Author: Jacqueline Carey
Series: You could say this is the world of Kushiel, book 7, or the beginning of a new trilogy.
Genre: Fantasy with erotic elements. It's "erotic fantasy" the same way that "romantic fantasy" means "fantasy with some romance."
Setting: An alternate-history Europe and Asia.
Reason for Reading: I heard that the Imriel books were not terrific, but that this one was better. That turns out to be true.
Finished In: Hours. Less than a day.
Copyright Date: 2009
Cover: A woman's back, very sexy. She is lowering a red, dragon-embroidered robe from her shoulders. A golden branch secures her hair.
First line: "I was born to the Maghuin Dhonn."
Best part: This book is engaging and quick to read.
Worst part: I felt Carey made it a little easy on herself by giving her protagonist a spark of intuition that makes her do many things that drive the plot.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Ingenue" by Life in Mono
Recommended for: Fans of the series. While this book wouldn't make a terrible entrance point, the events of the previous books are referenced rather frequently.
Related Reads: Kushiel's Dart by the same author, Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop, and A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer. I wish there were more books of this type.
Carey delivers another sweeping, sensual epic. She sets this book a few generations after the adventures of Phedre. I kept expecting the two protagonists to be more similar than they were - I feel in some places Carey sets us up to think that Moirin will follow Phedre's path but she does not. I found that made the book more enjoyable. Recommended.