Thursday 18 March 2010

NAAMAH'S KISS by Jacqueline Carey

Decades ago a sacred oath was broken. And as it broke, the magic held by the oldest tribe in Alba was shattered. Their power over the natural world lost, the gift of foretelling gone, now only the small magics are left to Moirin and her people: the ability to conceal themselves from sight and a skill to coax plants to grow.

But Moirin also has strange gods in her life, who hint at another part of her heritage. While Moirin's mother is of the tribe, her father was a priest dedicated to the service of Naamah - the goddess of desire - and as Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood it become clear that an unexpected destiny is unfolding at her feet.

Moirin's path lies across the ocean, past the elaborate dazzle and intrigue-filled courts of Terre D'Ange and up into the unknown land of the Ch'in. But, even gifted as she is, how can her destiny be linked with that of the blindfolded Ch'in warrior-princess and how can Moirin's small gifts ever hope to stand against a powerful mage?

I have to admit that before this one, I'd never read anything written by Jacqueline Carey. I'm not sure why, but when I got this book for review, I decided to give it a go.

Moirin is of mixed blood and spends most of her early life living in the wild--inside a cave--with her devoted mother. But her mother is full of secrets, including who Moirin's father really is. Yet, when she befriends a young boy called Cillian, and starts to grow into a woman, her mother has no choice but to let her spread her wings, as well as explain a few things. Starting with the fact that her father was a D’Angeline priest.

What follows is an adventure through Moirin's life, because her destiny lies elsewhere, away from the natural life she'd known and loved as a child. It takes the reader through the many loves and heartaches that follow her as she moves from one place to another, allowing Naamah's gift of desire to lead her.

I found the characters to be interesting. The writing intoxicating. It moved at a slow pace, revealing Moirin's very sensual journey.

Naamah's Kiss is a memorable story with a lush and vivid world. It's filled with interesting characters and very complicated relationships. Yet, as much as I enjoyed this book, it took me a while to get into the swing of things after she left the wild. The instant intrigue that sucked me into the beginning of the story began to fade with every new chapter.

Still, I have to say that the writing was wonderful, it's what kept me reading to the end. It's always great to get caught up in a nice, fluid character voice, and this author certainly has that.

Naamah's Kiss, March 2010, ISBN 978-057-509357-7, Gollancz Paperback

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