of the talk focuses on the Name of God, and here too she displays a deft and respectful hand. She never presumes to give him a name and there remains an ever presence sense of awe when she even thinks of it, it’s done well.

As always, the story remains part travelogue. Our tale take us to the Middle East and to Africa this time, and always, I love to read her descriptions because they are always so vivid. I admit, the amount of time dedicated to the intricacies of travel and locale could easily feel like dead weight in other stories, but here they work and work well.

Finally as a conclusion to a trilogy and the start of a new, it also works well. There is without sense, absolute closure. Had she never written another book, you could walk away content. But there is another trilogy (well, two if we are being all technical about it) and this book sets us up well for it. The character it follows (to tell would be a bit of a spoiler) is rather likable and I look forward to starting to read it. I do own and I will get to it, though perhaps not for some time.

Overall, I think this is as satisfying a series I’ve read as absolute any and I implore you to give it a chance. If we only all followed Elua’s precipt, we would all be in a far better place.

Love as thou wilt.

Verdict: Buy It

Available: Now