Kushiel’s Scion, by Jacqueline Carey
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Re-visiting the world of Terre d’Ange after more than a year since I last read about Phedre’ and Joscelin, and their adopted son Prince Imriel could have been a jarring experience – after all, Imri in this novel is no longer a child, afraid of monsters lurking beneath the bedroom furniture, but a young man about to attain true adulthood.
Jacqueline Carey’s world building is so detailed, however, that stepping back into Montreve, and the various other locations, was just like stepping into the kitchen of an old friend. Well, if that kitchen was in a time hundreds of years before now, and part of a society built on the concept of Love as thou wilt.
In this, the fourth novel of the Kushiel’s Legacy series, young Imriel is caught between being “good” and being true to himself, as a member of Kushiel’s line, and coming to grips with a childhood of abuse, and the darker desires he was born with. Amidst all this teen angst, there is a quest to find the source of a specific school of knowledge, and much ado with the ladies of the Court.
All in all, it’s a rollicking adventure that acts as the lead-in to the next two books in the series.
Goes well with a tankard of ale, hearty fresh-baked bread, and a good sharp cheddar.